Corporate team building activities vary widely, some good and some ridiculous.
A ‘hot new trend’ in corporate team building has been using cooking as the activity. Does it work?
The answer to that lies in how it is facilitated.
There is an inherent value in the activity because you are working on one of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs — the bottom of the triangle, Hunger. Now, we are not talking about the kind of hunger we witness on TV that is happening around the world with starving children, obviously.
And yet, making meals and eating together deals with one of our most basic needs.
Additionally, being close to one another and ‘building’ something, regardless of what it is, provides an opportunity for coming closer together.
However, opportunities are meaningless unless you take advantage of them. Cooking as a team building activity is still about the process.
Examining the process after the activity is absolutely essential to taking advantage of a team building opportunity. Sitting down, eating and discussing what happened during the process of ‘building’ dinner.
If you are thinking about this kind of activity and using the opportunity for learning, make sure you hire a professional facilitator or have someone qualified to lead the small group discussion.
Simply going to a culinary academy or restaurant with a professional chef may help make them better cooks, but not better with each other. In the end, what is your goal?
Here is an interesting article that was written if you want to read more about Culinary Team Building:
We use cooking team building in a very different way and always connect it to the community.