Why we value open conversations
At Runtastic, we do have quite a lot of information formats to keep everyone in the loop about what is going on in the company. And while we deem them incredibly important in spreading the most essential information effectively across all teams, they lack one crucial feature: they are not driven by the team itself.
For this, we established some formats that allow interaction across peers, that grant stage time to every volunteer, and that enable everyone to practice their presentation skills.
In the spirit of F*ckUp Nights…
The official FuckUp Nights have been invented by Mexican students a few years back to have failed entrepreneurs share their failure stories – and what they have learned from them.
As we believe that we can only innovate if we talk openly about our mistakes, we decided to recreate these events for ourselves. Almost three years ago, we therefore established “Bruised”, a one hour session in which Runtastics voluntarily get to share some personal or professional anecdotes about previous failures – and what they have learned underway.
This popular format is beneficial on so many levels:
- It normalizes failure and mistakes, which in turn encourages everyone to try out new things without any fear of repercussions
- It entertains the audience: with the help of fun images, memes or gifs our presenters know how to engagingly share their story in a meaningful way.
- It allows the presenters to practice their skills. Not only do they get to speak in front of a large, yet forgiving audience (we are one team, after all), but also do they learn how to best tell a story – and receive constructive feedback, if they are up for it.
Inspired by Oprah
Even though mainstream talk shows are not everybody’s piece of cake, we figured they allow us to have open conversations about sensitive topics.
We kicked off the format with the topic “Mental Health” and invited a team member who was willing to openly speak about their issues. In addition, a leader who had experience with affected team members, as well as one of our occupational psychologists shared their experience, in addition to some well-founded background information.
Naturally, we allowed questions from the audience, which sparked meaningful discussions. The main take-aways of this session were:
- If you do not feel well, get help. There is never a wrong time to reach out to someone.
- If someone reaches out to you, do not give advice unless they ask you for it.
- If you notice someone not feeling well, reach out and ask them how they are. If they do not want to share, accept that.
Let the expert talk
Expert Talks are a great opportunity to invite some outside perspectives into our daily work lives, and learn from others how certain things can be done.
Be it about introverts as leaders, how to shape culture in a chaotic environment, or how different body images shape our products: the inputs were insightful as well as inspiring.
As we are part of adidas, we also often have the opportunity to learn from even more famous speakers like Liz & Mollie (who inspired us to create our “It’s okay” list, for example). And we will certainly continue inviting interesting speakers to help us spark new ideas, and present new perspectives. So, in case you have something valuable to share within your field of expertise, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.