How One Team is Growing Stronger—and Learning Things, Too

Sorren Isler

September 08, 2017

TechBytes-HowOneTeam

Every two weeks since early this year, we’ve been hitting up our friends (and friends of friends) from work to give what we call a Lightning Talk. We’re quite strategic. All week we listen carefully—at lunch, during demos, in meetings, even in conversations we’re part of—to find out what cool things people are doing, both at work and in life. Then, when someone mentions something that piques our interest, we track that person down and convince them to give a talk about it. When we first started, people were nervous. They’d try to avoid us! But now that we’ve done twelve Lightning Talks sessions, people are much more willing, and even excited, to share.

We look for all kinds of topics: interesting things people have learned through work, personal projects or hobbies—you name it. Since we started Lightning Talks in our Business Technology (BT) group, we try to have at least one technical talk at each event. So far, talk topics have included a homemade robot, a food demo, a chatbot and a live photo-developing demonstration.
 

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We began Lightning Talks as a way to bring our whole program team together. We work in our own sub-teams every day, and only sometimes work with people from other groups; we don’t always have the chance to talk or get to know each other. This is a problem. We want everyone to feel comfortable approaching each other to ask questions, or to learn, or to get support for a project. If we don’t know each other, it can be harder to do that.

Once our program team had a couple of Lightning Talks, we expanded to include the rest of our department. We’ve now even expanded the sessions to a couple of other departments, helping people meet each other across BT and Marketing, and we plan to add even more!

So, if you’re in the neighbourhood, stop by and join us. We’ve got snacks, we’ve got drinks, and we’ve got fascinating topics. You may even learn something. :)
 

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Sorren Isler

Sorren Isler

Senior Product Manager, LoyaltyOne

How One Team is Growing Stronger—and Learning Things, Too

Jul 19, 2018, 13:15 PM
Every two weeks since early this year, we’ve been hitting up our friends (and friends of friends) from work to...
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Every two weeks since early this year, we’ve been hitting up our friends (and friends of friends) from work to give what we call a Lightning Talk. We’re quite strategic. All week we listen carefully—at lunch, during demos, in meetings, even in conversations we’re part of—to find out what cool things people are doing, both at work and in life. Then, when someone mentions something that piques our interest, we track that person down and convince them to give a talk about it. When we first started, people were nervous. They’d try to avoid us! But now that we’ve done twelve Lightning Talks sessions, people are much more willing, and even excited, to share.

We look for all kinds of topics: interesting things people have learned through work, personal projects or hobbies—you name it. Since we started Lightning Talks in our Business Technology (BT) group, we try to have at least one technical talk at each event. So far, talk topics have included a homemade robot, a food demo, a chatbot and a live photo-developing demonstration.
 

Techbytes-HowOneTeam-Img1
Techbytes-HowOneTeam-Img2

 
We began Lightning Talks as a way to bring our whole program team together. We work in our own sub-teams every day, and only sometimes work with people from other groups; we don’t always have the chance to talk or get to know each other. This is a problem. We want everyone to feel comfortable approaching each other to ask questions, or to learn, or to get support for a project. If we don’t know each other, it can be harder to do that.

Once our program team had a couple of Lightning Talks, we expanded to include the rest of our department. We’ve now even expanded the sessions to a couple of other departments, helping people meet each other across BT and Marketing, and we plan to add even more!

So, if you’re in the neighbourhood, stop by and join us. We’ve got snacks, we’ve got drinks, and we’ve got fascinating topics. You may even learn something. :)
 

Techbytes-HowOneTeam-Img3
 
 
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