Ham, Mindset & Culture

Ham Mindset and Culture

You’re probably wondering, ‘Dave, what does ham have to do with an auto body shop much less mindset and culture?’ Let me tell you a story.

The Story of Grandma’s Ham

A young wife wanted to make a special dinner for her husband on their first anniversary and chose a favorite family recipe: ham.  She went to the store and bought all the ingredients for their meal, came home and called her mother for instructions since she had never made it by herself. The first step that her mother gave her was to cut off the ends of the ham and throw them away. The young woman was confused and asked why.

“I don’t know,” said her mother. “That’s the way my mother always made it, so I have always followed her instructions.”

The young woman was curious and decided to call her grandmother to find out why that was the first step in the family recipe.

“Why, sweetie, I always had to cut off the ends of the ham so that it would fit into the pan.”

Mindset & Culture

This is not just a funny story; it Is a classic example of “cultural training” at work!

Challenge #1: Open your mind and think about how many tasks you and your team do in your shop every day without ever questioning why you do them a certain way or even why you do them at all. Go ahead, I’ll wait a few minutes!

I’d be willing to bet that you have quite a few things on that list; most of us do. What ‘ham’ stories do you think you might come up with if you traced each item on your list back to ‘Grandma?’

Challenge #2: Take a few minutes to think ‘intentionally’ and evaluate whether these are the best practices that will ultimately bring you success.

It’s time to challenge old beliefs and automatic actions to improve body shop life!


About the Author:

Dave shares his experience from over 30 years as a collision repair industry leader in leadership, lean and Theory of Constraints. Once the owner of a body shop himself, Dave draws on the realities of a real world collision repair shop in his consulting, writing and keynote speeches.

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