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.
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 like to do outside work?
A lot of things! While I admire people who devote themselves to one or two hobbies, I’ve always been more of a multitasker. I enjoy everything from cross-country skiing to Latin dancing and baking with my kids. Something I love to do all year round is swimming in lakes and the sea – I get excited about swimming in ice water too! Since COVID-19 I’ve been starting every day with yoga and I’ve found it very helpful to have a transitional activity like this while working remotely. It’s a good way to get ready for the day and make a distinction between work and home life.
What’s the best way to be future resilient?
For me, future resilience is all about the ability to learn and recover quickly from difficulties. The best way to do this is to stay curious towards the world and look for balance. For example, as leaders we want to have teams who are self-directed, but we can forget that we still need to show direction. It’s always about the balance between freedom and alignment; our direction helps the team to find theirs. The same holds true outside of work, where it’s important to do things you enjoy – don’t choose working hard or living your life, find ways to do both. As an organisation, as a leader and as a human being, finding this balance in everything you do is the best way to be future resilient.
Interested in reading more stories about us and our people? At Futurice, we celebrate diversity and cherish everyone's unique journey. Check out our Welcome Home page and get inspired by more journeys shaping our culture. If you would like to read more stories and get to know our people, our sites and the community better, check out the global version of our FutuStories Booklet.