Hat tip to my darling husband and a good blog post he wrote for Australian Anthill magazine for this one. I agree with him – ‘best practice’ is a badly overused term that has come to have little meaning, and yes, rubs me up the wrong way in meetings too. And he’s right – what is ‘best practice’ (i.e. something that works) in one company or country is usually not in another. You do need to take context into account and do what’s best for that particular need or situation.
Late last year I received a media request for comment from someone in my organisation on ‘worst practice’ in a particular field and I struggled to find a willing volunteer. Maybe it was because a mistake in one organisation might just be the right way to go in another. I know that they simply wanted to know what organisations are doing wrong and how they could improve, but the term ‘worst practice’ muddied the waters.