Thursday, 4 February 2010

Lynda Gratton on Nokia and the future of work


    I’ve already posted at Strategic HCM on Lynda Gratton’s Future of Work blog and her recent article at HR Magazine.  But she’s also got a good article up on London Business School’s site, reviewing Nokia’s Booster Programme.


One of the things I’ve posted on quite frequently at this blog, is the need to combing real and virtual (or as Nokia say, analogue and digital) activities in order to best achieve certain outcomes.

In Gratton’s article, she explains how Nokia’s ‘Booster Programme’ used a blended approach including both sets of activities to engage with people throughout the world and to do so in fast and compelling ways:


Need: fundamental organisational change covering 5000 employees.

Analogue activities: a two-day face-to-face workshop with team leaders

Digital activities: online social network communities providing much broader involvement of the whole organisation.

“The two-day workshops were staged in locations across the world, including Beijing, White Plains (New York), Helsinki, London and Dubai. About 100 potential change leaders were part of each workshop.

When all workshops were completed, the 700 participants then returned to their teams to engage them in the ongoing process. It was at this point that the online community came to the fore. Working with specialist partners, the design team created an intranet site accessible to workshop participants and all employees of the Markets business. The online community was designed to host conversations and communications with senior managers as well as to provide information and ideas from content experts and community members.”


Result: daunting organisational change made fully effective within one week!

Gratton notes that:

“The capacity of social networks to create engagement and innovation is seen to be crucial to the long-term success of Nokia.”


But importantly, social networks didn’t achieve this on their own!  It was down to both real and virtual communication, and importantly, to Nokia’s collaborative organisation structure and culture:

“Only about 100 people assuming new jobs. For the rest of Nokia’s employees, there was no need to change jobs; the modular teams of which they were members were simply reconfigured. The discipline, philosophy and mindset of reconfiguration through standardisation and shared platforms ensured that Nokia is able to skilfully and rapidly reconfigure its human resources to meet changing customer needs.”


So that’s change management sorted then!


Photo credit: boostedfc3s


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