What is a SMaC Recipe and Why Does Your Business Need One?

Does your business have a well-defined operating code for turning your strategic concepts into reality? Does it have a set of practices more enduring than mere tactics that create a replicable and consistent formula for successful outcomes? Do your enduring practices force order amid chaos and impose consistency when slammed by disruption?

This is how Jim Collins defines a SMaC Recipe in his book Great by Choice (SMaC stands for Specific, Methodical and Consistent).

A few weeks ago, I posted about Ray Dalio’s model for business. In this model the “Machine” was responsible for turning vision and goals into outcomes. The Machine consists of people, processes and tools. A SMaC Recipe is the unique combination of people, processes and tools that turn the organization’s vision and goals into outcomes. It is the nerve center of the Machine and it controls how the Machine functions.

Without a clearly defined SMaC Recipe your organization’s Machine will not produce the outcome that your vision is striving for. Your outcomes will be inconsistent and you will be unable to turn strategic concepts into reality.

A SMaC Recipe is not created overnight. It takes time, effort, many tweaks and adjustments to build a recipe that is a correct fit for your marketplace and organization. It is not a simple thing to have a SMaC Recipe that delivers consistent business outcomes in line with your vision and goals. However, once you have this SMaC Recipe perfected, it should not be adjusted unless there are fundamental changes in your business or industry.

Collins gives the example of the United States constitution as a great SMaC Recipe. Since the US constitution was ratified in 1791, until 2011, only 17 amendments were made to it. This is one change every 13 years. Think of all the tumultuous and mind boggling change that has happened throughout that time period (in the US and in the world in general), yet this SMaC Recipe is still very close to what it was back in 1791 and has served the United States well over this time period.

Spend some time this next week reviewing your business and asking questions like; What is your organization’s SMaC Recipe? Are you in the development stage or is your Recipe well defined? Is your SMaC Recipe producing the outcomes that are desired or does it need to be tweaked?

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2 thoughts on “What is a SMaC Recipe and Why Does Your Business Need One?

  1. I worked for a company with a well defined SMaC recipe. It was amazing and the business is flourishing. The CEO/CFO of the company introduced their recipe to us in a fun and exciting environment; the items on the list were reasonable, attainable, and easy to remember. Even though I no longer work for that company, I find myself referring back to that SMaC list for guidance. My current employer should thank them, and YOU for what I have learned!

    • Excellent feedback Sarah! A properly define SMaC recipe can really transform a business. It’s sounds like your experience is a great example of this!