The Collective Intelligence in Cooking - lessons in leadership from a French Chef

Lunch or dinner at Anne-Sophie Pic has always been a moment of happiness. A moment fully to

oneself. You "feel" here that everything is created, proposed, prepared and served to delight your soul as well as you taste buds. You tell me I'm going a little bit too far? Perhaps. But the evidence is in how, every time, I come out happy. When I tell you about Anne-Sophie Pic, I'm not just talking about the gourmet restaurant (I only dined once): you'll find the same spirit at the Bistrot in the 7th - right next door. A spirit, a poetry, personal inspirations that guide the taste and strong human values: respect, listening, exchange, availability. A few weeks ago I read an interview in Decideurs where Anne-Sophie Pic told her vision of a "collective intelligence" in the kitchen. And her words resonated with my own "customer experience". According to her, gone are the days of the simple "Yes, Chief". Today, the work is not only based on individual leadership. It must also be built around a complementary collective leadership. She then explains that her "individual" leadership is exercised today in the creativity and definition of her cuisine. I actually find this

trademark, this subtle style, to fit into each dish. When the idea is there, the Chef merges into the collective to put it in shape. "That's the challenge: moving from idea to implementation, from creativity to innovation. " To do so, nothing beats the collective intelligence: to put at the service of the idea all the forces, the sum or rather the multiplication of the individual forces. This is not limited to the kitchen: the waiting and reception teams are part of the process. It's not just the culinary experience that counts. Remember in the introduction: "created, proposed, prepared, served". These four elements are ultimately based on this collective "game". It's the collective intelligence that creates the quality of the overall customer experience.

The manager then becomes a conductor: they give meaning, they guide, they promote the exchange of ideas. They must know how to transmit their vision, release energies and initiatives, create the conditions for innovation and create the conditions for collective intelligence. It's a real challenge. But such an approach enriches the work of both the manager and employees and multiplies the value created. Anne-Sophie Pic has translated this approach very concretely into the organization of her kitchen: in Valence, the kitchen has been redone and a common piano now commands all positions. It is part of the relaxed atmosphere. The environment adapts to the common will of exchange and collaboration, where, quite often, it is the opposite: the team must adapt and do with a specific environment (or it believes that it must do it). "Work is essentially collective in the kitchen". It is an organization in which everyone must play their own score and the collective must play harmoniously and perfectly the music that will have been created together. For Anne-Sophie Pic, collective leadership is the key to creative and sustainable cuisine. A kitchen that knows how to renew itself, surprise, continue to charm, to delight. "The skill starts to replace the status. And we must encourage risk taking and initiative. It does not happen overnight. It's more of an iterative process, a result of trial, error and success! And little by little, things change." And the pleasure remains.






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