Ignore The Law At Your Own Risk
It’s Saturday afternoon. I’m driving between a few errands and flipping through radio channels. Landing on NPR, I hear a guy describing his food experiences on a recent trip to Italy. There’s a food phenomenon he experienced with enough consistency… that he dubbed it a “Law”. “Adam Gopnik’s Law of the Regional Specialty.”
The Law …
The law goes something like this:
Culinary dishes vary in quality, in proportion to one’s distance from the region known for the dish.
“That makes sense,” I thought. “The further away you get from the place the dish became famous, the lower the quality will be. I don’t need a law to understand that!”
… Is Not What You Might Think
Then, he continued to describe the law. In Rome he asks around to see where he can find the best preparation of the local specialty dish. With anticipation, he goes to experience it. Next, he goes to Bologna. He asks around, finds the best preparation of a dish the region is famous for. Then, upon experiencing it, has a similar experience to that in Rome.
Superior Versions All Around
Gopnik reflects on several other occasions eating Italian food, in other cities around the world. For example, in London, New York and San Francisco, versions of these same Italian dishes, were actually found to be far superior to those he experienced in the Italian cities that made them famous.
“Now, obviously, when I say this, it is not to put down the genius of Italian cookery. It’s really just to propose a kind of perverse principle of evolutionary design in cooking. It seems to me that because there’s no competitive pressure on these dishes in their native places to alter them, they remain locked in place, while all around them superior versions are being made.”
So, this theory about why the “Regional Specialty” phenomenon occurs is where the business lesson is for all of us.. Consider the following questions about your business:
- What is your “specialty dish”?
- What kind of competitive pressure are you experiencing in your “native space”?
- Who is driving the evolutionary design of what your business “cooks”?
- Is it possible that what made you famous is being improved upon “all around you” while you’re “locked in place”?
Tools and Disciplines
We’d all like to think we are above complacency that leads to adverse effects of the “law of regional specialty” in our market. But just to be certain, here are a few EOS Tools and Disciplines you can rely on to ensure you continue to innovate and prevent growth stagnation:
- Your Level 10 Meeting. Remember, as you process “Issues” with IDS (Identify, Discuss, Solve), or Issues Solving Track framework, you’re not only processing problems and challenges, but also opportunities. Working with your team to optimize opportunities will require innovation.
- Your 10-Year Target and 3-Year Picture. The discipline of considering and tuning up these aspects of your Vision during Quarterly and Annual Planning sessions will keep you reaching into the future. You will explore ideas that go beyond the realm of what seems reasonable and into the realm of what just might be possible… the stuff you dream about.
- Defining and documenting your Processes. The essence of your handful of Core Processes is your unique recipe for delivering value to clients in your marketplace. As you refine and innovate on your processes, you will create value for your existing customers AND new customers who appreciate what you offer and how you offer it.
Lead In Your Marketplace!
Consider the questions above and leverage the tools and disciplines of EOS! As you do, you and your team will continue to lead in your existing marketplace and in new markets attracted to your innovative products and services. Your market specialty will evolve to deliver products and services that can’t be passed up by others who are innovating all around you!
Be great this week!
The story above is related from the NPR radio replay of the Milk Street Radio podcast episode 329 entitled YEWANDE KOMOLAFE’S NIGERIAN KITCHEN. The part I heard on the radio is Christopher Kimball interviewing Adam Gopnik – starting at 44:20 into the podcast.