5. Feb, 2022

Tea for 2 and Coffee for 3 ...

Tea and Coffee picture found on Pixabay

Back in Oct-2020 we did start with a new meeting format to support the OneTeam initiative and mindset. Everybody in the organization who was supporting the Data & Analytics environment had been in scope for OneTeam. People in Finance, IT, Operations, two teams in India and the new colleagues who joined our company with the latest M&A activity. ~350 people from different countries, cultures and mindsets. The former randomly happening coffee-corner or water-cooler meetings had to be transformed into a virtual meeting setup due to COVID-19.

Two people who know each other invite a 3rd person only known by one of the two and adding Tea to the title of the meeting series, explains the name pretty well. With kind of a snowball system everybody should participate in one of the meetings during 2 - 3 cycles. The 82nd meeting is scheduled for next week Tuesday and by then we had 140 different people participating in this meeting series. Did not go as fast as initially planned or hoped for, BUT it is always a great experience, an opportunity to learn something new and a lot of fun. It normally just takes 5 minutes or less, to find a topic that all have in common and drives the meeting forward.

As in the coffee-corner meetings the participation is randomly in most cases, giving e.g. new joiners the opportunity to grow their network or to bring people together who are living in different countries or would not meet at the same location. Just two examples from this week.

In the 1st example I had two people who did come to Germany for their new jobs, one from South America and the other one from South Africa. The common theme, pain point or area of interest - depending on your view point - was how to behave at the supermarket checkout counter in Germany 🤔. When you are used to people packing your groceries at the end of the counter, the German system could be a "new experience". There is little space behind the checkout and you have to be really fast. One of the collegues did share the following video with me describing the experience in the supermarket 🤩👍, I can feel it. One more example with a none German perspective on supermarkets.  

2nd example with two colleagues from India, who both had similar career steps so far. One was a new joiner the other one is already several years with us. Cricket was the common theme, not really surprising 😎. One was playing actively the other one just watching the games. As I am not the expert in the game, I wanted to know the differences between Cricket and Baseball. For outsiders it might look similar, but it is not. See two articles covering the differences:

  • Difference Between Cricket and Baseball (And Some Similarities!)
  • Baseball vs. Cricket

Another interesting topic was the location of the two guys. Our company campus location is in Pune, but most of the workers did go back to their home towns and families during the COVID-19 times. One guy for example was 18 hours by train away from the campus. By middle of 2022 they expect to go back the campus for 2 - 3 days per week, what means they have to go back to Pune, as a 18 hour commute is no option 🙃. 

In summary - Tea for 2 and Coffee for 3 is a great experience and worth spending the time.

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