December 5, 2009
In Chapter Six of my book I discuss the enemy of BE DiFFERENT; the prolific concept that is used by most organizations - benchmarking.
Benchmarking, you might recall is a key component of the Total Quality Management (TQM) philosophy introduced by the Japanese to the western world and adopted by many organizations seeking to improve their overall performance. TQM topics such as DRTFT (Do it right the first time) and PONC (the price of non-conformance) and the Quality definition (conformance to requirements) pervaded the teachings of organizational leaders and were the hot topics of the day.
On top of the TQM concept pyramid was Benchmarking Best in Class with the following performance improvement process:first, identify the organization that excelled in the operation that you were ineffective (the Best in Class)and then, define the actions necessary to incorporate their operating systems, processes and methods with the hopes of improving to their levels of performance.
In sum, copy the best organization you can identify in hopes you can replicate their performance.
I believe that the benchmarking process is beneficial to improve the performance in some aspect of an organization’s operations. But understand that it incorporates a copy algorithm and as such does little to make you DiFFERENT. At best you achieve Best in Class levels which may return better results than previously obtained but unless you vault beyond these levels true differentiation is unlikely to happen.
Define Best in Class and establish them as the level to BE DiFFERENT from.
Look at organizations outside your particular line of business.
Set the Best in Class bar and then go beyond it.
This is the way to create BE DiFFERENT success for your organization.
BE DiFFERENT Planning Procss
Roy’s Rule of Three
Plan on the Run
Cut the Crap
The Only Statement
Role of Your Strategy Document
Line of Sight Execution
Avoid Aspirational Intent