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Nice analogy, Margaret! Those who have read the excellent "Combat-Ready Kitchen" book about the effect military food research has had on us may remember some extremely relevant ingredient metrics. They derived and defined the precise percentages required to "engage" cooks. The differences in psychological engagement between instant food which creates no "ownership" of results and "home cooked" meals in which the chefs take pride was tested, measured and applied. Betty Crocker was the first to put the military research results to commercial use. Their mixes balanced the "from scratch" ideal with convenience, minimizing preparation time while avoiding the total disengagement of store-bought finished goods.

As we attempt to engage managers and other workers, we should note the differences between "not invented here" and "homemade" programs. Some are recipes for success. Some are readymade for failure. The secret may be in the process proportions.

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