Liz Ryan, CEO and Founder of Human Workplace, has written a great article on her blog and LinkedIn about the folly of “Best Practices” and Benchmarking. I wrote on the same subject back in 2009. I said “Adopting so-called best practices is a follower’s strategy. An organisation that simply adopts another’s practices will never be a leader and is likely not to be innovative, agile or fit for the future.”
Liz has been rather stronger in her criticism, with comments like:
- “Business has nothing to do with Best Practices, but far too many sad and fearful process worshippers cling to the dogma nonetheless.”
- “God bless Malcolm Baldridge and his dear sister Letitia, but any formalistic, policy-bound, left-brained view of quality is an inhuman travesty.”
- “Picky process measures are fear-based, because they give process worshippers a reason to say “Look how well I’m doing!” based on a bunch of measures that have no bearing on anything important.”
- “Best Practices, like the rest of the Godzilla infrastructure, will never get us to that mountaintop.”
It’s well worth reading Liz’s piece; you can find it here.
Read my article on Benchmarking. (pdf)