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Best Practice as a Meme

When looking at ITSM best practices we need to look at the culture of our organizations and understand how we would transform our organizations into value-laden delivery mechanisms. A culture is just the "known environment in which we live and work." Cultures are organic constructs--they are grown and guided, not imposed or dictated. Every person, group and organization has its own culture. The culture of an organization is really the aggregation of the individual or group cultures found within the organization. As a result if the culture of an individual, group or organization is not an environment focused on delivering value to customers, then transformation should occur.

So how do we go about transforming our cultures? We can look to some of the liberal arts for assistance in this. From the study of sociology we find the concept of "memes". 

meme--an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.

Many of you might be familiar with the term "meme" as being a funny picture or phrase reused across social media. The term "meme" has a much deeper meaning and function than a picture of a kitty with a humorous statement associated to it. "Memes" are modes of transferring cultural behavior from one person to another. "Memes" are a very effective way of transforming ourselves, our cultures and ultimately our organizations.

Based on the definition, ITSM best practices are in fact a type of "meme". They are a means or mode of transferring an optimal way of approaching the delivery of value through IT Services. So we should be looking at ITSM best practices not just as a set of practices, rather as a means of cultural and behavioral transformation. As a "meme" ITIL and ITSM best practices help us to instill desired behaviors and actions that result in optimal outcomes for our customers. Because "memes" are a means of behavioral modification we should not forget that a bit psychology and sociology (from which the idea of "memes" originate) would be helpful in managing the transformation of our cultures and organizations. This helps us remember that when using ITSM best practices we are really talking about people and their behavior, not just a set of activities or processes.

So as you progress through an ITSM implementation initiative or effort, do not forget about the people. Use ITSM Best practices as a "meme" to help transform those people and your organization.


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