Benchmarking, when taken to the extreme, becomes bad
That's the conclusion I get from reading Seth Godin's latest blog post on Benchmarking.
Offhand, here are my thoughts after reading his post:
- it's tough to keep benchmarketing against others when you know darned well you're not going to be able to keep up
- it's reckless to stop benchmarketing altogether, because while ignorance may be bliss, you can't stay ignorant forever -- especially when your business goes under.
So I can only conclude that:
- we SHOULD keep benchmarketing, but we should do so in moderation (I am feeling very Aristotlean right now)
- we should focus our energies on figuring out WHAT things should be measured. I may be able to track hundreds of indicators, but all that is futile and worthless if they're all the wrong indicators to focus on.
- once we know what should be measured, we can focus on those indicators only, and avoid getting distracted by factoids that aren't critical to our desired outcome.
- and of course, like most things, we should periodicially revisit our assumptions about what's important, because the world around us constantly changes, and we should likewise continuously adapt.