Lockdown baking – week 12?

I think we may now be in week 12 or 13 of lockdown.

When I managed to get hold of some flour early on I didn’t know I was about to start out on a baking odyssey.

Each Saturday morning I’ve baked a new cake. It’s been immensely therapeutic.

And the more I bake the more I think it’s kind of like transformation:

1. It takes teamwork. My friend Trudie continues to be so helpful in helping me bake with tips and advice. Find like minded people to get the job done.

2. Follow the plan. Each recipe – weight, ingredients and process needs to be followed to the letter. Nobody wants a soggy bottom.

3. Sometimes things go wrong. And that’s totally fine. I’ve botched icing but it always came right in the end. Don’t give up. Ever.

I’m going to be the size of a house when we come out of this I’m sure.

Stay safe.

Lockdown loaf

Sourdough can now come off my lockdown bucket list.

Tasted pretty darn tootin’, just wish I had something other than Stork in the fridge 🤦‍♂️

Making the loaf was kind of like employee engagement.

Each day the sourdough starter had to be ‘fed’ to keep it active.

It didn’t need much. Just a little check in.

The more attention I gave my starter the more it would bubble away.

Engagement is crucial for transformation.

Keep checking in and help people rise.

Stay safe.

COVID process transformation

Local business are starting to carefully open up round my way. It’s interesting to see the new thinking behind their processes that I normally take for granted. Here are a few examples of what I’ve seen;

A local garden centre has meticulously mapped each step of the customer visit to keep everyone safe and apart, both customers and staff. Separate entrance and exit, visibly cleaned baskets, 2 metre floor markings, staff calm and helpful, checkout a breeze.

My dentist sent me an email with a little video explaining how they have incorporated new measures in the surgery while keeping the message informative and engaging and very much in the spirit of their excellent customer service. It *almost* made me miss my regular checkup and hygiene visit.

I recently ordered a takeaway from a local pub. Food was ordered online and collected at a safe distance in the pub car park. They offered little extras like pre-mixed negronis as an up-sell. Didn’t need to convince me much.

All of these companies have transformed their processes and have clearly thought carefully about the customer sales experience while factoring in COVID safety conditions. And this is just the beginning, I expect we’ll see much more process transformation like this.

Stay safe. Think Process.

Bin day

Before lockdown we were fortunate in our street to have weekly collections for both refuse and recycling. Over the years I took this for granted.

A couple of weeks into lockdown and the council decided to alternate the weekly delivery of each bin. It meant having to be very careful in what was thrown out in each bin and crushing down cans and plastics and tearing up Amazon boxes etc.

Space became a premium. I now find myself treating each bin like a crazy version of Tetris thinking how can I get it to keep reducing as new stuff gets thrown in and avoid game over!

There is a lean six sigma term called ‘The 7 Wastes’. These wastes kill business efficiency. Google ‘TIMWOOD’ for more on this if interested. It’s fab.

The big idea here is to cut waste. I’m now subconsciously adopting this thinking to beat the bins each week; for example, not ordering unnecessary stuff in the first place (transport), not buying more than is needed which could then spoil (inventory) and moving the bins closer to the kitchen (motion). You get the idea.

Waste analysis is a simple yet powerful tool for transformation and well worth adopting. It provides rapid results when adopted correctly.

Is lockdown bin day one of the most exciting days of the week now? (Asking for a friend)

Stay safe. Recycle.

Nudge nudge

Earlier this week I ventured out on the roads, the first time in the car in 9 weeks. It was strange to be driving again.

I think this must have been the longest period in my life I haven’t driven. Have to admit I was a bit nervous about setting off. But as soon as I started the engine everything clicked back into place.

I haven’t run in 9 weeks. I was supposed to be running 8 half marathons this year. That is well and truly out the window now! But driving again has given me a little nudge to get back out there. So tomorrow I’m going to venture out for a run, nothing major. And then the next day a longer run…

This is change management in action. Sometimes a little nudge is all that’s needed and things start to fall into place like dominoes.

Btw. Car started first time. That’s Volvo build quality for you. A mechanic friend has advised me to run the engine and take it for a spin every so often. A good tip; never know where it will lead.

Stay safe. Stay active.