Kirkastettuja identiteettejä,
edukseen erottuvia konsepteja,
puhuttelevia sisältöjä ja kampanjoita,
jotka jättävät kylmäksi ainoastaan
kohderyhmään kuulumattomat.

Sanan voimalla, muita markkinoinnin
työkaluja unohtamatta.


Kirkastettuja identiteettejä,
edukseen erottuvia konsepteja,
puhuttelevia sisältöjä ja kampanjoita,
jotka jättävät kylmäksi ainoastaan
kohderyhmään kuulumattomat.

Sanan voimalla, muita markkinoinnin
työkaluja unohtamatta.

Nämä tarinat ovat tosia.

The year of the brave – Nordic Business Report 10/2023

“Be right, when everyone else is wrong.”

On the second day of the 2023 Nordic Business Forum, hedge fund manager Nikolai Tangen summed up the difference between the winners and the rest when it comes to investing.

Swimming against the current, while everyone else is going the other way, requires both exceptional skills and rock-solid determination. You must have blind faith in yourself to be the only one who decides to take the unbeaten path.

Then again, if a million people win the lottery, that would not feel like a real victory either, would it? It is all about beating the odds, big time.

The same applies to leadership. When times are good and all the right curves are pointing upwards, anyone can be a leader – or, at the very least, call himself or herself one. All there is to do is put everything on autopilot, and watch the cash pour in. The setup changes completely when times get tough, and the ship must be saved from sinking.

While we are not quite there yet, the time has come for the leaders to step up and start swimming. Even against the current, if that is what it takes to get their respective companies back on the winning track.

That is why the theme for the 2024 Nordic Business Forum is Courageous Leadership.

As the event organizers say, “we need leaders like you who dare to innovate, disrupt, and make a difference.” In other words, we need those who are not afraid of choosing their own paths, no matter what everyone else does. Simply because those are the paths which will eventually lead to big victories. For any company to thrive under circumstances like these, it must beat the odds and win big.

Next September, you will learn from a great bunch of leaders, from Brené Brown to Mario Draghi and from Wil Guidara to Bozoma Saint John, how to make the most of your team and company – and of yourself as a leader. However, the fact that Courageous Leadership is the theme for an event that takes place almost a year from today, does not mean you should wait until then to start being courageous.

Your company, your employees, and the economy won’t have the patience. You must start today – and join the event to reap the benefits (get your early bird tickets here).

The time for courageous leadership is right now

The year between these two Nordic Business Forums is the year when the ability to lead will go through an ultimate test. When both the economic and political environment look uncertain to say the very least, putting everything on hold might sound like the thing to do. Not necessarily the smartest, but rather the safest one.

But we have been waiting for the storm to calm for too long already.

There is no time like right now to take the matter into own hands and start paving the way ahead. Like at the beginning of the playoffs the coach of a sports team urges the best players to start being the best players, the same goes for the leaders.

The playoffs have started, and it is the time for you to lead. With courage. To win. Big.

This brings us back to the 2023 event and Patrick Lencioni, who explained how a leader can free his or her team from dysfunctions that prevent people from being the best they can be.

Everything is based on trust. Not the kind of trust where you can count on your colleague to handle the task at hand well and in time, but the kind where you can make yourself completely vulnerable to others. To be able to make yourself “naked about your strengths and weaknesses”.

We have way too much experience in companies who start deteriorating simply due to people’s inability to express disagreements openly – or to admit that they need help in sorting out a challenge at hand. The right kind of trust takes away plenty of hesitation and concern for potential consequences. That may not seem that relevant in the heat of the moment, but those are perfect examples of little things that, when not dealt with properly, add up to being a destructive force.

When people can genuinely trust each other to pull together for a common goal, they can count on every idea and opinion receiving fair treatment. They also know that the best way to turn the tide when things are going the wrong way is to bring everything out in the open, address problems as they are and make the changes that are necessary to make. Sweeping bad news under the carpet doesn’t make them go away. They will pop back to the surface in even worse condition.

For many leaders, establishing that kind of working environment, albeit deemed important, simply sounds like way too much beyond the comfort zone. So instead of making themselves – and the entire organization – vulnerable, they cave in.

But you must step up, and that is a perfect thing to start with.

Even if you think that everyone else is doing it the other way, they are wrong. Take Patrick’s word for it. This is your lifetime opportunity to be the only one that is right.

The year of the brave is on, and the clock is ticking.

