Blog Post

Random Beer Collaborations

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 25 June 2014



Random Beer Collaborations
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Knowledge LetterAppears in the Gurteen Knowledge Letter issue: 168
Posted DateWednesday 25 June 2014 21:04 GDT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen

As many of you know, I have been spreading the word far and wide about Randomized Coffee Trials (RCTs) and so I am delighted when ever I hear that my efforts have yielded some results.

Sunita Anderson, Head of KM - Group Commercial at SABMiller (the brewing company) mailed me recently to tell me that she and Sara Bell were both at the February Henley Forum and heard me talk about RCTs and this inspired the birth of their Random Beer Collaborations (RBCs). Naturally beer is SABMiller's beverage of choice and at their offices they have a bar area that serves their brands of beer from 4:30pm every day!

The RBC process is a simple one. This is how Sunita describes it:
  • We created a group on Yammer and through this, internal comms and physical posters we announced the launch of RBC, inviting people to sign up by posting #pairmeup on the Yammer group.

  • Sara and I randomly paired people up making sure that they did not belong to the same Function. We keep a log on a simple excel spreadsheet.

  • They are introduced by email and then encouraged to make their own ‘meet up' arrangements. They are not compelled to drink beer – they could meet up earlier in the day over a coffee. Whatever works best for them.

  • Early days yet but we have asked the pairs to feedback on their sessions via the Yammer group. If new ideas have come up as a result of this collaborative conversation, we hope that they will share these and we have offered a prize to the best idea.

I am now looking forward to hearing stories about Random Tea Learnings, Random Water Sharings and Random Fruit Juice Innovations!

Oh I forget to mention, the Bank of England has a form of RCTs they call CoffeeFours where four people meet up once a month for conversation. There are all sorts of different ways of running these things.

Give them ago, the cost is minimal and the potential outcomes high.

If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership
David Gurteen

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