The Making Of A Team
Study: Australia Post
many cooks strengthen the broth.
Post's, Business Process Analysis (BPA) Team, recently conducted
a Team Build that not only helped people in the team get to
know each other but gave them a different perspective on their
roles - all while 'slaving' over a hot stove at 7 o'clock
in the morning!
The team members
knew that a Team Build was scheduled for the day but only
the manager knew what the day would actually involve and with
an Agenda asking them to meet at work at 7am. Team members
had convinced themselves that they would be going sailing
for the day.
"When I told
them that we were going to be holding our Team Build in a
commercial kitchen, they were obviously disappointed. It was
obvious in their faces that this is not what they had in mind,"
The Team Leader
wanted to put her team in a situation where they didn't know
what they were doing - and booking them into a cooking class
seemed like the perfect solution. She, says, I thought - what
a perfect way to take people out of their
comfort zone, with the
bonus of enjoying
the end product at the end of the day."
There they were
greeted by the course coordinator, Tony Legg of SEA
LEGGS Corporate Team Building, who proceeded to give
them an OH&S induction and later introduced them to their
teacher, Chef Aaron. Tony presented the group with a whiteboard
and asked them to plan what they were going to do.
The Team Leader
explains: "We are dealing with a team of project managers,
so I don't think the chef was expecting the intensity with
which the team set to plan the work."
The team broke each
recipe down into preparation, cooking and resting times, and
then followed by breaking each down further into individual
tasks. They then proceeded to work out what time they wanted
to eat by, and worked backwards from there to allocate the
time needed. They add, "we received some amused glances
from people who walked past our
door. At the end
one and a half hours of planning, the
a GANTT chart with interdependencies and milestones."
At one stage, the
team decided that the planning phase was very important, but
that if they didn't get started soon they wouldn't be able
to meet their deadlines.
So they got to work
making the pasta dough needed for the tortellini and Andrew
took on the role of project
manager for the
day, ensuring that the team kept on track.
And it happened
that as they gained new cooking skills they learnt some valuable
individual and group lessons.
"At one stage
the project manager had to leave the room to use an ice-cream
making machine. When he returned he shared with us his feeling
of frustration at not being in the room to check on our progress.
We learnt here that 'we need to trust the person or persons
to whom delegate a task"
Another lesson came
during the day, when a team member put the prepared dough
aside to rest and started assisting others with their task.
Suddenly the filling for the tortellini was ready but the
pasta was still to be put through the pasta maker. They explain
: I forgot about it. Working in assisting others, and with
the dough out of sight, it slipped my mind, but another team
member jumped in to help. Although we ate a little later than
planned the quality of the food was fantastic."
the lessons weren't over she adds: "Once the group was
walking back to SSD, following lunch, we realised that we
had forgotten some potatoes in the oven. We had so much food
we didn't miss them,
but we learnt that 'things out of sight get forgotten."
team followed the morning out with a debrief, where they noted
4 Key Learning's
1. Quality control:
enforcing milestones, things out of sight get forgotten, accountability,
egos, goal congruence: people to be happy
to ask for advice,
backing each other up.
3. Importance of
planning and time Management.
4. Conflicting experts:
even experts had different opinions on how
to tackle the jobs.
The change of energy following the task was amazing, "one
hundred and eighty degrees from when we set out in the morning."
team has since then decided to go out for lunch at least once
a month and she adds, "even though they each still manage
their own projects I've seen how they now put up their hands
up to back each other up.
In some projects I'm
even asking all of them for their input,
we adopted brainstorming sessions. The team element
infamous Gantt Chart
in organising a Team Build can seek advice from:
Leggs Corporate Team Building
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