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The Chameleon Project - Immersing into the lives of our colleagues

Step into the shoes and minds of your colleagues to understand what they do, who they are, and why they do what they do.

Photo of Victoria Tam

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As our roles and responsibilities at work become more complex and interconnected, and as technology enables more digital and remote work, there is an increasing need to feel seen and to be valued.

The Chameleon Project offers a 3 week/3 month immersion with a host colleague in another role, team or department. The employee participant works with their host to determine what a successful experience looks like for everyone. After the experience, the participant will share out their learnings with their original team, and learn how to put those learnings into action. The original team will reflect on their experience missing a team member. This encourages a mutual recognition of interdependency.

We believe “walking a mile in someone’s shoes” means not only learning what their job entails at a technical level, but also considering, ‘where have their shoes been before even walking in the door this morning?’ ‘Have they traveled by train or by foot to get here?’ And ‘where will their shoes go after the day ends?’ ‘Do they have kids to pick up, parents to care for?’ By working intimately with a colleague, opportunities for informal lunches or chats may arise. 

Employees will be guided through practices such as reflection journals or conversation guides to help them dive deeper into their immersion experience. Reflection questions could include ones like: 'What have you learned that can apply immediately when you return to your normal role?' Or 'What surprised you about your colleague's role, that you didn't expect?' And 'How has this experience inspired you to develop deeper connections with your normal team and what tools have you learned to do that?' The reflection is a core part of the experience and will ensure that the experience is meaningful for both the host and participant.

Based on feedback from the OpenIDEO community, we will add an additional component of personality tests such as VIA strengths test and HBDI whole brain thinking for the shadowing participants. This is an opportunity to not only understand what someone else does, but how their personality style influences the way they work. These sessions could be facilitated by our Logitech OpenIDEO/Learning & Development team.

PERSONAS/USER EXPERIENCE JOURNEYS

Detailed personas and user experience journey

Learn more about the stories behind each persona.

Here are examples of ways that we might reach employees, and how we might engage with them throughout the entire experience.

PROTOTYPES AND REFINEMENTS

Prototype #1 - Business Group Survey Results

We surveyed two separate business groups within the company to ask employees who they would like to learn from and why. 

We also tried a concierge-like service where we reached out to individual employees to learn about their needs and desires, before pairing them up with someone else. It was helpful to get in depth insight into what they want, in order to help us make the best pairings possible.

Feedback - Project Manager

We interviewed one employee who is especially interested in the shadowing experience. We learned that in order for us to make the process as smooth as possible, it is important for our team as the facilitators to have a basic structure of what the experience will look like. For example, a 3 day shadow might encompass:

  1. Casual meeting to get to know each other
  2. Framework of the job requirements 
  3. Shadow in a few meetings
  4. Strengths profile


Prototype #2 - Shadowing Experience

This link describes reflections about a shadowing experience and how that will inspire the structure for future shadowing experiences.

NEXT STEPS

  1. To focus our efforts, we will choose one group to start with a pilot. We have identified potential pairs from our initial surveys, and will use those as a starting point. We will focus on choosing roles that may not have direct communication day to day, but still have an impact on each other. We would also select different pairs of employees to test different lengths of shadowing.
  2. We will test different ways of capturing learnings throughout the experience. While the conversations the shadower has upon returning to their team are informal to begin with, we will learn what the most important key takeaways are, and how we can help them take action with those learnings. 


A SIDE NOTE

Employees may decide to shadow someone in a different location for increased visibility. Those who do end up traveling can opt into our business travel experience program (Sawubona). This will add a deeper layer of meaning of personal connection, on top of the more professional-related shadowing experience.  

Idea Title

The Chameleon Project

How the Idea will inspire the experience and expression of gratitude within an organization.

1. Gratitude can come from giving. This idea encourages employees to take pride in the work they do and contribute to the learning of a colleague. 2. Employees feel gratitude when companies show commitment to their development. This idea supports their growth, and sparks meaningful discussions between managers and their reports to align on what their goals may be. 3. One colleague told us, “When people don’t understand why your job is difficult, they will have a hard time feeling grateful for your efforts when you finally do get the job done.” The opportunity to dive into an unknown environment enables employees to practice recognizing opportunities for gratitude in different situations.

Who are you innovating for?

Employees in cross-functional teams will have the opportunity to develop deeper connections with colleagues. Managers/Leadership - The teams they lead will work more cohesively and gratefully, as their members will gain an awareness and understanding of how each role fits into the bigger picture. We would start by focusing on one group within Logitech. This group would encompass many teams, including sales and marketing, product management, engineering, and design.

What type of workplaces are you innovating for?

For companies with one team/multiple roles or companies with multiple teams, departments and/or organizations. While initial pilots may be carried out domestically, we have the full intention of scaling this idea globally.

How you envision the Idea being introduced to your selected organization?

We would run small scale, local pilots to gather feedback and support. For example, switching roles within a team, and eventually scaling to include switching roles across departments. We will work with managers to craft the structure and content. Our learning and development team would also be instrumental in structuring the reflections and share out sessions so that employees can have a meaningful experience.

What obstacles, if any, do you foresee in implementing this Idea, and how would they be overcome?

