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The New York Times - Business Diary; When You're Cooking More Than a Meal
The New York Times
By Aaron Donovan
Who says too many cooks spoil the broth? Not the 11 office supervisors at the law firm Bingham Dana, who just participated in a "Corporate Culinary Team Building Workshop" conducted by Loyalty Factor, a Boston consulting firm.
The goal of the session was to have the supervisors, who are not lawyers, build stronger relationships in casual settings, said Dianne Durkin, president of Loyalty Factor, which has offered cooking workshops since April. "People said to me, 'What I learned about these guys I would have never learned in the office or in a sit-down dinner, because we usually talk business,' " she said.
While the workshops are held in kitchens, they -- like many programs meant to foster bonding among co-workers -- are intended to build workplace skills. "Preparing a gourmet meal is similar to running a company or a department," Ms. Durkin said. "Everybody's doing their own thing, but in the big picture everyone comes together to build success."
The team from Bingham Dana put together a French meal for itself featuring filet de boeuf. It was 15 minutes late. "Dessert was taking longer in the oven," Ms. Durkin explained.
Still, the group members, who came from offices in Boston, New York and Washington, say they now have better ties, said Toni Belding, director of operations at Bingham Dana. "I have a very strong team," she said. "It was a way of building further on that and integrating some folks from other offices who we've been dealing with for many years but some of whom we have never met before." Not to mention quelling hunger.
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