Who wants to be best practice? Not me!

First published in The Huffington Post 3 November 2015

It was a leading fashion house that stunned me with their thinking. There brief was simple, “We lead fashion. We don’t follow it. This is our culture. We don’t want best practice in leadership development – we want leading practice.” It turned my own thinking on its head. Rather than trying to be like the best – why not create the standard others follow? I realised it was the difference between the person who teaches you how the best people do things and being the person creating the best way. It’s a far more exciting place to be.

There’s nothing wrong with best practice, it simply means someone was there before you. They invented it first. By definition in order to become best practice others must first have figured out what the best way and others decided that there was no better way. Best practice has its place. The world of work is safer because of the commonly agreed standards of what constitutes best practice and enshrining this in law.