follow the instructions

This evening I am cooking – a recent phenomenon as I explore different ways to relax on the rare days that I work at home in Falmouth, Cornwall.

Last week’s effort was pasta stuffed with pumpkin and served with gorgonzola, parma ham and a rocket sauce.

Rave reviews, even though I forgot to add the ham.

This week I’m acknowledging the weather and creating a lamb minestrone stew.

Both, by the way, courtesy of the excellent cookbook “Keeping it Simple” by Gary Rhodes.

I’m not a natural cook and haven’t done anything significant in a kitchen for over 30 years – but maybe my latest mid-life “change” will be for the good.

Enjoying myself?

You bet – great therapy to not be surfing the web (or “typing” as Jack Dee calls it).

What encourages me to leave my stew on simmer and write this post (before I test the 2008 Giardini Falanghina from Sainsbury) is that I am a novice, following a simple set of instructions.

Is running a business any different?

If it is not a franchise, what happens is that the prospective business owner buys all the ingredients – but has no recipe and no instructions.

Imagine, if you will, that I was sat here with:

  • diced lamb
  • button onions
  • carrots
  • new potatoes
  • chicken stock
  • red pepper
  • plum tomatoes
  • cannellini beans
  • French beans
  • courgettes
  • butter
  • tarragon
  • parsley
  • olive oil

and no idea whatsoever what to do with them.

The resulting mush would be a mess.

But nice Mr Rhodes tells me exactly what to do and when to do it.

Having a franchise prototype to follow ensures that all I have to do is “follow the instructions”.

So, as Michael Gerber would say, make sure your business is a franchise prototype and you will produce the right result every time.

Your protocols and brand standards should be like a cook-book for the team.

I’m off to stir my simmering pan.

Wish me luck – dinner will be served at 19:00.


Published by

Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.