Best Practice LO30065

From: Barry Mallis (
Date: 04/05/03

Replying to LO30060 --

Of course, it's true that best-practices are prone, LIKE ANYTHING IN THIS
LIFE, to be overused.

I'm so sensitive these days to generalizations about trends, ideas,
people, you name it. When you say "there is an assumption..." I want to
know who assumes this? How many data points do you have about these
assumptions? Are you responding to one or more negative experiences you
have had with this concept of best practices as you understand it?

I love the idea of best practice -- as perhaps an ephemeral goal, and as a
means of conveying ways of thinking.

Ten workshops, where ten people practice their skills, and which contain
the same tool set, will surely yield ten different ways of handling those
tools, even for the same end! I'll agree with anybody that there are too
many organizations looking for the holy grail in some set of practices
contained within the confines of a pretty book cover.

I will also hold firmly to the view that that SHARING BEST PRACTICES is a
supremely fine way of generating societal learning, of supporting a
greater "learning organization" within our global community.

Best regards,


> I, too, have problems with the concept of best practices -- and I've been
> involved in many efforts to identify and disseminate them. What makes me
> very cautious about best practices is that there is an assumption that
> they are like recipes -- just mix the ingredients together -- and voila!
> you have a solution to your own problem.


Barry Mallis The Organizational Trainer 110 Arch St., #27 Keene, NH 03431-2167 USA voice: 603 352-5289 FAX: 603 357-2157 cell: 603 313-3636 email:

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