November 13, 2015

Digitalization rewards those with start-up mentality

Satu Kiiskinen

Head of Consulting and System Integration unit, Tieto

Digitalization demands companies to foster innovative environments. Simply put, companies need to collaborate and move more quickly. And therefore employees need to adapt and learn.

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, fast-paced decision-making and navigating in the ever-changing environment require a new mindset from all of us. Everybody needs to adapt the start-up mentality, where learning, absorbing and applying new skills and ways of working are constant.

Taking the ownership

When the brightest ideas can come from collaboration with the customers, partners or newest employees, it’s important to have an open, accessible and modern corporate culture.

No successful organization has withstood the recent digitalization without this kind of open corporate culture. As this process continues into the indefinite future, attitudes and operating procedures must continue to evolve.

At Tieto we cherish bold minds with our Open Source Culture, which is based on four principles: open ears, open minds, open actions and open doors. We don’t just hear, but listen. We don’t take things for granted, we question. We take responsibility and share the knowledge. We don’t only celebrate successes, but also learnings.

We take the ownership.

I genuinely believe that by adapting a start-up mentality, we succeed. CEO Kimmo Alkio has put it well: “Start-ups are successful because they value openness, individualism, creativity, innovation and the willingness to take risks.”

My colleague Kim Lindgren has written a great blog post about the change we as Tieto have gone through. We also need to embrace digitalization.“In order for more traditional players to succeed, they need to create an organizational culture that fosters innovation,” he states.  

What are the skills needed in the future?

Corporations should give more responsibility to individuals. In the era of digitalization, bold minds really are needed. Failure is not bad, when you do it fast and learn from it.

Digitalization is a wonderful thing: it makes it possible to do things in completely new ways!

This means that we as companies could be bolder in recruiting. 10 years of experience in a certain niche area is not always a necessity - how about recruiting bold and creative minds with or without 10 years of experience?

Experience is an asset, but I see that the key still is the ability to learn and adopt, in the ever-changing environment. This doesn’t mean that we would overlook knowledge, vice versa: one should be able to build on the existing know-how – all the time. Learning is constant. You learn from your colleagues, in ecosystems, by following the latest trends in your area, discussing and utilizing your social networks.

The knowledge should be developed based on the context you’re working in. For example a SAP consultant needs to deepen his/her knowledge of the SAP domain area, but also think how to utlise the knowledge to help a certain customer from a certain industry to tackle the challenges that digitalization brings, for example.

Today the learning path is not years, but constant. You should follow the trends and be aware of the changes in the market, so that you can react to the demands of the changing environment swiftly.

Doing business and creating innovations happen more and more in ecosystems of customers, partners and competitors. Persons that are able to adapt, and can work in a variety of responsibility areas as generalists, will succeed in this kind of environment.

I believe that learning is an attitude. Let’s all take the ownership – everyone of us can be an intrapreneur!


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