In the driver’s seat – Risto Siilasmaan haastattelu / Nordic Business Report 2023

Few people have executed such dramatic organizational changes as Risto Siilasmaa when under his chairmanship Nokia’s course was turned around from inevitable destruction to a new bloom. Speaking from experience, his advice to leaders is straightforward: whatever the future may bring, the organization must be prepared for it.

Risto Siilasmaa is a cyber security pioneer that turned into a successful business executive, and further into the Chairman of the world’s leading mobile phone manufacturer – that, again, turned into a leading wireless network company. While changes have followed each other and have been quite different in nature, certain repeating patterns are evident in making the most of each available opportunity.

One of the most important lessons from a leaders’ point of view is that the best way to manage change is to control it. The road to victory begins with getting to know the battlefield. In a constantly and often unexpectedly changing business environment, that means continuous preparations in every direction.

– There are two kinds of unexpected incidents, Siilasmaa explains. – The unknowable unknowns you simply can’t anticipate – your negligence or inactivity does not cause them. You are in no position to know anything about the specifics until they take place. The knowable unknowns, on the other hand, are surprises that you can, by following the right kind of processes and tools, find out about in time.

Siilasmaa chooses the bankruptcy of Kodak for a textbook example of a knowable unknown. It had been evident for a long time that the performance of constantly and steadily improving digital cameras would one day surpass that of film cameras, yet Kodak did not put any effort to developing their digital side. They deliberately shut their eyes from the incoming tornado and did little to protect themselves against it, protecting existing business rather than investing in longer term survival.

Russia’s invasion to Ukraine, on the other hand, was an unknowable unknown – until the final weeks before the attack. While Russia had kept becoming more aggressive and ruthless in its actions over the past years, the attack took the world by surprise. Everyone knew that something was going to happen but could not predict what or when that would be.

– The Covid pandemic, on the other hand, was the Kodak case, Siilasmaa adds. – While the event was known to happen, the timing was unknown. Scientists had said for a long time that a global pandemic was going to come during the next 20 years or so, but politicians kept maintaining that it would not happen this year. That is why we did nothing in terms of preparing for it. When the long term likelihood of an event is high, but the short term probability is low, people often choose to do nothing.

Preparation is the key

Sufficient tools and techniques are already available for organizations to prepare against both types of unknowns. In this light, Siilasmaa finds it downright inexcusable that while leaders have what it takes to see where the overall development is heading, they often do not do anything about it.

In addition to building the right kind of tool set that would enable leaders to identify the knowable unknowns and prepare accordingly, organizations must face the challenge of managing the unavoidable uncertainty of the unknowable unknowns. Both are doable.

– Uncertainty has largely been – and to a certain extent, still is – managed utilizing a traditional waterfall process, Risto Siilasmaa mentions. – The management gets together once a year to map the most potential threats and to create a top-down plan to deal with them.

While management must stay on top of things, top-down plan is often too slow to execute so that it would have sufficient time to create competitive advantages. If surprises happen on the way – which tends to be the case more often than not – a new plan must be designed. However, by the time that plan reaches the implementation level in the waterfall model, people have just barely began doing things according to the previous one.

Experimenting is a way to speed up the path from plans to implementation.

– Trying out different alternatives to discover the best way to react to change is an excellent way to manage uncertainty, Siilasmaa agrees. – The challenge in this is that if you want to create a genuine experiment culture, your management model has to be something else than the top-down version. Experiments must be initiated at every level or the organization, not just by top management.

Simulations are a great way to further boost experimenting. A digital twin of the operating environment makes simulating various scenarios a lot quicker and cost-efficient, thus creating significant efficiency effects. Thanks to simulation providing a high-quality framework, virtual experimentation can be carried out a lot more efficiently or even automated. The best virtual experiments can then be replicated in real life to verify the results. Data provided by these experiments are again fuel to the strategy which the management designs and executes through the waterfall method.

As a result of this process, a knowable unknown can be turned into a business opportunity. We do not only talk about preparing for an upcoming crisis but actually about making the most of the opportunity it creates.

To get the circle rolling, sufficient data is required.

– In simulation, data is the required fuel, Risto Siilasmaa describes. – We can’t simulate without data, so the first task is to identify the data we need to simulate appropriately.

After deciding what kind of data is most relevant for our particular purposes, we need to determine how to get that data, and if our IT architecture is capable of handling it. With knowable unknowns, it is all about clarifying our own thoughts to better understand the changes in our operating environment – including the good and bad futures we will face. Alternatives must be regularly analyzed, and consequences must be taken accordingly. That makes us better prepared for whatever outcome becomes real.

