BAFTAS, Pork Pies and People

BAFTAS, Pork Pies and People

With the glitter of the Oscars looming over us and hot on the heels of the recent BAFTA Awards I was struck by the fact that, for the most part, the BAFTA Committee had clearly decided to resist being swept along with the pre-Oscar hype and glamour surrounding such films as Lincoln and Les Miserables, as wonderful as they are. Instead many of the BAFTA Awards went to little known films, such as Amour and Rust and Bones, their actors, film makers and other contributors.

I smiled at this because it reminded me of when I was asked to be head judge at a culinary competition some years ago. In comparison with some of todays larger culinary exhibitions is was a relatively small, local affair but nevertheless the participations had put their hearts and souls into their entries. As per usual at these events there were some awe inspiring dishes on display, which made me question my own worthiness of being head judge.

Once category winners had been chosen it was down to the judging panel to select a dish that would be awarded ‘best in show’. Naturally there were a number of absolutely stunning culinary pieces to choose from, the more glamorous and artist dishes of course attracting the most attention.

With my ‘head judge’ hat on I listened to the panel debate with interest and I realised that just like the Oscars my fellow judges were being influenced by the hype and glamour of it all; being swept along by the visual impact of the dish and not necessarily its culinary qualities. It was at this point I interjected and said….”What about the pork pie?”….
A stunned team looked at me with horror saying…”The pork pie”…. I went on to explain that I was deadly serious and that whilst perhaps not as glamorous as other dishes the pork pie was indeed a culinary triumphant. More importantly I wanted to explain to the team that our role was about looking at all its component parts. The quality of the meat and its perfectly cooked texture; the amount and consistency of the jelly surrounding the meat the unbelievable melt in the mouth texture and flavour of the pastry which was not too thick, nor too thin. It was in my opinion the outright winner.

The analogy I used at the time was that of an employee appraisal. Taking all the attributes of the person sitting in front of you and analyzing what you considered to be their successes, strengths, areas for improvements and development and of course their over potential.

The chef who had prepared the pork pie has taken a risk; it was a brave decision to make knowing that many of his contemporaries would aim of something more sophisticated and eye-catching. I commented at the time that if this was an appraisal how impressed I would have been because surely that’s what organisations would want from an employee, to take a risk, to be totally committed to that risk, to challenge the norm and above all to see that risk through and perform the task well.

This scenario I felt was repeated at the BAFTA Awards, they had looked beyond the hype and truly examined the quality of the actors and other contributors and their performances; a delight to see. This did however leave me wondering whether our obsession with glamour has inhibited us in the workplace.
• Do we perhaps view the performance of our colleagues and teams by the hype and glamour that surrounds them?
• Do we truly look for the hidden talents within our people and if so how we do discover those?
• Does your organisation have a tasty pork pie in its midst that has yet to be discovered?
With the Oscars just around the corner the ever loyal Americans will no doubt be backing “Lincoln”; it is after all a wonderful historical film about a great President’s battle to abolish slavery.

At this pivotal point in the film industry’s calendar let us ask ourselves have we abolished slavery to glamour in our business. Have we deep in our organization got somebody who on the outside maybe appear to be a boring pork pie and yet has something far more delicious to offer than their simple outer crust?

Tell me about your pork pie award winners in your business or who you have worked with and how you uncover their hidden talents.

P.S. The pork pie did win ‘best in show’!

Trisha Proud Partners in Solutions Ltd

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