Some of the best ideas and decisions happen
at the fika break.
We started as a team of two Swedes, two Germans, and a French. Building on some methods we had tried at Stockholm School of Economics and with the help of U.Lab and Presencing Institute, we developed the Fika project.
Today, the Fika Project is organized as a not-for-profit organization.
In Swedish, fika means to take a break together. To drink a cup of coffee or tea. To talk respectfully and listen to each other. In many organizations, Fika is more or less mandatory, and a way to exchange ideas between hierarchical levels and different departments.
Fika is an informal variant of the older metaphor “breaking bread”, to have a meal together. To “break bread” is to affirm trust, confidence, and comfort with an individual or group of people.
Reflections on the Swedish concept of fika
IKEA describes fika as:
“More than a coffee break, Fika is a time to share, connect and relax with colleagues. Some of the best ideas and decisions happen at Fika.”
Two American consultants define fika as:
”Fika is the communal use of food and liquid refreshment as merely the stated excuse for meeting: the real value is that it allows for informal cross functional conversations that might not normally happen.”
Fika is a way to exchange ideas between hierarchical levels and different departments.