Ideas: Regular Lunch Meetings

This idea is from Barbara’s book “The Creative Communicator–399 Ways to Make your Business Communications Meaningful and Inspiring.” 

The Idea:

Many facilitators meet once a month in their organizations for brown bag lunches to share ideas and enhancements. In Grand Rapids, Michigan, a group of facilitators organized sharing meetings across industries and organizations. They asked for the names of all facilitators trained in their local region and contacted them to get together on a regular basis.

The Idea In Action:

Bob Ward from the Department of Professional Regulation,State of Florida, has created brown bag “Video Lunches” for employees. Every three weeks on Tuesday and Thursday, a training video is shown during lunch. Employees bring a bagged lunch to a large conference room and watch the video while eating lunch. Immediately following the viewing, they hold an interactive session to discuss and recap the main points of the video. Bob describes the purpose of the session: “To provide training to employees which is interesting, takes little time away from work, and is in a relaxed atmosphere to maximize learning. This type of training is especially beneficial for those employees who feel that they cannot afford time away from work. The video lunch concept actually works as a public relations campaign to pull in those employees who are unsure about the formal training classes offered. We hope to plant the seed,’If training can be this fun, what am I missing?'” Several other enhancements for this idea are movie tickets used in place of class registration receipts, a movie marquee to advertise the “show of the week,” and popcorn served to all!

One of Kaset’s General Managers recently told me that she and whoever is available on her team meet once a week to discuss different professional development books. One person volunteers to be the “leader” each week, and he / she summarizes one to three chapters of the current book. This allows others to learn even though they might have had time to only skim the book. A discussion follows, applying the book to both their working and their home lives.

The Centura Parents program, a series of lunch meetings for parents who work for Centura Bank in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, features discussions of parenting issues such as how to communicate with your child. “The ‘Centura Parents’ program is, truly, a trendsetter, a model for businesses that wish to promote student achievement,” said Lela Chesson, Community Schools Director in Rocky Mount in a letter to Bob Maudlin, Centura’s president. “Families are important to Centura because people are important at Centura,” said Les Rutledge, senior vice president and director of Human Resources Administration. “We can’t expect employees to function at top efficiency if they’re worried about their families.”

Communication Challenge:

What kinds of discussion groups might you be able to encourage or organize during lunch times to reinforce what is important in your organization?

Barbara Glanz Biography

A member of the prestigious Speaker Hall of Fame and one of fewer than 700 Certified Speaking Professionals worldwide, Barbara Glanz, CSP, CPAE, works with organizations to improve morale, retention and service and with people who want to rediscover the joy in their work and in their lives. She is the first speaker on record to have spoken on all 7 continents and in all 50 states. Known as "the business speaker who speaks to your heart as well as to your head," Barbara is the author of twelve books including The Simple Truths of Service Inspired by Johnny the Bagger®, CARE Packages for the Workplace, and 180 Ways to Spread Contagious Enthusiasm™. Voted "best keynote presenter you have heard or used" by Meetings & Conventions Magazine, Barbara uses her Master’s degree in Adult Learning to design programs that cause behavior change. She lives and breathes her personal motto: “Spreading Contagious Enthusiasm™” and can be reached at and

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