I had joined a company that, although it was still the largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world, was struggling to find its place in a market where it now had to compete against Apple and Google. The infamous burning platform memo had been published and leaked, and the decision to move to Windows Phone had been made.
It was a tough time for many, with reorganisations of the company designed to make the company leaner cutting deep and costing jobs. I was fortunate to find myself working on an IT program that was due to save Nokia IT millions in costs, so we had the favour of some senior managers and a budget to match.
It was a fantastic team to work with, and with it I ended up training and talking to literally thousands of Nokia employees both online and in person as I went desk-to-desk helping people get to grips with the tool we were deploying. Our budget allowed us to travel to Nokia offices around the world; from Silicon Valley to Manaus in the heart of the Amazon, and from London to Beijing.
Everywhere we went, there was something special about our fellow Nokians. At every site, people universally went out of their way to help us and even spend time with us outside of the office. Of the thousands of people I spoke with, I can only remember people who were happy to be part of the broader team and who welcomed us – all this in a company that was struggling, and when many were fearing for their jobs.
While I’m glad I had the opportunity to see much of the world thanks to Nokia, it was the people I remember and the culture that bound them together. I’ve not felt that within a company ever before, and hope that it’s something I get to experience again.