This “Gem” has to be one of the most antiquated tales I can remember. In addition, I have a strange feeling it was passed on over the ages from mother to daughter rather than through the usual business network.
However, it certainly proves a most valid point about our need to challenge belief systems and assumptions about many aspects of our daily lives. In fact, in reviewing this old favorite, I was reminded of a great number of pointless routines in our business world which definitely need to be questioned. See what you think.
The Ham Story
Little Jamie was watching her mother prepare a ham for dinner. Her mother cut off both ends of the ham and then then placed it into a baking pan. Jamie asked her mother why she cut off the ends before placing it in the pan. Her mother thought for a while and then said, “I’ve always done it that way—that’s how grandma always did it.”
Not satisfied with the answer, Jamie went to visit her grandma to find out why she cut the ends off the ham before baking it.
Grandma thought for a while and replied, “I don’t know. I learned that from my mother. She always did it that way.”
So Jamie and Grandma went to visit Great Grandma to ask if she knew the answer. Great Grandma thought for a while, smiled and said, “Because in those days we could only afford a small pan and the ham simply wouldn’t fit without cutting off the ends.”
How many things are we doing in our daily routines, both business and personal, that would benefit from a quick review … just to make certain we aren’t doing those things because that’s the way we’ve always done them? You might be surprised.