One of the central tenets of 20th Century business has been ‘best practices’. Let’s dissect this veritable oxymoron:
- Best: highest quality, standing (at a point in time, place and context)
- Practice: a habit or custom (noun) or to do repeatedly to acquire proficiency
Admittedly, and importantly, there are things to learn from others successes and failures. But, one of the big mistakes companies make is adopting “best practices” instead of adapting them (to their own culture).
Companies will succeed in the 21st Century by out [best] practicing their competition to exceed their customers’ and employees’ needs – by turning practice into a verb instead of a noun. Those who develop a core competency in experimenting, prototyping, learning, applying, iterating – from success AND failure, will be the ones who provide the most meaningful, valuable offerings to customers and employees. That’s what I call practicing! And that’s not an oxymoron.
What can you start being the best at practicing tomorrow? Seriously!
Deb, founder of Mills-Scofield LLC, is an innovator, entrepreneur and non-traditional strategist with 20 years experience in industries ranging from the Internet to Manufacturing with multinationals to start ups. She is also a partner at Glengary LLC, a Venture Capital Firm.