World-class practices can be identified either to address a particular strategic objective in your game plan or as part of your ongoing scanning for opportunities to add value to your business. Some ways to find best practices include:
Research: Look for research done by groups such as the Corporate Executive Advisory Board’s Learning and Development Roundtable or the Society for Human Resource Management.
Articles: Look for articles in magazines, such as Chief Learning Officer magazine, magazines from ASTD, university publications such as Harvard Business Review and the OD Network.
Best Practice Companies: Continually scan all media (magazines, newspaper, TV) to identify companies that are identified as world-class in a particular area. This might include Cisco for e-learning, Home Shopping Network for materials distribution, a newspaper for rapid delivery of new content or a catalog company for registration practices.
Web Research: Almost anything can be found on the Web. Take some time to go surfing for a topic of interest.
Conferences: Attend conferences in learning and development, as well as functional areas such as Harvard’s Balanced Scorecard Consortium.
The keys to finding world-class practices are to be innovative in your search and to constantly scan for opportunities.