These three seemingly innocent commonly used phrases actually do more harm than good and firms need to drop them

Some of the commonly used business phrases can actually hurt and demoralize employees’ motivation to innovate.

As a result, some resort to drafting regulations and best practices aimed at guiding their employees in achieving this while others embrace popular business phrases all in an endless quest to become number one.

Nothing is bad about adopting these ‘best practices’ and reciting these ‘popular phrases’ , it  only starts becoming a problem when it does the exact opposite of what it seeks to achieve.

Some of the commonly used business phrases can actually hurt and demoralize employees’ motivation to innovate

These are just three commonly used and tired business phrases among many that companies need to drop as we begin 2018.

#1, “Best practices'

No two companies are the same and therefore employees shouldn’t be forced to bend backwards in order to adhere to ‘best practices’.

it’s natural to try and copy tried and tested strategies from other companies when you bump into challenges, the problem with this is it stifles innovation, hinders thinking outside the box and send a signal that challenges should be avoided, which is wrong.

According to Frans Johansson, the author of The Medici Effect: What Elephants & Epidemics Can Teach Us about Innovation and CEO of Medici Group, diversity and innovation consultants relying on ‘best practices’ all the time sometimes leads to wasting precious resources and time researching them.

“All you’re doing is looking at what other companies have been doing, since it takes a while to describe what they did to be successful, best practices are usually two, three, or four years old. They probably aren’t even best practices anymore.”  says Johansson.

Using best practices also hinders creativity because companies don’t question norms and set trends.

Following best practices is not entirely bad but company should instead use them as launching pads to venture into the unknowns

2. “When i worked for..."

While it is not bad to use one’s past experience to judge current situations care should be taken not to get stuck in the past.

Innovation is about the unknown, and trying to compare it to a past experience will constrict the conversation.

“What this phrase is really about is establishing expertise,” says Johansson. “It’s saying, ‘I know what I’m talking about because I worked at XYZ company years back.’ It’s possible that company isn’t even doing it that way any more. To encourage innovation, don’t get stuck in the past.”

3. “Return on Investment"

If saving money is the only priority for a company, wild and out of this world ideas and innovations always tend to be suppressed because of the cost factor.

A single measure of performance (e.g., return on capital employed) may result in a fixation on improving the components of the one measure to the neglect of needed attention to other desirable activities — both short- and long-run.

Product research and development, managerial development, progressive personnel policies, good employee morale, and good customer and public relations are just as important in earning a greater profit and assuring continuous growth.


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