Different is Good – or Italy vs France

Unique Value Proposition

The last month or so of posts all stemmed from considering Italian cooking and its similarities to good management.

Italian food is common, popular, and often adapted to new locations and tastes. However, in Italy itself there are about half the number of Michelin-starred restaurants as there are in France. And Italy is ok with that.

This reminds me of the story often told about Italian wine versus French wine.

France has always been known for exporting its best wines, to share its high quality products with the world. For many years, Italian wine had a poor reputation abroad, in particular in the United States. That is because Italy was happy to export its cheap wines and keep the good stuff for local consumption.

For France, part of the goal is the world stage and global appreciation.

For Italy, it is the good life at home.

Your goals are your own

Neither approach is more or less valid, important, or creative than the other. Each country has its own desires.

Your business must do the same.

This is where the connection between values and goals becomes essential. These are the various ingredients that make this particular recipe entirely your own.

You have to know what success looks like for you. Not try to emulate what your neighbors and competitors are doing.

Even more importantly: don’t make your goals about your competition. Don’t try to sell more than your competition, or gain more clients, or more employees. Keep your drivers inward focused, on things you can control.

It’s not you, it’s me

These are the factors that are going to get you up in the morning, motivate you to work more, work harder and work better.

It has to be about you, in order to work.