Coming together to prepare, serve and share a meal is a basic, often overlooked, ritual that has always been with us. It is reflected in our festivals and our religions, marking our arriving and our passing, and everything in between, drawing us together in common purpose. When we break bread together, we are not only meeting our basic need for nourishment but also our deeper need for connection, ceremony and celebration.
From Beowulf to Birthday Party, Barbecue to Bacchus, this simple process of connection and re-connection is all around us. Except, it seems, in business, where eating at the desk, lonely sandwich in a plastic box, tepid coffee and a soggy pastry can be the norm.
From a leadership and contextual perspective, this simple act of bonding, sharing and discourse is worth exploring. There are business books about it; ‘Never Eat Alone: and Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time’ by Keith Ferrazzi would be one, but this truth has been known for much longer. As the Greek philosopher Epicurus (341- 270 BC) warned, “To eat and drink without a friend is to devour like the lion and the wolf.”
And this quote inspired a London-based theatre company, Unfinished Business, to create a free-flowing, dramatic experience predicated on participants contributing, creating, cooking, debating, and dining together. Taking a fundamental human need for sustenance and significance and making it into something even more remarkable. To see them in action, check out this video: https://vimeo.com/57674221
We are very excited to have been working with Leo and Anna from Unfinished Business to tailor this amazing, participatory, moving feast into a solution that helps project teams, work groups and Boards reach a much deeper level of discourse, trust, and shared understanding. The company is highly experienced in facilitating themed discussions catering to the client’s specific needs and ambitions and as anybody with a responsibility for leadership knows, quickly getting these raw ingredients into a high performance team in a memorable, sustainable way is much more than just the icing on the cake.