Making Best Practices Adequate

The Transmission Project has long made the argument that it is a lack of resources and capacity that prevent organizations from successfully adopting best practices, not ignorance of those practices. Our focus on honest practice recognizes the need to take a broader focus on an organization’s capacity and environmental context.

From Adapt and Adopt: An Experiment in Making Best Practices Adequate in an Organization [PDF], by Nelly Burrin, Gil Regev and Alain Wegmann:

So called best practices promise many advantages to organizations that adopt them. Reusing these practices, however, requires their adaptation to the specific context of each organization. This adaptation means that for a specific organization, the practices cannot be best. They can, at the most, be good or widely used, but not best.

…that term “Best Practices” is an oversell. It essentially hides the need to adapt any practice to the context of a specific organization. Organizations would do well to not get blinded by the marketing promise of best practices and remember that much work is needed before they can be used.

“a best practice framework is really an exercise in organizational and cultural change. Failing to realize that can be a recipe for disaster”


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