Best Practices or Next Practices?
C.K. Prahalad says best practices take companies only so far
. At best they allow firms to catch up with their competitors, but it will not make them market leaders. Prahalad, who is obviously not the biggest fan of benchmarking, advises to look for next practices
instead, big problems / breakthrough opportunities. To find next practices, he recommends the following 6 questions:
1. Is the problem widely recognized?
2. Does it affect other industries?
3. Are radical innovations needed?
4. Can a next practice impact the economics of the industry?
5. Can a next practice be a source of competitive advantage?
6. Can a next practice create a big opportunity for our firm?
Source HBR, April 2010.
The article made me wonder: when is benchmarking better, and when are you better off looking for next practices?