Having the right processes is integral to the success of your business, but having the right type of practices in your organization helps make sure that the work being done to implement those processes is approached from the right perspective.
Getting a task done is necessary, but it is also important to look at how and why the work is being done. The practice used in our approach to our work is often just as important as doing the work itself.
Overview: What is a practice?
A practice can be defined as the approach used in the implementation of a process that uses a method, belief, or idea in order to execute a task.
6 benefits of a practice
There are many benefits to having well-defined practices in your organization:
1. Desirable company culture
Having well-defined practices in your business attracts better potential employees, promotes working as a unified front, and can even help boost productivity.
2. Minimizes confusion
By having well-defined practices, you can minimize confusion in the working environment.
3. Faster decision-making
With well-defined practices, you have a barometer that helps provide direction when faced with the need to make important decisions.
Having practices set in place in your organization saves time, thereby increasing efficiency.
5. Contributes to the success of processes
Having good practices in place helps support the successful implementation of processes.
6. Shows the world what you represent
One benefit of having well-defined practices is that it shows your customer base what you represent and could create loyalty to your brand if your practices line up with their personal values.
Why is a practice important to understand?
Practices are important to understand for the following reasons:
A guiding light – Having a thorough understanding of your company’s practices provides a guiding light for understanding how to approach many aspects of how to conduct the organization’s business dealings.
Predictions – Understanding practices can help you make better predictions of how things are going to go for an organization and how it will react to changes.
Competitive advantage -Having a thorough understanding of the practices of a competing organization gives you a competitive advantage in business.
An industry example of a practice
Newman’s Own is a company that started out primarily creating salad dressing in 1982, but over the decades has become synonymous with a wide variety of food products. These products include everything from pasta sauce to cookies. The company was started by the actors Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward and has been operated by their family since their passing. Since the very beginning, a key practice of the company has been to donate all of the profits made to charities that help children. This has amounted to an astonishing 600 million dollars since the founding of the organization.
3 best practices when thinking about a practice
Here are some key points to keep in mind when it comes to thinking about a practice:
1. Do what is best for your people
When thinking about practices to implement in your organization, always consider what is best for stakeholders, employees, and customers.
2. Look to organizations you admire for inspiration
If there are organizations that you admire, look to their practices for inspiration. This can be done by researching articles written about the organization, customer testimonials, and best practices that are listed on its website.
3. Be realistic
The practices that we would like to keep up may not always be entirely realistic or practical in all situations. Be realistic about if these practices can be implemented at all times, and if not, always look towards progress and continuous improvement.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about a practice
What does it mean to practice what you preach?
It means that the methodologies and ideals that you stand for should also be an integral part of how you operate.
What is the difference between a process and a practice?
A process is a rigid method for achieving a specific result, while a practice has more flexibility and adaptability. This is because a practice is the application of a belief or method and is more philosophical in nature. It is an overall approach to doing things.
3. What is more effective, a process or a practice?
Neither is inherently more effective than the other. One way, however, that a practice could potentially be more effective than a process is that a practice serves to foster critical thinking as opposed to strict compliance to policy.
Focusing on practices as well as processes
In your organization, it is important to think about your business practices as well as your processes. Your processes might be the steps you take to get work done, but your practices reflect your reasons for doing the work in the first place.