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Network, become visible and lead efficiently

The digital transformation calls for employees to master new skills. Helvetia is providing the «Working Out Loud» methodology to enable employees to network with each other, make their work visible and progress efficiently with their tasks.

25 july 2019, text: Michaela Schaub, photo: Lukas Fütterer

Katja Seibert works in the CTO Office’s Human Capital Management & Change Management team, and is one of Switzerland’s first Working Out Loud mentors. She is promoting Working Out Loud across all areas at Helvetia. Together with her WOL colleagues, she is introducing this way of working into Swiss companies and encouraging lively discussions across all sectors.

Katja, what prompted you to get involved in Working Out Loud (WOL)?

It’s in my nature to grow and pursue lifelong learning, in both my personal and professional spheres of life. I’m also naturally very inquisitive. This includes questioning things – why is something the way it is? why not do it differently? And ultimately, my self-motivation spurs me on. I believe you cannot motivate people, but only create incentives for them. They've got to motivate themselves. Without motivation almost every scheme, private or professional, will fail to generate results. Only if I’m motivated to do something will I enjoy doing it and, most importantly, do it well.

Why do you believe in WOL and why have you introduced it to Helvetia?

I've chosen four factors here, but there are many others too:

  1. Our private and professional lives are becoming increasingly more hectic and complex. The challenges of the workplace, both today and in the future, are changing at breakneck speed, and we often struggle to keep pace with them. Sometimes we cannot even foresee what impact the decisions we make now will have in the future, perhaps because we are not aware of all the factors involved. 
  2. In our world of work, it’s becoming increasingly important to break up silos. It's obvious that we cannot remain «lone Ninja warriors» in the future. But how can we escape from our silo and establish relationships with other people?
  3. The digital transformation means that everything is becoming faster and more complex. At home, Alexa et al. converse with me. The opportunities for ourselves – and of course also for the company – are immense. But can each individual acquire all this knowledge themself? This is where we need networks to exchange information and share knowledge.
  4. Everything that I need to learn should be learned in a self-organized manner. I need to acquire the knowledge myself because I want to acquire it and because I want to share it. But how can I do this?

As individuals, we must adapt to these challenges more and more speedily. Of course, we could call this evolution. But as you know, that takes time. With WOL, we are nurturing digital collaboration and developing our learning and working culture, thereby strengthening our powers of innovation.

How does WOL solve all these problems?

WOL helps every single person individually to react to these factors. For example, by learning better and networking in a more long-term manner. We already do this in our personal lives, in swimming groups, music clubs and on Facebook. People enjoy being in groups to share experiences and provide mutual support for each other. But how can we build long-lasting networks in a professional environment? How can we find the right networks online? WOL helps us to learn how we can share our knowledge and how we acquire knowledge from others. We share our knowledge every day, and obtain information from the Internet and from colleagues. WOL shows us how to do this even better and more efficiently.

How does WOL operate at Helvetia?

A small group of four or five people from different parts of the company get together to form a circle. Everyone sets themselves an individual objective for the next twelve weeks. The group meets (either virtually or in person) and works together for an hour each week. Through the feedback received from the other four participants, people learn not just how to deal with this feedback, but also experiment with how to give feedback to others. how do I provide others with feedback.
Many participants have noticed changes after taking part in a WOL circle. With time, they have left their comfort zone, assumed more personal responsibility and developed more confidence and courage. WOL also helps break down silos within the company and promote interdisciplinary collaboration and purposeful progress, as well as helping to filter and focus large amounts of information. Participants are also able to improve their networking. Every circle is different because not only the objective but also the participants change, resulting in totally different dynamics. In each circle, the participants therefore learn new ways of thinking and looking at things, and that is extremely instructive.

Outlook and forthcoming events

WOL at Helvetia on 28 August 2019

Public WOL meet-up in Basel on 28 August 2019, in which anyone interested in WOL can take part. First live gathering of the virtual Swiss WOL meet-up. Start: 6pm, Steingraben 25, Basel – Registration here 

Swiss WOL meet-up

Stefanie Moser and Monika Schlatter are organizing a monthly virtual Swiss WOL meet-ups for people in Switzerland who are interested in WOL. Anyone interested in WOL can take part

Circle Mentor Master Class

Participation in the Circle Mentor Master Class, with the help of the WOL training programme, enables internal WOL mentors to develop a new form of collaboration within the company – networked, cross-functional and therefore creative and highly focussed on problem-solving. It forms the ultimate basis for a learning organization in complex times. This master class is led by Sabine Kluge of kluge+konsorten GmbH.

WOL Deep Dive for circle mentors and experienced organization shapers 

In this WOL Deep Dive, practitioners and senior experts from Swiss businesses discuss at an advanced level how the WOL work attitude and training programme can be anchored within a company. This Deep Dive is led by Stefanie Moser and Sabine Kluge (kluge+konsorten), together with Katja Seibert, Sabine Born-Hofmann and Regina Kiefer (Helvetia). Helvetia is hosting this event.

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