Lots of great leaders / academicians / researchers have written texts, helped define standards, practices, concepts that others can re-use and benefit.
We also call them best practices. Do you think we should always follow them (by the book) ?
I would say ‘mostly’. That ‘mostly’ is for me to keep an open mind and creating space for some experimentation.
Lets take a few examples where not following the erstwhile known best practice or the ‘standard’ was key.
#Think about the advent of Low cost airlines. Not serving free food.
#Think about huge transition happening right now in customer service from traditional call centres to twitter / Facebook.
#Think about the transition from classic waterfall software development model to agile and other new models.
Best practices / industry standards change. Are you with me ?
Practices followed by individuals / teams / companies that take leaps of success or become exceptionally successful are later followed by others.
This is what people start calling best practices and then they later evolve into a ‘standard’.
Think about the classic ‘Product Development Model’ of running a startup to the new ‘Customer development / Lean’ way.
The formula of successful folks, becomes the mantra for others. Did I make my point ? Read that line again. ( What I meant is that these successful people had to invent their own little formula)
So here is my theory – “If you want to be exceptionally successful, have the courage to experiment. Be open to trying new ways of doing things”
BUT there is a pre-requisite – for you to not adopt best practices, you must know what exactly you are letting go. That implies you must understand why a particular practice is called ‘best’ – why is that so good. What are those benefits of that practice and in what situation that you are willing to let them go. Obviously, you ll have to know why you are willing to let them go. Have a deep understanding before you play your bets. (Otherwise you would be depending on your luck too much)
Go experiment wherever you want to ! ( And may be you ll get exceptional results 🙂 )