Cooking the books … do you use a recipe or freestyle?

Do you cook?
At home? Or work ?

Pottering around in the kitchen has been a long time love of mine, but sadly (for my wife) there’s always a ginormous mess left behind me…

Lately I’ve taken over cooking the weekend family dinners. It gives my wife a break, the kids get to see (and eat) Dad’s cooking and best of all, I get to be creative.

Now some people – like my wife – are well suited to baking because they measure, check and replicate time and again.

That’s the beauty of using a recipe.

Me on the other hand, well I go freestyle.

A glass of red wine in one hand, 2 or 3 recipes in the other and a whirlwind whips through the kitchen.

You know how it goes … I’ll use a bit from one recipe, some from another (sip of red), taste and adjust as I go.

Needless to say I have a WOW of a time … and  generally succeed with each gourmet attempt.

My problems set in when the kids ask for a particularly loved meal. You see, because I freestyle (with no process or recipe trail to follow) it’s difficult to exactly replicate the delight they desire.

Of course I justify the many variations by saying it’s my ‘creative side’ cooking, and that every now and I need to let it out for a run!

What’s cooking got to do with your  business?

I recently spoke with a company executive whose product business was a bit like my ‘creative’ cooking.

Their sales team was producing inconsistent results and when they were successful, they couldn’t replicate it time and again.

My kid’s meal desires are really no different to those of your sales team.

They similarly yearn for consistency – in your management style and what you ask them to achieve – let alone in gaining acknowledgement once they’ve succeeded.

They need a recipe to follow.

Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) are the right recipe.

They’re different to budgets and targets; the aim of KPI’s is to produce replicable consistency, time and time again.

By clearly communicating the behaviours and actions required to produce a monthly sales target, they give your team the security of knowing what and how they need to consistently reproduce.

KPI’s are like the ingredients in a good recipe.

Measured right they produce great results.

However if ignored, poorly set or not measured well, they don’t produce what you’re craving.

Your meal will not be a delight.

Or worst still, you could end up with a messy disaster on your business plate.

Photo credit: Robbert van der Steeg via photopin cc

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