The concept of Lean Coffee originated in Seattle in 2009. The concept is kind of like Open Space: a group of people gather and have a structured, yet agenda-less meeting. The outcome: ideation that truly originates from the employees.
At Stride, we’ve adopted and adapted the concept of Lean Coffee. The idea was born out of our desire to get together in frequent intervals for short, effective discussions. We knew we didn’t want the time to be PowerPoint driven, and we also didn’t want it to be all about one, or a handful of people doing all the talking. What we were seeking was a way for any individual in the entire company to be heard. Here’s a peek into Lean Coffee at Stride:
We’ve exchanged command and control for coax and manipulate
You thought things were political before?
The irony of fostering autonomous and self-organizing teams is that it eventually negates the need for traditional management. This is a common pattern observed during re-orgs and “transformations”. Being savvy career-wise, management tries to adapt and in the process becomes even more spooky and political. It’s like parents transitioning from command and control to helicopter parenting. In some cases it is downright Orwellian.