Love, caffeine and omlette

Tag: company

Culture patterns: Serve hot beverages

You think you're company culture is bad? You feel stuck? You feel managment should fix it?

Sorry to say it: Managment can not fix culture.

A good (company) culture is build upon many little acts of mutual respect.

It is your responsibility to seed respect and trust from below.

In this series I want to show you how it can be done.

A can of tea

Let's start with a simple act of mutual respect.

You and your colleagues are probably drinking tea or coffee every day. Since you prepare a hot beverage daily anyway, why not transform it into a vehicle for changing the situation?

A can with hot tea has the power to change company culture

When to use this pattern?

  • Departments/people do not talk to each other
  • Everyone works in isolation
  • There is no synergy between departments/people
  • You wish for more openness and humbleness
  • It is cold outside
  • You yourself drink tea or coffee

How to do it

Cook a pot of tea or coffee every day, grab a few cups and serve them to your colleagues.

Exchange a few words every day. Listen.

After they have received there share, the last cup is for you. It will taste delicious.

Do not start with people, that you do not respect yet.

Start in your immediate surrounding (your team).

When you feel save enough, offer the beverage to another team.

Start with the friendly people you know there. Then include all the "neutral" persons.

When you feel comfortable doing that expand your circle even further. Maybe to the department/team that you understand the least. Or to the colleague that you have absolutely no respect for.

Keep going

In the beginning you might encounter resistance. Both internal and external.

People might ask themselves why the hell is she doing it?

Or you might find, that the offer does not come from your heart at some days. Reflect on this. Why do you expect mutual respect, without respecting the other person.

Do not expect anything in return. Do not stop, because nothing seems to change.


People will start to open up. And even if they don't: You will open up and feel at home at other departments.

Sounds naive?

Seems like a thing a lovely old lady would do.

Consider this: You feel respected at here table. You don't start a heated debate over nonsense. And she will feel great as well.

You know it.

Change you're workplace — one cup at a time. It is that simple.

What my dream tech job should offer

Today I received the question from a recruiter, what he would have to offer me to leave my job.

I found his approach really interesting - so I compiled a (very personal) list of minimal requirements for working anywhere.

Enviroment of learning

  • There are people smarter than me in my team that are willing to teach.
  • I want to teach programmers that are not as experienced as me
  • Managers support personal development
  • The company to learn from it's mistakes
  • The company takes experiments

Environment of collaboration

  • People really talk to each other
  • Collaboration between departments
  • People accept help and ask for help
  • Ego plays no role

Good culture

  • Colleagues that love what they do
  • Colleagues that reflect about theire work
  • Real diversity with different interests and skill levels
  • Mutual respect
  • Colleagues that I can trust
  • If the manager is on vacation it just works 😉

Good engineering

  • Excellence
  • Straight forward solutions
  • Not reinventing wheels
  • Continous incremental improvments


  • Pay has to be fair - slightly over industry average
  • The company should earn money
  • Ability to switch teams within the organisation
  • Environment work-life-balance is key to top performance
  • Really flexible working times
  • Possibility to work from home sometimes
  • Environment where the people do much more than there job description
  • Enough vacations
  • No questions asked for buying books, going to conferences or taking a course
  • I want to be able to talk to the CEO the CTO and it feels relaxed


Most of this points can not be paid for with money. It really needs work from an Organisation to get there and it takes continous work to maintain such kind of company.

I see that is already fullfilling most points on my list. I am really happy there and love the culture.

So what would a recruiter have to offer me to leave? I don't know! But why should I?

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