Shape your working environment

Type - Swarm Intelligence

Sector - Business

Impact - Motivates

„ Together we can have an impact!“

The Big Idea

As an innovative services company in the energy and network business, e.kundenservice Netz GmbH (ek.N) was striving to create a new culture of communication throughout the organization. They chose to promote this endeavor through the conceptualization of a Free.Space (frei.raum) World Café as a communication platform for their employees to be able to voice their ideas and co-create the future of the business.

Who was in the room?

Employees from all levels of the organization participated – from the CEOs to all business areas. Since the company was geographically clustered in two separate regions, two simultaneous World Cafés in Hamburg and Landshut were held. About 220 employees attended this half-day event. The two World Cafés were periodically connected via a live-stream throughout the day to foster a “WE” feeling of community for all of the participants.

What did the planning team want to achieve?

Together with World Café Europe as a supporting moderator, the ek.N strategic planning team for the World Café co-created the overall purpose and goals as well as the envisioned results of the company’s dialogue. The formulated goals for the frei.raum World Café ranged from cultivating an enhanced sensibility for the organizational culture and encouraging a more flat communication culture to gathering business ideas and nurturing a “We are the ek.N” spirit. The initial conceptual approach was pre-tested by World Café Europe together with employees in both locations through a series of focus groups.

What are the results and the impact?

The feedback from the harvesting of the participant’s ideas from the two World Cafés was abundant. World Café Europe undertook a complete analysis of the results from both of the World Cafés. Two broad themes emerged from the overall data. One theme focused upon the future development of the company through enhanced customer orientation, innovation and new areas for the business. The other emergent theme focused on the ek.N organizational culture as reflected the wish of the employees to foster a community spirit, improve the feedback culture and communication channels to embracing a more modern approach to work and office design.

World Café Europe designed a series of follow-up workshops with the strategic team members to reflect upon the results of the frei.raum World Café. During this process, members of the frei.raum team selected the TOP 5 priorities emerging from the frei.raum World Café participants’ ideas and recommendations for implementation. Each frei.raum team member made a personal commitment to actively engage to make his/her selected priority a reality. To this day, the frei.raum initiative continues to be a catalyst for continuous improvement from employees for employees within ek.N.

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