WOL Circles

driver for cultural change?

The last week was really special to me: we’ve started the biggest guided #WOL program in Salzgitter with three kick-off sessions: one via Skype in the morning for Asia, one after lunch for Europe live and via webcast and one in the late afternoon for North America.

In total 408 colleagues from 10 countries and 28 locations join this journey in 82 WOL circles. For each region we get supported by a “regional mentor tandem”, so a young professional and a senior leader cooperate as a tandem. I’ve experienced in an earlier, similar program that well-known connected role models invite to participate and provide a secure environment for experience. With a tandem I want to overcome the feeling that this is a top-down or bottom-up approach, but a program for everybody who’s interrested.

We used our internal WOL community to interact with all virtual participants via a live chat in a forum: 442 interactions so far, and still people us it to introduce themselves and to share their goal with each other.

What’s so special about this program is that this time it will be a “cultural experience journey”. All participants pick an individual circle goal, which is somehow interlinked to the five cultural messages of the division.

What will happen, if 400 people focus to work on a cultural topic for 12 weeks and build personal networks to learn, exchange and reach their goal?

I expect that the WOL circle method can be an excellent vehicle to bring such cultural messages into the operative daily business. So coming from hearing and reading a strategy over the cognitive understanding of the “Why” and the “What for” of cultural change to the real and highly individual “How to”.

If I focus for 12 weeks together with 400 other colleagues on a topic like “I want to be more passionate about my work and want to inspire others”, or “I want to become more customer focussed with my team” etc., and practice in parallel collaboration and communication based on giving first, appreciation and recognition, I’m sure that will not only have an impact on me, but as well on my environment, and therefor on the whole system.

Let’s see what will happen. I’m excited, a bit scared and very curious at the same time.

Thanks for making this happen Petra Martin, thanks for your great support Cornelia, Victoria, Phöbe and your guidance Doerte Heidemann and John Stepper – this will definitely be an awesome experience for all of us!

We’ll finish the program begin of February 2019 – I’ll keep you updated 🙂