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17Oct/110

Evolutionary Best Practices

“Best practices” are the proverbial wheel. You know - the one that does not need to be re-invented… The Wikipedia article defines best practice as “ a method or technique that has consistently shown results superior to those achieved with other means, and that is used as a benchmark.” It has been recognized as “management practice” and even made into ISO 9000 and ISO 14001 standards.

Yet they do have a shelf life, and stale “best practices” is nobody’s idea of efficiency. The very same Wikipedia article adds that 'a "best" practice can evolve to become better as improvements are discovered.'

An evolutionary metaphor seems to be apt for a definition of “best practices” - in order for the species to adapt to changing environments they must evolve, in order for species to be recognized as such they must preserve their distinct genetic makeup for some reasonably prolonged period of time.

The trick, as usual, is to recognize the right time to embrace the change, or to reject is. In natural evolution, as in the business environment, the right turn at the wrong moment is just as deadly as wrong turn at the right moment - both would result in particular species (uhm… businesses) being sent to the fossil beds.

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