One of the problems with Twitter is that it encourages trite overly-simplistic statements of fact. Hey, here is one from Tony (@zappos) the CEO of Zappos:
I’m only posting about this because it has been re-tweeted like a bazillion times in the last 3 hours by twitterati proclaiming it’s complete and utter truth. And I’ll grant you, it sounds good… but it isn’t true.
Best practices are a good thing. They let you implement known quantities, limit risk, limit costs and establish a baseline of capability without wasting precious cycle re-inventing the wheel. That doesn’t stifle innovation, it increases margins, lowers costs and saves time.
Can it stifle innovation? Sure, but so can just about anything when you do it wrong.
The point here is that you have to decide what it is that differentiates your business – those things that are your competitive advantage. That is where you want to invest in innovation. Everyplace else – all those things that don’t differentiate you in the marketplace – are ripe for the application of best practices.
What stifles innovation is the failure to be cognizant of where you differentiate and the failure to invest in innovation in those areas.