Do you “best practice”?

Green and white road sign reading "Right Decision" with arrow pointing left and "Wrong Decision" with arrow pointing right.This may be somewhat controversial, but so-called “best practices” are often more like “somewhat effective ways of doing things.”

And all too often, “best practice” is just another term for a blueprint or template.

I am not a fan of blueprints and templates. (If you follow me on LinkedIn, you’ve probably noticed that.)

I’m not saying that there aren’t better, and even best, ways to do things.

But when you adopt a template, blueprint, or best practice, you’re often adopting something that sorta-kinda works. Something that, once upon a time, worked really well in one situation, for one organization, or for one person.

Doesn’t mean it’s going to work equally well for you, your situation, or your organization.

By all means, learn from others. Learn what people have done that worked for them, and what they’ve done that hasn’t worked for them.

But remember that the full phrase there is “worked for them.”

Once you’ve learned, consider your own specific situation.

Consider your team’s and organization’s resilience (and be careful how you define that, as I write here and here). Think about how different people have different levels of tolerance for uncertainty (see here) – and how that can vary from one situation to the next (here) – and how that might cause you to adapt your approach.

Define exactly what it is that you’re trying to accomplish, because if you’re not crystal clear, you’re going to have a hard time getting there – as I write here and here.

Explore the realities of your current company culture, and whether or not you have the respect and trust of your people that’s necessary to create successful change – as I write here, and discuss on YouTube here.

Then – and only then – will you be ready to decide what will work best for your situation in your organization, given the people on your team – and the constraints involved.

It won’t be a generic best practice, but it will be the best practice for you, right now.

Yes, I’ve included a boatload of links out to other places where I’ve written (and video-ed). Enjoy!

Curious about how to develop your own “best practice,” specific to your current change situation? Drop me a note through my contact form and we’ll set a time to talk!