Business events, especially team building ones, are often very boring and quite irritating. You always get that one person that never shuts up, the one that always thinks he or she knows everything, a couple of "yes!" men (or women), and those that rock the boat. How is anyone supposed to eat, have fun, and accomplish the goals of the exercise? Well, here is a new approach, and it may just turn the usual team building exercise upside down. It is cooking. Here is how that all works out:
Each Team Is Assigned a Menu Item
Since the entire party or conference is going to eat what your team makes, everyone in each group has to be on task. Caterers or chefs are on duty to answer questions, but they do none of the prep. Everything each team needs to make the main course, side dishes, appetizers, hors doeuvres, drinks, and desserts is provided. The idea is to work together to make the perfect menu item per the instructions and recipes given.
Prep and Cook Times Are Given
In order to pull off making enough food for everyone present and make sure each course goes out on time, the prep and cook times are given. The most observant ones in the group will realize that the team has to coordinate each step, manage time wisely, and be organized enough that their food goes out at the exact time required on the invitations to dine. Time management and taking responsibility for tasks is essential to the success of this exercise.
Teams Plate and Set Food out For Everyone Else First
When your team members realize that everyone else's needs are satisfied first, and the team members eat last, that sticks with them (and you). It helps you to think about customers' or clients' needs first, and your personal needs second, which is how most businesses operate. If anyone on the team attempts to eat first, they forfeit the rest of their evening meal. (In real life, this looks a lot like getting fired and not being able to buy a meal!)
Cooking as a group is fun and challenging, but it is also a set of metaphors. Everyone in the kitchen is doing a part, and everyone is learning to work together. The know-it-alls realize they don't know everything. The leaders are completely lost because they have never cooked or baked. The "yes!" men are flexible in their tasks, and everyone else can emerge as stars and show their skills. At the end of the exercise, everyone gets to sample and eat what other teams cooked, and everyone gets fed. Ergo, another metaphor on how society, and business, work.
Contact a company like Lajollacooks4u for more information and assistance.