Meetings: Enter Lean Coffee
After seeing the team less engaged than I would like them to be in my staff meetings, I wanted to fix the problem. I didn’t become a leader to just create an environment where I didn’t want to work. I became a leader to create an awesome place to work, where contributor me would go all out!
I attended online meetings in the Lean Coffee format. I used this originally to network and meet other leaders.
A lean coffee meeting
- Meeting organizer creates a method where meeting participants can contribute ideas on a card and they can vote.
- Meeting participants write up items they want to discuss with others on a card.
- Everyone votes on cards.
- Meeting participants discusses cards with highest votes for a fixed duration. Typical duration: five or seven minutes.
- At the end of the time limit, participants vote whether to continue discussion or move onto next card.
- When discussion stops or participants vote to move on, discuss the next highest voted card.
I loved this format and each meeting was exciting for me. The total opposite of an agenda-driven meeting.
When I dug into the lean coffee format more, documentation stated there are companies that would have all meetings as a lean coffee.
Here, I thought lean coffee was for just socializing. The meeting format is applicable to… WORK?!
I get buy-in from the company’s Engineering Lunch & Learn on lean coffee before introducing the format to everyone.