Ken Cooke - Mise En Place


Ken Cooke is a Capability Consultant at a big Australian corporation, where he has worked for over 17 years. Day to day he supports all the training needs for the function he supports, a positioned that he pursued for eight years. Prior to this he traveled the world working as a chef.

Ken has been a mentor and friend the past ten years, which makes this a great episode with two friends deconstructing key moments through conversation.

Pivotal Moment 1: Training as Chef

·      Why a Chef?

·      The learning processes to be effective in a kitchen.

·      The link to the travel bug.

Pivotal Moment 2: The five year plan of travel.

·      Escaping from Nambour.

·      Grandma’s influence.

·      The first opportunity to travel and work overseas.

·      Priorities, travel over career and a supportive boss.

Pivotal Moment 3: Becoming a career Chef

·      A promotion after four weeks.

·      The opportunity to take a career more seriously.

·      The decision to move home and pursue the career.

·      The grind of being in hospitality.

Pivotal Moment 4: The travel bug resurfaces.

·      The decision to leave the industry.

·      Looking to combine travel and career.

·      Bootstrapping a career as a travel agent.

·      The impact of 250 rejections.

·      The learning’s of failure.

Pivotal Moment 5: Taking a job as a means to an end

·      Taking a job for the money, and enjoying the lack of accountability.

·      The behaviors from hospitability and youth shining through.

·      Making a career out of the job.

Pivotal Moment 6: Learning and Development as a career

·      The impact of a mentor to take on a new career.

·      The appeal of a ‘white collar’ pathway.

·      The value of transferable skills.

·      Session one, disaster recovery and coming back for more.

Pivotal Moment 7: Building Capability

·      Practice, practice practice.

·      The mentor that helped lay out the pathway.

·      Treating everyone experience as if it was the first.

·      Best practice training cementing the learned skills.

Pivotal Moment 8: Becoming an appointed Learning and Development professional

·      The false start from an expression of interest.

·      A new mentor with a new influence.

·      The opportunity to travel, train and see Australia.

·      Going pro with full accountability.

Pivotal Moment 9: What’s kept Ken for another ten years?

·      The motivation of helping people learn.

·      Keeping the training technic growing and expanding.

·      Leadership training and opportunity.

·      The appeal of constant change.

·      The direct impact on the workplace.

·      Returning back to learning and development, and the downside of baby-sitting.

Ken’s Advice: I don’t know what I want to be, but I know it’s not this?

·      You can renovate your house, or you can move.

·      Choose one, and pursue it relentlessly.

·      Leave no door unopened or room unsearched.

Ken’s 10 min Activity: Find your mindset

·      When you’re faced with a problem.

·      Step back, and review what happened to you.

o   What went well?

o   What didn’t go well?

o   What can I change?

·      Review these the evening of, and the next day.