Is that it happens anyway. Whether or not you want it to.
The benchmarks & comparisons happen subtlety, subconsciously.
Even when you don’t think it’s happening it does.
That’s part of the problem with the brain drain, the top people who are normally benchmarked against, leave the country. So the benchmark changes, it lowers. So suddenly what people are comparing against is a lower performer. As a result the whole status quo drops.
Jack Daly gave me a practical example when I talked with him, offering incentives (like iTunes gift cards) to those who won, the real reward was lifting the average performance of everyone.