by Joe Clark, Featured Contributor
WE’RE NOT BIG FANS of “best practices” in businesses today. We believe the more a company focuses on best practices the more they look like the competition. Best practices often contribute to herd-like behaviors between competitors, which poses a challenge when firms try to differentiate their products and services. This can lead to an endless treadmill of one-upping that ultimately leads to customers making choices based on price. Investors typically aren’t crazy about this either.
The idea is to move from a collection of industry best-practices to “right routines;” routines that lead to products and services that resonate with customers. Instead of the copy and paste approach to implementing new practices and processes, we highly recommend running these new practices through the filter of your company’s strategy or game plan.
Ask yourself these questions before implementing a best practice:
- Does this practice support or enable our ability to be different in the marketplace?
- Does it give us extra credit in the eyes of our customers?
- Can we tweak or modify this practice so it helps us deliver uniqueness?
In other words, can we turn this best practice into a “right routine?”
Now, we’re not suggesting you throw the baby out with the bath water but we do suspect that many best practices can be tailored in such a way that they contribute to making a company different. Different = Good (as long as that differentiation creates customer value).
Escape the herd by setting up the right routines in your company.