The Art of Comparison - Understanding the Importance of Comparison in the Professional World

When we ask professionals to compare things, we are putting them in a situation that stimulates critical thinking and reflection. Professionals have the opportunity to directly observe, whether through facts or imagination, the differences and similarities between two or more projects, ideas, or processes.

With the intention of identifying mutual relationships, professionals seek points of agreement or disagreement, observing what is present in one and absent in another. What is seen and described often depends on the underlying objectives of the comparison task. As the objects vary, so too may the description of the comparison.

The task of comparing can vary in difficulty and scope, from comparing two PDCA processes in departments to comparing business strategies between giants in the same sector. Any subject presents many possibilities for comparison, from kindergarten level to the level of the largest companies according to Forbes.

By putting two different teams to perform the same comparison task, it is interesting to compare the comparisons. One professional can learn from another, by noting the similarities and differences noticed by others that he himself did not perceive.

This process of comparison includes abstraction and its preservation, while paying attention to the objects being compared. When done superficially, without a real objective in the analysis, the task can become monotonous and meaningless. However, when there is a real reason for seeking similarities and differences, the task becomes interesting and stimulating for both professionals and instructional designers.

It is worth noting that comparisons, even among common objects, probably generate more motivation and learning than tasks that emphasize only memorization. It is important to ask ourselves: are we frequently asking our professionals to perform meaningful comparisons?

How to Conduct Effective Comparisons

For the comparison to be effective, it is important to have clarity about the objectives of the task. It is necessary to establish a clear purpose for the comparison, whether to evaluate the performance of a company or to learn from other professionals.

In addition, it is important to choose appropriate objects of comparison. Objects that are relevant and significant to the objective of the comparison must be selected. For example, when comparing business strategies, it is necessary to choose companies in the same sector or with similar objectives.

Finally, it is important to conduct the comparison objectively and impartially. It is necessary to avoid subjective judgments or prejudices, and to give equitable attention to all objects of comparison.