– You realize the upcoming development and decide to try if you can create business out of it, Risto Siilasmaa summarizes. – That does not take the board’s strategy meeting, it can – and must – be done at all organizational levels.

Faster reaction through scenario planning

Agility is, indeed, one of the best ways to react to the opportunities or threats an unknowable unknown may turn out to provide. Risto Siilasmaa suggests organizations adapt the idea of scenario planning so that they would be prepared to act fast soon as the opportunity opens. The benefit of scenario planning – as long as it leads to actions – is that you do not have to identify the correct scenarios, you just need to stake the space within which the events should exist.

Scenario planning takes preparations for unknown incidents to yet another level. It forces organizations to design action plans even for the most unpleasant situations.

– To be prepared as well as possible, we must create scenarios for many likely developments – and determine what we must do if that specific development materializes, Siilasmaa explains. – It all begins with us accepting the fact that something surprising will happen, and with convincing ourselves that we do not have to be afraid of it.

Human nature makes us reluctant to prepare for things we are afraid of. It is up to the management to understand this pitfall and create plans to minimize its effects. Organizations must be trained to handle these kinds of developments and provide information fast when something happens.

In addition to annual and longer-term plans and ideas about what kind of alternative developments might take place, we must be ready to challenge every one of the alternative scenarios.

– First, we need to invent the scenarios – even the very worst ones, and we need to make the management responsible for processing them, Siilasmaa describes. – We must also determine, what kind of data is required to tell us if the probability of any of the scenarios will change.

Siilasmaa does not refer solely to sales figures, but also to something that might give us indications about more fundamental developments. At Nokia, one of the most fundamental reasons for change was the old Symbian platform becoming obsolete. The data about software developers’ commitment to a certain platform served as an indicator that a shift to new platforms was becoming imminent.

The next step would be to systematically gather the kind of data that has been deemed relevant. That is often the easiest part of scenario planning as in the era of digitalization, there is plenty of data available and sophisticated tools such as AI can help us bot gather and validate it to suit our purposes the best possible way.

After we have identified and gathered the right data, we iterate it. We start to understand the changes of various scenario probabilities, which helps us allocate resources accordingly. The largest part goes to the most likely scenarios, but we must also keep the less probable ones in mind.

Risto Siilasmaa points out that while there is no doubt about the essence of scenario planning, it is the execution that eventually will separate winners from the rest. When we manage to shed even a small ray of light into the tunnel of uncertainty, we can start the change with confidence – and that is often the missing piece when it comes to organization’s perseverance to pull through a significant transition that is so often required in these times of uncertainty.

Now that we are controlling the change, it is up to us to get things in gear.

Smart change does not wait for the crisis – Elo Health / Nordic Business Report 2023

Change on a personal level is a task that has more dimensions and variables one might initially expect – but it holds the key to successful organizational change as well.

An organization consists of the people who have, for their own reasons, decided to jump aboard. The people are the building blocks that form the body and soul of their organization, they make the organization breath and act. It is the people’s input that point the organization to move to a certain direction.

Even when pressured by outside influences, whether that direction changes, is down to the people. And while deciding to make any change in an organization might be a rather straightforward matter in the board meeting agenda, the implementation of it is often something completely different.

An organization is a collection of cells, so to speak. Those cells, obviously meaning the people, are bound together by elements such as the organization’s purpose and values. These connections have been further strengthened by lucrative salaries and other incentives, as well as engagement strategies and team development days. In spite of all those bonding elements, every cell has a mind of its own. Especially in times of sudden change or crisis, these cells tend to head to quite different, often randomly chosen directions. This makes the organization as a whole move like an ameba, and the leaders soon find controlling the change extremely difficult to achieve.

”To understand how organizations change one must first learn to understand how people change,” Ari Tulla, CEO at Elo Health says. ”And, when it comes to personal change, the first thing to realize is that no one wants it.”

Supporting change on a personal level

Elo Health has dug deep into the human mindset to find the right buttons to push in order to provide a desperately needed nudge to the path towards healthier life span. Ari Tulla points out that the fundamental reason for the resistance towards change is the natural process of people growing up, during which we gradually stop learning new things naturally through play, instead finding ourselves stuck with our own habits.

As we get older, learning suddenly becomes difficult. Whether it is a new language or a new computer software, we struggle to get even through the first chapter while watching the children familiarize themselves with new things at an instant.

