Reframing the best practice approach*

By Rhonda Skelton

Often when we are seeking a solution to address an organisational issue, we look to those stellar examples that have been promoted as delivering best practice.

In the absence of other choices, or under the pressure of time and expediency to fix a ‘problem’, we attempt to emulate others who have achieved credible and often enviable results and outcomes.

The work of local government is governed and directed by legislation, regulation and mandates, and often alignment with Australian and International Standards.  

As this group of organisational controls come up for review, new versions, whether they be a new Act or a Standard, are increasingly being drafted in principle-based form and are less prescriptive.

This presents an opportunity to implement these to fit the internal and external context and culture of the organisation and the community it serves.

Choosing to emulate ‘considered best practice’, should be tempered with first ‘seeking to understand’ your own organisation and stakeholder groups, alignment to community-centric strategic and operational plans, and the availability of appropriate resources i.e. budgets, assets, workforce and technology, that you have to deliver.

Best practice examples that deliver for one organisation are primarily based on that organisation’s ability to have ‘all their ducks in a row’ at any given time.

While adherence to legislative and government directions is a given when embedding new services and projects, the organisation must first seek to understand its own environment; its internal and external context and stakeholders, before reaching for the ‘quick copy’ solution and later wondering why the expected outcomes were not delivered.

This approach not only requires using a different lens but a different mindset; and often the courage to reframe your own approach to creating a new best practice for your organisation and its specific needs.

Rhonda, Director of RSK Consulting, has over 15 years’ experience working in and for local government. Her passion for the process and benefits of Integrated strategic and operational planning, and systems driven corporate governance enables organisations to increase their internal capabilities.  

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*Copy supplied by RSK Consulting