#Ethics: there is no other value without this last one

#Ethics: there is no other value without this last one 2200 1393 Spii

10. SPII’s Charter of Values – #Ethics

There can’t be sustainability without ethics.

The last and the first thing you do are often the most crucial. This is why we have left #Ethics as the final Value in our Charter of Values.

It was a document we wrote because we wanted to make more concrete and official the efforts of our company towards topics of work, life, and the future we believe are important.
We were committed to making a difference in the world by prioritizing them, and the Values Charter is a testament to this commitment.

These Values have always been with us, but writing them down gave them consistency. It was like writing them in stone.
We would be more bound than ever to them.

Since we started the process of analysis, questioning, discussing, and selecting the Values that we wanted to represent SPII, and that SPII had to represent with its doing, so many things have changed.

It’s been about one year since then, and during this time we have celebrated our 75th birthday, we have finalized an acquisition, and our CEO has changed. So many things are different now…but we are happy and proud to state that our values are not. And they won’t.

So now that we have reached the last value of the lot, the last article about this topic, we must congratulate ourselves: because we chose them well. Only values that truly come from a Company’s soul can endure change and turn out more accurate than ever.

Probably, the reason is that we chose them with #Ethics.

There is no value without #Ethics

We believe ethics is the perfect conclusion to this journey because it is also the beginning.

Ethics is the value without which no other value can exist. There can be no #Sustainability without ethics. But also there can’t be #Trust, #Vision, or #Inclusion.

The reason for it lies in the definition itself: Ethics is a branch of philosophy that deals with moral principles and values that guide human behavior.

It is concerned with questions of what is right or wrong, good or bad, just or unjust, and what actions or behaviors are acceptable or unacceptable in different situations.
It is not just limited to individual behavior but also applies to the behavior of groups, organizations, and society as a whole, because it helps individuals and organizations to make decisions and actions that are morally justifiable.

You see then why ethics is the basis itself of a Charter of Values like ours? It exists because our main goal in creating it was to help us take ethical decisions.

Do the right thing

The idea that ethics and other values are intertwined is not new, but what we want to do as a Company is use it to distinguish between right and wrong.

How can you do what is right, if you don’t know what “wrong” means? You need to know both, to think about it, to draw the line.

However, this is not always easy or popular. Often, we are faced with difficult decisions, and the ethical thing to do is not the easy one. Sometimes we must consider the long-term effects of our actions, even if it means sacrificing short-term gains.

For example, in the current economic climate, many companies are struggling to stay afloat. It may be tempting to cut corners or lay off staff to save money, but these decisions may have long-term consequences that ultimately lead to the company’s failure.

SPII recognizes this and struggles to be open to discussion and improvement, even if it means making difficult decisions.

In the end, our message is clear: ethics, like sustainability, is not just a buzzword for us.
It’s one of the values that guide every decision we make.
By prioritizing these values, companies can create a sustainable future that benefits everyone.

This is what we want to do. This is what we promise to try doing, despite all the changes that may happen.

It’s going to be a beautiful journey – we will follow these tracks wherever they go, wherever we can.

See you next time,
Ilaria Cazziol


Building #Trust within a team is a personal business

Building #Trust within a team is a personal business 2090 1393 Spii

8. SPII’s Charter of Values – #Trust #TakeCare

People should take care of their team, and the team should take care of its people

The concept of trust is an essential element in any team environment. It is the foundation upon which a team’s success is built, and it is a critical component of a healthy and productive workplace.

But trust is not something that can be easily achieved, and it requires effort and dedication from both the team and its members to maintain.

So the greatest question, one we have tried to find an answer to for as long as our company lived (and it’s a long time!), is this: what are the ingredients to this elusive, yet essential element for every team’s success?

Here is our (not so secret) recipe to create well-baked Trust

It’s a simple one, only 3 ingredients: we believe support, honesty, and openness are the cornerstones for generating trust in one’s team.

  • Support is an essential element: being available to help a teammate, even without being asked, can do a great difference. By offering and receiving support, team members can feel that they are valued and that their contributions are appreciated. This leads to increased motivation and engagement, which ultimately leads to a more productive and successful team.
  • Honesty is another key element in building trust within a team. Team members should feel that they can be honest with each other, without fear of judgment or retaliation. This can become a great boost not only for productivity but also for innovation, because where individuals can share their thoughts and ideas freely these is creativity.
  • Finally, openness is the last but not least critical element. Encouraging open communication and transparency, as well as being open to feedback and suggestions from team members, is the only way a team can truly thrive.

