Today I relearned an important lesson — and I relearned it in a Kindergarten class.
You see, today was the day I had volunteered to do the “cooking lesson” in my younger daughter’s Kindergarten classroom. Me versus 22 five and six-year olds. With knives no less!
I had given a lot of thought to what I would prepare — something elaborate, maybe chicken fajitas or a Dutch apple pie? Actually, I thought Baked Alaska would be great, combining cooking with a geography lesson, but I realized that the combo of alcohol and fire wouldn’t play well (at least in the absence of signed parental release forms).
So after running through a bunch of ideas, I settled on fruit salad. Why fruit salad? Well, to be honest, because it was simple.
Five different fruits being cut up by five kids at a time — with each kid also peeling a tangerine. Throw it all in a big bowl, mix it up and serve it with some cool whip on top. Mmmmm….good! The kids loved it, there was no need for a stove or oven and each child made it out of the room without cutting off a finger!
At the end of the hour, my daughter’s teacher marveled at how organized and easy the “cooking class” went — and the fact that not only did we do all the prep but the kids actually got to eat the fixings with time to spare.
So what did I “relearn” in making fruit salad for a class of Kindergarten kids? I relearned this:
Businesses should think about trying to make fruit salad more often instead of complicated dishes — or worse yet, instead of trying to make a five course meal. Just keep it simple.
Here’s my short list of how to keep managing your business simple — I’ve augmented a bit from a post I ran across at SuccessFactors.com:
- Clearly define the goals of the business — what does success look like?
- Lay out the strategy that creates a straight line to those goals.
- Make sure the goals and strategy are communicated throughout your business — can everyone in the company play back to the CEO what these are?
- Keep score constantly — measure people performance against goals.
- Continually reward performance — create a culture based on performance.
- Rinse and repeat.
Thanks to a room of Kindergarteners, I think fruit salad may be my new favorite food!