Working Out Loud Interview – Ragnar Heil

Ragner Heil

Ragnar Heil works for Microsoft as a Customer Success Manager in Germany. He supports large enterprises to reinvent Productivity and drive Digital Transformations based on Office 365 to a Modern Workplace. Ragner is a linchpin for working out loud in the German community.  You can learn more at: http://about.me/ragnarh or read his blog in German on #wol 

What benefits do you see from your practices of working out loud?

Ragnar had a long list of benefits to share:

  • Learning: First of all, I am doing it for my own purposes. Increasing readiness about our products and service offerings. Deep dive into customer accounts and very important for me: more insights into product roadmap and strategy

  • Reputation Management: being recognized as an expert and influencer in certain topics

  • Growth Mindset: Think outside the box and also face your fears: Your personality can grow and develop if you don’t always stick to limitations and borders. Feedback in #wol can also open your eyes, I enjoy this coaching which is free of cost for me.

  • Responsive Organisation: Working, communicating and collaborating more agile beyond borders of own teams, departments, hierarchies and countries

  • Focus on your goals: I am not going overboard here: #wol really helps me literally everyday to focus on my goals and achieve them easier

  • Build a network which is supportive and creates business relevant value – and enjoy time with wonderful people (where you could help, share and were generous)

  • Reduce amount of emails: your colleagues and customers don’t need to ask you individually regarding many topics. Point them to specific groups which you monitor on a daily basis but other can also reply. Very helpful when you are on vacation or super busy, giving workshops.

  • Circles: being part of a #wol circle and get weekly fresh and inspiring ideas from people outside of my company. Innovative thinking and feedback outside my filter bubble.

  • Saving time: Having more time for things and aspects which really matter in your life: family, children, friends, sports, hobbies.

What challenges do you have to manage in working out loud?

Especially Enterprise Social Networks are seen as tools where you share official news, press releases or approved success stories. I encourage my colleagues and customers to use a social network also as a space for learning and experiments, allowing to do mistakes and brainstorm. It truly has the power to bake the half-baked.

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve worked out loud on?

Sharing summaries of the 1:1 with my manager in an Enterprise Social Network (Yammer in our case). Felt a bit strange in the beginning, now I am actually enjoying it and seeing many benefits.

Any other advice for someone starting out or encouraging people to take up working out loud?

Timing is super important. Today I was praising a colleague in a public group because he has just finalized an incredible video which is going to be published soon worldwide and helps in many ways. Incredible time saver for me because I can directly link to this video when basic questions around this product come up. In other words: It is not so powerful if you praise somebody without mentioning the direct impact on your daily working or to your customers.

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