Cooking up an original team building day for Alstom Grid

Alstom Grid asked us to put together a memorable team building day with a clear business objective.

The brief

Alstom Grid approached us looking for an innovative and memorable team building day for 22 project engineers.

These engineers work under pressure to strict deadlines and so the day needed to hone these skills, but be original and enjoyable.

Our solution

Making use of the industry-standard training kitchens and fine dining restaurant at the Devonshire Dome, we came up with the idea of holding a cooking challenge.

All 22 project engineers would need to work together to prepare, plan and cook a 3-course meal, including laying the table.

The business aim of the day was made clear in an introduction and was reinforced in a final debrief - to use their skills of communicating and working under pressure, to achieve a team task by a set deadline.

The team was given ingredients but no menu, so they had to decide what to create as a starter, main and dessert.

They received training on using the kitchen and restaurant facilities and were also assisted by a qualified chef.

The engineers also had to decide how to organise the task. They chose to break into 4 teams - a team for each course (starter, main, dessert) and another team that worked on making bread, laying the table and acting as runners for the other 3 teams. They also appointed an overall project manager.

After producing the meal - successfully and on time! - the engineers and facilitators sat down together to enjoy it and network.

The day was so successful that Alstom Grid decided to hold a similar event for its senior managers.

"We have run two very successful cooking events with the University and both have been great fun. They enabled us to pull out lots of learning, further develop our relationships and enjoy a brilliant meal."

David Kirby, Learning and Development Manager, Alstom Grid