Johanna Rothman offers some thoughtful ideas on the value of lunch meetings.
The quality of the conversation over lunch tends to be richer, especially when people take a full hour for lunch. Lunch is free peer consulting across the organization and offers the possibility for technical problem-solving at its finest.
Her entry is a response to a brief piece published in the blog Incipient Thoughts. There, Laurent Bossavit suggests that “what happens at lunch has always been an index into the health of a team, and its relation to the rest of the business.”
Primarily, I find that if I’m excluded from lunch most times, that’s a good clue that I’m not fitting in very well with the team; but there are other clues. Do the developers always stick together, never to be found at the same table as the people in sales? Is everyone having lunch by him or herself, in particular buying cheap sandwiches and eating at their desks? Is there a huge contrast between the manager’s lunch and the rest of the employees? Are people very set in their ways, always eating in the same places and with the same tablefellows, or do they value variety?
Add a comment describing how you and your colleagues do lunch where you work. And me? I’m heading downstairs now to Delmonico’s for my lunch now.