I found this article — “The Olive Garden Has No Choice But To Overcook Pasta” — fascinating. Here’s the main thrust:
The Olive Garden is at the mercy of the kind of people who eat at Olive Garden, and the chain has no choice but to bend to their wistful, suburban, and tyrannical needs. That means value (a $6.95 unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks lunch special), overcooked pasta, frosted salad bowls, and avoiding confusing words like “gnocchi.”
In other words, the chain’s attempts at better food are thwarted by the staunchly dimwitted palettes of its patrons. What an unenviable position, huh?
Of course, if you’re involved church leadership, it’s likely you’re no stranger to the short leash of consumer preference. People like what they like, and they often resist change for a variety of reasons.
The issue I have is with Olive Garden’s defeatist attitude — the “we have no choice” approach. Leaders don’t kowtow to stubbornness and stagnation, not when they know the menu could be so much better.
Whatever your context, don’t be Olive Garden. Lead. Push forward. The road might be slow, but it’s a road worth traveling. The alternative? Resigning yourself to a lifetime of overcooked pasta.
Scott McClellan is the Editor of Echo Hub and the Director of Echo Conference. You can follow him on Twitter: @scottmcclellan.