Writing for the New York Times, Bruce Buschel is compiling a list of "100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do" for his new seafood restaurant:
Veteran waiters, moonlighting actresses, libertarians and baristas will no doubt protest some or most of what follows. They will claim it homogenizes them or stifles their true nature. And yet, if 100 different actors play Hamlet, hitting all the same marks, reciting all the same lines, cannot each one bring something unique to that role?
He makes a great point. Working with organizations that want to document and replicate "best practices" I always struggle to balance the advantages of efficiency with the danger of stifling adaptation or innovation. One way is to focus on "worst practices," not best. This warns people away from behaviors or processes that tend not to work, but also encourages them to think about why while giving them more freedom about how to proceed and letting them take ownership of positive actions.