Do You Respect The Traditions? Then Change Them!

By Alice.jessica.north

This Foodie Friday I want us to reflect on a quote I read. It comes from Chef Massimo Bottura who runs a restaurant currently ranked as the world’s best. He did and interview with the folks at Business Insider and one thing he said particularly resonated with me:

Most of the time I ask myself, “Is the tradition really respecting the ingredients?” If it’s not, then I have to change the recipe. In the beginning, it was difficult to do, but after we showed people we could evolve the traditions by taking a different approach, everyone accepted it with open arms.

I think that statement has broader application beyond the kitchen. We have many traditions in our business lives. Some of them are relatively innocuous such as our daily routine and some of them are quite important such as what is the nature of our business. It’s in these latter traditions that we find ourselves often not “respecting the ingredients” by ignoring the changes occurring around us.

Let me give you an example. When I was with the NHL over a decade ago we began discussing the streaming of local games. At the time we had some technical concerns ranging from bandwidth both on our end and consumers’ along with others. Those technical issues are long gone, and the NHL has been successfully streaming lives games to consumers since 2006, but only to consumers out of the local market where the game is airing. It has taken a decade for the local television deals to evolve to permit in-market streaming. That “ingredient” – the local television contract – was no longer “in season” and was being overly respected. The recipe had to change and it finally has, as this article shows. Bravo!

That’s one example. You can probably cite several in your business area where the recipes need change so that the traditions evolve and become relevant to the modern world. We can change things up while preserving the integrity of the tradition and the best things about why it became a tradition in the first place. Circumstances change. We need to as well.

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