When a team can be supportive, honest and open, there can be trust. It means every need of the team is taken care of.
But who takes care of whom?

#Trust is synonym with #TakeCare

One of the most common ideas is that the team should take care of its people.

This means that the whole team should be committed to the well-being and success of each individual member, which should work together to create a supportive and nurturing environment.

Providing opportunities for professional development, offering support when needed, and fostering a sense of community and belonging within the team…these are all “roles” a team should play towards the members to be successful.

But is this really true?

At SPII, we have come to realize that this can be a dangerous path. The idea of the team taking care of its people can also become pathological, if not executed properly.

It can lead to a culture where individuals become complacent and rely solely on the team to take care of them, without making any effort to contribute to the smooth functioning of the system. This can cause resentment among other team members and can ultimately lead to a breakdown of the hard-earned trust.

It’s the perfect example of the “it depends on others” culture we fought hard to eliminate.

On the other hand, a culture of “it depends on me” only can also be problematic. People could feel overworked and undervalued, if they are constantly expected to take on more responsibilities without support or recognition from the team. This can lead to burnout and can ultimately harm the overall productivity, going back to the previous cultural stage.

So what is the right answer? As usual, it is in the middle.

A balance between the two cultures

True, the team should take care of its people, but first of all every team member should take care of their team.

The team’s responsibility should not come at the expense of individual accountability. Each team member needs to take ownership of their role and to actively contribute to the team’s success.

And how to achieve this? Guess what…with support, honesty and openness!

If team members feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas, to speak up when they feel that something is not working, and to offer support when they see that they can contribute to a resolution…well, this can make a team almost invincible.

And then, if the team recognizes and rewards individuals for their efforts, if it can motivate people to keep making positive contributions, this can ultimately lead to a more cohesive and productive team environment.

The golden circle of trust

You see? Trust in a team is a perfect circle: it starts with a personal contribution to the benefit of the team, and it ends with a team contribution to the benefit of the individual.

Ultimately, we all have a role to play in building trust within our teams.
We must do our part first by being supportive, honest, and open, and by actively working to create a culture of trust and mutual respect.

The bottom line is that if we are a team, then no one should be left behind. Working together, we can build a strong and productive team environment, where everyone can thrive and achieve their full potential.

Do you agree with us? Let us know below.

See you next time,
Ilaria Cazziol

win win value spii

The art of always thinking #WinWin

The art of always thinking #WinWin 1800 1185 Spii

6. SPII’s Charter of Values – #WinWin

Assertiveness is the best way to resolve conflict: a solution where everyone wins should always be sought.

During our journey of change, through the playful environment of SPII Evolution, we tried and learned many things.

We knew most of them already: they were part of us since the beginning of our Company culture and history. But working on them, analyzing their meaning and implications, they became even more important to us.

Our 6th Value was exactly this: something we have had with us all along, but which became increasingly clear over the years.

So much that today we pride ourselves of being a win-win Company.
One that strives to avoid a win-lose mentality.
One where we try to always see the third possible outcome in any negotiation: the one where we all win.

How do we do it? By learning the subtle but very important art of assertiveness.

A natural enemy

When we find ourselves in conflict, or in a negotiation, or in any situation when we have our ideas confronted, we naturally tend towards either of two reactions: passiveness or aggressiveness.

It’s natural, something deeply wired in all of us, from our culture, education, character…if we have an aggressive personality by nature, we will tend to overcome the person in front of us, to impose our point of view, and ultimately to win for the sake of winning, even if it means making the other lose.

On the contrary, if we tend to be shy and insecure, we will easily fall in the trap of passiveness and let decisions, opportunities and confrontations pass us by…

These two tendencies are as natural in organizations as they are in people. This is why they are an enemy to be fought with a powerful weapon: assertiveness.

Assertiveness is a state of mind

“The basic difference between being assertive and being aggressive is how our words and behavior affect the rights and well being of others”
Sharon Anthony Bower

Being assertive is not natural for most of us: it’s something we have to learn the hard way, and to repeat over and over in order to wire it in our natural responses, in place of of the previous ones.

But ultimately, when it happens, everything changes! Because assertiveness allows for an easier resolution of conflicts, for better decisions and improved relationships.

