Two sides of the same coin.
Every organization that survives is producing something that its customers value. However, those organizations that are prospering and growing are providing something that their customers really want. What causes the difference in results between survival and growth?
At one level, a company provides service. At another level the company designs how to provide better services. That's the level that makes the difference.
There are several ways to help an organization shift its focus from managing day to day emergencies to managing the things that will make a difference to its future. Re-engineering, Total Quality Management, and standard-based assessments (e.g. CMM, ISO 9000, SPICE, MBNQA) are some ways to identify the higher issues when an organization needs to get started. Benchmarking becomes the method of choice later:
Great ideas for a new approach, a better way to excite your customers, come from somewhere. Few real innovations are invented out of thin air. Benchmarking has become a well-tested way to get a look at the kind of ideas that your organization needs to steal! The kind of ideas that will spark insights, innovation, growth, and learning for the whole organization.