We say that a benchmark should deliver real benefits not just a confusing endless stream of columns and numbers and one of the key benefits of benchmarking is its ability to cure “paradigm blindness” blindness in an organisation.

Paradigm blindness is when an organisation falls into a pattern of doing things in a certain way “because that’s the way we’ve always done it”. Paradigm blindness can result in a loss of efficiency and competitiveness of an organisation and add significantly to the operational costs of an IT environment.

Removing the Blindfold

When a benchmark is conducted using comparison data from appropriate peer organisations clearly defined areas of improvement will emerge in the analysis. This is where the “blindfold” is removed and processes are examined in a clear light.

The keys to success in this discovery phase of the benchmark is the breadth of experience and abundance of data available from the benchmarking consultant. An inexperienced benchmarker with a poor database will miss many opportunities or falsely identify areas for improvement.

Value Realisation

An experienced benchmarking firm will be able to draw on extensive quantitative and qualitative information to assist an organisation to not only understand how much it needs to improve but also recommend some proven methods and processes used by similar organisations to achieve efficiencies.

Continuing Efficiencies

Another benefit of the benchmark is that a solid set of data has been collected about the process has been collected at a point in time and the impact of future changes can be tracked with relative ease allowing for continuous improvements in value.

Paradigm Blindness in History

“Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” — Harry Warner, Warner Brothers Pictures, 1927

“It’s an idle dream to imagine that … automobiles will take the place of railways in the long distance movement of … passengers.” — American Road Congress, 1913

“I think there’s a world market for about five computers.” — Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943

“There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home.” — Ken Olson, President of Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977 (DEC no longer exists).


  • Most organisations have unrecognised processes that can be improved.
  • A benchmark is a great way to identify these processes.
  • An experienced benchmarker will have data and knowledge to identify inefficiencies and suggest improvements.
  • At the completion of the benchmark you have baseline data and metrics for tracking future and continuous improvements.


The team at ETBS would be delighted to assist you in your business improvement journey. To ensure we are the right fit for your needs we offer an obligation free first consultation where we can explore your needs, suggest a course of action and outline costs.