Leaders, Best Practices Squelch Learning
by Kate Nasser |
Leaders, in the corporate and government spheres embraced the concept of best practices and certification with great ardor based on the alluring part of the definition.
A technique or methodology that, through experience and research, has proven to reliably lead to a desired result. (Source: WhatIs.Com).
Experience – proven — desired — results! What leader can resist that? It lowers risk, sounds efficient, and breeds success right? Hold on just a minute.
Success in today’s world requires initiative, innovation, and learning. If we grip onto what’s been proven we increase the risk of falling behind by staying behind with the proven. We squelch learning.
If you are wondering what got me, The People Skills Coach™, started on a post about best practices and certification, here’s the quick story.
- I was running a people skills workshop in a large global corporation. The first workshop was for the leaders. As we started to dig into certain people skills issues one of them said — “my people are certified in people skills. We already follow the best practices.” Grip, grip, grip. He was resistant to change. He justified it by gripping onto the simplified definition of best practice noted above. He squelched learning.
A fuller definition of best practice (Source: WhatIs.Com) disagrees with this resistance and hints at a more successful approach:
A commitment to using the best practices in any field is a commitment to using all the knowledge and technology at one’s disposal to ensure success.
Success in my field, professional people skills, requires ongoing learning and adaptation. If we use certification, best practices, and proven ways to squelch learning, they become silent killers of success.
Leaders, it is worth asking yourselves: What message am I giving my teams about best practices and certification? Do my teams see it as an end goal or a starting point? Are my teams using best practices and certification to shut out information and resist change?
Your messages to them can overcome the misuse of best practices. Encourage the use of all the knowledge at your disposal to innovate and ensure success. Give your teams and your organization one of the greatest gifts you can — success through learning, innovation, and action. This is the truly the best practice.
One sure way to encourage this:
- Regularly ask them – How can we improve? What is all the information we have at our disposal to innovate and do better? What is different about this situation and how do we reach success?
End each week with: What have we learned and innovated this week?
How are you encouraging innovation and learning? This blog is a learning zone! I welcome your insights in the comments field below.
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on customer service & experience, teamwork, employee engagement, and leading change. Kate turns interaction obstacles into business success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.