Ragnar Heil is Partner Sales Executive Office E5 for Microsoft in Germany. I spoke to him by Skype at a Sharepoint Conference where he was presenting on how Office365 can help with working out loud both as a tool for sharing work but also as a way to help change the culture of an organisation. I wanted to get an update on his working out loud journey.
Simon Terry: Ragnar, you had a novel experience of the power of working out loud recently, can you share a little of that story?
Ragnar Heil: Sure. Working Out has been super important for me. In the last few months I had an example of the power of working out loud to find a new job. I was part of the Global Office365 Customer Success Manager team who lost there roles in a change to a new model of customer success called Fasttrack at Microsoft. Because we were all experts in social collaboration and aware of working out loud we all decided to working out loud together to help each other get a new job.
Simon Terry: How did you go about that?
Ragnar Heil: We created a private group for the 52 people in the team. We knew it would be a difficult time to go through the transition for everyone but we believed that the collaboration technology could help us and we had a strong one team culture in the group. Usually when roles are eliminated everyone goes off and does their own thing but this case was really different. Everyone was used to the idea of working like a network.
Simon Terry: So how did the sharing work?
Ragnar Heil: People posted links to jobs and connected their former colleagues with headhunters who were searching for candidates like us. Most importantly of all it was about supporting, motivating and coaching our colleagues. Everyone was in a different position in that change. We had to listen carefully to what each person needed now. There were very different needs but working together in the group we were able to help each other. I found it super helpful in my own search and I was able to help others too.
Simon Terry: Would you do it again?
Ragnar Heil: Absolutely, people achieved great outcomes in their search for roles. I got a great opportunity in another part of Microsoft and now I am helping Office365 customers understand the benefits of working out loud using the tools. I have seen similar experiences with the other working out loud circles that I have been a part of outside of Microsoft. People really benefit from the support and the connection.