The power of benchmarking

October 29, 2013 By    

A farmer walked into the henhouse one morning with an ostrich egg in his hand and said, “Look girls, this is what they are doing down the road.”

When we benchmark with the best in our industry, it causes us to rethink the way we do business. It shocks us into the realization that we have adopted self-limiting beliefs, such as “My market is different” or “Everyone buys on price.” We have heard people say these things for years and simply accept them as true. Then we begin to realize that our expectations are too low and need to be reset.

Prior to 1956, everyone believed that it was humanly impossible to run a mile in less than four minutes until Roger Bannister, a 25-year-old British medical student crossed the line in 3:59.4 to break the world record. Within six months, 45 others broke the four-minute-mile mark as well. Up to that point, everyone had the self-limiting belief that it was not possible.

New information becomes valuable when we allow it to change the way we think, whether it is in our business or personal life. It happens the moment we admit to ourselves, ”I’m not doing that well.” The power of benchmarking becomes real when we act on what we learn.

Ken Albrecht is president of Reliable Propane in Clarence Center, N.Y. Visit

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