The team that eats together

Published on
August 25, 2014
Chris Taylor
"Ideas are only valuable when applied."
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I wrote a post last fall about the importance of physical presence in our digital age. About the need for teams – even and especially virtual teams – to get together every now and then to share a meal, and discuss business and life beyond the daily transactions that fill our “normal” interactions. I stand by it.

In our own business it’s fascinating to watch the ebb and flow of energy and confidence during the year; the team galloping forward in lockstep in the months following a live event, and then flagging a little in the weeks leading up to the next one.

With our clients I see it as well, albeit on a less extreme scale. Those that use Actionable Workshops as a “lunch ‘n’ learn” format for their teams – meeting monthly to learn, discuss and break bread – see spikes in productivity and engagement. People are willing to work harder when they’re (a) connected to a sense of forward momentum and (b) feel connected to their peers.

Startups do this well, even if they’re not intentional about it. It’s totally normal for team members of an early stage business take a “break” for a meal. They’re still talking about the business, but the nature of the conversation changes; moving to a place of strategy and big-picture problem solving. Those “time outs” (preferably with food) provide a break from the norm; generating new ideas, stronger relationships and realigning objectives. Point 1 for the little guys.

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