Eight Roadblocks To Harvesting Best Practices

Have you ever noticed certain leaders in your firm are exceptionally good at doing one specific thing? Maybe they consistently get great client satisfaction scores, or their staff have very low levels of absenteeism.

It’s clear that these high performers are doing something different… something that sets them apart. You’d love to bottle the potion that creates their “magic touch” and distribute it to other areas of your firm, but when you’ve tried to get others to follow their lead, there’s a good chance you’ve fallen short of the goal.

Harvesting “best practices” and encouraging other leaders to adopt them is a wonderful way to achieve organizational consistency, yet many firms just can’t seem to get them to take root. Below are eight common “roadblocks” that keep firms from identifying and moving best practices forward.

High performers can be modest. They minimize what they do. “Oh, it’s no big deal,” they’ll say. To figure out what they’re doing that’s different, you need to dig deep.
A leader may fear losing his or her edge. They fear that if they tell everyone about their best practice, they will be unable to keep up their success. This does not happen frequently, but it does occur.
Sometimes high-performing leaders balk at taking on a “teaching role.” Maybe they don’t want others in the organization to think they are showing off or they are favorites in the firm. When they do a presentation, they may cite reasons why they were able to successfully implement the best practice. For others, it may not be so easy.
Success is attributed to the leader and not the best practice. People think it’s the leadership and not the practice itself that gets the great results – so the actual best practice is missed or underestimated.
Leaders want to keep their autonomy. Implementing someone else’s way of doing things makes them feel they are giving up control… it moves them out of their comfort zone.
– “Terminal uniqueness” can hamper the adoption of best practices. Leaders are quick to point out how they are just a little bit different, which is why a certain best practice won’t work for them.
Egos get in the way. By the time some people get to leadership roles, they are better leaders than followers. Or at least they think they are!
There is too much change and not enough time. There simply isn’t enough time for a best practice to be mastered – and it’s dropped before it’s given a fair chance.

The good news, of course, is that there are solutions to all of these roadblocks, and smart firms will work to overcome them. Best practices are the ticket to great results – and isn’t that what we’re all looking for? IPA
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Quint Studer, author, presenter and founder of the Studer Group. Contact the Studer Group at www.studergroup.com or (850) 934-1099.