The Metamorphosis

For those working from home it can be an isolating experience. For some it’s overwhelming. Sometimes, it feels like your goal is simply to make it through, managing as best you can. The idea of investing in yourself, of developing new skills and habits, can seem like a luxury. 

Here are three people—in Turkey, Brazil, and Germany—who chose to make that investment anyway, and an example of how such individual efforts can lead to greater collective possibilities too.

Turkey

G?k?e emphasized the bonds that developed in her Circle:

Ten weeks ago, I started the WOL journey with four women I had never met. The purpose of the journey was to set goals and try to reach the goal for 12 weeks. In this journey, we supported, helped and cared for each other while trying to reach our goals and we continue to do these things. 

We know that for the rest of our lives, all the gains we have achieved through WOL will be with us, this is more than a 12-week process.

As one of her Circle members commented:

I feel very lucky and happy to take part in this journey with you. It was a wonderful and meaningful experience that I will always remember.

“a wonderful and meaningful experience that I will always remember.”

Brazil

Fernanda described a feeling of personal transformation, both for her and others in her group:

It has been four weeks since a started my first WOL Circle. In this time, I could understand that the idea is to collaborate, share, create, change experiences, personal and professional growth.

But last week, I could see beyond. I realized how far my new friends and I were going. Each one in its own time but all are changing from the inside out.

More than that, all of us are having the humility to open up our vulnerabilities. Those movements made me realize that the WOL Circle as our Mother Nature turns us, through metamorphosis, into beautiful butterflies.

Germany

Daniela wrote about the power and magic of personal development and peer coaching: “we worked, dreamt, and developed all together.”

My last week of holidays marked also the last week of a 12-week Working Out Loud journey that began in the middle of the lockdown. I was lucky enough to join a carefully chosen circle of four impressive and inspiring women.

In John Stepper’s profound programme, the insights and tasks were an inspiring framework to our journey on which we worked, dreamt, and developed all together.

I am sure our journey has just begun and can’t wait to see you all - in person!!

Beyond the Circle

The kinds of connection and transformation they wrote about can extend across teams and departments and even across companies. When it does, that’s when you are changing the culture in addition to building skills and habits.

In a recent post, for example, the Head of Global Learning at Merck, Laura Krsnik, celebrated a rare kind of collaboration across Merck, Novartis, and Roche, where more than a thousand people are in Circles. Inspired by their own experiences, they set out to exchange ideas and see what they might do together,

A team with a joint passion to support others in a world where the only constant is change through Working Out Loud and building relationships that matter—across companies. 

One of the participants commented:

What a pleasure being with like minded people who share a passion to cultivate a culture of collaboration, generosity, purpose and lifelong learning.

Whether you’re seeking connection or metamorphosis, whether it’s for you or your company, the growing set of WOL methods can help you make the change you aspire to make.

Next week, I’ll describe a brand new way to experience the full power of Working Out Loud for yourself.

Still … LIFE! “we worked, dreamt, and developed all together.”

The pharma executive who works out loud

Roche logo

Roche logo

The first thing that caught my eye was the title of the article:

“Working Out Loud: A 21st Century Way of Collaborating”

The next thing was the title of the person who wrote it: Global Head of Strategic Innovation at Roche. Her name is Sheila Babnis.

The benefits she sees

I don’t know Sheila, but her description of why she works out loud was one I wish I had written.

“Working out loud is more than just sharing information. I see it as a key to building and strengthening relationships, helping to identify the right connections and having the right conversations that open the door to co-creation.”

Even better were the benefits she listed:

  • better access to information
  • know more about what is happening inside and outside the organization
  • make better decisions
  • solve problems faster

These aren’t just abstract benefits of sharing and connecting. They’re advantages every executive - every employee - could use at work. And she listed one more:

“My team has cut out meeting time by about 50% as a result.”

How did she do it?

Sheila described herself as “a little more than skeptical at the outset”:

“The idea was initially interesting but also a little uncomfortable. How could I possibly find the time, with everything on my plate, to go to yet another online place and openly share my thoughts and what I am working about?”

Two things seemed to make a difference. One was creating a structure for sharing her work.

“I blocked time on my calendar to share what I was working on with my community and also asked for feedback. I slowly found myself sharing work that was not yet complete. I started getting responses, which allowed me to take more risks. Now, the more I WOL (and engage with what others are doing) the more fluent I am becoming.”

The other thing she did was to get help, and she identified the person who helped her in the comments.

“Ayelet Baron worked with my team (and me) to help us make this amazing transition to new ways of working, expand exponentially what we could do and make even more possible.”

You and your firm

It’s great to see that a more open, connected way of working is spreading - and that there are more resources and experts available to help you and your firm.

If people at your firm don’t work out loud yet, consider sharing Sheila’s post, or one of the stories here on www.africanmango-slim.com, or how WOL circles could transform your organization. If you need help, contact Change Agents Worldwide (of which Ayelet is a member) or send me email.

It’s 2015, and we’re overdue for a 21st-century way of working.