Forget benchmarking and best practice

Benchmarking and best practice should be abandoned because they are stifling creativity in industry, according to knowledge management expert David Taylor.

Taylor called on HR departments to abandon best practice policies because he claimed they lead to duplication and lack of original thought. And he claimed competency-based training programmes were also at fault for propagating company cultures made up of corporate clones.

At the Institute of Management’s first annual conference, supported by Personnel Today, he said, “If companies keep doing the same thing, then all they will produce is more of the same.”

He added, “What they should be doing is looking at individuals who have broken away from the crowd and try and copy them.

“Why are we trying to produce companies full of all-rounders? Why not allow people to develop what they are good at? I think competency-based training programmes will be totally rejected within the next 18 months.”

President of the Association of IT Directors (Certus), Taylor puts forward a vision of company operations with the HR department working on an equal footing with IT and marketing.

He wants to find companies which have succeeded in getting their IT and HR departments to work together, which he says is crucial to create a company which has a competitive edge.

“Unfortunately HR departments have their hands tied with the impact of industrial tribunals on internal procedures.

“They should rename themselves human potential departments, as this is what they should really be focusing on – and the way they should be doing this is by linking IT with people.

“I am launching a campaign looking for examples of success because I have not seen one yet. But companies should now be focusing primarily on their HR departments, not IT, to make a difference in their companies.”

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