Helping a group of young people understand how they like to work best and
how they can work effectively as a team.

What an amazing day. It helped me to understand myself and my team better. I've got some great ideas for moving forward.

Apprentice Chef, Fifteen Cornwall

The challenge

Each year the Fifteen restaurant in Cornwall, part of Jamie's Oliver's groundbreaking social enterprise, takes a group of 16-24 year olds and gives them the support and guidance they need to make a fresh start. The restaurant is passionate about its people and what they can achieve with the right support. Fifteen asks us to work with the apprentices to help them develop their strengths, individually and as a team.

We work with each year's intake at Fifteen and they are always sessions like no other we do. Fifteen's trainees say it like it is - they aren't a typical group of high-fliers from a typical company. These are young people who haven't been conditioned to sit and listen dutifully if they're bored, like a lot of us have been who work in business. At Tinder-Box always we try and make learning experiential, so we don't use many slide decks and we like to think on our feet, tailoring the coaching to the reaction in the room. This approach really suits Fifteen, where everything is there to be challenged. We need to continually earn their attention, which is as it should be.

Our approach

In practice

We always spend time with the team - individually and as a group - using 'Insights', a colour-based preference profiling system. It gives them the ability to understand themselves a bit better and how they like to work. Are they people who like to get things done at speed? Or do they like to stand back and consider a bit more? Do they like lots of interaction or to work on their own? This work lets them find out. It's an insight into their team members' personalities and the chance to use this knowledge to build stronger relationships both in the kitchen and outside of it. In a traditionally male environment like a restaurant kitchen, with plenty of testosterone and a few wind-up merchants, this can make all the difference!

The team gets to realise how they work together and, crucially, each of them understands that their own way of working is perfectly fine. It breaks down any belief there is a single, fixed 'type' that they must conform to. It also helps with improving the team dynamic. Starting to help them understand how they can all get along effectively is a crucial step in their development.

The results

If we could find a way to plug these guys into the National Grid, we could solve the global energy crisis. They make the rest of us look half-asleep.

About Fifteen Cornwall

Fifteen Cornwall is part of a global social enterprise, founded by Jamie Oliver with a clear mission - empower those who deserve a second chance in life. It aims to inspire people through food, whether it's the apprentice chefs in its kitchen or the diners in its restaurant.  View website