Bringing a gun to a knife fight

We’ve been away two years, and that’s the headline we decide to rock up with?

Oh dear.

So much has happened in the last two years that it’s just not practical to go into any of it in any detail, needless to say Lunch Roulette continues to grow, and we continue to be fascinated by the conditions that can help people come together in the service of something bigger than themselves.

What prompted us to break out of our blogging stupor I hear you grunt? Follow along Dear Reader, follow along …

“Dear Lunch Roulette! Amazing service, just heard about you at a conference, excited to try you out, …”

We receive a lot of these notes on any given week and let me say right off the bat, we love them. It’s super nice receiving a little unbidden missive from someone who is excited you might be able to help them. Let’s read on.

“… we’re a team of 25 people … ”

Oh no.

There it is.

It’s just not going to work.

You start to tell me about how fast you’re growing, or that you’re the number one maker of something in the sector you compete in, but we’re afraid we already know. It’s not going to work at all and it’s not you. It’s us.

Let me explain.

Our solution is most useful for larger organizations who are looking to make cross-functional collaboration a part of their DNA through repeated practice of ‘engineered randomness’. As a rule of thumb, if you have fewer than 50 people, and you’d like them to meet less than a handful of times, all you need is a spreadsheet, and someone to help code some exclusion rules.

As you know, we’re scrupled, so we’re not going to try and up-sell you on this. We’ve given this advice so many times, it felt like a blog was in order. Bringing us full circle. So, if you’re a smaller organization here’s some helpful pointers from your supporters at Lunch Roulette:

  1. Before you do anything, get some senior leaders to support the activity. Have them make it clear why getting to know people you don’t already is crucial for innovation and a healthy company culture. Have them also make it clear that it’s a muscle to build and flex, and not a one-and-done sort of activity. If you’re building a company with curious people, this won’t even need to be said (although it’s good to reaffirm if it’s how you want people to behave), and if you’re not building a company with curious people, you probably have bigger problems, so I’d stop reading this and get on with thinking about that …
  2. Set some organizational intention behind #1. Meeting people, even if you’re curious, is weird. It shouldn’t be, but it is. You can lift that burden a little by setting it up so that everyone’s ‘experiencing the weird’ together - then it’s less weird, ‘cos everyone’s doing it …
  3. The bookkeeping is the easiest bit. If you’ve gotten #1 and #2 under control, use your email system and a ledger of sorts to keep track of the trajectories people are on.

Obviously, if you’re more than 50 people this’ll quickly become a massive nightmare logistically - hence Lunch Roulette, but before that, the above should stand you in good stead.

As always, thanks for listening,



Now read this

In which the authors share what they might, um, share in the future

As you may know, Lunch Roulette is a super simple web-based process for fostering serendipity in the workplace. Over lunch. The idea for Lunch Roulette is so deceptively simple that it almost appears dumb. Except it really isn’t. And it’... Continue →