”The pressure we feel about learning something new creates a major obstacle”, Tulla explains. ”The situation is precisely the same when we try to change our current habits.”

For children, summers are longer and filled with wonderful memories and unforgettable events. The older we get, the shorter and emptier the years become. Our perception of time vanishes – and that is just because we stick with all those familiar, safe habits we have become so accustomed to. We like them because they don’t challenge us, but they don’t create vivid memories, either.

”As adults, we remember only the most significant moments, such as trips abroad, but even those memories become scarcer with time”, Tulla continues. ”This is the core of the challenge we all face when trying to support people in their attempts to change.”

Attempt it indeed is for many. When we talk about overweight, smoking, and other things people want to get rid of, most of us recognize the need for change very clearly. The tough part is to find the determination to do it.

Very few of us can change just out of will – for the rest, change happens out of some kind of compulsion. Whether that arrives in the form of heart attack, fear of death, divorce, or anything else, some kind of drama or even trauma is required. Otherwise, all those new year resolutions that begin with alcohol-free Januarys and annual tickets to the gym will again be completely forgotten by the end of March.

”People sign up for exercise classes and learning platforms, then give them up but keep paying the monthly fee just in case they come up with determination to continue”, Ari Tulla describes. ”They want to maintain that opportunity to change. But it won’t happen without real threat.”

Instead of trying to solve a dramatic problem, supporting change should begin with optimizing human behavior.

Optimizing human behavior for continuous performance

The same goes with people who are motivated to become better in everything they do – such as business leaders. Motivation to improve performance and capability to focus on the future from the perspective of important things are essential. While most of us are so bound by daily tasks and things to take care of, enabling change requires ability to commit to thinking about the big picture.

”We ask every one of our customers about their targets for change, but we don’t settle for answers such as a certain amount of weight they want to lose in six months”, Tulla mentions. ”We want their big, hairy, audacious goals, and people answer with unbelievably beautiful dreams. Some want to go hiking with their grandchildren at the age of 70, some want to go heli-skiing to Alaska. They want to do things that they are now able to do – or were able to do when they were younger.”

This is what optimization is all about – ensuring that the ideal performance level can continue in the future. Achieving that obviously requires different things in different times. For Elo Health customers, it means smarter nutrition, for leaders and organizations something else. The key is to get to know yourself and what reaching your goal 30 years from now requires from you today.

For individuals and businesses alike, successful change is about extending healthy life span. Ari Tulla emphasizes that while healthcare professionals are the specialists in saving lives, smart nutrition companies like Elo Health have a significant role in determining how that life can eventually be lived.

”Everyone wants to live at home, surrounded by the loved ones, for as long as possible instead of spending the last years of their lives comatose and wrapped in tubes. While we do not necessarily make people live longer, we ensure that their last years will be as high-quality as possible.”

Data driving the change

Ari Tulla believes that if something can be measured, it can be improved. To empower change, meters must be created for those who are motivated to go all-in. The more you can gamify the process, the better.

”This kind of services have not existed mainly due to not having sufficient meters available. We have been able to measure certain things such as height, weight, and blood pressure, and today we can extend those measurements to more sophisticated level in terms of sleep, activity, and recovery, and so on. One thing that we are still working on is measuring the real-time effect of nutrition.”

Glucose levels can already be measured almost real-time, and that provides valuable information about how the amount of glucose in blood goes up in a flash after a pizza. In the sense that we only notice the drop ourselves in the form of a post-lunch coma, these measurements help avoid unhealthy rises that would otherwise go unnoticed.

”We are creating traffic lights that would provide information about what is smart and what is not when it comes to nutrition. A continuous wave of red lights is an efficient signal for change – this helps enormously changing into a healthier lifestyle.”

Easy does it – especially with change

Deep down, empowering change is about making it as easy as humanly possible. Ari Tulla points out that if change leads to life becoming more difficult than what it is today, it won’t happen. Elo Health has understood that for example blood samples must be such an easy task to take the customer hardly notices. Pinching oneself to get blood is way out of bounds, it all must happen automatically, even in an ambient way. When the device is hidden and does not make a sound, the situation is ideal.

The feedback, also, must be always positive. Even if things are not going exactly great, we must build on the positives. If change begins to feel like an effort, let alone work, it stops.

Change must be covered in a form where it conveys the message of unreserved support and the ability to make life easier. That is why Elo Health brought in an expensive but necessary element – human coaches.

”People want people to support their change. A coach or a mentor who can hold you responsible for what you have decided to achieve helps everyone. We all want to do good things and get better, but if nobody asks us on a weekly, monthly or even annual basis about what we have actually done, we just won’t do it.”

