Do any of you remember the show Cutthroat Kitchen? If not, it was this crazy cooking show hosted by Alton Brown. Four chefs are given a dish to cook, have an opportunity to get all the supplies they need and then bid on sabotages to use against the other cooks. I was addicted to the show…its culinary mastery, insane obstacles, problem solving, alliances…it was pretty fascinating. And as a Compliance and Ethics Officer, I remember thinking how much CK was like work.
Like the chefs, we all have a job to do and know how to do it. But the best laid plans can be derailed. In many cases, two chefs have to work together, even though they don’t want to, to get their dish cooked. Sometimes, we have to work with people we don’t like to work with but we have to in order to accomplish the objectives. And problem solving…sometimes a chef has to figure out how to cook in a wheelbarrow or with one hand tied behind their back. At work, obstacles get in the way and we try to find the best way get around those obstacles. And, the chefs often find that they did not choose the best way to overcome the obstacle and end up with ice cream that tastes like rotting fish—eeewwww.
History has shown us that most ethical breakdowns happen due to obstacles. Obstacles of time, resources, support, unrealistic expectation.
The best chefs on CK would always take a few minutes before beginning their task to really think about how they are going to overcome the sabotage they’ve been thrown. Some others would rush right in with no consideration to the downstream effects of their choices. Like the chefs, when obstacles get in our way, our reaction can be to panic versus taking a moment for “thoughtful thought” and really considering the potential solutions and possible outcomes.
When obstacles get in your way, take a breath and stop and think so you can find the RIGHT way to overcome your obstacles. Consider the downstream consequences of decisions you are going to make and what the right strategy is to reach your desired outcome.
You’ll end up with delicious ice cream.