This week’s focus: Time for a confession: one of my guilty pleasures is the TV show, Masterchef. There’s something about watching these nervous cooks slowly grow in confidence and ability over the course of the competition that I find compelling.

In a show last week, the Michelin-starred chef, Michel Roux, told a contestant that he should reduce the sauce he was making to about half of its original volume. The reduction, he said, would concentrate the flavours so that it would then “really pack a punch.

In many areas of business – whether that’s developing a new product or service, agreeing your priority initiatives or setting performance goals – it’s tempting to keep on adding rather than reducing. The problem with this approach, however, is that you can quickly lose the essence and the flavour of what you’re after. As with sauces, it’s generally better, instead, to reduce and focus so that you deliver concentrated, high-impact solutions.

Where do you need to reduce rather than add so that you and your team can, once again, “really pack a punch”?

Off The Record: Life Is A Minestrone by 10CC

Life is a minestrone, served up with Parmesan cheese

Death is a cold lasagne, suspended in deep freeze

© Stuart Cross 2012. All rights reserved.