I leave tomorrow for Calgary, to prepare for an all-day Secrets of Championship Barbecue Workshop on Thursday for a group of corporate managers with a big oil company.
The idea is to split them into teams of four or five and then spend the day training them in the ways of championship barbecue. At the end of the workshop, each team will be judged by a panel of six of their peers using the rules of the Kansas City Barbecue Society. We'll give out prizes to the winning teams and end the day, capping things off with a Southern-style barbecue feast and a live bluegrass band.
The company I'm doing this with is big on safety. In addition to the teambuilding aspect of the event, they're also taking the opportunity to use the workshop as a safety risk evaluation exercise. We'll be discussing the various hazards involved in the workshop (knife handling, live fires, biohazard from raw chicken, sunburn, excessive alcohol consumpion) and how they can be mitigated before the session begins.
I'll start the day with a lecture on knife safety. I will also remind the participants of the high risks involved in not drinking. Sobriety and barbecue don't mix.
For me, barbecue is the ultimate metaphor for life. It's a greasy prism through which we can all see the world in a new, smoke-tinted light.
Metaphors and analogies are one of the most powerful tools in corporate communications, and I think we should use them more often. They make information, well, tastier.