Aligning your high-performing cooks in the kitchen.

Uncategorized Jul 20, 2020

By Katie Fabel, Business Development Manager @ Huddle. 

This year’s Masterchef Australia All-stars have shown us first hand that when presented with the same brief, they all have unique working styles and approaches to produce creative outcomes.

We’ve seen workplaces move towards more flexible arrangements for a while now, slowly steering from the standard 9-5 to adapt to the outcomes required of each role. Even more-so recently with the move from the majority of our offices to home, these circumstances have acted as a catalyst to experiment with new ways of working. We now have more space to have these conversations with our teams and intentionally design how we might do our best work, factoring in life’s other necessities while we’re at home.

Some of the things to consider are your most productive hours; when to collaborate, and when to knuckle down with uninterrupted work? Are you actually a night owl and find your most creative hours hit in the afternoon? Maybe you’ve noticed that you thrive in an open office, and have worked out a way to have those serendipitous conversations with colleagues over video apps like Discord.

One thing we do know is that in this time while many of us are working from home, there aren’t as many accidental occurrences in our days. There is a greater need to be more deliberate about uncovering how we do our best work, and how we best balance this with the essential design constraints of our roles. How might we reassess our creative approaches to work, both individually and as a team?

Creative work happens when individuals are enabled to champion their own unique qualities. When we consider individual styles of working, we also have the opportunity to consider how these traits come into play as a team. Back to Masterchef, Callum’s use of strategy and calm composure makes watching him feel safe and steady. He chips away in the background and works miraculously to get things done without fuss. Poh’s approach is often emergent and down to the wire, cooking straight from the heart. She is driven by her instinct and is open to iterating her dish as a result of other design constraints, such as time. Whose style do you resonate most with?

Teams require a range of roles, ways of working and being to fill when working on a project or business challenge. Having this range is essential to the creation and growth of a great team. We all have preferences; some of us lean towards Poh’s method, others thrive when our inner Callum is given full rein. As we saw last night, Emelia's calm emphasis on perfection, and her tried and true technique won the competition. Sometimes what the team requires is to move beyond our preferences to factor in a bit of Reynold’s experimentation, or Laura’s specialist expertise. People in smaller teams can develop their skills and communication around shifting between roles to ensure a balanced way of working and great outcomes.

Knowing our own preferences and that we can all work in other ways is useful information to design for them; for both a team and as an individual. We don’t all work in a Masterchef kitchen (thank goodness!) but the skills and flex required there are something we can learn from.

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