Ok, so perhaps you know I love food and cooking, but “as cooking is to management”? Well after organising a supper for friends recently the similarities between orchestrating a wonderful supper and the day to running of a busy business are indeed similar. For it all to go smoothly, it sure does involve a deal of skill and minute to minute co-ordination.
Now; let me not say that I have all those skills, but consider these points:
You have to decide on a menu, it needs to be balanced in content and colour – In business, you may not have realised it, but when the business was set up someone had to decided what you were offering and ensure it suited the market it was to be offered to.
You have to go to the shops to buy the ingredients, but often without thinking about it too much, you’re selecting those shops because they supply what you require at the price you have decided you are happy to pay to achieve the quality of meal your friends will enjoy. In business you too have a menu of requirements be that paper, telephone systems, computers or staff with given skills. It’s very similar don’t you think?
Bringing all these ingredient’s together on the day then, becomes something of a skill in itself, imagine the head chef watching every move his team makes, bringing each section to the fore just as it’s needed to co-ordinate the finished meal, hot, resplendent and ready to go. How many of the skills needed to co-ordinate such an event are those needed to run a business, to ensure everyone is working on the correct thing at the correct time and to the correct standard – all these skills are needed in equal quantity for both tasks.
But there’s more, think of costing? Both tasks (running a kitchen and running a business) ok, not the party for friends, but to run a kitchen and a business successfully one needs to know costs, budgets and profits, how much is the labour element, how much are the costs for rent, lighting, heating; how many do we need to sell and how many do we expect to sell? At what cost and what is the cost of delivery?
I could go on, but I think a person could understand when Terence Conran said ( correct me if I am wrong here)that anyone who could run a kitchen was able to run a business.