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The Followship: Standard vs. Best Practices

2 replies on 1 page. Most recent reply: Dec 26, 2003 11:47 AM by John D. Heintz

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John D. Mitchell

Posts: 244
Nickname: johnm
Registered: Apr, 2003

The Followship: Standard vs. Best Practices (View in Weblogs)
Posted: Dec 24, 2003 3:06 PM
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Followship vs. Leadership in decision making.

Ben Rothke's recent article, Vince Lombardi: Role Model for CIOs brings up the sad fact that decision makers all too often join the herd rather than actually lead. [This herd behavior is particularly acute (and ironic) in the venture capitalist crowd.]

In my experience, the justification that "we're following industry 'best practices'" is only used for two things: marketing or escaping blame. [Amazing how often those two are in close proximity.] In marketing, it's often used in conjunction with other cliches such as "state of the art" to try to convince people to buy stuff without due diligence. In (attempting to) escape blame, it's used to shirk due responsibility for a failed project. The latter always reminds me of Mom saying "If all of your friends jumped off a bridge, would you jump to?"

Alas, even worse is that I'm finding many people have switched from "standard practices" to "best practices" in common use. Partly this is just the usual marketing inflation of couching the Popular in the cloak of the Good. Caveat emptor. However, the part that concerns me most is that in way too many cases the common practices of the herd are mediocre if not outright terrible.

Lombardi exemplifies various facets of the cure for this debilitating followship such as preparation and trust.

Celia Redmore

Posts: 21
Nickname: redmore
Registered: Jun, 2003

Identifying Standard vs. Best Practices Posted: Dec 25, 2003 5:58 AM
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>>If Lombardi were a CIO or CISO today, he would be relentless in pursuing quality; excellence; the understanding of risk; and the execution of a workable, realistic, pragmatic security strategy.<<

Would he? Isn’t this assumption a good example of group think?

“Quality Is Number One” was yesterday’s slogan. But Rolls-Royce was bought out and Wal-Mart made (several) fortunes under the “Good Enough” banner.

Today’s slogan is “Cut Costs With Offshoring”. So maybe we can expect the next generation of winners to be those who concentrate on clever, personalized applications?

Quality and security are so -- passé.

John D. Heintz

Posts: 2
Nickname: inz
Registered: Dec, 2003

Best is often just common... Posted: Dec 26, 2003 11:47 AM
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For a while now I've been translating "best" into either "common" or "superior" to make much the same point.

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