The world is full of validated models for change – measurements, coaching, gamification, and accountability groups are proven tools for support. These tools need sufficient services built around them, and Elo Health is right at the forefront of this in enabling personal change.

The best change is done before it becomes a must

The traffic lights that were mentioned earlier could play an extremely significant role in guiding people to change their habits for the better. As contradictory as it may sound, the same food that causes us diseases could, when consumed in a smart way, be our ticket to permanent change for the better.

”Smart nutrition can in the future determine what we should eat at any given moment”, Ari Tulla says. ”The same nutrition that is the source for overweight, chronical diseases and premature deaths, could become the cure.”

We eat continuously food that causes different kinds of inflammation in our body, and we keep doing that because we do not have means to realize the effect. This is however, changing and in the future, by bringing in nutrition to complement the current combination of medication and health care services.

Today, health care cures only things that come up in measurements – such as high blood pressure. If the numbers look good, nothing is done. The yellow light zone is vague though, so there is no telling what those numbers will look like next time. Smart nutrition helps keep the numbers away from the red zone, which in the long run benefits both the patient and the society. Change is, at best, implemented at the time when you can do it instead of waiting until the drama happens, and you are forced to react. Why settle for controlling the damage when you can entirely avoid it?

Healthy mind in a healthy body brings in results

Ari Tulla brings up that deep down, we all want to be good people and both when it comes to personal of business life, we want to perform well. If we have concerns, performing well becomes impossible. Ensuring the well-being of employees is one of the most essential things for successful organizations, even and especially if change is expected.

”In the ideal world, the employees have one and only one concern in their mind when they are at work: how do I do the best possible job for my employer. When the employer has taken care of all the rest, the possibility to succeed in that is a lot better.”

Most of us, in addition to our other concerns, worry about our health, and that is a big deal also from the organization’s point of view.

When leaders prepare their organizations for better performance or even a significant change, they should also pay attention to ways to ease the burden of personal health from their employees’ shoulders. Besides the improved energy levels and working efficiency, smart nutrition can boost self-esteem and help make a downright transformative difference in the working environment. Employees with all that personal development under their belts are able to make the organization thrive, even in the most substantial changes.

Lisää vetovoimaa asiakaspalveluun – DialOK / Ulkoistamisen mahdollisuudet

Hyvän asiakaspalvelun avulla rakennettavasta asiakaskokemuksesta on tullut millä tahansa toimialalla suorastaan ratkaiseva menestystekijä. Se tehostaa liiketoimintaa ja nostaa yrityksen imagon parhaimmillaan reippaasti yli kilpailijoiden.

Juuri siksi asiakaspalvelu tulisikin nostaa siihen asemaan, jonka se ansaitsee – toiminnan keskiöön.

”Ensivaikutelman tekemiseen on vain yksi mahdollisuus, ja asiakaspalvelu on usein ensimmäinen kohtaamispiste”, kertoo Risto Apell, yksilöllisten tavoitettavuusratkaisujen suunnitteluun ja toteuttamiseen erikoistuneen DialOk:n toimitusjohtaja. ”Tässä kohtaamisessa lunastetaan kaikki se brändinrakentaminen ja myyntityö, johon yritys on jo ehtinyt investoida.”

Puhutaan suurista summista ja pitkistä aikajänteistä. Juuri siksi Apell kehottaakin yrityksiä varmistamaan, että ratkaisevalla hetkellä pystyttäisiin vastaamaan vaativan asiakkaan kaikkiin toiveisiin.

”Mahdollisuus monikanavaiseen asiointiin ja pidennetyt palveluajat ovat esimerkkejä asiakaspalvelun uusista ulottuvuuksista, joiden merkitys korostuu koko ajan. On olennaista varmistaa, että asiakaspalvelija osaa ottaa jokaisen tilanteen oikealla, brändin edellyttämällä tavalla haltuun ja kaupallistaa neutraalinkin kontaktin.”

Tulosta tuova asiakaspalvelu edellyttää oikeanlaista osaamista ja motivaatiota. Asiakkaiden tyytyväisyys on pystyttävä varmistamaan, ja samalla on jätettävä mainio muistijälki siitä, miten yritys toimii. Siksi DialOk hioo jokaisen asiakkaansa kanssa yksityiskohdat kuntoon, sanavalintoja ja brändipersoonaa myöten.