Being assertive means to “communicate clearly and with confidence your feelings, needs, wants and thoughts, whilst acknowledging the needs of others”.

Being assertive then will enable you to be clearer on how you wish to proceed in a certain situation, and at the same time, you will value others’ opinions and feelings, respecting their ideas as well.

Most of all, this will allow you to evaluate their proposals without prejudice.

It sounds easier said than done, I know.

But you know what happens once you master this ability?

The third option: win-win

What do you need your orange for?

Then it becomes natural to see that there is always a solution that allows both me and you to win. There is always a space, a point between mine opinion and yours, where we can meet and agree on something.

No, it’s not true: win-win is not ALWAYS possible, let’s be honest.

Sometimes one will have to let go, sometime the other will have to admit there is a better point of view….still, assertiveness is what allows us to avoid passiveness and aggressiveness. Or worse, a passive-aggressive approach!

Can you see how special this vision is?
Especially because, with this mindset, the most important thing is not to reach the win-win solution. It’s to strive for it, trying not to give up until you reach that new, improved, common idea.

Thinking win-win is not about compromising, if that means finding a solution that is “half right” and doesn’t make either of us feel like it’s the best option.

It’s about re-imagining the options, striving to look for a new one, one that is better than mine original idea and than yours.

Maybe, if we are both looking for an orange, we don’t have to fight over the last one.
Maybe if we talk it through, we express our opinions and our desires, we try to understand what the other side wants…we may realize that we could both have the orange, because I need it for an orange juice and you…you only want its peel for your Spritz!

And then, we can all go enjoy our aperitivo after work together. Cheers!

See you next time,
Ilaria Cazziol


La mappa delle Culture

La mappa delle Culture 2560 1751 Spii
Alessandro Boldetti, Emiliano Grandi, Paolo Casoretti, Daniele Colombini, Massimo Riccelli, Fabio Devenz, Andrea Maggi, Valentina Marrese, Arianna Tiralongo

Spii, come centro di competenza internazionale, vive di esperienza ed interazioni con il resto del mondo e vuole migliorare sempre di più la gestione della sua rete mondiale per supportare al meglio i propri clienti.

Guidati dalla consapevolezza che le diversità sono un valore aggiunto e che esistono dei gap culturali tra i vari Paesi, sorge la nostra voglia di comprendere le differenti culture.

Come intendiamo padroneggiare le dinamiche interculturali? Aiutando i membri del nostro team a sviluppare la loro flessibilità culturale grazie ad un corso di formazione in collaborazione con Mylia che rientra nel programma della nostra Academy.

A guidarci in questo percorso sarà la docente Maura Di Mauro – Interculural Trainer, Coach & Consultant.

Nel frattempo, abbiamo deciso di prepararci lasciandoci ispirare da Erin Meyer e dal suo fantastico libro La mappa delle culture : una guida dettagliata delle culture dei diversi Paesi per imparare ad adottare le tecniche più efficaci nella comunicazione e nelle interazioni all’interno di ambienti multiculturali.

Non vediamo l’ora di incrementare le nostre conoscenze, imparando ad osservare da diverse prospettive!

Alla prossima puntata,
Simona Gianoli


The Culture Map

The Culture Map 2560 1751 Spii
Alessandro Boldetti, Emiliano Grandi, Paolo Casoretti, Daniele Colombini, Massimo Riccelli, Fabio Devenz, Andrea Maggi, Valentina Marrese, Arianna Tiralongo

Spii, as a center of competence, thrives on experience and international interaction with the rest of the world and wants to improve the management of its worldwide network more and more to better support its customers.

Guided by the awareness that diversity is an added value and that there are cultural gaps between the various countries, our desire to understand different cultures arises.

How do we intend to master the intercultural dynamics?
Helping our team members to develop their cultural flexibility thanks to a training course in collaboration with Mylia which is part of our Academy program.

To guide us in this path will be the teacher Maura Di Mauro – Interculural Trainer, Coach & Consultant.

In the meantime, we decided to prepare ourselves by letting ourselves be inspired by Erin Meyer and her fantastic book The Culture Map: a detailed guide to the cultures of different countries to learn how to adopt the most effective techniques in communication and interactions within multicultural environments.

We can’t wait to increase our knowledge by learning to observe from different perspectives!

