WFF summit moves women forward at the speed of success
AFC Enterprises CEO Cheryl Bachelder kicked off the Women’s Foodservice Forum Executive (WFF) Summit with a deep dive into the world of leadership. A worthy subject for female executives since the research she’s seeing shows: Most employees say they would rather have a new boss than receive a pay raise.
“This hurts productivity, performance and people,” Bachelder said. “We can do better and we must.”
The summit, a partnership between the WFF and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in Chicago, brings together professors with professionals for insights into how to be better leaders in the workplace, as well as more confident and well-rounded in their personal lives.
Futurist Edie Weiner dissuaded attendees from practicing that old saw about thinking outside the box. “Ninety-eight percent of what you need (to concentrate on) is inside the box,” she said. “When you focus on something it becomes clear; what you don’t focus on becomes a blur.”
In the future, she said, being green won’t be enough. We need to be “blue,” which means we need to put back into the environment more than we took. And while we struggle to find productive ways to truck food into the densely populated cities, we also need to figure out how to waste less food.
One of the most interesting sessions was presented by a social scientist, Hayagreeva (Hugy) Rao, a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford University. For any project worth doing, he said, “write a pre-mortem, a postmortem is too late.”
When hiring, he advised, managers should ask themselves and their team: “How can we create a great runway for this person to succeed?” Other tips included: Hire employees who are already pre-socialized to be accountable, who don’t require constant monitoring and then give them a job where they can be themselves.
"Fix your broken windows," he said: "Start with bad behavior first. One jerk cuts team performance by 30 to 40 percent. (And) bad interactions pack five-times the wallop of good."
Based in Dallas, the Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) has more than 3,500 active members, 200+ partner companies and 20 years of experience advancing women in the foodservice industry.