What business leaders can learn from the Great British Bake Off
The Great British Bake Off is much more than mouth watering entertainment. Every episode is a lesson in diligence and complex management skills.
Season 11 of the 2020 Great British Bake Off will reach boiling point next week when the final airs on 24th November.
In an extraordinary year, bakers were required to enter a bubble for seven weeks in order for the competition to take place, and while the iconic tent, Paul, Prue and Noel remained fixtures from past seasons, new presenter Matt Lucas added his own unique ingredients to the mix.
But, what is the real recipe for success on a show which puts 12 bakers in a bubble and turns the heat up to max? And what business lessons can we take away from the competition?
Creativity can be an essential skill in your toolkit when life throws a spanner in the works. Managers often face issues outside of their usual remit which could benefit from some creative thinking. Can one ingredient (skill or tool) be substituted for another to overcome a hurdle? Can a project be salvaged sufficiently to prove its workability? Problem solving is a critical skill and one which is required on a regular basis inside the tent.
Another key ingredient in any recipe for success is resource management. Part way through a project, discovering you are missing a vital resource can make all the difference. Avoid last minute project panics by ensuring everything is in place before you commence.
Admittedly, at the end of the competition, there can only be one winner, but throughout the process an element of interpersonal and people management skills is involved. Navigating issues such as accidentally using someone else’s ingredients requires diplomacy. So too in business, diplomacy is an essential skill, along with empathy, and the ability to appreciate other people’s talents, even if it is at the expense of your own success.
Acknowledging strengths and weaknesses
Recognising and coming to terms with your own strengths and weaknesses is all part of being a good baker, and manager. Surrounding yourself with a good team will mean you can rely on others in some situations, but if it is just you versus the problem, then it is vital to play to your strengths.
In all scenarios, knowing what you have to offer and what is perhaps best left to someone else is important for progress.
One of the main challenges for Bake Off contestants is the lack of time, indeed, baking has often been referred to as more of a science than an art, so how the successful bakers deal with this obstacle is a lesson for us all.
Allowing themselves more time than is required and cleverly managing any gaps in time that might occur is a sure-fire way to Star Baker status.
Images courtesy of Press Association & British Bake Off Twitter Page