At last it’s Foodie Friday Fun time. Today I want to contemplate pickles and pizza and how they relate to your business. I’m a fan of each of those foods although I will admit to being rather fussy about the latter. That stuff they serve in a pan in Chicago isn’t pizza. It’s good, but it’s not pizza. I’m careful when I choose to eat one – thin crust, great sauce, and whatever I choose to put on it needs to be fresh and/or of high quality. I’m less fussy about pickles although I don’t really care for sweet ones.
Since you’re already wondering about the business point it’s this. Even if you got your perfect pizza and a jar of your favorite pickles, you probably wouldn’t put the pickles on the pizza. I’m told that in some parts of the country people do but pickles are probably not the first pizza topping that comes to mind. Business is like that.
We do our best to find the best ingredients – great staff, a fabulous product or service, a superior business model – but we don’t often think about if they’ll go together. Moreover, there is a tendency that once you realize that you have pickles and pizza to panic. Maybe even to start over. I think that’s a mistake in many cases. Am I advocating a pickle pizza? No. I do think, however, we need to broaden our thinking. Pizza is basically a grilled cheese sandwich with the tomato soup in which they’re often dunked already on the sandwich. You’d eat a pickle with that, right?
We can also think about the pickle. One can pickle any vegetable pretty easily – pickling liquid is just a spiced brine, after all. Why pickled cukes? Maybe peppers – you have those on pizza all the time. Or cabbage – kimchi is a pickle and I have seen that on pizza. That’s how we need to think in business. How can I change whatever frame of reference has my business not performing optimally?
Business isn’t about looking at pickles and pizza and throwing your hands up in disgust. It’s about rethinking each piece – dough, sauce, seasoning, pickle – and finding a way to make it work. How can I make things or people or markets that just don’t seem to fit work together to make something in which the flavors mesh and everything is balanced? That’s how I see it. You?