Hungry for change? Here’s what you will discover for yourself at my Conscious Innovation Restaurant…
A partner this week asked me to describe the experience I have been providing people this year as they wanted help to ignite their social impact career, their social change strategy, their next steps on their changemaking journey. Here’s what I shared with him:
You go to a place, let’s say a restaurant, for the promise of an out-of-the-ordinary experience. You have never been there so your expectation doesn’t necessarily fit with what the dinner will actually offer you. It’s a bit blurry. But you trust the reviews.
You come in and settle in at the table.
You get to choose from the menu.
You start with the appetizer or starter, let’s say three olives and sweet and sour glazed shrimps on a tiny plate. Maybe a tiny bowl of creative dip sauce.
You know what it is, you can describe it. You won’t spend a full hour on this. At most, you can re-arrange the olives and the shrimps on your plate, to your liking. But they will be quickly gobbled up and gone.
Or you will just take the shrimps and leave the olives on the side.
It’s an enjoyable warm-up. The dipping sauce might even be exquisite.
But you suspect there is more to this place than this starter.
And you were right.
Before you came in, you were hungry, but you also wanted to dig deep and be transported somewhere else. A place that the café around the corner couldn’t offer you.
So the main dish arrives. And it is not necessarily the idea for the main dish you had in mind when you entered the premises. But it is a natural choice.
And with this main dish, comes a story that needs unravelling. The dish will be much more complex than the starter. You will discover several layers of ingredients, a variety of flavours, smells, and textures craftily woven, mixed, arranged, which will wake you up, and take you on an exploratory journey.
“The truth is, that dish is not there to please your eyes and taste buds”, I say.
“Really?” he replies, stunned.
“No…. Because it’s impossible to promise this. Everyone reacts and feels differently. A spoonful can make you incredibly melancholic. Or joyful. Or both simultaneously. And there’s nothing wrong with this. That’s part of the adventure”
However, you can trust the chef will pour quantities and mixes that will take you to the edge without hurting you.
And in this fusion, there might be ingredients you thought you disliked, but now they come in a new light. And they are marvellously and unexpectedly surprising.
Memories will surface, questions will arise.
“Do you remember when…?“
“What made me dislike this before?”
“I feel much more adventurous now, what’s causing that…”
The chef is taking you through this journey of discovery, and she is not there putting the fork in your mouth. Her work is done.
She cares, sitting at a table not far away, observing you. Whilst she does that, she makes sure the lights are on, the kitchen functions in the background, and that the ambient noise doesn’t disturb you. She is calm.
In your implicit agreement, you happily let her come in from time to time to turn the plate, move it closer or further away from you, enabling you to discover, taste, feel something you couldn’t before because you hadn’t seen the dish from that angle…
As the alliance takes shape, you get a clearer idea of why you came to visit. You understand your reasons, your motivation, and maybe, if all goes well, what you will want to repeat, learn or understand, by the end of the meal.
And each new bite of food is the opportunity for you to get to that well wrapped-up learning finish line.
So, you came in for the promise of discovery. You started with a first simple dish that didn’t teach you much. You selected it because it is something you might have recognised and even have eaten at home before, something familiar. An appetizer. But you quickly got to the main dish.
That main dish is the magic of the partnership, the core of the experience.
When you are done, you wrap up with a dessert, a piece of gratefulness that gives the way for appreciation. It highlights and reinforces the key notes and sensations you’ve experimented with throughout the dinner. The good old cherry on the cake.
And importantly, because the place where you sat was designed in such a way that it told you “you matter”, and the staff genuinely cared about your experience, the learning and satisfaction have been even deeper.
You will not remember the experience, taste for taste, word for word, nor all the feelings and impressions. But only the essence of it.
And you will leave with a simple yet concrete takeaway.
Enjoy the holiday when/if you come to it.
I hope to see you at my Conscious Innovation table in 2022 where I can help you discover a new “dish” for you.
Want a taster for yourself?
Pick up your new 2022 calendar and put a placeholder for a free preview of The House of Trust, the theme we will be developing with you in 2022
In this 60 minutes workshop, you will go through an interactive step-by-step menu that will help you:
– understand how you’ve been approaching and thinking about Trust so far
– what you need to let go of and
– what you intend to take with you in 2022.
Date: 18th January 2022
Time: 12:30 pm UK GMT ( 7:30 am New York – 2:30 pm Lebanon, 3:30 pm Kenya EAT)
Format: Online – Zoom
Reserve your free spot in advance here.