I recently was at a restaurant where you were given four notepads to craft your own meal. You were able to Build-a-Burger, Build-a-Pizza, Build-a-Salad, or even Build-a-Bloody Mary. Each pad listed numerous options to personalize your dish and showed the allotted number of choices from each category that were included in the base price. It was fun to do and produced one of the most delicious salads that I have had.

But when I thought about it, most restaurants would tailor a burger or salad to your liking anyway by adding or deleting items from the standard menu fare. What made this place different was their intentionality about allowing you choices and the variety of options at your disposal. All of the ingredients were probably in their kitchen anyway but listing them together allowed for some unexpected (and yummy!) combinations.

Can you adapt the principles behind this for your organization — creating a “menu” of options for your programs, resources, or services that is nothing more than what you could provide now, but packaged in a simultaneously more comprehensive and flexible manner? Building your own — even if it’s the same as others would have built for you — somehow makes it more attractive.

Tavern on France, Minneapolis

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