This is the second in a two-part case study on the first wave of Working Out Loud Circles at Coca-Cola Amatil. The first post discussed how the Circles were set up and supported. This second post discusses the evaluation and outcomes.
Recall from the first part of this case study that this was the first wave of Working Out Loud (WOL) Circles run in the organisation, and that it was done as a grass roots initiative, with a senior manager as sponsor. The purpose of the experiment was to understand the potential value of the Circles in the organisation in order to get management support. We were also interested in how we could run future Circles effectively.
WOL Circle Stories
I read some statistics this week about the low number of people who make it all the way to the end of a blog post. So, I’m posting the bit that don’t want you to miss out on first. (BTW – there’s some good stuff further down so be sure to at least skim through – most of it is presenting visually and easy to understand.)
As part of demonstrating the value of WOL Circles some of the participants agreed to make a video discussing the value they got from being part of a Circle. These videos can be used in a range of ways to promote Circles in an organisation, including getting support of managers and encouraging people to join a Circle. Thank you to Navya Chandran and Justine Jardine for agreeing to their videos being shared publicly.
Two weeks after completing their Working Out Loud Circle participants were sent a survey – 13 responded. Topics covered in the survey were:
- Individual goals – what type of goals did participants set, how much progress did they make on their goal, and how did the WOL Circle help them to work on their goal.
- WOL program – program structure, duration, activities, materials, and participant time
- Individual value – what people can do as a result of participating in a Circle
- Organisational value – potential benefits of WOL Circles to the organisation
- General feedback and recommendation to others – including asking participants whether they would be willing to be interviewed and have their story shared with others
- Facilitator questions
Here is a link to the full set of survey questions. This survey was adapted from one used internally by Bosch since 2015 and generously shared with other organisational WOL Circle practitioners such as myself. Thank you to Cornelia Heinke and Katharina Krentz from Bosch for the support they provided me in getting started with WOL Circles inside an organisation.
I prepared a summary PowerPoint presentation and made a short screencast video. I shared both broadly via the Enterprise Social Network (ESN) and with a number of managers who had previously expressed an interest in WOL Circles.
Participants made good progress towards their goal with the support of the WOL Process and their WOL Circle peers.
Participants were positive about using WOL to make progress on a goal.
Participants overwhelmingly believed that Working Out Loud had improved their skills in networking, accessing information and expertise, and sharing knowledge. They also felt more in control of their professional development and career, and more fulfilled at work.
Potential Organisational Value
Again, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Participants thought that Working Out Loud could help the organsiation be become more collected and collaborative. Note that some of the statements in this section of the survey were aligned with transformation goals specific to the organisation. If you are going to run a similar survey I recommend customising the statements to your organisation’s strategy and goals.
All participants recommend Working Out Loud Circles to their colleages. 92% stated that they would participate in another Circle.
Social Proof – Participant Videos
John Stepper recommends internal social proof as one way to get management support for WOL Circles. Short participant videos discussing their Circle experience and the benefits of Working Out Loud are one way to do this. If you haven’t already done so, go to the top of this post to view a sample of the ‘WOL Circle Story’ videos that we made.
I was inspired to make these by the videos shared by the University of Melbourne.
What Next for WOL Circles at CCA?
The short answer is that I’m not sure. I moved on from CCA shortly after completing the evaluation of our first wave of WOL Circles, in September 2016. At the time of writing this post no further Circles have been run at CCA, which is in the midst of a significant change program. The first wave of Circles seeded some Working Out Loud champions in the organisation, and demonstrated how easy and low-cost it is to run Circles. There is also a WOL site on the SharePoint intranet where a record of the Circles can easily be found. My hope is that between these assets and the participants that remain in the organisation that further WOL Circles will be run.