The Cambridge Dictionary defines “potential” as someone’s ability to develop, achieve, or succeed. Having that in mind, A1 Group introduced back in 2011 a program called “Group Young Potential Program” (GYPP) which is heading for developing digital ambassadors with a strong focus on customer centricity. The application process and the set-up of the program are constantly adopted to current business needs, such as most recently developing one’s self driven journey. Read on and find out what GY potential Nada experienced during the past months.

The expectations on the candidates are quite high and as A1 Group CEO Thomas Arnoldner stressed when he met the GYP of 2018 at their final presentations’ meeting, they are supposed to push and work as role models in terms of learning in our organization, prove their willingness to change and keep on challenging their colleagues throughout the company. But how does it feel to be a young potential? How to balance the given opportunity to learn and the expectations to give back? What are the personal prospects on this learning journey and the individual takeaways? Nada Stegnjaić, Corporate communication Expert at A1 Slovenia is GYP2018 and shares her insights with us. Follow her on her learning journey!

Many faces and one goal

When you are crowned as a young potential, you start thinking how to best justify your new role. Our company and A1 Group recognized us as digital ambassadors and highly motivated individuals whose ideas and mind-sets are open for new things. And even more than that: daring and focused on the future. They were not wrong about that. It soon came to light that we were not burdened with previous ways of problem solving, with worn-out ideas and preconceptions about what is possible. We entered this with all the motivation, certain that we can handle it. And we did our best!

GYPP provides …
– cross function knowledge access, cross leadership levels & cross country teaming
– opportunity to broaden the horizon and gain new perspective about the future Telco industry
– innovative projects to try new things out with the lens of customer centricity
GYPs are expected to be digital ambassadors who #MakeItHappen
– drive change forward
– take ownership
– challenge decisions & bring ideas to life
– contribute to A1 Group as a learning organisation

Our learning journey started just over 200 days ago, when we met our peers from other countries, chose our project, put together the teams and started gaining the understanding of those areas that were at least at start somewhat unfamiliar to us. Buzzwords like AI, machine learning and big data were flying around, and our first step was getting to know them. It was important to research a field and understand how important it is for our organization, and what it can ultimately bring in the future. I challenged myself, and joined the Smart Language Service project, even though it first seemed the least familiar to me. How can I as an internal communicator contribute with my skills to a fairly technically focused project about the analysis of sentiments and prototyping? I let myself be surprised. Soon I learned that our diversity was a major advantage that kept driving us ahead. All project group members excelled in fairly individual areas, coming from diverse backgrounds with different know-how, experience and cultural history. Our insight into the challenges and the way of thinking was diverse and unburdened, which made it easier for us to generate innovative ideas and solutions to challenges we faced. Diversity challenged us to step outside our mind-sets and try to understand different perspectives and taxing challenges.

Being part of Group Young Potential program I had opportunity to also focus on my individual learning journey, I was able to go on the exchange, and to discover and explore best practices from my field. To map up my individual development path, I will reflect on three best takeaways that will stick in my mind the most.

Stretch my mind through new experiences.

Exchange – For one week, I switched time zones and worked in the office of our colleagues in Minsk, who used some Russian and English to introduce me to their internal communications, best practices and the general corporate climate. Besides, I also learned that reading a menu in the Cyrillic alphabet and ordering lunch could strengthen your cognitive abilities. :)

Nada Stegnjaić
Corporate communication
Expert, A1 Slovenia

Discover your strengths and talents – Meet yourself

In order to become a truly good team player for me it was important to get to know the combination of talents and strengths that bring out my strong sides, the competences and areas that I am just naturally good at. For the most, I did not even know. Delving into the results of the Gallup and Wing Finder tests helped me discover, develop and strengthen my talents, so that I can be able to do day-to-day tasks in the future in even simpler, more creative and dedicated ways. Understanding my behavior, why I do things the way I do, and learning about the talents of people I work with only further strengthened my work on the team and helped me with my personal growth.

You call them young potentials, I call them friends

And last but not least. Creating the opportunity for inter-cultural cooperation, collaboration and spreading ideas expands perspectives and unlocks the true value of learning. Sitting in a room with 20 young talents, you face challenges, discover your limits and let your creativity run free, is without a doubt the best way to learn. I am extremely happy to have had the opportunity to meet such interesting, perspective, creative and determined individuals who are not afraid to focus on going after the big goals.

So my advice if it matters at all. Don’t limit your challenges, but rather question your limits. And take the opportunities that come your way. Meanwhile, I am already forging ideas for new stories.