For thousands of years, the head of the table has broken bread to signal the commencement of a meal. Celebration, or feasting, is an important practice for high performing teams. Our latest activity explores the similarities between building teams and making bread.
With the popularity of TV shows like ‘The Great British Bake Off’, alongside concerns over additives in commercial loaves, the art of baking bread is back in vogue. The smell of freshly baked bread is captivating and many say the process of kneading therapeutic. Making bread is a simple process but one that requires patience and control.
We’ve identified many parallels between bread making and business, one is the stages of team development, first identified by Bruce Tuckman.
A group of people become a team when they are each selected and put together, much like the different ingredients being carefully mixed to form dough.
Initially differences between individuals emerge and the leader must work hard to wrestle with these issues. Similarly the kneading process requires persistent, unrelenting, physical manipulation of the dough to strengthen the gluten strands and give the bread structure.
Over time the differences between team members dissipate and the group starts to function as a cohesive unit. In bread making it’s essential to give the kneaded dough time to rest, during which time it rises.
Once the foundations are laid and there’s trust and a common purpose the team can perform, even under immense pressure. Correspondingly, as the dough is exposed to the heat of the oven in makes its final transformation into mouth-watering, aromatic nourishment.
“Bread – like real love – took time, cultivation, strong loving hands and patience. It lived, rising and growing to fruition only under the most perfect circumstances.” Melissa Hill, Something From Tiffany’s.
If you’d like to take part in this programme we are offering a limited number of complimentary places to the first teams to undertake this new brand activity. Please get in touch to check availability.