See you next time,
Simona Gianoli

“Agile” is the keyword for a new company context

“Agile” is the keyword for a new company context 1280 854 Spii

If you have read the previous articles about our Journey towards Change, you should have understood something by now: we took it very seriously.

It was an evolution that involved our entire organization, every person had to take part in it and make themselves advocates of Change: there was no space for the DOO (depends on others), only for DOM (depends on me).

We wanted to change, improve, make our company a better place to work and a more innovative solution provider for our clients and partners…

But how? What was our goal, what did we want to become?

Well, we had a pretty clear view of the future we wanted to embrace: our compass was pointing towards “agility” during the whole journey.

What is agility within a company?

Being agile as a Company is the same as for a person: it means that they are swift, flexible, ready to move.

They can jump, change direction, move faster or slower accordingly to the conditions ahead. And most importantly, they are able to quickly step back up when they fall, and to understand the reason that led to failure in order to avoid it in the future.

As Fabio Tognetti wrote us when he introduced the work we would do together during SPII Evolution:

  • being agile means being ready for change, not just adapting to it but also riding it.
  • It means eliminating relational ballast, made up of misunderstandings, distorted communications, unresolved conflicts, to work well together.
  • To be agile means to stop complaining (DOO), and to transform criticism into constructive elements (DOM).
  • Being agile means having a clear idea of what we want to achieve together, and having a clear role to play in this process, showing the necessary flexibility in times of crisis.
  • Ultimately, it means putting the individual first, which is both a huge opportunity and a great responsibility. It means YOU count more, YOU have more influence in decisions; it means working with a purpose, becoming part of something much bigger.

It’s not something you have, it’s something you are: it’s an attitude we all have deep within us, something you can’t buy but you can work on to improve.

We wanted to achieve this kind of organizational model to better manage the complexity of our World. We just needed to understand how.

“How to make SPII agile?” This was the question

It actually was, from the very beginning: this was the title of the workshop we had with Fabio just before we started working in groups to brainstorm and ideate ways to improve the company.

The answer was for everyone to find. Really, everyone!

We only knew what we wanted to achieve:

  • a distributed vision, where every person knows the direction the company is going to and how he or she can contribute;
  • a distributed responsibility, so that everyone knows it is also THEIR job to get there.

SPII Evo is the disruptive medium we decided to use to pursue this evolution. It has been a long, complex and collective brainstorming, to ideate and give structure to projects that could achieve one (or both!) of the above goals.

And the funny thing is that, not only the implementation of the winning projects led to the change expected…it was also the process itself that did it!

Because when you want to become agile, the truth is that you have to start BEING agile. It’s a learning by doing process, where you start exercising the “muscles” you need and eventually realize that they are becoming stronger and stronger.

SPII Evo was designed just for that: starting a process of empowerment of every person, based on accountability and open-feedback, was the first step towards agility.

And once you begin that, it’s like a snowball rolling that starts an avalanche. You can’t stop it, and it will change everything. It affects the whole context of a company, both culture and process.

Is SPII an agile company?

Yes, we are. But it’s not because we have flexible working hours (which we do). Nor because we have a beautiful room dedicated to lunchtime, rest and chat with colleagues (which we have, and it’s one of the ideas born from SPII Evolution: the EVO Room!).

We are agile because we know how to embrace change. We don’t let things happen and then sort them out, we plan, we execute, and we adapt to ever-changing situations.

Our agility is based on our people, “bricks” that are made of responsibility about the result, expertise of what they are in charge of, and the necessary authority to make prompt decisions.
We have regulated what is inside of one’s “brick” and how to understand what is outside, so that we are fully autonomous but also fully interconnected.

This makes us fast and adaptable.

But what definitely makes us agile is the attitude: a mindset we grew day by day since we were born as a company, and especially since we started to purposefully work on it with SPII Evolution.

Would you consider yourself “agile” as well?

See you next time,
Ilaria Cazziol

change spii evo

The story so far. How did SPII Evo change us?

The story so far. How did SPII Evo change us? 1280 853 Spii
change spii evo

This is the story so far.

SPII’s history is a tale of challenges and successes, of change and reinforcement, of will and adaptability.

A story that started decades ago, when a local entrepreneur founded “Studio for Professional Industrial Engineering”.

One that continued from father to son, and then to daughter, mastering the art of resilience in the process.

But even the most adaptable companies need a real change, from time to time. And when SPII most needed it, and wanted to update its processes and resources in order to keep up with an ever changing world, it was time for…an Evolution.

