For Seth Godin--the polarizing marketing author bespectacled with orange frames--selective theft belongs in the repetoire of everyone in business. "Steal your business model," he writes. "We don't have a shortage of business models; it's ok if you pick one that's working for someone else." Seth's advice is solid. If generations of shipbuilders have perfected the design of steerable ships, why reinvent the wheelhouse?"
This idea isn't Seth's. He may have stolen it from Austin Kleon, self proclaimed tasteful kleptomaniac and author of Steal Like an Artist, who may, in turn, have stolen the idea from David Bowie, who said "The only art I'll ever study is stuff that I can steal." So go ahead and steal what can legally be taken. Everyone else is.
And if you have found something that works, don't be aftaid to share it.
The trendiest tailors don't need locks. Even if your 'best practice' fits your competition's leadership style, strategy, context, and organizational soul, without alteration it will never fit all four dimensions simultaneously. Graveyards are full of organizations whose leaders were very unoriginal and very trendy.*
* I stole this sentence from The Magnificent Seven, starring Yule Brenner: "Graveryards are full of boys who were very young and very proud."