I remember when Nokia phones were number one and the advent of those polyphonic ringtones. People used to play their newest ringtone to each other at Nokia parties and the latest ‘not yet released to public’ phone was a hot topic and TRUE tester of those devices were a subject of envy. I once brought an outsider into a Nokia party and she thought we were all mad. She could not find anything to contribute to the conversation. So, there was a particular kind of person that was suited to Nokia, you either loved it or you hated it.
Somehow those of us who were in, just loved the bleeding-edge tech and being part of it, reading stuff in the news that we were working on. Nokia recognised the importance of diversity and bringing together different ideas. There was no strict rule of etiquette or formality. As someone said in a post, you could just talk to Jorma (Ollila) or send him an e-mail. If you had an idea or opinion you were able to voice it. There were often programs to share personal innovations at a global level and even incentives for creating . I always felt that I had the possiblity to define my areas of responsibility, I could widen my role if I just wanted to.
It was a challenging and truly global environment with opportunities to travel at every level. Borders and boundaries did not seem to exist. Collaboration was not an issue it was just what Nokia did as it effortlessly embraced electronic meetings, shared calendars and voice/video conferencing. It was normal to have a person in the bath robe barely awake, and someone ready for bed in the evening in a phone conference. We laughed about it and relished it.
We all grew as fast as the technology changed. You had to keep up with it, as that pace of change was mirrored in the constantly changing organisation. Nokia defined a lot of the things in my life. My marriage, my house and my children. I will never forget that I was totally dumbfounded after I returned to work after my maternity leave only to realise that I had painted my kids room in the NSN colours!!! I still think of it as ‘my’ company and I am happy whenever they win a deal with a UK operator. And I hope we will see real Nokia phones in the stores again, would definitely buy one!