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Working Out Loud

Bosch boosts its innovativeness in an ever more digital world

Working Out Loud (WOL) is a new collaborative approach that imparts the skills associates need to work in a virtual network.

  • Method
    Working Out Loud is a way of thinking and working. It gives the workforce a tool for collaborating in virtual networks, learning from others, and sharing knowledge. WOL is based on five key elements – relationships, generosity, a growth mindset, visible work, and purposeful discovery.
  • Benefits
    By using the WOL method, Bosch aims to promote digital collaboration and revamp its learning and working culture, and in this way to boost the company's innovativeness. These days, all associates have to be able to establish and work in networks, as well as to use digital tools. WOL circles are a practical way of acquiring these skills.
  • Circle method
    A WOL circle allows associates to experience work in networks, regardless of their place in the hierarchy, and to adopt and develop the skills needed to do this.
    Associates who wish to explore this opportunity register with an internal Bosch WOL community. The community hosts then assign them to groups called circles. Each circle comprises five people with diverse professional backgrounds. Participants first define a personal learning objective they wish to work on with the help of the circle method. The program lasts twelve weeks, during which participants carry out simple tasks and gradually establish a subject-based expert network. In its turn, the network helps them achieve their personal learning objective. In addition to the tasks, the participants meet in person or in virtual conferences for an hour a week. At these meetings, they share feedback on their tasks and learn from one another. On the basis of the feedback they receive by making their work visible in digital networks, associates are encouraged to rethink how they go about their work. Moreover, they use digital tools to work together more effectively, share knowledge, and offer feedback.
  • WOL team
    WOL at Bosch started as a grassroots initiative. Today, a co-creation team of 14 people is developing the method further and adapting it for new applications worldwide, such as innovation processes. Co-creation means that participation is voluntary.

WOL at Bosch

  • WOL community
    >4,200 members
  • Countries
    >50
  • Circles
    >550
  • Feedback
    97% of the participants recommend the method,
    75% have returned for another round,
    96% confirm that WOL helps improve their digital skills.
  • Applications
    Annual WOL conference with internal staff and external partners, on- and off-the-job training options, active contribution to on-boarding events for new associates, integration in innovation processes, leadership development, change programs, and cultural development.

Tags: Working out loud, WOL, collaboration, learning, qualification

About Bosch

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 410,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2018). The company generated sales of 78.5 billion euros in 2018. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT company, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, smart cities, connected mobility, and connected manufacturing. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.” The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 460 subsidiary and regional companies in over 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. At nearly 130 locations across the globe, Bosch employs some 68,700 associates in research and development.

The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant upfront investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

Additional information is available online at www.bosch.com, www.iot.bosch.com, www.bosch-press.com, www.twitter.com/BoschPresse.

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