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    Shaping and improving our way of working


  • From words to action.

    In 2018, we decided to strengthen four critical behaviours across the company.

    We need to take these guiding principles from words to action. But how do we do it?

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    Always explore

    Learning, curiosity, daring

    We believe growth comes from learning every day.
    We’re curious and we dare to challenge, test, fail fast and pivot.

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    Create together

    Diversity, involvement, collaboration

    We believe diverse teams find better solutions.
    We seek different perspectives, share, involve and help each other succeed.

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    Keep promises

    Trust, integrity, reliability

    We believe that trust is key in all our relationships.
    We take ownership and pride in delivering with precision and integrity.

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    Be respectful

    Equality, care, humanity

    We believe in the unique human ability to understand what matters to people.
    We meet everyone at eye level, listen and show that we care.

  • Our behaviours shape Telenor

    Always explore

    "Even though we have frames and constraints, there is an openness to push boundaries and pursue something you really believe in. I think that's one of the strengths of Telenor."

    Keep promises

    "It's a matter of pride. If we've committed to something, we're going to deliver on it. It's as simple as that."

    Be respectful

    "To experience that you're met at eye level and treated equally, no matter where in the hiearchy you are, is really what I love about this company."

    Create together

    "When there's a very clear target and rationale for reaching it, people will come together and help you out. But I miss more sharing and involvement before we're standing with our backs against the wall."

  • The Job to be Done

    How can I influence people around me to adopt the four behaviours, so that they are lived and visible in Telenor?


    As employees in Telenor, we are all considered leaders irrespective of whether or not we are people managers; we are all empowered to act as leaders and influence people around us using the tactics of this playbook.

  • Be the change
    you want to see
    in the world.

    Mahatma Gandhi

    1. It all starts with you
    as a leader.

    If you don’t adopt the behaviours yourself, you will not be credible trying to influence others.


    How self-aware are you? Which behaviours do you most strongly demonstrate today?

  • For reflection

    On our way home from a productive day at the office, most of us think back to what we were able to do and maybe what we need to do the next day.


    What if you instead asked yourself:

    • Who have I been today? What reflections would that trigger? What kind of person did your colleagues meet or experience? 
    • How did the four behaviours come across through what you said or how you spent your time?
  • 2. To make others follow you, you need to make a conscious effort.

    Even if you as a leader choose to live the four behaviours yourself, people around you will not necessarily start copying you.


    To efficiently influence the behaviours of others, you need to make a conscious effort to make them do what you do.


    That may entail looking and feeling ridiculous at times.

  • What can we learn from the Dancing Guy?

    In this clip you can see an example of the development of a movement of new behaviours...

    ...from the first followers over the tipping point in only a few minutes.

    There are a few things to learn:

    1. The leaders and first followers don’t need to be extremely good at what they are doing for the movement to arise
    2. But what they do should be visible and easy for others to see, understand and copy
    3. They need to dare to look ridiculous and stand out to begin with
    4. They are successful in quickly enrolling a few first followers, who make it easier for others to join
  • Your actions as a role model

    Our four behaviours can be seen as “headlines” for a lot of smaller everyday habits that you as a leader can signal. What would it mean to “dance” in your part of the organisation? Do you see anyone who already dances and can join in, or do you need to start something?


    Examples of daily habits:

    • I close every meeting or project with asking what we learned (always explore)
    • I openly share all my non-confidential information with colleagues (create together)
    • I always respect internal deadlines (keep promises)
    • I always ask who our users are and what they expect from us  (be respectful)
    Also consider these micro habits:
    • Smile when you greet people

    • Be on a first name basis with everyone

    • Take time to listen actively to other people

    • Ask people to join for lunch

    • Give people time and space to be creative

    • Compliment people for efforts, rather than pointing at mistakes etc.

  • 3. Make decisions that support the behaviours

    You have the power to make decisions that influence others. It can have a big or small impact, but everyday decisions add up.


    How are your decisions supporting our behaviours?

  • Make decisions that make it easier
    for others to create value

    In order to support and signal the new behaviours, what "low-hanging fruit" decisions could you make within your areas of authority?


