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Chapter 2. Waves of Learning, Waves of B... > Business in a Process-centric World

Business in a Process-centric World

A phrase—best practices—crept into the business lexicon across the entire industrialized world during the 1980s and early 1990s, symbolizing a new body of experiences that somehow are supposed to ensure absolutely outstanding performance of a corporation or government agency, the ultimate right way to do something. The notion was closely linked to another important development in management thinking of recent decades, process management. A clear understanding of how both work together is crucial to any practical vision of how business functions.[11]

Best practices came to mean the acquisition of information about the way another firm did something, usually in managing a process that, if adopted, held out the promise that it would make one's own operations either more cost effective or otherwise efficient. What particularly lures management are metrics comparing performance of one organization to another. To a large extent, the concept of best practices, while a noble one, because it inspires emulating the best, has frequently been overhyped and poorly used as a business tool. Common sins include:


  

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