June 26, 2012
When a Best Practice Is a Worst Practice

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I'm a collector of best practices. I like to find out what forward thinking individuals and organizations have done to accomplish extraordinary results.

Sometimes I share these stories in my keynotes or workshops.

Invariably, my stock rises when I tell these stories. People think I know stuff. They get giddy. They take notes. They think about how to adapt these best practices to their organization.

But then things get weird.

People start becoming satisfied with emulating other people's lives. Instead of thinking up their own best practices, they imitate. Ouch!

The spirit of innovation gets replaced by the religion of innovation.

Gone is reflection. Gone is the process of discovery. Gone is the ownership that comes with birthing new insights. In it's place? Simulation. Imitation. And, all too often, the blind following of pre-packaged solutions.

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I'm not saying there isn't value in paying attention to other people's best practices. There is.

But when when imitation replaces creation, something invariably gets lost -- and innovation eventually goes down the drain.

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at June 26, 2012 10:47 PM

Comments

So true. I know that when I need to come up with a new idea, the first thing I do is go to see what other people are doing. That's not a bad thing in itself, but it is bad when the limits of their ideas become my boundaries.

Posted by: Pé de Leão [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 18, 2011 07:38 PM

I was recently asked to give an "out of the box" presentation for a medical group, while being told at the conference to please keep it "somewhat in the box" and given some examples of successful presentations they've had in the past. They were so risk averse that the person could not even hear the collision of thought forms.

I stayed true to the innovative presentation and it too was a hit. Now I'll probably be part of the approved presentations.

Posted by: David Sollars [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 28, 2011 08:07 AM

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