Italian Grandmas

It’s Friday, so let’s talk about food rather than the insane amount of snow that seems to be everywhere.

Mia Nonna - con gli anni la bellezza non passa..

Today’s food thought is about Italian grandmothers. They know everything about food and although I didn’t have one I borrowed my friend T’s Nonna. She taught me a little Italian but mostly she taught me a lot about food (my own grandmother taught me how to make reservations…) and that taught me a bit about business.
Here’s the thing about Italian grandmas – they never settle for the second-best anything in a market. In fact, they believe they have a fundamental right to take home the best of whatever it is they’re buying.  They won’t bring anything into the house that they haven’t tasted or about which they extracted a blood oath from the seller that it was the best fish, meat, whatever.  They emphasize quality over everything and would change their menu on the spot if a primary ingredient didn’t meet their standards or if something wonderful presented itself opportunistically.

We all need to think that way in business.  We need to demand only the best.  We can’t accept shoddy work and serve it.  As the bestseller says, “Good is the enemy of the great” and I agree.

So how do we “taste” potential employees?  Really check references.  Don’t do superficial interviews.  Hire them to do a project and see how it turns out.  But don’t hire someone because no other candidates present themselves and you have immediate needs.

Nonnas only buy what’s in season.  It’s cheaper, it tastes better.  That’s part of only accepting the best as well.  You ‘d be surprised how easy it is to make great ingredients taste that way but how it’s almost impossible to make mediocre ingredients taste fantastic.  Same with people and partners – they great ones will be better on their worst day than some less talented one you found on the cheap will be on their best.

Hope you enjoy whatever you’re cooking this weekend – let’s hope the fresh stuff gets to the market through the snow!

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Filed under Consulting, food, Thinking Aloud

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