December 14, 2010 / 1:40 PM / 8 years ago

Management Tip of the Day: The pitfalls of best practices

A worker crosses train tracks at Clapham Junction in London March 25, 2010. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

BOSTON (Reuters) - Failure to adapt and failure to adopt are two of the pitfalls that can doom the implementation of so-called “best practices,” according to Harvard Business Review.

The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and ( Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

“When embarking on a new project or trying to upgrade a process, it can be invaluable to know the ‘best practice.’

Yet, when it comes time to implement that exemplar way of doing things, many organizations fall short. Next time you want to do what the best in the field is doing, avoid these two hazards:

1. Failure to adapt. What works in one company will not likely work in yours unless the practice is customized for your culture, environment, and people. Tailor any lesson from others to fit your unique situation.

2. Failure to adopt. A borrowed process or tool won’t work unless you have commitment from leadership and those responsible for using it. Be sure you have full support before you implement.”

-Today’s management tip was adapted from “Why Best Practices Are Hard to Practice” by Ron Ashkenas.

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