Is John right? Are best practices just average?

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Why is that?

Perhaps…

  • Those best practices have been “best” too long. When were they truly “best”?
  • Those practices have been around for decades. That might be ok, it might not be.
  • They were implemented by strong organizations some time ago when they were advanced/new strategies.
  • Strong organizations have moved on to even better things.
  • Everyone reading and implementing today’s “best practices” are doing the same things, making their performance no different than anyone else’s.
  • They’re what stale organizations still dream of doing.
  • They really *are* best practices.

Keep in mind that average is halfway between best and worst. If everyone is doing these things, how could they help but be anything but average?

Is that what you’re really aiming for?

Be careful what you aspire to – and that it really is best.

4 thoughts on “Is John right? Are best practices just average?”

  1. For me “average” means mediocre results. Could have, should have been better. Is “best practices” to blame? Perhaps. What if they are partially or poorly applied? “best” could lead to less than expected results.

    When someone says “best practices” do they really mean “standards”? By that, I mean something that is proper or appropriate for a given purpose. If applied correctly, a good standard should always yield good results, not average. If average is the result, look in the rear view mirror and evaluate honestly; correct what was not applied 100%.

    To implement something new in any activity, I’d advise against it if one is just injecting something new because the current standard became normal or boring. Adapt something new if there is a reasonable expectation of improvment and measure how well it worked. Review.

    Soon a new “best practice” becomes a new normal if it brings about an improved scene. To do something because everyone else is I find a recipe for disaster. Lots of new buzzwords going about.

    Being new is not always bad nor always good. Measure twice, cut once.

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