SPII EVO was a process, a journey of change, a long marathon that challenged and shook everything in its path.

But in the aftermath, it was exactly what it needed to be: a real and durable change. The actualization of a process that was already ongoing, that everyone felt deep within, but needed to be explored and expanded into a new shape.

Today, about 5 years down the road, SPII is still the same company. Yet, it’s deeply different.

The aftermath of a (r)evolution

The people who experienced SPII Evolution confirm it: it was a real challenge, that involved everyone, at every level.

It was fun, challenging, engaging, active, and the resulting projects were undoubtedly great.

But beyond the specific details of the winning projects, some very important needs emerged during SPIIEvo:

  1. Better communication and information exchange at all levels;
  2. Greater delegation and more distributed responsibilities;
  3. Digitization of some processes that still took place more traditionally;
  4. And a general desire for more information sharing, in and outward.

After it was all over, the risk was…to go back to the initial situation. So many companies start with the best intentions but then get caught up in the everyday processes, in the demands of production, and slowly slide back to what was before.

SPII didn’t wan’t this to happen – and it didn’t let it.

Not all was implemented at once, clearly. Some changes happened immediately, others later on, within a process of continuous improvement that turned into something far more special: a new mindset.

Communication is the new gold

The greatest desire was clearly for an improved communication, not only at a formal level, but also an informal one. A context that would allow a greater flow of information, new friendships, more opportunities to interact.

One very well received answer to it was the Evo Room, a space for people to rest, eat, chat and enjoy their time. But not only.
Stand up meetings and systematic departmental meetings also started to take place.

For example, every week I hold an “Operation Meeting” to talk about structural issues with all the managers of the Operational functions, with a long term approach“, Silvio Zuffetti told me.

Then, they hold a “Production Meeting” to discuss topics related to production, issues with often a shorter time-frame.
Plus, every day they meet for the so-called Stand Up Meetings: first, 10 minutes each with their own department, then 20 minutes among them

In this way, each manager has it all: short, medium and long term visibility. They share information with their team, after receiving a training on communication and feedback methods, to make communication more effective.

The goal is to have everyone who is interested aware of what is going on. But also to share successes and milestones, such as project kick-offs and production kick-offs every time a new product begins its lifecycle, at the engineering level and then at the production level.

This renewed and more systematic attention to communication, feedback, agility, and overall transparency of all the processes is a great result that emerged partly from SPII Evo, one that today is ingrained in everyone’s mindset and actions.

It’s not only a matter of “knowing”: it is about taking active part in it.

Do you remember the “it depends on me/it depends on others” dichotomy? That’s also why they have recently decided to link the production bonuses directly to the economic results of the company: because its success depends on everyone, quite literally!

An agile way of working

spii evo 5

An agile and transparent company needs to have an agile and transparent organization.

So, after SPII Evo, the organization chart was completely revised, creating Work Teams with well-defined responsibilities and areas of action.

If the success of the company depends on everyone, then everyone has the responsibility to take action.

The Managers of each team now have greater responsibility for the results of their teams, which in turn stimulates them to make the people they work with more responsible. It’s a positive loop, one that enhances proactivity and autonomy.

But also one that is always supported by tons of information, training, growth, as the SPII ACADEMY can testify.

This all was driven also by the digitization of processes and tools, a trend that is ongoing, with more than 10 projects in progress at the moment. New software and methods are always on the way, in a continuous effort to simplify processes and help everyone with work.

Information is real only when shared

What SPII did after SPII Evo, and what it does today, is not just some specific action. It’s an overall tendency towards improvement which, apart from all the communication mechanisms explained above, also expands to the outside.

If you are reading this all, it’s exactly because of that: a desire not only to communicate internally, but also externally.

To use social and traditional media in a really connecting and empowering way, to reach out to a community of train drivers and other stakeholders, whose work is impacted everyday by SPII’s work.

This is exactly how an award-winning product like IntelliArm was born, actually.

It’s a circular process, one that is directed outward, through external communication. And comes back inward, with a greater sense of belonging, of pride and of general knowledge.

Always remembering the one thing that allowed SPII to be still here, still now: its people. At the center, always.

See you next time,
Ilaria Cazziol


What SPII EVOLUTION was for real, for us

What SPII EVOLUTION was for real, for us 1024 729 Spii

It was a day like any other, we all got to the office ready to start our jobs…but instead we found stickers and bananas on our desks. We didn’t know what was going on, but it was immediately clear it was going to be different!”.

