Managing yourself creatively
There is nothing intrinsically wrong with comparing your performance with those of outsiders and of other departments of your organization, unless you find yourself suffering from defeatism as a result.
The competition is “outperforming” you? Very Well! Turn the tables! “Out deserve” them through better planning, better quality, better utilization of resources or marketing ideas, better service, better thinking.
Some executives select a specific competitor and use it as a target for a time, competing with it at the productivity, resource utilization or selling ideas to management. Just as a racehorse will perform far better against other horses than against a stopwatch, so does the firm whose sights are on the concrete achievements of a rival rather than an inanimate quota chart.
A word of warning: don’t pick an unrealistic opponent. There is little sense of accomplishment if you narrow an enormous gap by two percent. Rather, pick a competitor who currently enjoys a moderate edge over you, one whom you have a chance to overtake within a reasonable period of time.
Such healthy competition can have a tonic effect by introducing a sense of fun and healthy challenge into everyone’s daily job.