Jatkuva parantaminen varmistaa odotusten ylittymisen

Risto Apell korostaa jatkuvan koulutuksen ja valmentamisen merkitystä laadun varmistajana. Kun in-house -pohjalta tyypillisesti oman toimensa ohella toimivat asiakaspalvelijat keskittyvät lähinnä ruuhkahuippujen loiventamiseen, asiaan erikoistunut ammattilainen pyrkii kehittymään koko ajan paremmaksi. Asiakkaiden toiveet ja tarpeet monimuotoistuvat, ja uusia keinoja ja kanavia ilmaantuu yhteydenpitoon. Paras tapa sopeutua tähän on säilyttää asema kehityksen keulilla.

Toinen tapa huolehtia siitä, että ketjun jokaisen osapuolen tyytyväisyys vain paranee, on läpinäkyvyyteen perustuva toimintamalli.

”Selkeä raportointi ja kuukausittainen ohjausryhmätyöskentely varmistavat sen, että kaikki pysyvät kärryillä siitä, mitä kohtaamisissa tapahtuu puolin ja toisin. Tekoäly auttaa analysoimaan puheluja ja puuttuu kehityskohteisiin, joita henkilökohtaisesti parannetaan. Puheluja voidaan myös kuunnella ja kommentoida tuoreeltaan – näin rakentuu luottamus siihen, että ammattilainen osaa asiansa.”

DialOk:lla hinnoittelu perustuu palvelun käyttöön. Asiakas säästyy näin kiinteiltä palkkakuluilta, mutta Apellin mukaan tämä on harvoin ratkaiseva tekijä yhteistyön käynnistymiselle.

”Loppujen lopuksi asiakkaat maksavat siitä, että me teemme parempaa jälkeä kuin he itse.”

Looking beyond the horizon – Hangon satama / Business Class 3/2023

As the role of shipping in Finland’s economy only seems to be getting more significant, the ports need to find ways to further improve their operations for the benefit of freight forwarders. The 150-year-old Port of Hanko opens up new channels to productivity by the means of digitalization and green transition.

Largely due to Finland’s geographical location, the country has always been highly dependent on shipping. Already the medieval Hanseatic trade created commercial ports in the Northern parts of the Baltic Sea, and even today a vast majority of Finland’s trade is transported by sea. As a matter of fact, the numbers are only growing. In 2022, maritime transport handled 94 % of Finnish exports and 91,1 % of imports. The total share of foreign trade was 92,4 % – nothing short of astonishing.

In this light, it is by no means an understatement to say that ports have an extremely significant role when it comes to Finland’s well-being. How ports develop their operations to continuously meet the ever-evolving demands of forwarding companies, end customers, and the society in general has a very direct effect on Finnish companies and on the entire country’s competitiveness.

Port of Hanko, located at the southernmost tip of Finland, is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. Focusing on the European markets where Finland’s foreign trade most flourishes, country’s third largest commercial port – and the only one operating 24/7/365 – has its sights firmly set on the future.

“Speed is one of the biggest assets in the business of moving goods from one point to the other”, Anders Ahlvik, the CEO at Port of Hanko, says. “We want to provide services that enable taking the goods that are produced in Finland during the day out of the country by the evening.”

As a proof of that enablement, 40 ships sail away from the port of Hanko every week, at least one of which heads to every main market area daily. With three locations in Hanko area, each specializing in its own kind of traffic, the transportation chain has been designed to be immensely effective at Port of Hanko. This benefits everyone’s business operations, and the society as well.

Digitalization as the driver for development

In its quest to further improve the efficiency of the ports and to solve a wide variety of logistics challenges freight forwarders face every day, Port of Hanko has made substantial investments in digitalization. Being a trailblazer among Finnish ports in the field of digital solutions, Port of Hanko has designed an identical twin of its entire infrastructure. This tool comes in particularly handy in scheduling maintenance and making operations run smoother in general.

“Information must move swiftly for the goods to be able to do the same”, Anders Ahlvik explains. “We keep developing our digital solutions to make operations more efficient. This means, among other things, ensuring that there are as few empty or one-way transportations as possible to and from our ports.”

For this particular purpose, Port of Hanko has developed a special application that has been nicknamed “truck traffic’s Tinder”. It connects tractor units with trailers and containers that are heading to one direction but have no cargo for the return trip, or vice versa. These kinds of solutions contribute to the entire forwarding chain’s efficiency and make the route that go via Hanko ports both smoother and more environmentally sound.

Environmental advantages for the long run

Speaking of the environment, nature plays its own part in making Port of Hanko an increasingly popular choice.

