The Wikipedia definition of best practice is:

A method or technique that has been generally accepted as superior to any alternatives, because it produces results that are superior to those achieved by other means or because it has become a standard way of doing things.

Doesn’t smack of innovation, does it? I can hear “we’ve always done it that way” coming through as I read it.

I hear the term best practice bandied about and I think it gets misused.

A lot. Best practice shouldn’t be something you choose to hide behind; “we follow best practice, and surely best cannot be bettered?”. That implies you’re at the zenith when, in fact, the opposite is true.

To me, it’s not about best practice. Best practice is actually the floor-level. Anything less than best practice must be inferior, so best practice must be the absolute minimum.

Best practice is the equivalent of coasting through school.

Expect a disappointing report at parents’ evening because you’re not fulfilling your potential which, in turn, is frustrating those that believe you can do better. The difference is, your parents and teachers will try their hardest not to let you fail. Your customers won’t be so forgiving.

Don’t accept best practice as the pinnacle.

Don’t accept best practice as the pinnacle. That would impose limits on your potential. Best practice does not imply that a practice cannot be bettered. Pick up that basic standard and run with it. Push the envelope. You have a real opportunity to differentiate.

It’s not about best practice. It is about using best practice as the foundation you build on. After all, if you and your competitors are all following best practice because it has become a standard way of doing things, who is innovating? How do you expect to win and retain business? How do you plan to attract and retain talent?

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