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Four Ways to Kill Best Practice

There is an array of times in which the best practice is the best option, but when it comes to innovation, best practices need to step back. When pushing for change and innovation, a person needs to approach the problem in a new way, not necessarily the “best” way. In an article for Medium, Megan Louw explores four ways to get rid of the rigid best practices for good:

  1. Question everything.
  2. Talk beyond the boardroom.
  3. Embrace risk.
  4. Work with others.

The organizations that are ultimately the most successful are the ones that question their current methods. This confrontation pushes their way of thinking and allows for them to uncover weaknesses, ultimately strengthening the method. It is often alluring to look at competitors and want to copy their business model, but how can you hope to be better with the same model? When a coworker is convinced a best practice will work, and they have a valid reason why, test it. Maybe the best practice will meet your requirements, but never assume it is the answer.

The best insights often come from the people actually utilizing a process or a product. Do not limit yourself to what is discussed in the boardroom. Will a technology-driven answer work the best for the problem on hand, or do you need a different approach? Additionally, remember to take the big risks early so that you can grow and learn from the feedback.

Innovation is a difficult endeavor, and it is full of risks. This can be scary and overwhelming, particularly when there are big stakes on the line. Have a serious conversation with yourself to determine whether the risks are worthwhile and if the reward is big enough to take the risk. It is okay to take a chance and fail; simply learn and move on to the next endeavor.

Working with someone who works outside of the industry will help to push your ideas, as well as help develop ideas that exceed the industry standard. Rather than discussing “how things should be done,” they will have a truly unique perspective.

Best practices have their time and place, but before you elect to use a mainstream practice, determine whether this will strengthen your business or leave it with the label of “average.” You can read the original article here: https://medium.com/featured-insights/four-ways-to-kill-best-practice-14dc6618201d#.m73kvqelz

About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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