    Example of "low-hanging fruit" decisions:

    • Establish more co-working areas in your office space (Create together)
    • Unlock doors into your zone (Create together)
    • Insist that customer insight is part of informing all decisions (Always explore/Be respectful)
    • Always be on time and prepared for meetings (Keep promises)
    • What can you do today to facilitate living our behaviours?
  • 4. Get feedback

    The only way to ensure that you successfully embed the behaviours, is through honest feedback. Who can tell you…

    1. To what extent you have adopted the behaviours yourself? Is your self-assessment consistent with how others see you?
    2. What you can do to become a more visible role-model that influences others?
    3. What decisions you could take within your area of authority that would really make it easier for others to follow the behaviours?

    Take practical steps to get this feedback. Invite these people to a setting where you can learn what they think.


  • 30 min team reflection

    1. Write the four behaviours on a flip chart or whiteboard.
    2. Ask the team to come up with some recent examples of how each of the behaviours have been practiced.
    3. Discuss which of the four behaviors that is most critical for your team to strengthen going forward.
    4. Commit to practice and follow-up a few of your ideas.

    5. Discuss behaviours
    with your team

    The behaviours are strong when they are exemplified by an individual, but even stronger when they are being modelled by a group.


    We therefore recommend you to discuss the behaviours in your team on a regular basis. At the end of meetings or projects you could ask the team to reflect on how the behaviours were practiced and take away learnings.


    Here is a guide for a first 30 min team-reflection.

  • It's easier to act your way into a new way of thinking, than to think your way into a new way of acting.

    From behaviours to culture

    So, why do we call this a “Culture Playbook” when all we talk about is our behaviours? Because in simple terms culture is about that: “how we do things around here”.


    Culture is our shared values and assumptions about what is appropriate to do at the workplace. It is reflected in everything we do as an organisation, ranging from how we collaborate internally to how we treat customers.


    However, in a broader sense, culture is also about our shared beliefs, values and mindsets. They drive our behaviour, but are very resistant to be changed. The best way to evolve what members in an organisation think, feel or believe is through shaping their behaviour. When we recognize that we behave differently, we will adjust our cognitive and emotional systems.


    When new behaviours become habits, they start affecting values and mindsets and gradually change culture.

  • Questions and answers

    Q: Why do we need these four behaviours?

    A: Our behaviours are a set of norms or principles that outline the Telenor culture; how we do things around here. They describe the culture as it is perceived internally and externally (based on comprehensive studies of culture and engagement in Telenor over years), but they are also in part aspirational. Some of the behaviours are intrinsic to Telenor today, others emphasize ways of working that we need to see more of to stay competitive. Rather than instructing people what to think, or publishing a comprehensive guide of do's and don't's, we believe in describing a common set of behaviours that should be reflected in every interaction with Telenor. For our customers, for our employees and for our stakeholders.


    Q: Why did we choose these behaviours and not something else, like “always putting the customer first”?

    A: Our behaviours are based in part on our heritage and our cultural strengths, and in part on what we need to become as a company and an organisation to stay competitive. Our customer focus is central to our purpose: "Connecting you to what matters most. Empowering societies." and the four behaviours are elements that all need to be present if we are to deliver on that expectation.


    Q: We already had four key values, of which two are identical to the new behaviours (be respectful, keep promises). Why couldn't we just keep the old four values that everybody already knows?

    A: Telenor's four behavioural values were developed as part of the Telenor brand in 2004, and described how we want to be perceived by customers. The basis of this identity still holds, but the digital world has moved on. Customers are and expect to be in control. They are to a lesser extent looking to Telenor as a guide and guardian in the digital world, and want to explore opportunities themselves - on their own terms. To help our customers get the full benefit of being connected, Telenor employees need to explore with them and collaborate for them. To emphasize this change in mindset and way of working, we've introduced two new behaviours to complement the two values that have now been turned into behaviours.


    Q: What is our target? How will we know that the behaviours have been sufficiently adopted in the organisation?

    A: Our target is to gradually transform Telenor into an even more innovative and learning organisation, where partnerships and collaboration - both internally and externally - are the norm. Behaviours will be used as a central measurement tool for the People Dialogue, and leaders at all levels are expected to demonstrate behaviours in communication and in action. Culture evolves over time, and behaviours are the elements that drive this evolution.


    Q: What is the difference between purpose, behaviours and culture? How do I tell these things apart?

    A: Telenor's purpose describes why we exist. It is not a measurable target, but an ambition and our "reason to get up in the morning". Our behaviours are a set of principles describing how we work and interact with each other and the world. Our culture is the sum of our behaviours and will continue to evolve.

  • How can the playbook improve?

    This culture playbook is a living document.

    We want your inputs to make it more useful and impactful. Drop us a line to tell us what you're missing.