1. Time commitment: Encourage meaningful dialogue between the participant and their manager to create an experience that will not negatively affect ongoing progress. 2. Engagement: Roll out supporting small scale initiatives in tandem like workshops or speaker series. Give participants ownership to shape their immersion experience. 3. Communicating purpose: Reflection questions and post-experience surveys will tie the experience back to the theme of gratitude.

How will you test and prototype your solution?

If we had 3 weeks to test our idea, we would: 1. Distribute a survey to a group within Logitech to get a quick pulse the level of gratitude and what we understand of each other’s roles 2. Run an experiment with two people in different roles (product manager vs. mechanical engineering) shadowing one another for half a day each. Repeat with different departments. 3. Engage in focused pre/post interviews with participants to learn what kind of support is needed to enrich the experience.

What immediate next steps will you take if you receive an implementation grant.

1. Work with the GGSC to assess the current state of gratitude at Logitech, to ensure we are asking the right questions and measuring the right benchmarks. Run a long term study with the GGSC to evaluate effectiveness of bottom up processes vs one big idea to cultivate gratitude. 2. Educate employees about the practice of gratitude by working with the GGSC to tailor gratitude workshops for Logitech. 3. Leverage the global community to extend resources to our colleagues abroad.

At what stage of development is your Idea?

  • Research & Early Testing: You are exploring an idea, gathering inspiration and information needed to test it with real users.
  • Prototyping: You have conducted some small tests or experiments with prospective users and will continue developing idea through these tests.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

The idea had surfaced internally prior to the challenge because we were starting to see knowledge sharing happening naturally already. The idea grew and developed more from a group brainstorm and through interviews with colleagues.

Tell us about yourself

Victoria Tam - Systems Engineer (with a deep personal passion for positive psychology) Jessica Amortegui - Sr. Director, Learning & Development Eunice Chan - Sr. Compensation Manager Olivia Shen Green - Sr. Manager, Head of Diversity and Inclusion Ellie Harris - Sr. Consultant, Global Learning & Development

Where are you / your team located?

San Francisco Bay Area

Company / Organization Name

Logitech Inc.

Website

https://www.logitech.com/en-us

Tell us about your experience

Jessica teaches leadership to executives and emerging leaders around the world and in 2015, was awarded the Positive Business Award for her groundbreaking work to cultivate more meaningful and connected workplaces. Ellie relies heavily on positive psychology principles to deliver workshops around the world. Olivia is a business operations manager who leads fast-paced, inclusive change for billion $ orgs in People and Culture, Engineering, Supply Chain and M&A.

Please describe, in detail, how you will test and get feedback on your concept.

We conducted a survey with two separate business groups to get feedback about the idea of either shadowing someone or having someone shadow you. We identified pairs of people who were interested in shadowing and had interviews to understand what kind of structure they would want, and how much autonomy they would like to craft their own experience.

Please describe specifically how you plan to scale your idea. What are the key next steps you will take, and how will those steps inform the evolution and growth of your concept?

Our key challenge with scaling is: how might we continue to engage employees to recognize that it is an option? To address this, we plan to scale in a very focused way. Logitech has several verticals including Operations, Design, People and Culture, as well as different business groups that represent our diverse portfolio such as Gaming, Smart Home, and Music. Each of these groups may have anywhere from 70 to 200 people. While multiple leaders are excited to pilot the program with their respective groups, we plan to maximize participation by piloting with one group at a time. In order to evolve the idea, we plan to have an expanded strategy with a range of options offered to employees: from one day shadowing, to three months of an "internal sabbatical," to a full role swap. The various levels of entry and engagement will encourage employees to take part in a way that aligns with their goals.

As we have seen in the Challenge, there is a tension between authentic expressions of gratitude and mandatory gratitude. How does your idea inspire truly authentic expressions of gratitude versus mandated ones?

At the conclusion of the experience, the expression of gratitude (whether it’s a simple note or a gift card) will draw from an authentic, shared experience. For the host, having someone who is genuinely curious to learn from them inspires feelings of being seen. The host will have a chance to reflect on why they do what they do, feel pride about the way they contribute to the team, and gratitude for the opportunity to contribute to another colleague’s learning.

Gratitude often thrives when opportunities for connection are created. How will your concept create new opportunities for human connection?

Our concept is grounded on the idea that gratitude is about being seen and being valued for who you are. By matching pairs of employees for a certain length of time (one day, one week, one month, etc, we create opportunities for employees to hold space for each other. The strengths finder portion of the experience allows employees to dive deeper into understanding who their colleagues are and an opportunity to challenge and help each other grow.

Who (specifically) will benefit from your concept, and how they will interact with it? What design considerations have you included to ensure easy and intuitive interactions? 

The concept is designed for any employee who is interested in either learning about a different role or having someone shadow their role. When asked about the reasons having someone shadow them may not be desirable, many people we surveyed mentioned they wouldn’t know how to occupy the colleague. The experience is designed to be a concierge-type service, in order to take away as much of the planning on the host’s part. Employees indicate their preferences on a Google form. After being matched, the shadower and host would have an introductory meeting to understand their goals for the experience. Although we provide a skeleton for the shadowing structure, we ensure that employees are engaged from the beginning by giving them ownership to craft the experience they want.

Please describe how you intend to use the prize funding, if selected as a Top Idea. Be specific.

1. Marketing and branding the program internally to drive participation. 2. A centralized pool of money for select people to travel for their shadowing. The money would cover all the typical business travel expenses, such as flights and transportation, if necessary, and/or meals with their host.

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