Monthly Archives: April 2013

The Recipe for Success

I make a baked ziti that everyone loves and which is frequently requested by dinner guests. When I was asked how to make it, I found it hard to describe because I make it by taste and smell, what I call a “dump” recipe. When others tried to make it, I was told the taste wasn’t the same as mine. I decided to document the recipe so it could be repeated by others to be just as successful.

I see the same things going on in companies. The master who built the company through trial, error and putting his personality into it created a wonderful business success story. But once he retires, the business falters and is never the same. What happened? The company didn’t have a documented repeatable process, or what I call a recipe for success.

Because the originator of the success story refined his recipe over years and years of tweaks and adjustments, it probably came as naturally to him as making my ziti comes to me. He saw no real need to record his “dump recipe.”

Even in the rapidly changing times of this new economy, a repeatable recipe of success needs to be recorded within the company. Each department can have their own recipes of success. How does the best salesperson on staff turn a resistant prospect into a long-term customer? There is a recipe for that. Document it.

How does the supervisor in production consistently produce high performance on her shift, no matter what shift she is leading? There is a recipe for that. Document it.

Why is there one VP in the company everyone wants to work with? He has a recipe that works! Document it.

Employees at all levels will transition in and out of organizations. The key for leadership to maintain success throughout these transitions is to document the recipes for success in each area of the business. Create the repeatable processes that can be transferred from employee to employee to strengthen the performance of the organization.

When you are driving success for your company, there should be no “secret sauce.” Make sure your recipe for success is widely known in your organization.

Speaking of recipes: If you would like my recipe for a tasty baked ziti, email me at and in the subject line say: I gotta have the ziti recipe!




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