Consider the process of creating a new dish without a recipe.
You're presented with an array of ingredients, but the specific steps and quantities are left to your interpretation. It's a challenge, no doubt, but what would any creative cook think of it?
It would be no less than an exciting opportunity for innovation.
Much like our culinary scenario, life often hands us a 'basket' of unknowns.
Take investing, for example. Despite having access to market data and expert advice, we're essentially trying to predict the perfect 'flavor balance' of a financial recipe that has yet to be cooked.
In business, we encounter similar situations.
Imagine being a service provider like us, where your client wants to get a project going but lacks a clear vision of the final outcome. Here, you're a hospitable chef, well-versed in what you do, but you do not know the dietary preferences of the guest, or their favorite flavors.
Alternatively, consider the predicament of an employee given a broad task by a manager, but without detailed guidelines. It's like being asked to whip up a 'scrumptious dessert' without knowing the available ingredients or the intended audience's taste.
Frustration and complaints are a common response situations like these.
However, our founder Darshan recently pointed out in a spirited discussion, these unknowns could be seen not as obstacles but as catalysts for taking ownership.
He likened it to being a chef in a gourmet kitchen. To delight your customers, you anticipate their needs, create a few dish options, and confirm their choices. This approach not only reduces the cognitive load on your clients but also demonstrates your proactive, customer-centric approach.
Let's now take the case of the employee, who's assigned a vague task, and dive deeper.
Contemplate about the many projects a manager handles, and what it means for the company, and ultimately an individual. More projects equate to more revenue for the company, and potentially, better remuneration for the employees.
How, then, can an individual contribute to this growth? The secret ingredient again, is embracing the unknowns. Just as a master chef innovates with flavors and techniques, you can apply the same creativity to a vague project brief.
Think about the possible outcomes of the brief, perhaps ask a few questions based on your line of thought, see if you can think through some potential challenges, create solutions, and present them to your manager. In essence, you're preparing a dish from an assortment of ingredients, showcasing your resourcefulness, initiative, and ownership.
In the best-case scenario, your vision aligns perfectly with your manager's or client's, leaving them as satisfied as a diner relishing a delicious meal.
In a typical scenario, they appreciate your effort, even if there are elements you overlooked - it's the thought and initiative that count.
Even in the worst-case scenario, where they disagree with your approach, you've sparked a dialogue that helps clarify their vision, much like a chef tweaking a recipe based on a diner's feedback.
So the next time you’re met with an unknown, don’t forget to don your chef's hat and start cooking.