Quite frequently we support companies undertaking internal performance reviews, audits or restructuring and part of this can include introducing them to practice from elsewhere.

Benchmarking does have important limitations, as Robert Kaplan identified many years ago. Inappropriately applied, those being benchmarked can spend many hours justifying their cost base and processes when time could be better spent doing or improving day to day work that needs to be done. His view, and one shared by many, is that benchmarking can most usefully be applied to understanding and improving commoditised products and processes.

In our view however, a more informal approach can bring benefits by introducing businesses and their leaders to new possibilities. Less easy to quantify, the exposure to new ways of working, different contexts and technological possibilities and more general knowledge sharing does have value – especially perhaps for utilities, which are often location, region or nationally rooted.

The usefulness of this for organisations in Oman, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia can be illustrated. We would be happy to discuss this approach – contact us via

Robert S. Kaplan (2006) When Benchmarks Don’t Work HBR

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