“Our location enables year-round operations without the need to deal with ice”, Anders Ahlvik points out. “Not only does this make operations at the port more efficient – it also saves energy and improves sustainability for the entire logistics chain.”

Port of Hanko plays an active role in green transition as well. It aims to be the first port in Finland to achieve carbon neutrality for its own operations – that has been scheduled to take place during next year.

To reach this target, Port of Hanko actively adopts new sources of energy, such as wind power from a farm in the Baltic Sea region, as well as new fuels that have been produced in a more responsible manner. Anders Ahlvik believes that by joining forces with partners and customers to develop port services to a more sustainable direction, responsibility and competitiveness can be smoothly combined even in a challenging business area such as freight forwarding.

“Smarter operations make a big difference for the entire chain. It is our job to provide our customers with opportunities to make the most of the available resources, for the benefit of themselves, and for the entire logistics chain.”

In this light, the 150-year-old Port of Hanko is looking ahead with confidence. With long experience as the foundation for expertise and business sense, new technologies and a delicate finger on the society’s pulse help stay in the forefront of development. It also makes Port of Hanko ready to prepare for any kind of change, even before it rises to the surface.

Reinventing the wheel – Jim Collinsin haastattelu / Nordic Business Report 2022

As companies look for ways to get back on track after times of turbulence, they should not underestimate the power of a great flywheel. Once you get the components right and understand how your specific flywheel turns, it can build compounding momentum over a very long time – even if, and when, that time will be full of more surprises.

For most leaders, the past couple of years have been a struggle for survival. The reasons we all are too aware of have driven companies into turmoil. With all these unexpected incidents that seem to be completely out of our control, many have decided to simply lay low and wait for the storm to pass.

Little by little, we have grown to understand that this is not going to happen.

”A great history professor Edward T. O’Donnell once said that history is the study of surprises; we do not know what is coming next”, says Jim Collins – a renowned researcher, writer, and sought-after speaker whose studies have provided instructions and inspiration for leaders around the world.

Busy in the midst of his most recent research, Jim Collins took the time to have a conversation with Nordic Business Report about what the future looks like – and how leaders could successfully start taking their companies forward, through times that remain uncertain, if not entirely chaotic.

The success will not come by waiting for the perfect circumstances. “Life is uncertain, the future unknown”, Collins continues. ”This is neither good nor bad. It just is, like gravity. Covid is simply the latest manifestation of living history, surprise after surprise. And there are more surprises to come. What’s coming next? All we know for sure is that no-one knows. Yet – and this is the key point – great companies well-led can master their own fate nonetheless.”

The trick may be old, but that is precisely why it works

”For great companies, times of turbulence prove to be ideal for pulling ahead of others”, Collins points out. ”This is a perfect moment to rigorously think of the ways to build momentum.”

This is where the famous flywheel concept comes in. Jim Collins designed it a couple of decades ago, yet it keeps building momentum – and success – to companies regardless of their size, industry, or market.

”If you want to build a great company or lead a company from good to great, harnessing the flywheel effect is one of the crucial ingredients”, Collins explains. ”Breakthrough momentum – the flywheel effect – flows from a series of good decisions, supremely well-executed, that accumulate one upon another over a long period of time. Once you fully grasp how to create flywheel momentum in your particular circumstance, and apply that understanding with creativity and discipline, you get the power of strategic compounding.”

Momentum can be built, but to succeed every company must begin with thoroughly thinking what their respective flywheel is. Getting the steps just right requires plenty of discipline and perseverance, but once that is done, the company will have a long-term momentum builder that can be extended and even renewed to fit other business areas.

”Every company should right now concentrate on getting their flywheel right and embrace it at full force”, Collins advises. ”The big winners are those who take a flywheel from ten turns to a billion turns rather than crank through ten turns, start over with a new flywheel, push it to ten turns, only to divert energy into yet another new flywheel, then another and another.”

To help us out, Jim Collins listed five things every flywheel should include:

1. It has an inexorable logic of momentum
If you want to build momentum, you have to get the logic right. A great flywheel is not merely a series of steps – the idea behind it is that at every step of the flywheel, you can say that if we do this, the next step is almost an inevitable consequence of the step that came before.

2. The top step should express something essential
If you can get the top of the flywheel work for you, then everything else works a lot smoother. Every company has their own starting point. It can begin with culture or anything else. The essential thing is to make a wise choice – something that genuinely represents the reason for existence.

