Telecom Italia is the 7th largest Italian company by revenue and is among the top 500 in the world. It offers landline, mobile phone, public phone, IP, internet and cable television services and was rebranded under the single TIM brand in January 2016.
The goal of Telecom Italia in the spring of 2010 was to relaunch itself and to regain its competitive foothold. How? By focusing on people, especially in terms of enhancing its executives’ management skills. Some preliminary assessments made it possible to focus more clearly on which path to take according to the requirements that they revealed. The goal was to elevate people, encourage dialogue and stimulate innovation, not just technological but also social, from the necessary education for change to their way of acting and thinking.
In the year prior to the program launch, a select and representative number of executives were submitted to an appraisal of their potential in order to evaluate the possibility that they could take on more complex positions, requiring a greater degree of leadership,in the future.
Once the results were evaluated, the decision to design a path for managers with the clear and shared goal of promoting a conscious, ethical, authoritative, yet at the same time distinct and illustrative managerial style
About 600 participants were divided into groups of 15/20 people at a time: almost all executives in the Telecom group.
The name given to this innovative and experiential learning path undertaken by Telecom in 2010, in conjunction with Lenovys and a team of teachers from different experiences and with different perspectives, was “Managerial Nodes“.
Training activities were structured as regular moments of reflection on the central nodes of management, on both an individual and organisational level: an itinerary marked by plenary meetings with the company’s senior management and workshops, together with the use of a blog for sharing ideas.
The workshops dealt with the required themes for the cultural transformation towards the new managerial culture, employing five nodes to confront, develop and trigger:
- Ethics, treated as a mode of individual and collective behaviour, rather than as a set of rules to follow
- Dialogue, to guide the team and avoid the narrow-minded attitudes that undermine teamwork
- Listening, also to avoid the information overload we are subjected to each day in order to improve concentration
- Transparency, because explaining choices and communicating clearly with colleagues increases their sense of participation in processes and they will feel more empowered
- Courage, described as a willingness to take risks, for example the “risk” of giving co-workers autonomy, exposing them to feeling more like managers than employees
In Telecom, a mechanism has been set in motion that is changing the mental approach to problems, thanks to an increased sense of belonging to the company and widespread communication at all levels. At the moment, this is unique in the Italian industrial landscape as an experiential training course.
The result was that the participants assumed a managerial style more focused on examples, awareness, ethics and authoritativeness.
Given its success, this project was extended to all those in positions of responsibility (managers or other levels of management), up to a total of 1600 managers in addition to those initially involved.