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Continuous Improvement, Viewpoint!

The truth about “Best Practices”

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)



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