My favorite type of meeting is a variation of Lean Coffee ( It has spoiled me for other meetings.

  1. When we get together, we brainstorm what we’d like to talk about. You can do this beforehand on stickies or using online tools.
  2. Optionally, we present our ideas and aggregate overlapping topics. We often skip this step if the list is small and visible to the whole group.
  3. We vote on the topics. Often each participant gets three votes to distribute across the topics or multiple on one topic.
  4. We start discussing the most popular topic. After 5 minutes, we evaluate if the group wants to continue this discussion or move onto the next most popular topic. we use a thumbs up to vote to stay on this topic and a thumbs down to vote to move on. If we vote to continue, the timer is set to 3 minutes (or 1 minute if it feels like the topic is winding down). When that timer expires, the voting procedure is repeated.
  5. We reflect on the epiphanies, the Aha! moments, from the topic just discussed.
  6. We discuss the next most popular topic, setting the timer for 5 minutes and continuing like the last topic, repeating the process until the time or topics are exhausted.