Best Practice

Why does management behavior often diverge from best practice?

In reality, "best practice":

  • isn't always "best." Best practices work for a particular organization in a particular market at a particular time, and what is best for one organization, or one situation, may not be best for others.
  • often isn't feasible in terms of time, money, effort, and incentives. We can rarely afford the best because the end customer doesn't want to pay for the best product - they want to pay for a fairly good product. In addition, best practices are usually premised on getting consistently good results in the long-term, whereas people are usually rewarded based on the results they got last quarter.
  • is sometimes unachievable, given common sense isn't all that common. People learn something in their early 20s and then apply what they have learned for the rest of their careers. And all too often, they hammer it into what they know - or what they can sell - and after that much pounding, the result has lost all of its key elements.

So instead:

  • adapt best practices intelligently and innovatively to a given organization's cultures and situations.
  • define quality processes, so you have the best likelihood to deliver quality products and services at the time and cost required.
  • attract experienced people who understand the fundamentals and who know how to think critically, strategically, and with courage.