Robson: Benchmarking spreads mediocrity

HR professionals must start making brave decisions or risk letting their businesses down, industry veteran Keith Robson has said.

He argued that benchmarking was a curse to the industry which only succeeded in spreading mediocrity.
Robson, who has worked at a range of organisations including Ebay, Barclays and Marks & Spencer, pointed to the failure to adapt to a series of upheavals over recent years — including the talent war and the rise of purpose-driven organisations —as a major weakness.
Speaking at the HR Directors Business Summit he said: “Taking risks is not something that’s in our DNA, but the time is right for us to start to do so.
“While we’re admiring these problems and not coming up with bold solutions, there are other parts of our companies that are starting to do landgrabs.”
The answer, Robson said, was not in benchmarking.
“Gone are the days where we walk away [from conferences] feeling satisfied that everybody is in the same boat. Is that good enough? All I think benchmarking does is spread mediocrity among HR.”
Instead, Robson encouraged HR professionals to “skate to where the puck is” by identifying future trends and proactively adapting to them.

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