Dishing Up Results

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One of the things I seem to do a lot more as I age is to theorize, and sometimes that involves a bit of self-reflection. Recently, I was thinking about the things I enjoy in life, both personal and professional, and it got me thinking about what would be the first three things a new acquaintance might learn about me during the course of an initial conversation.

The answers are easy. First, I work in public relations – a field I believe to be well suited not just to my particular skill sets, but also, more deeply, to the thought processes involved in delivering unparalleled results. Second, I like to cook. Or, more accurately, I am obsessed with the processes involved in creating meals and providing food for my family and friends that they find inspirational. Third, I’m a converted right-hander, meaning I was born a lefty and then tormented by misguided teachers until fourth grade to forgo my natural instincts and conform to the norms of a right-handed world. If that sounds bitter, I have tried using it as an excuse for any number of mishaps, but to no avail. I assure you it won’t get you out of a speeding ticket.

Somehow, because I’m quick to point out these three particular things about myself to complete strangers, I have to believe they must be interrelated. Let’s start with the last bit and work backwards.

Brain function lateralization…say what? It’s continually debated, but there is some degree of belief that right-handers are left-brain dominant and therefore more analytical and strategic in their cognition, versus left-handers who draw more from the right side of their noggin and tend to have more emotional and creative thought patterns. That’s obviously an oversimplified view, but let’s run with it for a bit and see what pans out.

For me, the cooking part of cooking – that bit where you’re actually preparing food, generally by applying some form of heat – is the final act in a play that involved a lot of previous thought and visualization. This means I think about food a lot and tend to envision a final dish and work backwards through the processes I’m going to employ, even all the way back to the actual provisioning of the victuals.

Coincidentally, when I envision the “end results” of a successful PR campaign for a client, I typically run back through a scenario in my mind – one where more creative and visual thought is at play – with the ultimate goal of “dishing up” credible perceptions that help advance business objectives.

Once I’ve worked it out visually, and just as it is when I hit the kitchen, a switch gets thrown – likely with the right hand – and everything becomes all about orderliness, strategy and process until the dish is plated, my CEO’s interview comes off flawlessly, or the key messages our team developed show up featured in a respected industry publication. For me, that’s the moment when the two hands come together.

In retrospect, no matter what the task, the only successful recipe is one that delivers outstanding results, and so much of that involves a “thinking backwards” approach where you employ creative thought and energy into determining what you are going to deliver, how you’re going to do it and then follow through to deploy those tactics that get you to that rewarding “final dish.” And, whether it’s someone eating one of my meals or a client reading a positive article about their company and products in a key publication, hearing “Oh, yeah…that is good stuff!” makes the time and effort all the more rewarding.

Of course, everyone on the Interprose team brings their own skill sets and expertise, and has been influenced by their own unique experiences. That being said, one common thread is that our work together involves a lot of forethought and we’re all committed to a common goal for our clients. I invite you to visit the Interprose portfolio page to see how some of our efforts have panned out. And, if you want the recipe for my Nanny Jones’ chicken and dumplings, you can find it on the Interprose FaceBook page, where I do share recipes from time to time. Bon Appétit!