Implementing a best practice is a proven way to give your organization a distinctive competitive advantage. However, contrary to popular belief, you can’t forklift another company’s best practice and make it your own. It doesn’t work that way. The only way to get the full benefit of a best practice is to create your own. Imitate someone else’s isn’t going to give your company a true advantage.
Just because a company’s best practice gives them a distinctive competitive advantage, doesn’t mean that same best practice will work in your company. A best practice is an optimized process that maximizes results within the constraints and confines of a specific organization. Best practices are based on your processes, culture, value and strategy.
There is more to a best practice than what meets the eye. Think of a best practice as an iceberg. You see the tip of it above the water, but what you don’t see is its massive support system underwater. Also don’t think of a best practice as a free-standing activity. A best practice is a process that’s highly dependent on your company’s internal systems and operational nuances. Because best practices are comprised of idiosyncratic interdependent processes, it’s impossible achieve a high level of success by plucking a best practice out of a company and plopping it into your company.
To obtain a true competitive advantage a best practice has to be based on your company’s culture, strengths, weaknesses and operations. It’s the process of building a best practice from scratch that makes it a competitive benefit for your company. Not copying someone else’s.
When building a best practice a company needs to analyze, assess and optimize the processes that comprise it. Building a best practice based on your company’s operations is what creates your competitive edge. A best practice is the result of your strategy being realized by optimizing your operations. That’s something that can’t be achieved through a copy and paste.