Culture eats strategy for breakfast and no one is having lunch …

Some people attribute the quote connecting culture and breakfast to Peter Drucker. Others do not.

What everyone seems to agree upon, irrespective of where it originated from, is that ‘the culture’ of an organization is going to determine how much ‘different’ you can ultimately drive.

Which brings me neatly to today’s post.

Lunch Roulette - the awesome-web-based-engineered-randomness-solution - is only useful if it’s used. It’s only useful if you have a culture that lunch (or a scheduled break of some kind) is an expected part of the day. Turns out, especially in the US, this isn’t always a guarantee.

This was nicely explored in a recent piece posted on ‘The Salt’ at NPR. Most folks, do not lunch away from their desks.

How bonkers is that? Surrounded by people working at the same company, on stuff that somehow connects in the service of the bigger picture, and no one wants to have lunch and talk about it …

All this, despite exhortations from innovation 'gurus’, human resources and networking professionals regarding the power of finding someone new to talk to. Don’t believe me? Here’s Reid Hoffmann on the importance of ‘Network Intelligence’. To borrow a nice quote from slide 27:

“When your employees share what they learn from the people in their network (about technologies, competition, talent), they help you solve key business challenges faster.”

Simple as that.

Make it as easy as possible for your employees to connect - have a think about setting up a Lunch Roulette instance; we’ll also work with you to create a cultural norm around taking a break and letting the mind wander in productive and beneficial ways. At least we’ll try, we both know there are no guarantees.

Thanks for listening,



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Serendipity as engineered randomness

Last year Greg Lindsay wrote a wonderful piece for the New York Times that described how a number of organizations were seeking to ‘engineer serendipity’ - either through modifying their physical workspaces, or by instituting processes... Continue →