Valentina had started off her career in Spii just few months before: when she signed her contract, she had no idea the Company she was about to start working for was planning something pretty out of the ordinary.

We have talked a lot, here in these virtual pages, about SPII Evolution in the past months: it was a path we wanted our readers to take with us, because we believe we are a pretty special company, and this adventure surely contributed in shaping who we are today.

But who is “we”?

A Company is made of its people, so it’s only fair to ask them their opinions, don’t you think?

A day unlike any other

spii evo 3

“It all started with stickers and bananas, a giant puzzle and unexpected new signs all the reaction was just a huge question mark on everyone’s face”, Valentina recalls.
Few things had been thrown in earlier as a “hint”, but no one had a real clue about what was going to happen.

At Fabio’s speech, later that day, they understood what it was all about: SPII was about to embark on a journey towards change, and everyone was being asked to take part in it.

“Everyone felt involved, it was very inclusive: for maybe the first time we were all together as ‘SPII’, not ‘this department’ or ‘that other’ – just one big family”, Vale remembers. “I kept thinking: ‘wow that’s cool’. I had heard of team buildings and this kind of activities, but never thought I would experience them”.

The beginning of a path

Sure, someone was worried: after all it was an extra effort the company was asking. But it was clear it was going to be an opportunity for growth, not only on the business side but also at a personal level.

It was a project to carry on within company time, not extra. The grumblers are always there, in any situation, but most of the people, even those who found something to complain about, were happy to have their voice heard, something they may not have felt so strongly before. It was a space for people to express their opinions“, Simona recalls.

The groups were formed randomly, getting together people that worked in the same company, but before that may not even have had a chance to talk, to truly connect.

This was something many people felt, and that’s why among the suggestions that emerged from SPII Evo, one of the first ones to be implemented was the Evo Room – a dining and rest area where everyone could enjoy lunch, a cupo of coffee, or just some chatting. A place to live.

Simo had been there long before SPII Evo, and could definitely see the journey in its whole length.

“It all started from there, it was the moment we began this path of growth and innovation. Surely it was there before and continued after that, but that was the starting point of something more ‘real’.
I’ve been with the company for 8 years now and I’ve noticed this sharp difference, a before and an after. A change in the idea that we had of ourselves before, in the corporate culture”.

What came first, the chicken or the egg?

comfort zone sticker

When you visit SPII today, you can feel this vibe.

It may be the giant “comfort zone circles” sticker that meets you on the first floor, at the entrance of the office rooms, a constant reminder of that happy experiment. Or just the way people talk and behave.

What you breath in is the aftermath of SPII Evo, and the path it started.

So how does something like this “emerge”? Was it always there and it just needed some watering to blossom, or it was the project itself which created it?

Simo isn’t sure about the answer.
It wasn’t all immediate: SPII Evo was a first step, something different, that allowed for a change in perspective. It’s not that is wasn’t there before, it’s just that you don’t really feel it within you until you directly experience it.
As I said it was a path: from there, the human-centered vision also started to take form, as a piece of mold that had always been there but no one previously had actually turned into a recognizable shape.
When we all were asked to do so, the whole company was influenced, people felt they were part of this like never before”.

Probably the answer stands in the middle, then.
In everyday life, all caught up by your own things, you don’t even think about suggesting a change. Complaining it’s much easier: it’s always someone else’s fault, someone else’s role. It’s the “depends on me/depends on others” dichotomy.

It’s not an egg: it’s a seed

spii evo 1

Once you force people to take action and responsibility, you push them into a “depends on me” mentality.

That is, you plant a seed, you water it and then you confidently wait: this is how everything changes.

SPII Evolution was a physical space, an actual stage, with everyone listening to you. Really listening.
But also a mental space, a strong, explicit message.
If the management had just asked people to point out what they wanted to change, without the whole experience surrounding it, it would not have happened. It was the whole process that led us here“, Vale eventually suggests.

So the vision was already there: SPII Evo was the medium to make it real, give it structure, and get it across the company, to everyone.

“Ultimately it was a moment when the company said, ‘you are important, help us, we need you‘. It’s not something you can give for granted, ever”, Simo wraps up.

The courage to risk

When the day of the final event came, everyone was ready. Simona was in one of the “Water” groups, Vale instead was a member of “Air”.

