Thursday, July 12, 2012

Jersey Jazzman: Reforminess: Impossible

Jersey Jazzman: Reforminess: Impossible:

Reforminess: Impossible

One of my guilty pleasures is the Food Network's Restaurant: Impossible. Jacked-up chef Robert Irvine comes into a lousy restaurant, yells a lot at the owner and staff, redecorates, and comes up with a new menu. The show always ends with a grand re-opening featuring lots of tears, happy costumers, and redeemed owners thanking Irvine for saving them from themselves.

It's my personal experience that people and institutions, including restaurants, very rarely change overnight. So I read this article about what happens to these places after the cameras leave with interest - and I had a thought that was related to education reform:
On its surface, “Restaurant: Impossible” is about the quintessentially American love of second chances and magic-wand makeovers. But the more you talk to owners who have been revamped, Chef Irvine-style, the more a deeper theme emerges: the myth of the management consultant.
Like all consultants, Mr. Irvine  parachutes in and reconfigures a business, bringing to bear