Nothing quite compares to a good lunch and learn. Getting quality vendors and your people together is priceless. And please don’t forget the smell of wood fire pizza or maybe fresh dragon rolls catered in from the local sushi business from around the way. You watch the team pull out their phones to take pictures because social media proved that you were in attendance. Wait… where is the learning?
Often lunch and learns turn into just that – great memories, social media and product demos. The lunch and learn thing we wait all month for has turned into more of a social lunch. Can we flip the words and call it learn and lunch? How about the food being an afterthought and we get some real change from an awesome social gathering?
Here is how WE approach making an awesome event for the folks attending and the bottom line:
- First, like any good project, establish a Vision for the event. What do you expect to see as the result of everyone coming together? Better collaboration? New ideas? Increasing a specific skill? Establishing a simple focus for the event allows people to contribute to the outcome. It’s a great way to find volunteers to help set up the Lunch. Plus, it gives execs some idea of a Return on Expectations (or ROE), which can lead to a more impressive budget for you.
- Next, have a plan for follow-up. Lunch and Learn is often synonymous with flavor-of-the-month. To make a genuine impact, Identify a way to measure the impact of the initial Learning Event and have one or more touch points planned out for feedback from people that attended. Use one to three simple questions like, “Has this topic helped me do my job better? How?” That way, you get an idea of the effectiveness of your event (and maybe get an even better budget for next time).
- Lastly, get feedback on the topics that you are proposing. That may even be the topic of the next Lunch and Learn you run. Otherwise, surveying with a list of known issues can help get a good list of topics going and rank the importance to the organization. You will be respected for including the concerns of people that are frequently voiceless. Plus, the crowd sourced topics generally garner higher levels of engagement from the group.
But, don’t take my word for it. What have been some of your most successful Learn and Lunches? Post in the comment feed below.