Paulelmo's Blog

Theoretical management–business thoughts that are probably applicable, no matter what your business

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Bear with me for a minute, as this pertains to actions on this website.

I am not a fan of what I call theoretical management. Theoretical management is anything that makes it look like things are progressing better than they are. I’ll give you an example.

In our restaurant, the food expediter–the person who works between the kitchen and the front of the house to ensure that each table’s food is assembled correctly and each plate is set the way it was ordered–reads the orders on a screen. When the cooks place a plate in the window, they push a button that shows that that plate has been “sold.” The color changes on the expediter’s screen to indicate that. This is called “bumping” the food.

Once all the plates of a table’s order are bumped, the expediter begins to assemble the tray of food. Now, like so many aspects of stock market management, there have to be metrics involved to show progress, or the lack of. In this situation, the primary measuring device is time. When the cook bumps the food, the clock stops.

Now, we’re human, and we want our numbers to look good. So, at times in situations like these, someone might do something that makes the numbers look better which isn’t the correct representation of what actually happened. In this particular case, that something is called “pre-bumping.” The food is almost ready; it’s just waiting on fries, and they’ll be up in 23 seconds, or he only has to put a couple of souffle cups of sauce on the plate. Still, the clock is about to go beyond the allowable time threshold; might as well go ahead and bump it.

If this is an isolated incident, what’s the problem? There’s no damage done; the fries were up in those few seconds, so the table got their dinner in those few seconds, and we kept the counter under the desired time. Win, win, win; everybody walks away happy.

Still, again, we’re human, so of course it doesn’t remain an isolated incident. We’ve learned it was an easy thing to do, and nobody really got hurt. Then, you get to a busy Saturday night in a restaurant where such has become the standard accepted action. You have a whole kitchen full of cooks at three, four, or even more stations, and they all not only ascribe to this practice, but they are encouraged to do it. There’s just so much food, and so many plates look similar and are similar, and it was bumped, so why wouldn’t I assume it was for that table, and all kind of crap just goes haywire.

This is theoretical management, or what I sometimes call stock market management. Managing with the thought of metrics in mind, rather than managing the situation. And who pays the price? Initially, the guests pay the price, as a higher percentage of them get food late than it would be if the system were allowed to work the way it’s designed to. On down the line, the company will pay the price, because it will read numbers that say there is no problem in that area, when in fact there is.

The situation is like an ornery child who lies about his or her misconduct. Why worry about changing it, when you’re just going to lie and say you didn’t do it? It’s an easier way to not get in trouble.

I’m pleased to say that this is not a problem in the restaurant where I work at present, but it has been in the past, and it was a nightmare. We sure looked good on paper, which was good, because you were certainly going to have time to read that while you waited on your food.

And this applies to this website how? Well, you all know I want to build this website, and you’ve heard all of my chatter about visitors, views, likes, comments, and shares; my desire to continue raising the total of these benchmarks has been no secret, and it has taught me quite well to read the numbers and trends.

So, if there is anyone out there who ever thinks, “Ol’ Paul’s a good guy, and I’d sure as heck like to see him succeed with these numbers; think I’ll go on the site just to help, maybe click on a few posts to give him more to count,” you really don’t need to. I believe in the power of numbers, and I also believe that, when we’re working with numbers, if we’re not working with the right numbers, we just might as well stop. Numbers can’t tell you anything if you’re not looking at the right ones.

So, if there is anyone who ever gets a thought such as that in his or her head, I really appreciate the sentiment, but, ultimately, it impedes the site’s potential success. The numbers have the potential to get all hinky, and I might gain an unwarranted sense of success.

I wouldn’t mention it, but there has been a day here and there when things just haven’t added up the way they usually do–always to the remarkable positive–and I don’t know if this has happened, but it wouldn’t shock me to learn it has.

I’ll close with this. If you have done this, I’m certainly not mad; the sentiment alone is quite touching. You may have thrown me off for a day or two, but it really was quite sweet. Still, we’ll have a better chance of succeeding with true numbers, whether they are lower or not.

I hope you’re well, beauties, and I hope I haven’t bored you too much. You’re always in our prayers. Until soon.

5 Replies to “Theoretical management–business thoughts that are probably applicable, no matter what your business”

  1. To be kind and nice goes in all sphere of life without saying it. Human touch cannot be replaced by anything.Yes Combination of Eastern and Western thought can create miracle for humanity.
    ravi

  2. I am with you on this subject. In my view, knowledge of theoratical Management may help one to perform his duties effectively but what really matters is SIMPLE COMMON SENSE and knowledge of ground realties.

    ravi

    1. Yes, and be kind and nice. If we combined Eastern and Western thought, we would say, “Follow the Golden Rule because you don’t want to be on the bad side of Karma.” We’ll call that Human Thought. Thanks, Ravi. I hope Wednesday is treating you nicely.

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