For the last few weeks, we’ve been having open-house company meetings each Saturday afternoon. It began a few weeks ago when one of the developers sent a email saying he wanted to talk about WiFi and the work he had done. Seeing the positive response, I decided to make it a weekly feauture with a small group each week sharing the work that they’ve been doing with the others. This helps make everyone aware of all that we are doing – and we are doing a lot of things for a company our size (40 people).
Last few Saturdays, we’ve added a twist to the sessions. After the presentation, everyone has to think for a few minutes and answer 2-3 questions (eg. what did you like about the software being developed, what are the 3 features you’d like to see, etc.) Then, everyone talks about what they’ve written. This converts passive observers into active participants. Just asking people a few questions means only a few answer. By getting them to write makes sure we get the opinion of everyone present. Most importantly, the presenters get a nice collection of ideas to think about.
Last Saturday, the session was on Emergic Freedom. The question: “What are the 3 things you like about the Thin Clients, and what are the three things you don’t like?” In the space of two hours, we had gotten lots of otherwise small (pain) points which had been largely ignored by both the users and the support team. It was a wonderful feedback session. As I told our team, “Individually, we may be good, but as a group, we can match the best in the world.” That is what the Saturday sessions are bringing out – the Power of the Collective.