The greatest benchmark can become a powerful tool for your business. If you want your business or your life to get better benchmarking is a good place to start.
Benchmarking is the process of comparing our situation and performance to an individual or organisation that we consider a quality performer.
This is a good strategy and provides the opportunity to both measure where we are and determine a comparison for where we want.
Benchmarking is powerful but perhaps a much more important is to compare where we are to where we think we are.
All of us live in a world of our own creation and our reality is not always the reality others see. We think we provide great service and do a pretty good job but are we really as good as we think we are and more, importantly are we as good as we could be?
The problem with self-assessment whether in business or our personal lives is that we are usually wrong. In fact, we tend to believe our own press, to believe our personal vision for our businesses and ourselves as individuals.
Research has shown that most people are poor witnesses to events and we are often not the best to evaluate ourselves. This is why top performers use coaches.
I see this in businesses and with individuals all the time.
For example, companies who believe themselves to be great employers but are, in fact, abusive of employees. Individuals who consider themselves fit but are a stone, or two, overweight.
When we look in the mirror we see what we expect to see not what is really there.
We lie to ourselves all of the time and so issues, problems, faults continue without being corrected. We want our lives to change but we see the fault with the people and systems around us rather than with ourselves.
“If only we had better employees, more honest suppliers, happier spouses, more directed children….”
We think that if we can change the world around us that we will change when, in fact, the opposite is true. If we want our world to change we must change first! This is true in every aspect of our lives.
Employers who suffer high staff turnover, too many sick days, theft, etc. are usually poor employers and so attract only those who don’t respect themselves or their careers.
The world gives us what we think about most of the time! This is true, without a doubt, for businesses and individuals alike.
If a business wants to change, to get to the next level, it must set new bigger goals but first must start behaving the way a larger business behaves. A small business mentality will only deliver a small business reality – anything else is impossible.
As an example, this is the great benefit from hosting the Olympics – so many businesses are forced to raise the quality of what they deliver to match the Olympic standards. This process makes all of us just a bit better, which benefits all of us for years to come. The same was true of NASA. The quest for the moon brought so much more to society. When we stretch we all get better.
So, how to get better? How to get an honest view of ourselves and our businesses?
This is where strategic planning is so very important to the growth of any business. Know who you are, know what you want, determine what that looks like and to start acting that way.
Success pursued with this approach is inevitable.
Logically, following from this, is that if you want to evaluate anyone or any business look their associates. Who we attract and who we chose to work with, do business with, love, live near, etc is always a reflection of how we view ourselves. To understand the values, priorities, goals of any individual or organisation just look at their employees, fiends, spouse, customers. The observation will tell you everything you need to know.
Of all of the actions we make everyday we only make a very small percent consciously. Most decisions are made by our subconscious – this is why people say one thing and do another. Not because they lie but because often our conscious and subconscious drivers are inconsistent.
It is really our subconscious mind that rules our world which is why change is so difficult. The business equivalent is the business culture. If your company culture is not consistent with your goals then the culture will always win out.
Good plans, good strategy set up a series of new belief systems that we can actually follow and that will change our belief systems and culture overtime.
Change is possible!