We sure do sound like an expert at work when we educate our peers and stakeholders about best practices in our industries. After all, our executive teams are asking us to implement best practices. Our customers expect us to follow best practices. The conferences we attended attract us with sessions on best practices. We learn them. We implement them. We are praised when we do. But did any of us sit down and think, before we charged down best practices hill, "Is following these best practices right for us?" Jay Acunzo, keynote speaker, founder of Unthinkable Media and author of the upcoming book, Break the Wheel: Question best practices, hone your intuition, and do your best work, helps us change how we think about best practices.
Jay tells us, "We are starting to lose sight of how to make good decisions at work. We think it's about finding that best practice. But here's the deal. Finding best practices is not the goal. Finding what works best for you is the goal.
So this begs the question. How do you (your organization) find out what works best for you?
A little intuition might be in order
Jay argues that intuition might be the antidote for escaping the gravity of following best practices. "People think intuition is about snap judgements and rapid cognition and subconscious thinking," says Jay. But intuition "is not a subconscious thing or a mythical muse." Jay points out the definition of intuition...and if you look at the root of the word, it actually means "to contemplate" or "to consider." Said another way Jay explains, "Intuition is a process for thinking for yourself."
Think for yourself. Who knew?
This is why Jay urges us, in his book, to not be an expert, but to be an investigator. Think of it this way. An expert knows the best practices. An investigator figures out the situation and uses best practices as a tool to come up with some solution or strategy or plan to solve some problem or make something happen that works best for us in this situation.
This is the bottom line. Jay explains: "Get really good at asking the right questions, instead of looking for someone's else's right answers."
Learn more about Jay:
- The book: Break the Wheel: Question best practices, hone your intuition, and do your best work
- Jay's website
- Jay on Twitter
- That Medium post we opened the show with: Confessions of a content creator: I don't care about data
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