Best Practices: Can They Harm Your Company?

Companies that use best practices as benchmarks can be motivated to improve their processes. But as C. K. Prahalad says in the April 2010 issue of Harvard Business Review, benchmarking against best pratices might "allow enterprises to catch up with competitors, but it won't turn them into market leaders. Organizations become winners by spotting big opportunities and inventing next practices."

Prahalad suggests looking at opportunities that are being created by the four billion people in places like China and India who are moving into the organized economy. Unilever and P&G, for example, are rethinking their geographical focus, anticipating that by 2020, 50% of their global revenues will come from poor people in the developing world.

He suggests that companies focus on solving big problems that will fuel big improvements—rather than following the leaders.

Source: HBR April 2010