According to Michael Porter the big cheese of marketing & business theory, competitive advantage is built on difference. Yet,companies are rushing toward sameness, fueled by “best practices” and incremental innovations. Why aren’t we looking at the “Most Innovative or Inventive Practice” as well? Why aren’t we looking at people doing it really differently? It’s much easier to do what everybody else has done because if it always looks like it should work and if it doesn’t, well it’s not your fault is it because it’s worked everywhere else so how could you have known…?
I think every strategic business review meeting should include a session at the end after the global best practice has been thoroughly reviewed and applied, a session w
here people celebrate those who hung their balls out in the wind to try something new. After all, innovation is hard and trying something completely new is even harder.
The people we’re most likely to learn from & be inspired by are the people who look at things differently. Who tried something new and it worked, or maybe it didn’t. Which is not to say there’s no value in BestPractice, of course there is value in something which has been tried and tested in other markets and worked. In some industry sectors and business areas, best practice makes the best sense. But when it comes to innovation, “Innovative Practice” is just as important.