This beautiful metaphor on cooking and learning was sent to me (And a thousand other people) in an e-mail from Elliot Masie. For me, it describes exactly how a training experience should be.
Cooking and learning are almost exactly alike in that you can do everything correctly from the technical perspective and still come up with something mediocre. As long as you follow all the steps and don’t tinker with the ingredients the output won’t kill anybody but it might not make them want to come back for seconds. On the other hand each –if structured properly– leaves the opportunity for surprise and delight: you connect the new learning with old knowledge in an unexpected way, or you decide to throw a handful of lavender into the pan with the beef even though the recipe didn’t tell you to. You may never be able to duplicate that dish but your dinner guests will want to come back for whatever you make next time.
– Ron Dickinson, Intel Communications