Earlier this month, the participants in this year’s edition of our OI Academy programme met for their second set of workshops. These sessions culminated in our participants pitching their own ideas to our partners at The DO School and to our senior management; the ideas that they think will solve this year’s organisational challenge:
“We challenge you to develop knowledge sharing and collaboration mechanisms, routines and habits which will help learnings, best practices and innovation to spread across OI’s key accounts and local offices”.
In this update we’ll introduce our DO School facilitators and hear more from the participants as they share their experience with the programme so far.
Our Partners: Angelique Hinz and Scott Goldner at The DO School
OI has worked closely with The DO School on many leadership projects in the past; helping to empower our people to be a force for positive change within OI. For OI Academy 2.0 we are lucky to have the support of DOers Angelique Hinz and Scott Goldner.
Angelique acts as a catalyst for innovative growth with respect to organisational and personal development. She leads the programme design of the Academy and is supported by Scott who joins as an advisor and facilitator.
The DO School facilitator Angelique Hinz
For Angelique, the most important aspect of the Academy is its practical application. “We want to enable participants to actively shape the future and empower their own teams to do the same”, she says about the objectives of the programme. But, this is done by “exposing the participants to new tools and methods that encourage them to learn, build out and practise essential skills and mindsets”. In the end, Angelique believes this will create “purposeful and thriving DOers and leaders – not in theory but in practice”.
Angelique is glad to be working with us once again: “When thinking about the partnership with OI three words come to mind: passion, openness and kindness. Every individual that has been part of the journey has demonstrated an open-mindedness to drive towards an impactful and empathetic future, fully embracing that it starts with each of us as individuals”.
Our Participants and their progress
After the second workshop we asked some participants how they felt the programme was going. Sharing their thoughts are Lorena Castarnado, GM of OI-ScanThor Spain in Alicante; Denis Giglioli, Business Process Manager in Hong Kong; Andreas Lindner, Product Manager in Hamburg; Tanvir Islam, Merchandising Manager in Dhaka; and Patrick Rong, Key Account Manager for Bonprix in Shanghai.
Business Process Manager Denis Giglioli
OI Academy 2.0 has so far been completed via virtual meetings and group sessions. “COVID-19 challenged the original plans, but we are grateful that with our current tools we can successfully run the Academy digitally”, says Lorena. Our previous digital transformation via O365 has enabled all participants to remain constantly in-touch with each other.
Denis shares that groups of participants “have weekly video calls where we meet for open, fun and collaborative working sessions. We work on the task but also learn more about each other, which gives a fresh view on the daily working routine.”
The second workshop focused on the participants’ potential solutions to the organisational challenge. These ideas were rigorously workshopped and researched before they were shared; Andreas mentions that his group sent out a survey that had close to a 90% response rate!
Another important aspect of the workshops, according to Andreas, is adopting the behaviours and mindset that compliment this journey, which is practiced through activities led by Angelique.
Product Manager Andreas Lindner
Merchandising Manager Tanvir Islam
This is an important takeaway, according to Tanvir: “The workshops are a great platform for experienced people within OI to come together and share innovative ideas that aim to fundamentally improve our company.
“I’ve also seen that we can also collaborate on new projects while being busy with our regular business; we just need to be passionate and willing to do more better”.
In saying that, when asked what challenges the participants needed to overcome, everyone said the same thing: finding the time to meet and work properly. OI Academy is an additional responsibility that participants must manage on top of their regular workload. Patrick states that “more work is done outside of the workshops than inside them” and as the participants are our different locations across Europe and Asia and working with different stakeholders, organising regular meetings can be difficult.
Many participants also miss the face-to-face interaction with their colleagues, as well as the ability to quickly meet in person and discuss things outside of the standard meetings. But, despite this, OI Academy 2.0 is still steaming ahead!
Key Account Manager Patrick Rong
For all of the participants, the highlight of the whole experience is meeting and getting to know their colleagues: as Lorena says, “that’s what makes the Academy special”. Andreas acknowledges that “many of [the participants] are interacting with each other for the first time” due to the Academy and its demands.
OI-ScanThor Spain GM Lorena Castarnado
For Patrick, this has an added benefit: “It is very fruitful: we can learn from each other’s challenges and how we manage to face them. Denis adds that “knowing more about our Academy colleagues will reinforce future collaboration and our mutual understanding”.
Ultimately, Lorena believes the participants “are building strong connections that will remain even after the Academy is finished. It is really a pleasure to work with such great colleagues who bring an amazing energy”.
Well be back for our final update when the programme comes to its conclusion in October!
If you missed our first update introducing OI Academy 2.0, you can view it here.