How to cook up an absolute storm in business

Think you're a dab hand in the kitchen? Here's a list of ways that excellent culinary skills can come in handy in the office and the boardroom.

by Sean Farrington
Last Updated: 15 Mar 2013

Too many cooks spoil the broth

Just as a dish can be ruined if too many chefs try to add their own flavours, a problem that tends to arise at all levels of management is a failure to delegate effectively. If people are not sure exactly what their remit is, there is more chance of stepping on each other’s toes. Make sure everyone has a clearly defined role. 

Don’t forget your ‘secret ingredient’

If you’re an entrepreneur, establishing your unique selling point is vital for setting yourself apart from your competitors. But often, the larger companies become, the less emphasis they place on distinguishing themselves. It’s surprising how many people in a business can’t tell you what their USP is, but this should be as crucial to making a business a success. Knowing your secret ingredient is what will make your dish so tasty! 

Spice it up a bit 

It can be fun to try and experiment with different flavours in a new dish; it can also be rewarding to throw together unlikely personalities when pulling together a team. Although it’s tempting to pair up like-minded individuals, it’s often more productive if you sit down with a fresh pair of eyes and identify what exactly your team needs and then see who can fill in the gaps. Judging the right mix comes with experience. Don’t be afraid to try something different. 

Presentation, presentation, presentation

In a restaurant, a chef would never serve a dish unless the food is laid out appetisingly on the plate. This attention to detail is one of the most important elements of good business, too. It’s undeniable that the aesthetics of everything should be considered. Whether an executive is pitching for new business or working with the product design team, success comes with making sure the finished product is nuanced and well thought through. 

Keeping your equipment clean

A good chef won't start work in a dirty kitchen, so make sure your business operates cleanly as well. It shouldn’t just be the office manager’s job to make a clean working environment is maintained, or the just legal team’s responsibility to make sure you adhere to rules and regulations. Pay attention to everything from making sure the office isn’t a mess to paying the phone bill on time. 

Admittedly there isn’t a universal recipe for success, but try following just a couple of these tips and you’ll be the ‘plat du jour’ of your company in no time. 


Sean Farrington is UK MD & RVP northern Europe at QlikTech, a provider of business intelligence software.

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