I kept hearing the phrase “Best Practice” through my career journey. I worked for a high-end luxury hotel in India where I first lurched on this amazing phrase. It never rung any surprise nor any doubt on what the heck it meant as you are tuned to think everything that happens in a five-star hotel where every youngsters would die to get into is gospel truth. There were instances where a set of young managers would be chosen to go across the globe to learn the best practices and come back to download the same to us poor learners who are devoid of such traveling opportunities not because of capabilities but because of certain nuances of personalities that this glamorous industry value more than the content in the brain.
Anyway, the “best practices” made all of us shake our thoughts and actions for a while as we always had to keep our eyes and ears open to what is known as best practice. It is as if there were nothing more to achieve or look forward to after you attain the best practice in any particular aspect of hoteliering. For example , providing in-room dining facility those times used to be termed as best practice where most hotels simply performed nothing but room service where the tray or trolley is left in the room with food and beverage leaving the guest to serve himself or herself. Well, the best practice hotel would offer dining service in the room, they will do a silver service to the guest in the room, setting the trolley as a dining table laid well as per the standard, food brought in mobile ovens, served hot, and bearer waiting at the table side. And many more such practices that one would call it as best practice.. not just restricted to hotel operations, it spilled its wings to human resources, finances , marketing and to every corner of an operation and not just limited to hotels but to every single industry in the world.
Years later, when I got out of the bible controlled environment, my head started realizing that there is something above my neck and it works!!! .
The “Best Practice” makes one feel as if there is no room for development, no future beyond that point, no one has ever invented any practice than the so-called “Best Practice”. And the young aspirants focus more on it and stops thinking, stops using their brains, creativity shunted, intelligence rusted, growth curtailed and what more life sucks.
Why do organizations swank on this phrase and ruin their intellectual capital? Why can’t they stop thinking that a practice is best only to some extent and there is always a room for improvement? Probably the word “Best” trains mind to think that this is the end of it. Maybe the language English has to be blamed for the same.
Perhaps we need to re-took at the terminology and may call it as “WOW Practice”, or “Happiness Practice”, or “Nearly right practice” or “Pleasant practice”.. I am sure we can coin many terminology only to help the young talents from getting jailed into the web of “Nothing More”
It would be nice if organizations focus at making their practices be it internal processes, people practices, customer value practices into what suits them the most and create a niche in their own way in their own style and WOW everyone around and keep building new WOWs.. Today’s best practice is tomorrow’s history and “used to” factor creeps in the mind of all.
Come to think of it, all what one shall do to bring the Wow and be consistent in delivering the WOW are:
- Simplify your systems and processes in your organization
Make work processes simple and easy to follow. This will make your people happy, eventually happy customers. You will see how the practices that you follow would be seen as WOW.
Simple curve that you need to wear. And the best part is that, the moment you make your practices friendly, easy to follow and fun to live with, your people will surely forget to frown.
- Make it Easy
I was in a supermarket in India once and was astonished at the fact that the security have to check your bill before you are let outside. This definitely annoys a customer. Perhaps a simple one to handle but none realizes how a small change in it could make a WOW.
- Respect others
Do you respect your employees, customers, colleagues… Try amending your ways of interaction. You will see a WOW falling in place and the world will call your style the so-called “Best Practice”.
- Be sensitive
When was the last time you offered a seat to someone in the train? When was the last time you allowed the lady and kids to alight the elevator first? Believe me, your simplest action can bring that Wow.
- Avoid complacency
If you feel you are doing the best, you would be sadly mistaken. There is always room for improvement. If you believe in continuous improvement, constant criticism of your ways of work, behavior.. You will see that the best practice that you once thought was no more a best practice but a norm.
Getting caught at the mindset of “Best Practice” kills opportunities for change and betterment. It just stops you from seeing anything better than the best practice. The world is moving faster than light nowadays and the one who believes that there is more to achieve would move away from the feeling of “we are the best”