As mentioned in my previous post https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/takes-two-tango-susanna-nicoletti?trk=mp-author-card , I strongly believe a CEO should take a baking degree before managing a Fashion Brand. And the same (or, at least a baking class) should be done by the shareholders who are genuinely interested in developing a strong, powerful, long-lasting Fashion brand.
Yes, a baking degree.
Managing a Fashion brand is very similar to baking bread. The best bread is made thanks to:
- very focused artisans, who take very seriously their own job which also includes lots of sacrifice;
- a few ingredients of the highest quality such as stone grinded flour, spring water, salt, sugar and sourdough;
- lots of time and commitment and focus;
- greatest attention during leavening and baking (in wood fire oven whenever possible)
- patience and trust
The amazing taste of sourdough bread is unique. But it is not possible to learn to prepare sourdough bread in a day.
And, most of all, the same recipe has to be adapted depending on the weather and especially humidity and it has to be adapted to the oven as well. Flexibility is a must in the bread baker. And sensitivity as well. And lots of learning by doing, sharpening the art of baking bread can take years. It is a matter of cutting one’s teeth and listening the people that are more expert in order to improve the technique. Specific experience is a must. That’s why a great patissier will never be a great bread baker per default.
Same is needed for a Fashion brand:
- very focused and experienced leader;
- highest quality in terms of products, service to the customer and human resources;
- time and commitment and focus from every single employee but first of all from the CEO who is the leader and is in charge of the motivation of the employees as well as of the successful performance of the Brand;
- the highest attention paid by the leader in both strategy and execution (a recipe written on paper doesn’t become an amazing bread by itself)
And at the very end, a lot of patience and trust in what is done step by step.
Patience is a key success factor as well as experience, focus, commitment, quality. The recipe might be well written on paper but everyday is different and everyday asks for an adjustment sometimes of the strategy, sometimes of the execution and very often on both.
The great and the most successful CEO is like a bread baker: and artisan-artist-technician-zen master who starts from a piece of paper and creates a unforgettable masterpiece.
That’s why, instead of taking another class of digital activities, the CEO should start from the basics: how to make bread.
How to make things happen and how to make them the most appealing to the customers.