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Management Fundamentals - Gordon Ramsay and Kitchen Nightmares

Aug 18, 2007
Gordon Ramsay, a top British chef with a reputation for plain speaking and ripe language, has a brilliant TV series called 'Kitchen Nightmares'.

In it he goes into a small restaurant business and finds out and shares very honestly what's not working - and he only has about a week!

It's a great example of seeing through the fog in a restaurant business - and being blunt enough to make things work much better.

It doesn't work out every week and it often does and it's good to share with you what he was able to accomplish, in a very particular way this week.

In a small family restaurant, there was a mother and two daughters 'managing' the business. No clear roles defined; all sort of 'mucking in' together. No leadership or management - the two key words that any business must have - sort of 'divide and conquer'.

In addition, there is a chef way out of his depth and they were $200K in debt, losing money every week.

Ramsay's great opportunity comes because he is forthright, tells it absolutely as he sees it and is frightened of no-one's feelings.

It's an opportunity, because he makes it great television because he has such a short period of time to shake things up, he cannot afford to waste time.

He goes straight for the jugular of how he sees things needing to change - and fast!

The other thing about Ramsay is that he has a great capability to spot who isn't going to work for the future of the business and recognises potential fast - edging people into new roles quickly and working on easing out those who are making the business unhealthy.

As the programme progressed, he 'appointed', despite a lot of emotion from one of the sisters, the clear talent for managing the business to just one person - and what a choice - she performed magnificently and quickly too.

Whilst not a surprise, on his return a month later, the poor chef had left and his sous chef had taken over and was doing very well indeed.

In these two changes significant improvements had already taken place. Business was more than double what it had been and rising. Harmony had broken out all over and the employees - and owners - were much happier.

The truth is, it's a bit easier for him as he hasn't got emotionally attached to the business or the people, so he can get into the thick of it fast. Indeed in business you just cannot allow emotion to get in your way.

So, this week, here are a few little questions for you:-

"If you walked into your own business from afresh tomorrow, what - and who - would you 'do a Gordon Ramsay' on to make a significant shift in your business"?

To help a little with this, try these - being brutally honest as you go:-

- What is the potential of every single one of your employees?

- Who, or what, is getting in the way of progress?

- What three things would you change immediately to make the difference?

- What do you personally need to 'let go of' to make it more successful?

- What will you do today, immediately, to shake things up?

Deliver answers to these and you will make a big difference to your business, yourself and in perhaps unexpectedly enormous ways, to the people in your team too.

In a very short space of time.
About the Author
(c) 2007 Coaching Businesses To Success. Martin Haworth is a Business and Management Coach. He works worldwide, mainly by phone, with small business owners, managers and corporate leaders. He has hundreds of hints, tips and ideas at his website, http://www.coaching-businesses-to-success.com.
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