28 Jan 2009
Businesses frequently replicate the best practices of their rivals when seeking competitive advantage, but this is not always a successful strategy. Chris Voss, Professor of Operations and Technology Management at London Business School, explains in a new podcast how firms can use best practice to succeed.
While Ryanair and EasyJet made a success out of emulating the low cost model of Southwest airlines, other operators that tried to do the same for transatlantic flights failed. Sometimes, copying the best practice of competitors is not a short cut to business success.
Research carried out at London Business School and the Advanced Institute for Management Research (AIM) has given Chris Voss an insight into why these failures happen, and how managers can avoid them. In order to make implementation of best practice successful, Chris explains, firms must be fully prepared, have communicated the relevance of these changes, and made sure that the necessary skills are in place in the organisation.
Chris adds, "There is a need for bottom-up and top-down implementation, you need champions at the bottom as well as in management. Then firms need to make sure they celebrate and build on the success of changes in one area while moving the changes across the organisation."
Executives, Chris explains, not only need to really understand best practice as a complex set of interacting activities, but also make sure that it addresses a real need in the organisation, and will offer a competitive advantage - and is not just a fad.
Finally, Chris comments that best practice can come from inside as well as outside an organisation. Through effective management, promising practices in one area can become best practices for the whole organisation.