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Best Practices

Professional practice is essential, but best practices have limits.

If practice makes perfect, then practice means failing. We seek best practices because we want to learn from mistakes others have made.

Patterns are how we understand the world. Babies learn object permanence, and elementary students learn the scientific method. Successful patterns become best practices which are learned and evangelized by practitioners. Our logic, science, and technology rely on repeatable, successful patterns.

Pattern recognition is a response to conditions. Nature is a constant, but professional practice is often subject to markets, which change. People's needs and behaviors are not a constant. At one time, covered wagons on muddy trails were state-of-the-art, but best practices can cause a rut.

Professional practice is essential, but best practices have limits. Practitioners are advised to know their lanes but not necessarily stay in them. There are two kinds of learning: the first is understanding successful patterns, the second is finding new patterns. Objects may not be as permanent as they seem. 

Professionals seek mastery of practice, but failure is essential to learning. Advancing a practice means hypothesis, trial, and error. Look for the new. Build on current practice by actively seeking new patterns. 

Practicing perfection is craft. Advancement is discovery.



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