What did you do before working at Futurice?
I spent the first third of my working life in theatre, doing everything from acting to washing toilets (which I’m actually very good at!). Then I went into academia, teaching at a university and working on my PhD. We had an amazing multidisciplinary research team – a mixture of technology expertise with behavioural and social sciences – and we studied the latest tech and how it was changing and shaped by human interaction. After I finished my PhD, I realised I wanted to work in the tech industry because it is not only shaping our futures, but also the very essence of what it means to be a human being.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I enjoy the people the most. I love the fact that I get to work with leaders from various backgrounds and industries. These are people who are passionate about their work and are really aiming to change things, which is super motivating for me. Our team gives me a similar feeling too – my colleagues are smart, hard-working and always up for a laugh. Working with talented and motivated people makes me more focused on always pushing the bar. I also really enjoy working in the area of strategy and culture, carrying out big transformation programmes. It takes a long time to make real change happen, so I love seeing the success stories and achievements when all the work we’ve put in finally pays off.
What should be said out loud more often?
Something that is not discussed enough (though increasingly it is) is that to make your strategy successful you need a culture that brings it to life. We often say that strategy is about what you want to do and culture is how you do it – having a growth strategy is not enough, you need a growth culture. And more than that, even with a growth culture you need to choose how that growth happens. What should be said more often is that leaders can choose whether they grow their company in an ethical and sustainable way that makes society a better place, or in a way that doesn’t put society and people first. You always have a choice; you don’t need to just follow the easiest route.