Nokia People

Connecting Humanity

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Hal: In tough times, culture shines through

In my most recent blog post here, I told the story of how I ended up in Finland and started working at Nokia. That, of course, was only the beginning.

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,

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Sari: “Only over my dead body”

I worked for Nokia for years and recently for Microsoft in the Mobile Devices business. I was a passionate employee and always loyal to my company in every single situation. When iPhone became popular, my youngsters were very keen on getting their own iPhones, but I always told them that my kids would use Nokia phones and no other phones would be considered. I was so strict that I even said: “Other phone brands would be allowed – only over my dead body!”

Occasionally, my youngsters tested me again whether I had changed my mind, like when they complained about apps not available in the Windows app store. But no way, I was firm and was like I was not hearing what they said: “My darlings, you know what my answer is: only over my dead body.“

A year ago, I suddenly found out

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Jani: A Company as a Power for Good

jani-hyvarinenI worked for Nokia between 1998-2013 in different roles in the networks business. It was a transformational learning experience, like a second business university after the first one. There were so many things I was able to experience but perhaps the most significant was observing how Nokia approached the emerging markets: with respect.

The idea that you could make good money by selling to poor people in emerging markets while not ripping them off but actually improving their lives was a crucially important motivator for me. Even though I wasn’t personally involved in that business, I was really proud of Nokia doing this when no-one else among the big players in the sector was.

Even in general, I have always liked the fact that the telecommunications sector is improving people’s lives by

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Jean: How a Texas stray dog got a Finnish name

Five years ago, I adopted an Australian Shepherd from Aussie Rescue & Placement Helpline (a national rescue group) and shortly after adopting, I started fostering for them. When we bring in a new foster dog, they always get a new name. Dogs don’t have any special affinity for their names and they can easily learn to respond to a new one. In the past, most of my foster dogs have been named after places I have lived. Seneca, Slater, Manhattan, Verona, etc. But sometimes, a special foster dog deserves a special name. A name that really fits.

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Bruce: Working on the bleeding edge

I joined Nokia in Australia in 1994. This was when there were only around 13,000 employees globally at the time. I had been working with an engineer from one of the local operators and he was testing Mobile Originated SMS using the only phone at the time that supported it, the 2110. He gave a couple of us within the office access to the system and he said just go for it and they will monitor the results.

Bruce WebbDuring my first trip to Finland for a sales conference, I decided to see if SMS roaming would work so I sent my colleague who was visiting Auckland at the time a text message. Lo and behold, I got a reply and the conversation carried on for around 40 minutes especially after the 2110 product manager saw what I was doing and grabbed a couple more guys to witness what could have been the first global SMS conversation by 2110.

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Anne Nenonen: Nokians, just like your childhood friends

Nokia showed me the good in people, allowed and engouraged me to learn and challenge myself, and trusted me to do well.

anne-nenonen

I got to meet and know amazing people, see the world and be part of an amazing Nokia family. No matter where you landed, for a year or just for couple of days, you were among friends. It really was a mother ship with it´s own

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Bo: An anecdote about the usage of the mobile phone and the phone bills.

So this story is referring back in the days way before VOIP, Skype etc. were reliable or fully functioning.

I was based in Finland but travelled frequently to Brazil for various projects.
Part of the project team were from the US so I was having frequent conference calls from Brazil to the US using a Finnish SIM card, and this was back in the day where roaming charges were not regulated in any way shape or form.

Needless to say my phone bill was sky high, but

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Verena: How to get the attention of the former Nokia CEO?

One of the core values during my years in Nokia was especially close to my heart, it was called ‘Very human’. At some point I heard a manager wondering why this value got so low scores in the employee surveys, was it due to a lack of understanding the value?

It took me just a moment to decide, and create the ‘Very human’ group in our Nokia internal social media tool, we used Socialcast at the time. Started by inviting every colleague I knew to join the fun, I knew a few 😉

Very human

Over the years the group grew,

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Nokia, a Temple of the Soul of Finland

By Sotiris Makrygiannis.

The Finnish pavilion at the Paris 1900 World Fair was an important national milestone. Ten years before the start of the new century, a team of 5 Finnish artists, began their work to put Finland on the Global map. The country, under Russian administration, had limited autonomy, so it was an issue of National pride to place Finland into the World Fair as a single independent entity.

albert_edelfelt_-_boys_playing_on_the_shore_-_google_art_project

They built a garage. Now days is called “Temple of the Soul of Finland” and was constructed in 1900 as a crowdsourcing effort. Sibelius didn’t have the money, so he had to travel from Helsinki to Paris by organizing concerts, gathering money and investing them back to the Temple. So beyond the bootstrapping like real start-ups, they had a mission, and they accomplish that fantastically. The Finnish pavilion is recorded in history books as “claimed the most revolutionary exhibit with its clean-cut, simple and careful details”

Fast forward in 1990 and Russia economy that supported Finland for long is collapsing. Finns are in desperate need for a breathing air. A team of 5 wonderful artists of business started another garage

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Kris Buytaert: Many sms and some flights later and got married

It was 1999 when I had to travel for Nokia from Brussels to Bordeaux when I met my future wife in the airplane. Our first contact continued through SMS. Many messages and some flights later we got married. I left Nokia in 2002. Thanks to Nokia I discovered my talent and truly felt living among people with same values and ambition to create a mobile generation. Continuous Learning, Respect for the individual, Profitability, Customer Satisfaction were our values. Responsiveness, Empathy, Achievement, Responsibility our culture. Until today I realize how unique this was an opportunity. I cherish the moments we’ve been together. Take care.

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