3. Right side – contribution, left side – fuel
All great flywheels proceed so that the first half (12 to 6) is about what you do, create, and contribute to the world. It is how you practically bring your purpose to life. On the other side, this all converts to fuel. The top redeploys the fuel and make the flywheel go further and faster

4. It has empirical validation on actual successes
Identify and describe achievements that represent your company’s big successes – and make sure the flywheel reflects them. Empirical validation enables you to build big bursts of momentum with full confidence.

5. It is an architecture, not a single line of business
This is important when you think about expansion, momentum and stimulating progress: all great flywheels allow you to do various businesses under the same principles. An underlying, properly conceived flywheel architecture, renewed and extended at need, can guide and drive momentum even for decades.

Putting the flywheel to work

The execution phase puts every component of the flywheel to a rigorous test – just like a chain, a flywheel is only as strong as the weakest part. Every component depends on all the others and if one is a lot weaker than the others, the entire flywheel stalls.

Jim Collins emphasizes that to bring home the results, it is essential to understand that the flywheel concept works over a long period of time. After thoroughly ensuring that every step has been built just right, the flywheel has to start moving. At first, it takes great effort to get the flywheel to even inch forward, but soon as it starts moving, every push makes it go faster. With persistent effort, you can make the flywheel complete turn after turn, picking up speed at the same time. Long as you maintain discipline and keep pushing, the flywheel eventually flies forward with almost unstoppable momentum.

Jim Collins mentions that executing the flywheel concept is like a 20-mile march – another one of his concepts designed to help companies thrive in a turbulent world. Success requires relentless consistency, every day, regardless of conditions. Achieving breakthrough performance – and sustaining flywheel momentum – requires, among other things, disciplined action.

As Jim talked to the executive team in the beginning of the century, he advised everyone not to approach the dotcom bust that had just taken place as a crisis. The right approach at that situation was to take Jim’s flywheel thinking further and to create one of their own.

”The situation at the time could very easily have led to everyone panicking and grasping desperately to anything that they’d think might be their instant savior, only to experience more disappointment”, Jim Collins recalls. ”Instead of abandoning the flywheel, Amazon committed fully and stuck with the game plan. The results speak for themselves.”

Do not change, if you can renew and extend

To make the most of any flywheel that has been built right and executed flawlessly, leaders should think about ways to further accelerate momentum. There may come a time when any company needs to renew its operational principles. That does not mean a flywheel has come to the end of its existence.

”At its best, the underlying architecture of the flywheel is distinct from a company’s single line of business”, Collins points out. “Over time, great companies extend their flywheel architecture far beyond where they first began.”

As Intel moved its main focus from memory chips to microprocessors, the underlying flywheel architecture applied just as soundly. When the flywheel has been conceived the right way, even if it is continually renewed and extended, it can be remarkably durable.

Amazon also eventually renewed and extended the flywheel far beyond e-commerce with new technology accelerators such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, but the underlying architecture would remain largely intact.

In extending the flywheel, empirical validation assumes a critical role as it helps make bold moves with confidence. Empirical validation is like calibrated line of sight: when you know for a fact that you are going to hit the target, you can go all in and bring on the big guns. Apple is a great example of this approach, starting their extension from personal computers first carefully with iPods, then, as experience and confidence grew, extending to iTunes, iPhone, and iPad.

“Apple followed exactly this pattern,” Collins explains. “In 2002, nearly all of Apple’s flywheel momentum came from its line of Macintosh personal computers. But it had fired a bullet on this little thing called an iPod. The bullet hit, and Apple then fired a cannonball – extending the flywheel into smart handhelds. And Apple kept extending the flywheel, from iPod to iPhone, from iPhone to iPad, and Apple’s flywheel extension became the largest generator of momentum.”

Building a great company never happens instantaneously and thriving in chaos follows the same principle. Leaders, organizations, and shareholders get impatient waiting for the most current crisis to settle and are at the same time afraid of the next one.

Jim Collins urges everyone to not wait for a miracle, lucky break, instant innovation, or a miracle moment that suddenly makes everything alright. The world has always been full of surprises and unexpected incidents, and that is the kind of world where companies and human beings will have to move forward also from now on.

The flywheel effect has what it takes to move companies forward, to new successes, business areas and sources of growth. To maximize the effect leaders must first thoroughly understand how their specific flywheel should be constructed, and how it turns. Then, through rigorous commitment and discipline, it is just a matter to push it to the point of breakthrough, so that it starts building momentum at an accelerating speed.

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