Get the recipe for that "Secret Sauce"

By William Seidman secret-sauceEvery company has its top performers who consistently sell more, produce more, and deliver more than their peers. These are a company’s stars, and we refer to their special knowledge, wisdom, and talent as their “secret sauce.” A lot of folks will brag that there’s no “secret sauce” to what they do. We find that there is. It’s just sometimes tricky to analyze and understand it. That’s what we do. Part of our approach to creating a culture of greatness in an organization is getting your stars to share their secret sauce so that others can learn how to be more like them. Sounds easy enough, but many times your stars aren’t even aware of what makes them different. How can they share the recipe for their secret sauce if they themselves aren’t aware of the ingredients? We call this process Wisdom Discovery. It requires some finesse, but a good facilitator helps participants through the process by offering thoughtful guidance. The facilitator asks the stars a series of questions about their purpose and actions, and the things they think and do that make them extraordinary. While the stars are sharing their stories, the facilitator records it and projects it on a screen. The words are recorded very literally. If the facilitator doesn’t capture the true essence of what a star really means, stars are encouraged to stop the facilitator and clarify the meaning. Part of capturing the secret sauce requires everyone to think very carefully and take time to answer. This may make participants uncomfortable, but it is highly effective in revealing their expertise. By creating an atmosphere where sharing feels safe, where every participant’s words are valued and recorded slowly and meticulously, stars will open up and share their true selves. Stars also interact with each other about what greatness is and an image of how they think and act emerges. At the end of a three-day Wisdom Discovery session, you have the recipe for the secret sauce, straight from the stars themselves. Within a few weeks, it can be perfected and shared throughout the company.  ]]>

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