Monday, October 4, 2010
It doesn't matter what's on the menu...
Crafting the perfect analogy is often a matter of luck. And the harder you try to make something 'work', the less the chances are that it will. Sometimes you have to settle for what's plopped into your lap.
Imagine a restaurant.
It's in a great location.
The building itself is storied; a lovely old granite fixture in town.
Great external presentation, good lighting, excellent parking.
Inside, enormous effort has gone into appointing it perfectly. Simple...yet stylish. It's a comfortable setting, inviting...yet possessing its own rustic class.
Imagine that the cooking staff is exemplary. That they've been brought together by a visionary owner, hand-picked to be the artists behind a menu that is- Well, inspired.
What's on the menu?
It doesn't matter what's on the menu, for one very good reason: the serving staff sucks.
They are, not to put too fine a point on it, 'obstructionists'.
They are not the customers' representatives to the kitchen (as they should be), nor are they the cooking staff's representatives to the clients (as they are). For some strange reason, a culture has developed, a very strange mindset has been constructed where it's almost as if not only do they not do what's reasonable at other restaurants to promote success...this obstructionist attitude actually sabotages the very notion of success.
And so it doesn't matter what's on the menu.
It doesn't matter what policies are enacted, what lively approach is taken to improve business, what renovations are considered, what promotions, what advertising...
...because of this culture of obstructionism.
Until this is addressed, all efforts, all expenses are pointless.
When I read the great feature over at The Hamiltonian 'Hamiltonians Conduct Job Interview with Mayoral Hopefuls', while I was heartened by some of the responses regarding how to improve the city's business community profile, I was still shaking my head.
Because my impression is that Hamilton is not currently 'Open For Business!' and cannot possibly considered to be so be until the obstructionist culture of 'the serving staff' as been properly addressed. (Interpret this as you will.)
So though it's flawed, doesn't fit the bill perfectly, I stand by my analogy...and welcome any and all to contribute what they're able to the discussion, so that the initiatives presented in the article actually have a chance of success.
Because for the time being, it doesn't matter what's on the menu.