There’s a love affair going on and it’s wrecking relationships. No, I’m not referring to the extracurricular personal activities in workplaces around the globe; I am calling out the leaders and staff who are smitten with supposed best practices that are anything but.

All too often things keep being done the same way because that’s how they’ve always been done. In other cases, people are using a method because they were told this is how most companies do it. Neither of these examples is a surefire way to judge whether or not something is truly the most effective method.

How do you know if a way of doing business is really a best practice? Take any process, tactic, or strategy and answer the following questions:

  1. Is the “best” practice consistently improving the intended results?
  2. Does it require less effort over time?
  3. Is the “best” practice providing significant value to at least two or more parties (these can include customers, prospects, employees, leaders, partners, or vendors)?

If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” it’s not a best practice, but one that is beloved when it shouldn’t be. Continuous, sustainable improvement requires that business practices keep improving results while also reducing labor intensity and providing value to more than one group.

This Week’s Radical Accountability Activating Action: One at a time, run each “best” practice through the three questions. Prioritize those that don’t pass the test and begin developing or finding true best practices to replace them.

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