Meeting points are regular sights for the occasional traveler or host. They mark places of emotional reactions: the joy of meeting old friends and the sadness of seeing loved ones depart.
Another form of meeting point is less formalized but equally important in our day-to-day life: coffee machines, toilets, smoking areas … the kind of places that bring together people who share a similar need or desire at a given time and at a given place. Often it’s those random encounters that lead to breakthrough ideas. Combine the drifting minds of a heterogeneous group of people with the desire to break the silence and you end up with a pretty simple formula for innovation (lab geek meets strategist meets user etc.).
When we accept the notion that there is a direct correlation between random encounters of people to the number of ideas an organization produces, we inevitably will end up asking ourselves: “How can we facilitate random encounters of interesting people?”
Having interesting people on your company payroll is a prerequisite to make this work – otherwise you end up with a bunch of same minded conformists engaging in groupthink.