Networking Roulette

With appreciation to recent workshop participant, William, I’m excited to offer to you a “game” you can play with your work colleagues to foster connectedness and collaboration, especially for teams that work remotely, live in different cities and/or are practicing social distancing for the time being.  It’s called Networking Roulette!

The basic premise of this cool game of chance is that if a company wants its associates to get to know and interact with one another, it should schedule “social” events for them to do so.  During those events, participants have the opportunity to get to know other associates from around the organization.  Here are the logistics:

  1. Invite associates to attend a one-hour virtual networking event via Zoom, Webex, Microsoft Teams or whatever video conferencing platform your organization uses.
  2. Once people arrive, welcome them, then randomly assign them to breakout rooms with 3-4 participants per room. 
  3. In the room, attendees should be encouraged to do the following:
    • Introduce themselves:  Name, Location, Department, Position, and Key Responsibilities.
    • Answer a common question to generate discussion.  As the organizer, you can determine what the question will be.  Here are some ideas for you to consider:
      • What’s your favorite podcast or blog?
      • What was the last Netflix series you binged watched?
      • What is the best thing to happen to you during the time of Covid?
      • What project are you most excited about right now?
      • What is your big goal for the next quarter?
    • After 15 minutes, the round ends and participants are all brought back to the “main room.” 
  4. Once everyone is back in the common virtual space, they are randomly assigned to their next room and the process repeats.  After Round 2, this process happens one more time for Round 3; essentially, all participants get the opportunity to be in three 15-minute breakout rooms.  You’ll have an “extra” 15 minutes of flexible time to use at the beginning, middle and end of the session.

Voila!  Networking Roulette!  It’s a gamble who you’ll meet, but you can bet everyone wins and advances relationships that will benefit them and the company for years to come.  By the way, it works outside of work groups, too… use it with your industry trade association, business networking group, random clusters of friends, whomever!

Have you played this game – knowingly or unknowingly?  How was your experience?  Please share your observations and suggestions for improving upon the game at blog.coffeelunchcoffee.com.  Step right up, take a spin and try your luck!

Happy Networking!

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