Your team members are like ingredients. To make a tasty dish, you need to promote good team dynamics.
Good learning, like good cooking, is within reach for everyone. That’s part of our philosophy and the philosophy behind New York Times best-selling author and celebrated chef Samin Nosrat’s culinary approach. “Whether you’ve never picked up a knife or you’re an accomplished chef, there are only four basic factors that determine how good your food will taste,” Nosrat explains. “Salt, which enhances flavor; fat, which amplifies flavor and makes appealing textures possible; acid, which brightens and balances; and heat, which ultimately determines the texture of food.”
The mastery of these essential elements is the backbone of Nosrat’s approach to teaching, and the success of her book and the series it inspired relies on the same process of discovery. Part of her practice is helping people learn how to work with elements that when manipulated properly, make any dish a delicious one.
What some people fail to realize in both learning and cooking is just because you follow a recipe exactly, or have the right learning model, doesn’t mean you’re going to end up with a delicious dish or measurable results in your company. If you think of teams as ingredients, it’s easy to see how they’re all unique. The ingredients you’re working with are likely not the same ingredients listed in your cookbook. Each member of a team brings with them a unique blend of backgrounds and experiences that inform their skills and behaviors. Embracing the complexity of the learner’s world, like understanding how salt and fat work together in a recipe, and adjusting learning as necessary can make all the difference.
How Team Dynamics Affects Outcomes
Extensive research has been conducted on the complexity of team dynamics and the specific constructs within their development. “Conceptually, team dynamics are embedded within team performance and comprised of a set of these interrelated attitudes, shared behaviors, and cognitions, all of which contribute to the dynamic processes of performance,” writes Dr. Jennifer Feitosa. “These behaviors, attitudes and cognitions are in part what makes teamwork an adaptive, dynamic, and episodic process that is instrumental toward being able to achieve a common goal.”
The same can be said about successful training and impactful learning experiences. We call it “cookbook thinking.” Following by-the-book training models just because they may have worked for someone else doesn’t mean they’re the recipes for success. Leaders make the mistake of thinking that by following these recipes exactly, they’ll get the same gorgeous results laid out in the glossy pages of the cookbook, or training model.
How We Help You Balance Your Ingredients
Nosrat’s methods are successful because they don’t overcomplicate the art of cooking; she embraces the complexity of how ingredients come together and simply explains these elements for everyone to enjoy. Similarly, JMReid Group understands that organizational behavior change happens within an ecosystem of drivers that must be managed as an interdependent system. We appreciate how the particularities of context help define the complexity of an ecosystem.
Just as Samin Nosrat looks at how each ingredient helps or hinders a dish, we’re able to see which drivers support and enable desired behavior, and which are barriers to desired change. It’s all about finding the right balance and recognizing the sweet spot between tried and true models, and following what feels right in the moment. Not every meal has to be a lavish one, but if all you eat day in and day out is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich… you’re going to start to wonder what else is out there.
Through understanding how each ingredient works together to make or break a recipe, chefs begin to appreciate the complexity of salt, fat, acid, and heat. Apply this to our approach and you’ll see how JMReid Group appreciates the context of the learner, taps into the wisdom they bring to the room, and engages our participants. Successful learning allows for the discovery of what unique teams bring to the table, and how their complexities work together to make something delectable.