Posted by mike in Blog 1 Comment
So I recently was at the local Tesco in Dublin and decided to pick up a pumpkin. I just couldn’t resist to relive a childhood memory of pumpkin carving. After all, it has been a while since I put my existing artistic skills to the test. What I discovered this time around, were a couple of lessons of operational efficiency, that apply well to the business world. Here’s my story…
After doing a quick search online I decided on the following steps:
1. Find a face template online
2. Outline your template using a pencil
3. Use a serrated knife, it cuts pumpkin flesh better
4. If you make any mistakes, you can always reattach pieces using a toothpick
Scissors, template and whits in hand I embarked on my self-instigated knife-wielding endeavor. I followed the recommended steps found online, template, outline, cutting off the top, scooping out the innards with my stainless steel ladle. It all made sense when I first read it, but I began to think about other ways to accomplish the same task. Here’s what I came up with:
Smaller hands, make it easier to remove the insides… I had a 5kg pumpkin, and my larger hands made it hard to reach certain parts with my massive spoon. I ended up “outsourcing” the last bit of this to my smaller-handed wife. Lesson: Use the right tools for the job.
I began cutting out the mouth, and popping out the individual pieces. It takes quite a bit of force to cut the pumpkin. I found myself wrestling with this orange-hued cousin of a squash. It would have been better to pop out the pieces at the end, as each piece that I removed, specifically the mouth(due mainly to it’s size), reduced the structural integrity. The more pieces that you take out, the higher the risk that you might crack what is left. Lesson: Reduce risk of failure by tweaking your process.
While using the serrated knife, I realized that although it cut better, it was more difficult to control. Slipping up means that you can leave your jack-o-lantern with a slash across his face. (Note, depending on where you live, this could provide you with some much-needed “street cred”.) I ended up using a curved knife to cut out the initial outline, then I used the serrated knife to continue carving. The initial cut, creates a line that makes the serrated knife easier to guide, and more accurate. Although this technique takes a little more time, the quality of the final product is more accurate to the original design. Lesson: Adding an intermediary step can lead to a more refined final product at the cost of increased production time.
Rather than cutting off the top, it would be better to cut a circle in the bottom. Doing this, would make it easier to clean out, as the contents could just fall out with gravity. The added bonus, is that adding in a candle is easier with a match, you won’t need a long lighter to light it. The downside, is that you won’t be able to use this as a trick-or-treat goodie bag(if that’s your intention). Lesson: Remember that design affects functionality.
A final thought. I ended up with a small mountain of orangish-gooey pumpkin innards. This comprises of a mesh of seeds, slushy pulp, and a more dense pumpkin inner wall. Not entirely certain what to do with it, I dumped it into a large tupperware container and tossed it into the fridge. Lesson: Make the most of your resources(even waste!). Reduce, reuse and recycle where possible. If you have any ideas what I can do with it, please do share in the comments below!
So there, you go, his name is appropriately Jack, and he’s reminded me of a couple of important business guidelines, and he’s ready to bring a smile to your face today!
About the Author: Michael Munevar is an eCommerce Specialist, frequent traveler, online marketing pro and passionate about the marriage of business with technology
Tags: business, carving pumpkin, halloween, operational efficiency