Something is rather fishy here

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The instruction was clear. I had to read it twice, just to make sure that I really understood this significant and totally bizarre change. However, I was not the only person in this most peculiar and unfamiliar situation. Work colleagues of mine all around the globe were also stumbling over the words from a comprehensive perspective. But, it had to be followed, that’s the way it is in this organization. You don’t ask questions, you only obey.

A few hours earlier in a remote and very small office in Miami, Florida, a lonely IT guru had just hacked the global computer system of their competition. One minute and strategic change had been implemented, and was about to take effect.

The chain of unquestionable command now came into operation as the hacked instructions were followed to the letter by all the organization’s kitchen employees, thereby initiating the unusual replacement of “beef” with “fish”.

Unsuspecting children and adults who habitually ordered their favourite menu item were tormented with sensory disappointment immediately following their first bite. Customers all around the world experienced massive displeasure and sought a prompt upsized replacement, or financial reimbursement. Outcries were expressed in the media, with many negative customer slurs making it to the front page of national newspapers. The theme of “That’s not a Big Mac” resonated for hours until McDonald’s senior management identified the cause of the catastrophe and quickly made the required “Big Mac” ingredient correction.

But those based in the company in Miami smirked with delight knowing that a major public relations coup had just prevailed, particularly as they watched “Whopper” sales reach a new daily record.

Now readers, let’s step back for a moment from this “Big Mac” experience and ponder how this episode may have an impact on those working in the corporate office. How many of your employees actually challenge instructions and current work practices with the view of improving the process? Do they just blindly follow them without asking “why is this so”? If this is your organization, then you are creatively doomed, as a culture of innovation will never make it to the “menu” that you provide to your customers.

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PS: Now on the subject of hamburgers, I must admit I don’t like the standard script of these fast chain restaurants. I like the poetic license that all Australian hamburger makers abide by, that being, you can have anything you want as long as it fits within the bun (which must include beetroot, pineapple and an egg!).

 

That “Gaelic Place”

Big Mac

“Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun”.

On reading this sentence, many of you would immediately think of that global hamburger chain identified with the golden arches that I call that “Gaelic Place”.

To many children and adults from all around the world, this is their common perception of a hamburger. But what if we replaced the following ingredients…

Beef patties WITH lamb rissoles?
Special sauce WITH leaves of mint?
Lettuce WITH spinach?
Cheese WITH fetta?
Pickles WITH chutney?
Onions WITH beetroot?
Sesame seed bun WITH Toasted wholemeal bread?

I’m sure that those frequent and loyal eaters at the “Gaelic Place” would not recognise these replacement ingredients when constructed together as a hamburger!?

Let’s just ponder this thought for a moment and expand the discussion a little bit further. Many foods, fashions, music, plus many other items used daily, have become stereotyped by a consistent and standardised formula or delivery methodology. This can also be observed in the corporate workplace where everyone seems to dress in the same work attire, similarly, the offices have that regular format of appearance, funnily enough, very much like the business model used by that “Gaelic Place”?

The same can also be said about the process of innovation where most businesses utilise the same old standard approach of “brainstorming” to try and develop some new ideas.  I have even heard of some brainstorming sessions feasting on a selection of “Gaelic Place” food assortments to assist with the participant’s creative receptivity!

To foster some creativity in the workplace, why not try some new “ingredients”, just like the replacement “WITH” examples provided in the hamburger example above.  Some of these alternative “ingredients” could be:

Standard Work Attire WITH a bow-tie, cravat, kilt, swimming costume?
Corporate Office WITH an external location (the zoo, a picnic ground, railway train, gymnasium)?
Business Co-workers WITH kindergarten children, a choir, actors, artists, the French Foreign Legion?

In summary, there is more than one type of hamburger, the key is to expand your taste-buds with a variety of new ingredients so you continue to think that little bit differently!

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