Establishing guiding principles is vital to running a successful business. It is up to us to define our common beliefs and values – elsewise others will shape them for us. We must take leadership on defining what is important to us as a company. Every extraordinary business man or woman will agree on that. Just think of the legendary Steve Jobs and his famous words: “Stay hungry, stay foolish” or have a look at successful examples inside A1!

(Dream) Team

A1 Stories follows our most important core value – it is all about US. We have to come together as a company and also find the best ways to work together. We need to stay curious, benefit from our diversity and always remember to focus on common goals. OUR opinions matter and are valued.

Trust yourself and your colleagues!

Staying curious can only be achieved if we are able to trust and rely on each other. We need to keep up our positive spirit and also support others. A smile can go a long way – also chocolate helps or maybe cake. Being open and authentic, giving feedback and being able to communicate as transparent as possible will make us stronger and prepare us as a team for pretty much all the challenges ahead. We will have each other’s backs, because that is what makes a good team, a great team!

Agility – keep moving!

Have you ever sat too long in one position and then tried to get up? Or ever thought “man, that was exactly my idea” … well, that is exactly what happens to a company too. Learning by doing is as important as being flexible enough to adapt to market requirements. It also means to have a hands on mentality. Let’s try to get the spirit of start-ups, it’s fun!

Ok, so by now you all know the Guiding Principles we stand for – team, trust and agility – but what is much more important is to understand what that means for our daily life and how we incorporate them. Some advice from our colleagues from Serbia: Don’t search for the philosophy behind our principles, just live them, because they certainly live inside you! Here are some examples:

 

Croatia:

Projects with many different departments involved are very challenging.

#team #trust >> Within the Cable Rollout Project Marketing, Sales and several technical departments have to work together on a daily basis. Cooperation between the departments was at the beginning also one of biggest challenges, according to project team leader Krešimir Tomorad. The project requires a team that is agile enough to follow and overcome the challenges of aggressive rollout, so the needed trust and cooperation were soon spontaneously incorporated among the team members. “All that led to the great results for the second consecutive year and made the whole team extremely proud,“ said Krešimir.

#agility >> Infrastructure is a key for the future of our industry – the company that owns the infrastructure will definitely have the power to control the business and the Cable Rollout Project is a contribution and a step forward to reaching that goal. By the expanding of the cable (HFC or FTTH) infrastructure the company will be moving away from its competitor. Krešimir concludes: “Infrastructure investments are helping our company to maintain a strong and important role on the market. Moreover, Vipnet is enabling more and more households in Croatia with the latest telecommunication technology in the field of fixed service.“

The Cable Rollout Project Team
(left to right):

Zvonimir Kevo, Marko Roca, Snježana Kukić, Krešimir Tomorad (project leader), Ivana Fumić, Admir Hadžiselimović aka Coda, Domagoj Zavalić, Josip Leventić
Not pictured: Ivan Orešković and Zvonimir Zelenika

Serbia:

Incorporating Guiding Principles is not about the size of a project. Finding small enhancements to our day to day communication already prove to be effective.

#team #agility >> The sales teams are working in more than 100 different locations but they all face the same challenges and dilemmas and they all need to share their ideas. For that reason, they made the most of Skype for Business and use it to connect the managers of all sales centres and the sales support teams at the HQ.

#agility >> Vip. Factory – Vip has its own idea factory! Using the platform for suggestion and implementation of business ideas, Customer Services and Sales have successfully implemented more than 29 business solutions that have brought about massive positive changes in all business segments, both internal and external AND managed to save the company more than half a million Euros.

#team #trust >> On September 1st 2016, Vip. decided to be bold and stop charging Customer Service calls. Worrying if they would be able to respond to the increased amount of calls, the whole company decided to jump in. Dozens of colleagues from other departments took calls all day and night. That night, they were all “first line”.

Bulgaria:

Though the new guiding principles were not officially introduced at the time the project was developed, it is a good example of #team, #trust, and #agility, as well as how Mtel empowers the digital life of their customers.

#agility >> The goal for the My Mtel App project team was to create a modern self-service channel available for the customers anywhere, anytime. At the time My Mtel was launched the other telecoms in the country did not offer such app (now they do).

#team >> The project team was very united, very enthusiastic and very energetic. They were all eager to launch the app and to see its success. Each of them contributed significantly with more that her or his role required – they even involved their friends and families. Decisions were made after open discussions where everyone was able to provide their point of view. “We were a great team and everyone was doing the extra mile to make sure the project is successful”, says Tatiana Stoineva, project’s Team Leader.

#trust #agility >> The final version of the app was not exactly the one planned – it was better. The team improved the initially planned functionalities on the go, as they were constantly gathering feedback and questioning each other. Everyone wanted to do the best and was flexible enough to upgrade the app and act fast to achieve it within the initial deadline.

The My Mtel App project team (left to right):

Dimitar Georgiev, Tatiana Stoineva, Petar Rusinov, Metodi Mladenov, Raya Zaharieva, Kiril Stoilov, Rayna Andonova, Valentina Ivanova, Bilyana Todorova.

Austria:

Team is not about units, departments or even companies. Team is a mindset. How far this attitude can go? Well, let’s just say we managed to impress developers at Facebook.

#agility >> Facebook announced custom integrations for Workplace in December and the team Armin Moayad around was really eager to implement some new services that would make working together easier and more efficient. They brainstormed different options and decided to do a rapid prototyping session.

#team #trust >> The engineers from Facebook were super supportive and quite impressed with the ambitious pace and creative approaches. So much, that they even shared a picture from the Viennese hackathon on their own (internal) Workplace. They even shared some insider tips that helped the team to develop the world´s first ever Workplace chatbot “A1 Bot”.

#agility >> A1 did this ahead of approx. 2000 other companies using workplace. A1 Bot is just a prototype now that used an example workflow but very soon it might be able to be a glossary to refer to for commonly used A1 abbreviations, it might reply to frequently asked questions, or it might even be able to book a room or a meeting for you… maybe really really soon!
Without agility they would have not thought about trying out all these new things, if you are agile and your team is agile and there is mutual trust great things happen!

But now…

Listen to Branka, Dejan, Larisa, Luka, Franz, Julia, Marc, Jürgen, Mariyan, Miglena, Tatiana, Krešimir, Ivana and Jovica explain what our Guiding Principles mean to them.