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Comparing your team against other similar teams can be a really helpful way to objectively assess how well you’re performing.

The leaders of the best-performing teams I work with absolutely get this. Yet, there are just as many who, when I ask for benchmarking data, don’t have any and don’t get the importance. They then wonder why performance has plateaued or worse, has declined.

A bit of healthy competition between similar organisations can sometimes be just the thing to give a bit of oomph to a team. There’s an element of social comparison theory here too.

Leon Festinger developed this theory in 1954 and whilst it focuses on the self, I think it can be applied to teams too. There are two key aspects of the theory that I think are relevant and these are:

Self-evaluation, where an individual will choose a comparison similar to themselves in order to…

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