A pinch of salt goes a long way. Add too much and you’re stuck with a snack for the neighborhood deer. Too little and your tastebuds will despise the blandness. Yet, when you hit the mark and impart just the right amount you are awarded with a dish fit for a king (or queen).
I was in mass cooking mode this past weekend. I used dashes of salt, cups of sugar and bags of flour. I was asked why salt goes into a confection when it’s meant to be sweet, rather than savory. I am no chemist or pro chef, but I was able to explain that even though the treat is sugary, the salt brings out all of the recipes’ best flavors when combined. You don’t see it, nor do you taste it. But the mere presence of it enhances the performance of all the other flavors.
In our offices, our shops, or even just in our households, finding the “salt” is what takes us from mediocre to magnificent. This essential ingredient may be a person, a process, an action(s), or a rule. The “what” doesn’t matter, as long as it’s there. The magic happens when that last missing piece is put into place.
That speck of something, just like salt in frosting, isn’t seen or tasted. It is an intangible force that binds and produces the best chain reactions. It is something you can’t quite put your finger on but blindly desire.
Each business is going to require a specialized variation or combination of the spice to make the environment go from decent to divine.
Why tweak the sauce if it tastes just fine?
Fine Is Not Fantastic: If your customers or employees wanted just OK, they would be ordering off the dollar menu through the drive thru. Consistent improvement is the key to continued success. Find ways to add value to your product or service.
Table For Four: Be ready for abrupt changes. 2020 anyone? The table may be reserved for four, but you ought to be ready to add a few place settings. What works now won’t work during an emergency. Objectively look for potential hurdles and have a plan in place to satisfy the toughest critic.
Some Like It Hot: As our new generation takes over the workforce and the customer base, we must be prepared to change our menus up. The ways in which you are used to selling, communicating and advertising are disappearing faster than Grandma’s meatloaf on Wednesday. Today’s most coveted dish may soon join dial-up, landlines, and inadequate benefits on the road to retirement. Stay up to date with the market demands and competitor offerings.
How do you figure out what that out-of-this world medley is that your business is missing?
Taste Testing: I don’t actually mean go take a bite out of your neighboring shop. But poke around. Make friends with your competitors. Find out what works for them and compare it to where your business needs some spice. A smidge of this, and dash of that can create a one of a kind masterpiece.
How’s the First Few Bites: Routinely check to make sure that your processes and procedures are producing the intended effect. It may not be broken, but it could use a kick to keep it going. Be available and open to suggestions or requests. Not everyone likes salt on their pizza, but you won’t know it ’till you try it. Add a bit at a time as you don’t want to overwhelm anyone’s taste buds.
Tweak the Recipe: Be ready and willing to make adjustments in the event your new dish is a flop. Next time try pepper, or maybe even a pinch of cilantro. Make small changes as it’s easier to add something than take it away.
I can not divulge the full recipe behind our secret blend of spices, but I can tell you that it contains a bit of fun, a handful of great leaders, and is topped off with bottomless development opportunities.
Also, out of buttermilk? Combine milk and splash of lemon juice. Voila!