And she laughs thinking that, just 6 months after arriving at SPII, she came to her workplace dressed all in yellow, with plastic bags and cleaning gloves on as she didn’t have any yellow piece of garment.

“At the beginning of SPII Evo, none of us would have thought we could ever get on stage dressed like that, in front of all of our colleagues!
But once we got to the final event, it was natural. It felt ok to open up, to laugh, to get to know each other, to put ourselves on the line, to RISK“.

A new way

In the end, there wasn’t just one winning project: many different ideas were born during SPII Evolution and then were applied.

It was a twofold improvement, both with the culture and the operations, such as with the production process.

And then it eventually turned into a new way altogether, a tension towards continuous change and improvement. Recently, for example, they have changed what the Reception looked like, and before that they introduced “break areas”, a water purification system, and so on. Small changes that feel like a continuous improvement.

To date, the process of changing the company, facilitating people, boosting appearance, functionality, etc, is always in progress, and it started from there, Simona is sure about it.

“It could have been something that didn’t really last, or went downhill, but no: despite any initial difficulty, it has continued to grow over time”.

See you next time,

arm wrestling win win

‘Win or lose’ mindset? Change the game

‘Win or lose’ mindset? Change the game 1280 806 Spii
arm wrestling win win

No doubt we live in a hyper-competitive World. We are always encouraged, either explicitly or implicitly, to “be the best“, to crush our competition, to be the first.

We face life like we would face a race: you can win or you can lose, there is no middle ground.

Have you ever had the impression that there is something else, something missing?

We do. We’ve always had.

Our job is a matter of integration: we build pieces and parts that are not stand-alones, they need to integrate with something else, and something else after that, in order to contribute to the creation of something greater.

To move people, to make them feel safe, to put the human being at the center of a technological World.

It’s not a race: it’a a relay race. You only win if you contribute to your team’s success, if you integrate your skills with the ones who come next in line.

It’s an “infinite game“, as Simon Sinek puts it.

As we strongly believed this, we also knew that we needed to ingrain it into our mindset, across all the people at SPII.

So how to do it?

Change the game…of arm wrestling!

If you have read the previous articles about our Journey of Change, you know how we did it during SPII Evolution: playing.

Games are a powerful tool: they allow us to try things out in a playful environment, in fiction (or within a metaphor), but to learn the lesson for real in our lives.

So that when you change the rules of a game you have always given for granted, you change the mindset beneath it.

It’s like arm wrestling: if you partner up with someone, ready for a tug-of-war, your mind gets ready to beat your opponent, be stronger than they are.

But what if you are told that the goal is to achieve the highest score possible, and that each time your opponent’s wrist touches the ground, you gain one point?

Would you begin to see that…they are not your opponents?

That if you cooperate to bring each other’s wrist down as many times as you can…you both win? Your adversary becomes a partner, who can help you achieve your goals, while you help them achieve theirs.

It’s a win-win mindset. It’s cooperation over competition. It’s a completely new game.

One that you want to bring back to your everyday life, of course.

Bring the game into your life

SPII Evo worked on a key question that is broad and open, like “how to create integration?”, “how to create agility?“, or “how to improve the company for the benefit of everyone involved?”.

And it’s meta-work because you’re doing integration while you’re explaining it, you’re practicing agility while you’re creating it, and you are improving the company while you are brainstorming possible solutions.

It’s a powerful, powerful tool, something that can have side effects because it brings out the truth, it’s a litmus test. In fact, it can even be dangerous for a company, if the true intentions of the management are not coherent.

SPII’s desire was to create real CHANGE from within: so we needed to do a check on everyone involved, to see who was willing to see this change and be an active part of it.

Gaining a win-win mindset was essential to this process: we could not keep going forward in the direction we had set, if we were not all going to work towards the same goal.

We could not have the success we were hoping for if we didn’t learn to see 3 possible outcomes for every negotiation: either I win, or you win…or else, we both win.

This is what we should all aim for, always. And this is what we worked on during the months of SPII Evolution, and beyond them.

That is also why it was so important, few years later, to review our Vision and Mission, our Values, and to find new meaning within them.

Playing with it during simulation over simulation, game after game, made exactly this: it created something that got stuck in our minds, forever.

Do you want to try and change the game with us?

See you next time,
Ilaria Cazziol


One vision: from competition to cooperation

One vision: from competition to cooperation 1024 684 Spii

What do you think is the best way to make people cooperate?

