Cooking Up a Feast of Team Building

The key ingredient in all successful teams is first rate communication, and where better to talk and listen than in a kitchen doing some cooking together. When the kitchens are in a stunning Cotswold cottage location it’s about as good as it can get.

Graduate Development - Quest has been working with a particular client from the engineering sector now for over four years, and is delighted to play a part in their highly successful Graduate Development programmes. For the past few years the kick-off for those programmes has been a two day team development offsite, with key team-skill workshops forming the background, and a Quest Recipe for Success cooking session providing the experiential element. 

Team Workshops - All of the graduates that join this organisation have a number of teams of which they will instantly become a part. They will join teams in the workplace and be expected and encouraged to play a full and involved part of that team from the start. They will be a part of the wider team that constitutes the whole company, and they will themselves be a small team of similar people all new to a huge multi-national organisation. That last element is key in that one of the purposes of running graduate development programmes is to provide a support network of which the graduates immediately become a part. Before that can happen, some theory, discussion and practice about what makes high performing teams is crucial, and this is where the workshops come to the fore. Window Pane or Human Shield exercises usually get the workshops started and MBTi behavioural analysis is regularly used to help the graduates understand more about themselves and their colleagues.

The Right Ingredients - Mark Twain said “Part of the secret to success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.”  On a Recipe for Success team build Quest gives each team a cash budget to buy all their own food and ingredients at local shops. However, there is a twist: Quest provides the key ingredient for each team, for example these graduates were divided into three small teams and a choice of Sea Bass, Duck Breasts and Pork Tenderloin were provided. Which teams had the first and second choice of the three was decided via an ingenious taste test and the now famous Egg White Challenge!

The Proof is in the Pudding - The morning workshop before cooking, and indeed the workshop sessions that take up most of the following day after Recipe for Success deal with lots of theory about behaviour and team performance. The beauty of combining those sessions with an experiential element that is as easy to observe as cooking, is that what is discussed comes to life and there is little if anything that the delegates can do to hide it. Their behaviours, and the way they innately prefer to interact with others is clearly demonstrated and provides a wealth of material on which to base self-led reflection and discussions the following day.

Eat Drink & be Merry - All three teams produced some wonderful food and one managed to exceed the requirement of at least three courses with a delicious amuse-buche. On this occasion, not only did they cook for their team and the facilitators, but Chef too, a daunting task, which they all took on with style.

Yet again, a highly successful team building experience.



Programming by Switch Systems

Team Building, Development and Business Training Events across the UK and Europe