If there’s one thing I believe, it’s that my team should strive to make a difference wherever they can. This is one of the core principles I’ve instilled and one that I use to guide them. We want to make a measurable difference, but the best way to that isn’t always the obvious one.

Proactively reaching out to other teams across the company is our way of spreading the word about the good work we do, where our analytics expertise might be relevant to other business areas.

Collaborate with colleagues outside of your own business area to make an impact within the company.
Collaborate with colleagues outside of your own business area to make an impact within the company.

The internal pro bono experience

Don’t limit the reach of your skills by sticking purely to your business area.”

I openly endorse the concept of my team working outside of our formal responsibilities. The company supports us in our day-to-day work, so I see us as having a reciprocal responsibility to support the company as best we can. Making the most of our skills can increase the performance of our company as a whole. Teams can be looking for ways to improve their performance in measurable ways, and we can often help by sharing our skills around selecting KPIs for intangible improvements such as hiring talent, driving sustainability or improving niche product design.

What’s the return experience for employees going pro bono?

“Pro bono work can give junior team members the opportunity to collaborate with clients at very senior levels of management, which in many other teams is restricted to only the most experienced people on the team.”

It also gives teams opportunities to explore new areas outside of their remit, in our case brand marketing, helping them to create a better understanding of the overall business and thus making them better able to derive insights from the evidence we discover.

Going the extra mile not only leverages the relevance of your team but also lifts your performance to a new level.
Going the extra mile not only leverages the relevance of your team but also lifts your performance to a new level.

Are there any negatives to this collaborative approach?

The short answer is no. If, as a result of this, a member of my team decides they want to work in another area, I don’t really feel as if I’ve lost them. The way I see it, is that my investment in them is helping to spread the influence of digital analytics across the company so it’s a real win-win situation.

“The sense of contributing to the shared success is what drives each and every one of us to contribute even more.”

The extended benefits

Working outside of our official remit gives us all the chance to make friends throughout the whole organization.

“There’s nothing better than being able to say you enjoy coming to work because you find the other people there cool and fun to hang out with; and this often extends outside of the office.”

This for me is key to creating a sustainable team culture, fueled by our shared passion for the brand, for sport and world-class design, all expressed through our personal connections as individuals with our friends and colleagues.

What’s your experience of going pro bono inside your company?

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by Rabin 02.02.2016
I really enjoy simply reading all of your weblogs. Simply wanted to inform you that you have people like me who appreciate your work.
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by Ravish Dhamija 03.02.2016
Well articulated David!
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by Johannes Donath 03.02.2016
I love the work your team does and the pro bono approach allowed our network to get amazing insights into analytics that we from an employee resource group point of view alone could not have discovered. Keep up the good work and I hope you pioneering a pro bono approach spreads throughout the company.
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by "Wandering" Dave Rhee 03.02.2016
Thanks for the comments. It's easy to be generous when you have an all-star team of cool, passionate, awesome people! @Johannes -- thanks for the opportunity to support you and your work. We got a lot out of the collaboration, as we knew we would. :-)
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by Rupi Singh 08.03.2016
Great Article :D David
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by Margaret Raabe 11.07.2016
Love this! Collaboration really is so important especially in large companies where everyone tends to specialize in different fields. Great things happen when multiple perspectives all work together towards a common goal.
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