Preparing and enjoying a meal together has long been recognized as a way
for people to bond and socialize while also experiencing the joys and
frustrations of achievements and challenges. Think about the family
Thanksgiving feast or a "Big Chill" reunion dinner. Accomplishing tasks
while keeping the team intact go together to determine the success of the
Pairing over 20 years of food and wine experience with over 20 years of work
in industrial/organizational psychology, Jackson, Wong & Associates has
created a teambuilding experience using the kitchen as a theater for
learning. First, using a classroom setting and the results of a high quality
behavioral styles questionnaire, JWA teaches team members to understand
their roles and the impact their individual styles have on the group. Next,
the strengths and issues facing the team are highlighted through observation
of behaviors demonstrated during the kitchen session. Finally, the team
enjoys the fruits of its labor, a gourmet meal, while discussing the method
by which roles were assigned, goals were accomplished, and responsibilities
Prior to the session, each team member's personality is profiled through the
Birkman MethodT, a time-honored behavioral and motivational assessment tool.
The day begins with a classroom session personalized for each group, where
participants explore the dynamics, personality styles, strengths and
weaknesses of their particular team. Using in-depth information from the
assessment tool, team members are taught to understand the impact of their
individual styles on the group.
Next the cooking sessions - led by a Jackson, Wong and Associates
facilitator - highlight the strengths, weaknesses, and underlying issues
facing the team. As they interact, the facilitator helps members learn what
differences and similarities exist within the team and how members can
cohesively work together. When the meal is completed, the team enjoys their
creation while discussing which roles were assigned, how responsibility was
managed, and what goals were accomplished.
The Food for ThoughtTm
Program is designed to foster better understanding of each member's
personality and communication styles, which enables the group to overcome
friction and work more effectively together. Based on the assessment of the
group, recipes and group tasks are designed specifically to bring out
stresses or obstacles that mirror those of the workplace so that members can
readily see how they interact and how to improve their performance together.
Participants have unanimously agreed that the program dramatically improves
corporate synergy, and is also useful in understanding clients, friends,
spouses and family members. The kitchen setting provides a format quite
different from outdoor team-building programs which require physical fitness
and emphasize overcoming fears and developing trust.
The sessions are conducted at the Viking Culinary Arts Center, a
world-class teaching kitchen, state-of-the-art demonstration theatre and
retail shop for professional caliber cooking tools. The first two locations
are in Memphis and Nashville, with more locations planned for the future.
"The Viking Culinary Arts Center is the place for serious culinary
enthusiasts to go for new ideas, new tools and new cooking skills. It was
only natural for us to develop a world-class corporate training program
built around the cooking experience," explains Carol Daily, Managing
Director of the Viking Culinary Arts Center.
If you would like to learn how the Food For Thought Program can be
brought to you, or done at a one of the state of the art, Viking Facilities
- please contact us.
us for more information on this program. Just click on the
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Viking Range web site section on the program by clicking on their