founder of naked leader

When to Benchmark




With my love and best wishes




PS… Agree?

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19 Responses to When to Benchmark

  1. 100% agree – why do you want to benchmark someone / something / some company /some competitor as all you end up doing is setting your horizon (with all their inbuilt failures).

    Benchmarking is fantastic in its mediocrity.

    • Disagree, benchmarks are not bad, realy depends on what type of benchmark but more importantly how / what you use the information for. in particular if you are looking something to help support a strategy or direction within an organisation.

  2. Disagree so long as you use it wisely. It’s about how you use it. I say be informed by the market but don’t follow it.

  3. Conversely, if you don’t benchmark, you may never know how badly you’re under-performing in comparison to your peers or competition.

    It has a place. Maybe just not in HR.

  4. 100% agree – how can you benchmark something that is as unique as a person. How much can you miss out on if you are constrained to what fits in the box.

  5. Brilliant.

    I recall hearing you tell a group how they could be average. i.e. by being the same as everyone else.

    So now I am wondering if there is an inverse correlation between the amount of benchmarking and levels of customer service satisfaction?

    Have a great week.


  6. Thank you for so many comments on day one – I thought long and hard about the one word answer. It was either that or 100 words, so I benchmarked the 100 words against a range of other 100 words I had written before, and fell asleep…David

  7. Without a benchmark, where would we be in measuring things?
    Mike Ashley, owner of Newcastle United, has set the benchmark for how he wants to run his club by employing Joe Kinnear, not some fancy Europeans who come at a far greater cost. Joe is not everyone’s cup of tea but a decent man nonetheless, a man of the people.
    Woking FC is often mentioned here because David Taylor was once chairman and the club signed a player today who has been to prison for assault and actual bodily harm. So the club has set the benchmark for future signings, in that, anybody, regardless of character, will be signed, as long as they are good enough and come at the right price.
    I watched a State of Origin rugby league game on Sky recently and a player punched another twice in the face because the benchmark had been set in previous battles over the years and the player offending knew he would get away with it. As others did.
    So, to my mind, benchmarks are important because they determine future outcomes. The bar having already been set. Just a personal opinion of course and get the point which is being made. Good cross-section of views too.

  8. There are various cases throughout sport where ability has come before apparent character flaws, and this will continue.
    Liverpool do not want to let Luis Suarez go to a rival club, even though he likes to bite other players, because they value his talent more than they care about his character. His ability is all that matters to them, not the fact he likes to eat defenders for breakfast. Metaphorically speaking of course.

  9. Disagree. Benchmarking has its place and purpose. Its also something that is part of human nature so like it or not, most of us are ‘benchmarking’ all the time. ( Her clothes look better than mine, am I driving at the ‘right’ speed on the motorway, etc. Sadly, benchmarking can be mis-used and hijacked, and in any event should only be one of our reference points in progressing our own personal agenda and ambition.

  10. Exactly Jon, we all benchmark as that is the way we gauge things against other things. It stands to reason we have to have a benchmark to make sure we can achieve better in the future, to keep pushing.

  11. Great stuff – maybe I will do one word NL weeks every Monday! Very thought provoking thank you all David

  12. Only my belief, of course, and as always do what works, for you…background to the one word answer is my IT background and NL continued work in IT. Tullow oil (Andrew Marks) aside, IT depts. continue to benchmark against each other – please stop it, it’s irrelevant, exceed your (external) customers’ expectations every time…I don’t call that benchmarking, I call that ambition.

    Liam Mike at Newcastle has an ambition, re Josh at Woking you could just as easily say we have benchmarked second chances after he has served his sentence. I don’t see benchmarking as the same thing, however your comments Liam have really got me thinking, thank you.

    Jon I couldn’t agree more – people spend so much time comparing how they are doing v how others are doing, and this is almost always destructive. In fact, I think it’ worse, I think we compare how we re doing by how we think others are doing, when in fact we don’t really know!

    You are you, and no matter how often you compare or contract or benchmark others you will still be you. As the wonderful Paul Arden (RIP) said “it’s not how great you are, it’s how great you want to be.” David

  13. There are two views and I think both have substance.
    It just goes to show that there is never a right or wrong in a lively debate. Well done David.

  14. Really, there is benchmarking, and any other view isn’t really the right one, because we all know benchmarking exists. Or so I would have said a week ago.
    Now thinking about it more, actually, I don’t think that is the case.

  15. I agree it’s thought-provoking. I often find the shorter naked Leader Weeks are the most powerful.
    Amazing how one word can create such interest and debate.
    And most of the comments on here are valid.
    My view is there is benchmarking, if only for the likes of athletes to know what they have to do to get that extra 10th of a second.

  16. Bench marking has its value in the public sector and similar areas; but the problem is how its used. If I had to choose between the current norm and the don’t do it view, I’d choose the latter.

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