The Group Lunch: Fostering comaraderie in the creative department.

May 29, 2009

lunch pic
Pass the salt you hack…

How many times do you actually go to lunch with people from your team? Back when, I think my creative group ate out together almost every day. Often these were raucous affairs, with between 4 and 6 men crammed in a booth. Sometimes even more. They were not alcohol-fueled affairs, so no wine and roses nostalgia here. What I’m talking about is camaraderie in the creative department, with a lynch pin being the group lunch. In a way our noon sessions reminded me of the movie Diner, everyone busting each other’s chops, reiterating agency intrigue and debating the office beauties. If many of us were competing on a specific project at work, we were usually able to let all that go.

When assessing copywriters and art directors, I like to talk about the “creative athlete:” those men and women who are fit to create, execute and sell top quality work on a consistent basis. There’s a physical component to doing it well. In addition to being aware and smart one needs to be fit, suited-up, and ready to play. Group lunches played into that idea, fostering a corps de sprit that usually translated into better group dynamics and a better creative group in general. Lunch in lieu of the locker room.

Today a typical lunch for me consists of a quick bite at my desk. Not only am I eating less food I’m doing it alone and in a matter of minutes. When I do go out it is primarily to interview a job candidate or something similar.

Even if I still write copy (player), I’m primarily a creative director (coach). I get that I’m probably not supposed to hang out with my team anymore. After all, I’m the boss –the guy they want to talk about! I also know certain creative folk are solitary by nature. I possess that gene as well. Even so, I love it when I see my staff going out in packs, laughing as they pile into the elevators, heading for this diner or that bar. I think it’s a sign of a healthy creative department, if not a fit company.

2 Responses to “The Group Lunch: Fostering comaraderie in the creative department.”

  1. Great stuff. Keep up the good work.

  2. chris said

    We are a smaller company, so we are still able to bring the whole team to lunch every friday. It’s good to be able to chill and talk to the people you work with…As long as they are good people. We’ve been doing it for the last 4 years. I hope we are able to do it the next 4.

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