Office Psychology – Let your people add an egg

The story of cake mix is a good lesson that strongly resonates with me when I think about office psychology.

In the 1950’s, General Mills, under Betty Crocker brand, created the perfect product : a cake mix where all ingredients were in the package, including milk and eggs in powdered form. Housewives only had to add water, mix it all together, and stick the pan in the oven. Fantastic product, isn’t it!

The perfect product failed. Why?

Since the housewives were not investing any time or effort in the process, they didn’t develop any sense of ownership. In simple words, it brought them no joy/fulfillment to prepare such an easy cake.

General Mill changed the recipe so that housewives could bring more value to the preparation by adding some fresh eggs to the cake mix. By putting this effort in the preparation of the cake, they felt more proud of the final product.

Source: Psychology Today

betty crocker advertsiment for cake mix 1950s

Apply this simple psychology concept in the office


Sometimes you may think that it’s easier, simpler, more efficient to prepare the work in advance so that your team only needs to execute. That’s ok if you work with robots. If you work with people that you value and care for, you need to create the spark to help them take ownership and find meaning in what they are doing. Let your people contribute! Let your people add their egg to the cake!

It could be as simple as letting them prepare a roadmap for an initiative, comment on a document or presentation, participate in scheduling activities, make suggestion on how to optimize a process etc.


Not only your team will feel good about their contribution, feel valued and recognized, develop a sense of ownership, they will also bring some relevant comments and valuable feedback. It’s a real WIN.


If you want to read more about how to improve ownership in your teams, check out this older post How can you get more engagement in your team with TOFU?


Want to be a better leader? Check out the latest #beBetter posts !


If you liked this post, spread the word, make sure to share it!

On This Sheep is Orange, I regularly write about Women in Business & Leadership. If you want get inspired by female leaders and learn new skills to be remarkable in the workplace, simply enter your email below and follow the blog. And don’t miss the free hands-on guide!

download the free guide 10 common mistakes women do in the workplace and how to avoid them

Become Orange, Follow the blog !
Join the community of like-minded Women in Business & Leadership who are receiving the monthly blog newsletter.
This blog is a passion, not a business. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else and you can unsubscribe anytime.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.