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Benchmarking is a systematic tool that allows a company to determine whether its performance of organisational processes and activities represent the best practices.

Benchmarking models are used to determine how well a business unit, division, organisation or corporation is performing compared with other similar organisations.

A benchmark is a point of reference for a measurement. The term 'benchmark' presumably originates from the practice of making dimensional height measurements of an object on a workbench using a gradual scale or similar

The term 'benchmark' presumably originates from the practice of making dimensional height measurements of an object on a workbench using a gradual scale or similar tool and using the surface of the workbench as the origin for the measurements.

Traditionally, performance measures are compared with previous measures from the same organisation at different times. Although this can be a good indication of the speed of improvement within the organisation, it could be that although the organisation is improving, the competition is improving faster...

FIVE TYPES OF BENCHMARKING

  1. Internal benchmarking (benchmark within a corporation, for example between business units)
  2. Competitive benchmarking (benchmark performance or processes with competitors)
  3. Functional benchmarking (benchmark similar processes within an industry)
  4. Generic benchmarking (comparing operations between unrelated industries)
  5. Collaborative benchmarking (carried out collaboratively by groups of companies (e.g. subsidiaries of a multinational in different countries or an industry organisation).

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Six reasons why information systems are so important for business today include: 
1. Operational excellence
2. New products, services, and business models
3. Customer and supplier intimacy
4. Improved decision making
5. Competitive advantage
6. Survival

The emergence of a global economy, the transformation of industrial economies, the transformation of the business enterprise, and the emergence of digital firms make information systems essential in business today.

Information system is a foundation for conducting business today. In many businesses, survival and the ability to achieve strategic business goals is difficult without extensive use of information technology. There are six reasons or objectives why businesses use information system:

Operational excellence. Business improve the efficiency of their operations in order to (more…)


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During the 1990’s, John Kotter (professor of leadership at the Harvard Business school in Boston) studied the progress of over 100 companies who were trying to “remake” themselves.

He found that there were some general lessons that could be learned about managing change, and how to avoid big errors. His findings have been translated into eight steps.

The first four steps may be likened to  Kurt Lewins unfreezing’ process, helping to defrost a hardened status quo.

They are:

  • Establishing a sense of urgency
  • Creating the guiding team
  • Developing a vision and strategy

 The next stages introduce new practices:

  • Communicating the change vision.
  • Empowering a broad base of people to act
  • Generating short term wins

 The final stage is required to embed changes within organisational culture:

  • Consolidating gains and producing even more change
  • Institutionalising new practices – making the change ‘stick’

To read more about these eight steps Click Here


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During the lifetime of any organisation, it may from time-to-time require the support of an external business advisor, consultant or coach – but what is the difference and how can they help?

There’s a certain amount of confusion in the business community about these three roles.  Ask ten people, and you might to get ten different answers.

Here is just one set of definitions for you to consider.

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Change is a common thread that runs through all businesses regardless of size, industry and age.

Our world is changing fast and, as such, organisations must change quickly too and be agile in the marketplace they operate in. Organisations that handle change well thrive, while those that do not may struggle to survive.

The concept of "change management" is a familiar one in most businesses today.

But how businesses manage change (and how successful they are at it) varies enormously depending on the nature of the business, the change and the people involved. And a key part of this depends on how far people within it understand the change process.

One of the cornerstone models for understanding organisational change was developed by Kurt Lewin back in the 1940s and still holds true to some extent today. His model is known as Unfreeze – Change – Refreeze, which refers to a three-stage process of change.

However, some 70 years on, the model may appear dated to today's agile organisation because, by its very nature, 'refreezing' isn't appropriate as change is an everyday event and the 'refreezing' of processes and mindsets goes against their culture and business model.

To download an explanation of Lewin's model, click on the following link: Lewin's Change Management Model


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The Boston Matrix or Boston Box – so called because it was developed by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) – is a tool that may help you to analyse potential routes forward and discuss strategic options.

 

Developed by BCG’s founder, Bruce D. Henderson and his colleagues, the Boston Box offers a simple technique for assessing your organisation’s position relative to others in terms of its product range.

To find out more about this model, click on the following link: Boston Box


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In this 'Thoughts on Leadership' video, Paul Bridle discusses the importance of setting clear outcomes within a business.


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