VMware is undergoing a business transformation to become a multi-cloud SaaS (Software as a Service) and subscription company. VMware’s culture is unique and will be key to our transformation – and our people are key to defining and owning the acceleration towards SaaS and subscription.
Across our employee community we are empowering ‘cultural catalysts’ to share their stories of transformation, the little things that they do day in and day out, that make a difference through both big and small changes. This month we learn how R&D Manager Radostin Tsanev used a unique approach to put the concept of SaaS into action in his team and is now reaping the rewards.
One year into the pandemic, Radostin wanted to increase and sustain connection within his distributed team. Knowing that trust between team members is key to success and high performance, he introduced a novel agenda item to weekly staff meetings entitled: Tell Me A Story.
Every week, a different member of his team shares a 5-10 minute story of their life. It can be a photograph from their past, hearing about their experiences as a student, or learning about what they enjoy most in life, all of which can be eye-opening about the person. Learning each other’s stories has made the team a stronger unit, and it’s become an exciting, inspiring, trust-building activity the whole team looks forward to.
Beyond facilitating connection and telling their stories Radostin has also helped team members hone their presentation skills and was inspired to join a Pitch-a-thon, which is an event for VMware employees where entrants pitch an idea in five minutes to a panel of judges.
Radostin used his enhanced communication skills to make it past the first round and into the finals. For his final round pitch, he decided to connect two big ideas that motivated him over the course of the past year: the SaaS mindset transformation within VMware and his desire to help build a stronger volunteering community in his country.
To prepare for the SaaS element of his pitch, he met with his team every week to discuss a principle of SaaS transformation. They each shared what it meant to them and brainstormed how they could apply it in their everyday work.
Radostin then moved into the second element of his pitch which focused on a different kind of service. He and his colleagues organized an outreach event where they visited and spent time with elderly, lonely people in nearby villages.
Through the experiences of sharing stories with their team using the ‘Tell Me A Story’ technique in combination with volunteering with the elders of their community, it became clear that empathy and listening to others is key to a SaaS mindset because SaaS is all about service.
Along with a dozen or so people from his team, and using these insights, Radostin finalized his pitch and called it Team Service. Together they worked and iterated on his pitch until it was the best it could possibly be. Radostin took his pitch to the finals and he won!
His success was truly the team’s success, and as a result, everyone has a better understanding of SaaS.
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