Donut Wednesday

I wasn’t always a morning person.

In fact, I spent most of my early life dreading mornings. But one particular morning–during a time when I had a gym membership–I found myself waking up a little easier, getting to the gym a little faster, and getting to work with a little more pep in my step. You see, it was Donut Wednesday.

Donut Wednesday was a tradition instituted by a technical product manager at the company where I worked.

Every Wednesday, the Donut Man brought donuts for whoever dared to come and socialize with their coworkers over a nice, sugary donut. And hey, since I worked out on Wednesdays, I could help myself guilt-free! But sharing donuts wasn’t the best part.

The best part was the email!

You thought I was going to say, “The best part was the socializing,” didn’t you? The Donut Man sent out a comical email every Wednesday of some doctored up image or photo with some kind of inside joke, which was sometimes related to some project that some group was working on at the time. People who signed up for Donut Wednesday usually did it for the emails.

Yay! Donut Wednesday! By now you must be wondering what that has do with learning and collaboration?


Donut Wednesday was a routine. It was a routine that grew into a culture. It was a routine that increased visibility. It increased visibility of “The Donut Man.” It increased visibility of the team he worked with. It increased visibility of the projects that various teams were working on. But most importantly, it increased visibility of individuals.

In today’s world where we often find ourselves growing more remote, team collaboration becomes more difficult. How do you keep everyone in the loop when they’re spread across the country? How do we keep our team close when all you have to share are voices over the phone and words on the screen?

The answer to that is Donut Wednesday. While sharing donuts over the Internet has proven difficult–don’t think I haven’t tried–sharing a lighthearted email once a week that spreads a little cheer can be at least as tasty as a donut and sometimes even better. It’s even calorie free to boot!

Isn’t it time you started your own Donut Wednesday?

Originally appeared in the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) Cascadia Chapter’s August 2013 newsletter.

Live in the NW? Don’t miss my October 4, 2013 presentation on Coaching Collaboration in Four Dimensions for Dispersed Teams with webinar guru Roger Courville at the ASTD-Cascadia 2013 Conference.


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