Every Wednesday morning I drive down to Kakao Coffee in the South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle and learn from a panel of esteemed “professors” for free at Lean Coffee.
The experience is nearly always amazing, when it’s not amazing it’s merely great. The mechanics of this meeting are deceptively simple: write ideas on stickies and then talk about them.
The facilitation tools are cheap sticky notes and sharpies. The “professors” take time out of their busy days as practicing coaches, consultants, project managers, testers, programmers, authors, university professors, and entrepreneurs from diverse fields ranging from software development to health care.
We almost always walk away with powerful new insights into very serious and complex life challenges. Topics vary from how to identify and overcome our own cognitive biases to how to facilitate enterprise lean organizational transformation. No one person has the answers but as a collaborative group we’re far greater than the sum of our parts.
Jim Benson and Jeremy Lightsmith founded this powerful convergence in 2009 and due to busy travel schedules attend rarely. Another testament to the power of this thing is the fact that it quickly became a self-sustaining community of practice. It happens every week regardless of the attendance of it’s founders. It’s a living entity that cannot be stopped.
I look forward not only to presenting the power of this system to attendees of SFAgile 2012 but to sharing my experiences as an attendee and facilitator. Additionally I’m going to host a lean coffee in the very early morning hours prior to each conference day 1 block from the venue at Blu Cafe 747 Market St. . I am counting on our east coast and european jet laggards to be bright eyed and bushy tailed for a 7AM lean coffee.
Here is a mind-map I made of the talk/process. I’d love feedback any time.