Best Practices: Where are they?
The term Best Practices is used widely. This is an area of concern. Is a Best Practice a minimum requirement? Or an average? Or is it a benchmark?
I belong to the Global Benchmarking Network, founded by Dr Robert Camp, the Benchmarking Guru. For us, Best Practices have a context; they are aligned with Performance Excellence models.
Search for Best Practices
An organization is similar to an orchestra….a classic European orchestra.
Organizations perform through value creation processes, support processes, and supplier processes. Much like an orchestra, that combines instruments from different families, for a super performance.
The audience for organizations, consists of customers, employees, suppliers, investors, society, and Mother Earth. Each segment expects a super performance.
In order to accomplish a super performance we need to continuously improve the individual performance of each process. In a balanced way. We need to benchmark our performance against similar processes, internally and externally.
In so doing, we will ultimately reach a plateau. We will be similar to all other super performing organizations.
So how can we differentiate ourselves?
The answer is through continuous innovation of key processes, leading to sterling breakthrough performance.
How? By indulging in cross-industry benchmarking. Understanding the Best Practices in processes that lead to breakthrough results. .
It should be noted that over 80% of managerial practices that drive an organization are generic in character. However we tend to only worry about the 20% that are proprietary.
The big opportunity lies in cross-industry benchmarking of generic practices.
In World War 1, European Generals benchmarked an American Circus for the logistics process. An army and a circus have similar characteristics.
McDonalds inspired the Aravind Eye Hospital in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, for improving the throughput of cataract procedures. Much like producing perfect burgers.
- Ratio Analysis is a form of benchmarking in Financial Management
- Benchmarking direct competition will guarantee you are a “follower”
- For leadership, indulge in cross-industry benchmarking
- Performance Excellence models are populated with generic managerial practices.