Companies cooked “a La Mantìa”

filippolamantiaStories are powerful tools for education, participation, and activation. And we, who by trade ferry people and companies towards the future and excellence, use them willingly and often. Last Friday I managed one of these formative moments and I listened, together with the participants, to Filippo La Mantìa telling us about the way in which he has discovered and developed what he is today. And how “taking care” of one’s passion and realised dream is a daily commitment.
For those who do not know him, Filippo La Mantìa is a famous chef – appreciated, loved, followed. With a very personal approach: he does not define himself as a chef, but as a host and cook. And he has Sicily on his plates and in his heart.
His story is incredible, fascinating, profoundly human, light and deep, all at the same time. One of those that resonate in you, make you smile, think, wonder and identify with. It is also one of those stories that affirms the richness of an approach to life that Filippo doesn’t split into personal and professional, a unique perspective that multiplies value and wellbeing, one that should be restored in companies – well beyond the current “smart working” solutions. In fact, Filippo La Mantìa’s story is very stimulating when reflecting on company experience and dimensions.
Listening to him share his way of understanding and treating food and cooking, choosing or excluding ingredients, watching him live preparing a magnificent couscous, I was hit by a few flashes of inspiration – a company cooked the “La Mantìa” way.
It would be a company where people are expected to be themselves as much as possible, to know how to recognise and express their own qualities. A company that doesn’t love sautéed, overly elaborate cooking methods, organisational or technological cages and gimmicks which can block the birth of talent, instinct, positive energy.
A company, in short, where one of the values is everything raw.
It would be a company committed to researching all possible mixes between objectives, processes, people, ways of working, a mix in which to boldly combine real, raw flavours, in order to develop quick solutions, unusual results or even just to give added value to an already experienced and consolidated outcome.
Therefore, a company that has a mixer on the CEO’s desk, who isn’t scared of mixing, mixing and mixing.
It would be a place without recipes, but where one works on feeling. Like Filippo, who cannot think of giving a quantitative perimeter to what he puts into his own creations.
Talent yes, experience as well, but also courage, trust in one’s own potential, willingness and the capacity to stay outside of the box, even if excellent. In a company cooked a La Mantìa rigour is important, but in other ways, not so much in measuring. It is in the fundamental focus and authenticity of looking at every client as if they were the first, in always knowing the meaning of what is being done, in finding the right angle to discover and eliminate virtually invisible signs of sloppiness, much like tell-tale fingerprints on a highly polished glass table.
The companies that we know, because we have inhabited them, and visit them regularly in professional capacity, are complex places, where there is often a reality of constraints and necessity that can only allow for restricted spaces for potential individual expression and out-of-the-box thinking. But just as often there is also inertia, resistance, difficulty seeing possible new avenues, especially concerning how to involve people in corporate life. Deep down, sautéed has always been a favourite… why change?
Filippo responded to this question without taking an ideological stand, but naturally expressed a concept that we like: because there was another way, and that way better represents me.
The fresh and intense scent of the couscous prepared by Filippo awoke me from my thoughts. I truly think we’re going to visit his restaurant in Milan: just for professional reasons obviously, to further investigate ingredients and dishes of a company cooked a La Mantìa.
Letizia Migliola, co-founder di Evidentia