Give them a common goal? Make them feel part of something greater, you say?
Yes, sure, it may work.

But what we found out to work best is something slightly different.
If you want people to truly cooperate at a deeper level you need to…add instead a little bit of competition!

You don’t believe it? Well, look at what happened with SPIIEvo and you will think again.

Divide to unify: the formula of Evolution

We have already told you how with SPIIEvo the whole company was divided into smaller groups, each of them identified by one Element (Water, Air, Earth and Fire). And how they all went separately through a journey of change, in order to find one game-changing idea each to propose to the management.

They would then compete with each other to become the “winning Element” that would offer the most interesting idea to improve the company.

What we didn’t tell you yet is that this all was a well-defined plan to actually make them cooperate at a higher level than ever before!

Every Element would include more than one group: week after week, during every edition of the activity, every one of them would experience the same thing, and they would be evaluated with a grade based on their results.
Water, Air, Earth and Fire 1 each got a grade, then Water, Air, Earth and Fire 2, and 3, and so on…

They were all separated. But really they were all the same, because each Element would then be counted together, as a whole: so the score of the group “Air 1” was added to “Air 2”, and so on. In order to win and gain more points, a transversal cooperation between competing groups was actually essential!

Edition after edition, a ranking of the 4 Elements was generated, to which every single team has given its contribution through its own overall score: this ranking is the basis of the gamification system of a program such as Evolution, which involves, focuses, and unites.

After each edition, the updated rankings are posted throughout the company.

The effect is twofold: on the one hand, the increasing involvement of those who have already participated in the event, and on the other, the increasing expectations of those who have yet to participate and don’t know what is going to happen.

This generates an incredible hype and also a transversal group spirit.
People from one element or another would wear the same colors, the same branded pins, and develop an incredible sense of belonging.
You’re creating not only attachment, but also a growing, exponential sense of expectation – all towards the final event.

But at the same time something special happens. A paradox.

By separating people into 4 different teams and many more groups, you create competition.

But on the other hand you promote identification with the company as a whole, you create a strong and cohesive company culture, based on a common language that can be understood and spoken only by the ones who feel part of it.

Human beings are programmed that way, attachment to the team is inevitable.

And the entire EVOLUTION path leverages exactly this factor: edition after edition, people become more and more attached to the Element of their team, generating a spirit of unity and support.

One vision is all you need to have

So what?

After months of this both playful and serious competition, the day of the final event comes.

The 4 best groups from each edition and Element are on stage, in front of all their colleagues and friends, and have to present their ideas and convince the jury their one is the best.

So you will find yourself with 4 different groups, united under the flag of 4 different elements, competing against each other for the first prize and for the glory.

How can you make it possible for EVERYONE to win, at this stage? How can you keep everybody engaged, actively and purposefully participating?

This is where the real trick is done.

A new rule is introduced: the audience is divided once more into the 4 elements, and then additional points are offered to the element that belongs to those in the audience who find ways to improve on the ideas of those on stage!

Can you see it? This is explosive.
This way:

  • the audience must listen actively to understand and propose new solutions;
  • those who participate feel engaged because they contribute to make their element win;
  • but they ultimately find ways for EVERYONE to win, because it’s good for the company.

This is what you mean when you say “win-win solutions“!

Are you building a cathedral?

Do you see it now?

Competition doesn’t have to be a tool to declare a winner and a loser.
It can be a metaphor, a way to stimulate a company culture that is cohesive and cooperative.

It can transform the way people work, engage and consider themselves within a company.

Have you ever heard the story of the three bricklayers?

A traveler came upon three men working. He asked the first man what he was doing and the man said he was laying bricks.

He asked the second man the same question and he said he was putting up a wall.

When he got to the third man and asked him what he was doing, he said he was building a cathedral.

They were all doing the same thing. The first man had a job. The second man had a career. The third man had a calling.

The path of EVOLUTION that Unreal Training helped us walk by was not only designed to improve our company culture and stimulate new, innovative solutions. It was aimed at building a cathedral, and have everyone on board knowing they were working with a purpose.

Within SPII we all participated in SPIIEvo, everyone had to take part in it; the degree of discretion was with what commitment to do so.
Everyone had to decide which of the 3 workers working on the cathedral to be.

What do you think? Have you ever seen competition in this light?

See you next time,