Benchmarking is a rear-mirror strategy. It’s about catching up with something that has already happened. People who spend too much time on benchmarking, look back all the time. Or sideways. That is why benchmarking is an occupational hazard. Looking backwards, or sideways, all the time, gives you neck pain. The issue could be severe and needing treatment, such as forced forward looking, a stretch of the body and a stretch of the imagination.
But could also be benign. Pain usually recedes within 14 days of treatment. Known treatments are the above mentioned stretches and a couple of books about something nothing to do with your job. Also, it could be managed by looking backwards or sideways for a very short period of time, say once a month. It is known as the (patent pending) 3 L technique: ‘Look, learn, leave’.
Benchmarking was intended to be the ‘Transfer Lounge’ of the Airport of Ideas, where you are ‘in transit’ before changing planes. But many mangers took it as a place to stay and live permanently. (Apparently the record is held by Mehran Karimi Nasseri, an Iranian citizen, who lived 18 years in Terminal 1 of Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris).
Comorbidity (Definition: known diseases that usually appear together). The main comorbid entity of Benchmarking is Best Practices. Since any Best Practice is best only until something is better, this is similar to the look-back-and-sideways-induced-neck-pain. Treatment is similar.