My good friend in the twittersphere, Rich W, recently blogged about the use of cake as a management tool. His post was inspired by what I think was a tongue in cheek comment from the lovely Hadley Beeman. In a nutshell Rich declared the positive effects of the ‘making and sharing of cakes with your staff or colleagues – in an entirely uninvited way (and not out of some form of obligation, as with buying cakes every time it’s your birthday)’ ~ the Hadley Effect.
Rich’s post got me thinking about why I bake for colleagues, and whether even at an unacknowledged level, there is some ‘management technique’ reason for it! After a full ten minutes of reflection (helped along by a coffee and a bun my Gran had baked earlier today*) I decided not in my case.
I enjoy baking….lots. So much in fact that I can not possibly consume all of what I bake. I think this is why I first started baking for my colleagues. I guess there was also a little bit of me that wanted to do something nice for our team too, but I’d say it was about 50% being a team player and 50% selfish – not wanting to end up morbidly obese!
One thought I did have though was around Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. I wonder whether there is some connection between a manager providing for your base level physiological need for food that gets a good reaction – as well as what Rich flagged about it providing an opportunity for interaction, and generally showing, or appearing to show, that they care a little.
Interestingly I think there is an inverse correlation between my baking frequency and my management career! That is, the more managerial responsibility I get, the less time I have and the less baking I do….which is a shame if the Hadley Effect is a real one. Maybe it’s time to get the mixing bowl out again…I’ll keep you all posted.
* Did I mention baking is big in my family!