Best practice vs. innovation

Over at commscrum there was a small firefight outside the main debate on innovation vs. best practice, with one commentator lauding the virtues of “best practice” and pooh-poohing those that “worship at the altar of innovation.”

I didn’t have the heart to stick the knife in, which is … erm, best practice can’t exist without innovation.  At some point, every so-called “best practice” wasn’t.  It was a better way to tackle the task at hand.

Best practice comes from innovation.

In that spirit, the new issue of Knowledge@Wharton presents the winners of an innovation tournament, all of which are fascinating and one of which (at least) is directly applicable to communication.

Have a look.  And consider innovation the next time you face a challenge.  Leave the best practice on the shelf. Go on, you owe it to yourself.

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5 thoughts on “Best practice vs. innovation

  1. Thanks for sharing this Kevin. I couldn’t agree more. The problem with “best practice” – well one of the problems – is that it becomes mindless. The opportunity of innovation is that it can’t be mindless. Fresh thinking and learning every time.

  2. Sort of related, a well turned set of phrases from JS Baskin about BP:

    http://www.dimbulb.net/my_weblog/2010/05/for-want-of-a-switch.html

    “A Company Trying to Hide

    It’s weird to watch a gigantic company try to become invisible but that’s exactly what BP has been doing since the oil rig first exploded. There’s a nice feature on its web site about the crisis but it’s oddly devoid of any real substance or passion; its primary response seems to be having set up offices to disseminate information as well as taking all “possible” steps to contain the spread of the oil spill (a nicely qualified statement from the CEO, from whom we heard over the weekend but has otherwise been all but silent).

    In other words, the company’s PR team is rolling out a crisis plan it had at the ready. Nevermind that it’s kinda odd that the inconceivable disaster wasn’t so inconceivable to them; BP’s team is dotting the i’s and crossing its t’s so it can claim to have done everything its communications playbook required. There might even be a golden trumpet or silk blindfold industry award in it. “

    1. Thanks Indy. Finally had time to read your link to Beyond Petroleum article. It is a breath taking example of the “state of the nation” and the reason why Death to Internal Comm and CommScrum though internally focused have such a loyal following.

      By the way Kevin I’m nothing if not consistent – see comment on CommScrum. Forgot I’d commented here. Sigh!

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