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Best practise or vague practise?

Updated: Mar 9

Remember about a decade ago, people started talking about "best practice". Overnight it became the new corporate buzzword.

Whenever it crops up still in conversation, I'm curious. Why? Because corporations and people hide behind what they report as best practice much of the time, I'm a big time offender as I feel it's what people like to hear.

We feel nice and fuzzy and warm when we say "yes, but what we just did is a standard industry best practice".

WHO decides something is best practice? Is there a ministry of best practice, a governing body of practices' that are the best? No of course not.

Sure, for industries such as accounting, there are governing bodies that define rigid rules such as "Generally Accepted Accounting Principles" but I hear it too much in the world of marketing and it really is looking very old hat - marketing shifts - at the speed of light.

I implore you to do something new - challenge that person when someone mentions best practice. Ask these two questions:

  1. Where did you get that information from on that "specific element" is labeled as the best way of doing it.

  2. How do you know that its "specific element" is still best practice?

If the answer comes back in the form of "everyone knows it, or Gartner / Forrester / Sirius Decisions etc said it", then you can call it "vague practice" because it's a practice that has not been tested on your organisation, with it own unique constellation of staff, product, industry, buyers, culture and processes. So why could you call it best for you?

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