Best Practices

Part of dealing with the process in your company is looking at how others are handling this. If you want to be competitive in the market, you need to know what the market is offering and how your process fits into this mix.

When other companies start offering certain services, you need to evaluate your position. You can either follow or stay the course but you need to make the evaluation.

A sign of weak management is the reliance on “best practices” as the goal for a process review. Managers who continue to call for a review of “best practices” fail to understand the difference between “best practices” and “most common practices”.

One of the companies I worked with was not doing very well financially. Most other companies in the same industry had their challenges also. We however, kept hiring staff while others  were contemplating layoffs. Consultants swarmed our offices to outline their review of “best practices” that indicated that most companies were not hiring and instead were laying off employees. We continued to stay on our, careful but steady, hiring spree and when the market turned we were ready to go, while our competitors couldn’t embark on opportunity by lack of staff.

Consultants will highlight mostly “most common practices” and sell them as  “best practices”. The thinking here is that if many other companies like us have come to a certain conclusion, it must have value and we should do the same to be competitive. I view this as intellectual lazyness as I believe you need to continue to be an independent thinker at all times and review what other’s do, but then don’t copy but redesign your own process so it fits your unique company and will work for you. This may not be the “most common practice” but may very well turn out to be the “best practice” for your company.

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