Bob Hiebeler, formerly of Andersen Consulting, redefines Best Practice.
“An example of the best way to perform a process.” It used to be “The best way to perform a process.” See Jack Vinson (Knowledge Jolt with Jack) for more.
This of course is an acknowledgement of a much heard complaint that Best Practice leaves out the context of time and place, with David Snowden as a loud voice. It does not accomodate however for another critique, that copying what the competition does well won’t make you leading in your field. It can only help you catch up. Doing it differently, finding your own way, and learning from both good practices (preferrably outside your field) and worst practices has a much better chance of bringing that reward. See also Frank Patrick (Focused Performance) on the Best Practice meme. (and here too)
It is a significant change in definition though and from a surprising source, as Andersen Consulting is old fashioned/command &control oriented enough and culturally American enough to miss the significant ramifications of the difference between good and best practices. But then again, Hiebeler doesn’t work there anymore.

2 reactions on “Redefining Best Practices

  1. Redefining Best Practices

    Ton Zylstra comments on my review of Bob Hiebeler’s KMPro talk last week. Ton’s Interdependent Thoughts: Redefining Best Practices [snip]It does not accommodate however for another critique, that copying what the competition does well won’t make you le…

  2. I try to avoid the term “best” practice whereever I can in my KM discussion but unfortunately this unfortunate term is well established 🙁
    Finding and communicating some “good” and some “bad” practices would be perfectly enought for successful KM. By the way – from management theory and constructivism we should know that simply there “is” no “one best way”.

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