Recipe for Success:  
The Viking Team-Building Experience

and Food For ThoughtT

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 meal.

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 managed.

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.

Contact us for more information on this program.  Just click on the contact us link below to go to the automated form.

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Also take time to visit the Viking Range web site section on the program by clicking on their logo below.