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Strategy, trust, windows, and Lenin


Portrait of Mikko Viikari
Mikko Viikari

Co-founder, Futurice

I attended on a yearly Strategy Forum organized by The Finnish Strategic Management Society. Interesting stuff, so wanted to share some thoughts.

Helene Auramo from Zipipop discussed how the social media makes leaders, not just organizations transparent. Antti Koskelin, the CIO of Konecranes, pointed out how the [your favourite letter here] generation spoiled by Google and friends will just not accept the unusable enterprise software and ICT policies (could not agree more!). Minna Elomaa gave a nice presentation about the change management she successfully did at Tapiola Group: repeat, repeat, repeat, that is!

The highlight was absolutely the yearly strategy award. The winner Kimmo Suominen sees strategy as a narration that is consumed!

In my presentation I tried to open up the hopefully successful Futurice strategy and leadership principles. The slides are in Finnish, so here comes a short English summary:

  • for us the business model and other "hard" strategic building blocks are relatively straight-forward. Far most interesting are the people. How we create a community of professionals that is skilled, desired, trusted in a sustainable way.
  • "Trust is good, control is better", famous quote from Mr. V.I. Lenin. I disagree. Could we instead make trust a core of our strategy? Yes, it is not an easy path, but maybe worth walking!
  • People first, then strategy. Jim Collins: "first right people on the bus ... then figure out where to drive."
  • Futurice decision making principles: 3x2, "The one who promises is the one who delivers", 100% transparency, functions and roles are bad, business thinking for everybody, share everything, agile decision making on the front-line
  • Futurice practices
  • Nassim Nicholas Taleb taught how the world becomes more non-gaussian. The black swans rule. How does it change your business? Most (all?) of the established organizations are poor in utilizing these opportunities. Do you leave it for start-ups only?
    • Or as Lenin put it: "Revolution is impossible without a revolutionary situation, furthermore not every revolutionary situation leads to revolution."
  • Agile software development model is an encouraging example of how a modern, empirical, non-hierarchical approach can change the way one major business operates. 

I also wanted to point out that single case examples like this are not very reliable source of information. Maybe we just have been lucky!

Strategy, trust, windows, and Lenin. Slides in Finnish.

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