As part of its response to Total Quality, Nationwide Building Society discovered that much value added could be achieved through internal benchmarking. A cross‐functional team was assembled and a process developed whereby the resulting “best practices” could be managed in such a way so as to influence managers′ behaviours and attitudes towards continuous improvement. A programme of 16‐week secondments for line managers was developed during which they could act as consultants to other branches. Two‐hundred high potential locations were identified from across Nationwide′s 700+ network and a two‐month consultancy service was delivered over a period of 18 months during 1991/92. The Best Practice initiative achieved significant benefits and changes in behaviours particularly in the area of management style and now forms a formal part of Nationwide′s continuous improvement methodology.
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