Business leaders are always on the lookout for new ways to improve their company performance and processes. Whether it is benchmarking the competition, internal innovation, sharing best practices, copying the market leaders or simply following other business leaders to gather inspiration, the end-goal is to find the “best practice sharing” of operating.
However, there are often contradicting theories on what the actual best practices are, or what the term itself really means. In truth, “best practice” has become an overused label, describing a business practice that leaders consider to be “best”, mostly in comparison to what is currently or previously in use. Unfortunately, this perspective may not result in the best outcome for the business for various internal and external factors. A typical example is when a smaller firm implements the “best practice” used by a Fortune 100 and realizes that it has little impact on their businesses.
There is no one “best practice”. What applies to one company, may not hold for another. What applies to one team, may not apply to the next. As such, every team has its own best practices, guidelines and process flows designed specifically for their circumstances, their business needs, culture, processes and company mission. Unfortunately, it is hard to find a
The best set of practices need a good mix of internal and external influences. Understanding the need of your individualized environment will help you to get the right outcome in shaping the “right practice” for your team. There are a few main factors you need to pay attention to when building your “right practices”.
When adopting what is considered the best practice, mistake companies often make is not considering their own environment (internal and external) and then comparing this to the environment of the teams or companies practices they’re planning to adopt. Just because a practice works for the industry leader, doesn’t mean it’s going to work for your organization. Factors like a different country, different consumer habits, cultural differences, different levels of competition and many others can nullify the benefits of a “best practice”. For these reasons, it is critical to always judge your situation based on your environment, culture, market maturity, legal circumstances, talent, specific competitors, etc.
Just because a practice has worked in the past doesn’t mean it’s going to work in the future. We often see companies establish a process that’s working for them at one point and the “
, set it and forget it”. Or they make small adjustments expecting big change without rechecking the environmental fit. Continuously there are technological advancements, shifts in consumer behavior or other external factors change. When considering best practices, always ensure to look with a fresh set of eyes, as a newcomer would, zooming out of the existing to consider a holistic view and keep in mind possible changes on the current horizon.
One of the first steps towards building the best practice for your team is understanding your team. Without knowing the culture of your team, what motivates them and what makes them tick, you will not be able to design a practice tailored to their specific needs. This can become difficult without a proper performance management system, as you may not have the necessary insights into your team’s behavior patterns or are only considering fragmented data.
Remember, there are no ultimate “best practices” and a “cut and paste” approach may not deliver the outcomes your planning for your company. Always consider your whole environment and adopt or devise practices specifically for your team that leave enough space for the inevitable changes and innovations that are always on the horizon.
Fortunately, there are several software solutions on the market designed to give you better insights on your business performance and enable “best practices” to develop around your business. iStrives, integrates performance management and “best practice” sharing into one platform. Get the insights on your business to gauge the right practices to deploy and get your team involved in the full process of shaping, innovating and sharing practices so they are quickly ingrained into the business.
Learn more about how iStrives can help you establish your best practices and take advantage of the free trial period or request a free demo.
What is your experience with adopting and sharing best practices? Let us know in the comments below.
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