Not too long ago, I chose to spend a little time just relaxing in front of the tv. I started to scroll through the numerous channels and was attracted to a cooking channel where top chefs were competing for some prize. The competition centered around building the best cake. The difference was that the focus was on the taste of the product and not the visual display. It could not be just a lump of baked dough, but the focus was on what was beneath the frosting.
This got me thinkning about the businesses I have the honor and privilege of working with on a daily basis. I started to think about the magic ingredients that go into the success of the business which most of the clients and customers never see or even think about. Much like feasting on a great piece of cake, the flavor of the end product is what the consumer relishes and not the individual recipe and ingredients which make it all happen.
Much like great chefs with their trade secret recipes and unique blends of spices etc., you as a business leader also have your unique ingredients to build your best business. Your ingredients include the culture you create, the people you engage into that culture, the strategic and tactical focus approaches you take and the products and service offering your organization bring to the marketplace. Each of these elements are like ingredients into that delectable cake slice the master chef whips up to serve to their customers.
Your business is much the same as a restaurant. People come to your business to be satisfied or even better to be elated with a selection from your products and services. If the chef uses subpar ingredients, they will likely get a subpar end product. If you as the business leader settle for subpar talent, raw materials or even not being 100% committed to your purpose and core values then your end product or service will just be subpar at best.
If you ever have the opportunity to visit a kitchen of a master chef while they (the team) are in the process of preparing and delivering meals, you will see a well-tuned symphony of planned and executed motion. Each activity is choreographed to provide specific contribution to the menu of the day. These orchestrated processes are the very special ingredients which go into the final product of the kitchen.
This week is a good time to look at how well your team orchestrates the various elements of your business to achieve elated customer outcomes. Are the processes and systems designed with a focus to achieve the best outcomes or are they just adequate enough to get the product out the door? When your companies Purpose and Core Values are at the front end of each, and every decision made to achieve your success then the consistency of the process and the quality of the end product goes up.
You can buy a premixed cake in a box at the store, toss in a couple eggs, oil and water and bake the batter to get a cake. It meets all the criterion of being a cake and thus it is called a cake. Or you can invest in individual ingredients which are personally selected and blended at just the right amounts that the recipe calls for and bake and get a superior outcome. Both are cakes but they are definitely not of the same result. Which cake are you building with your business?
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