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The Pathfinder


Ten honest and original tales about leadership

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Contents Our projects have gained an extra dimension 

Tommy Rex, Novozymes Is it possible to work from a holistic perspective in a predominantly left-brain organisation? In ProMan, Novozymes’ research unit, this has been integrated as an effective mindset in the department’s carefully organised approval procedures.

Honest communication pays

Tine Sander, The Royal Danish Theatre There are unexploited resources in all businesses, a fact which the Royal Danish Theatre’s costume department realised when it delegated responsibilities and started communicating more openly and directly.

My leadership style gained a language 

Alfred Josefsen, Irma Alfred Josefsen, former general manager of Irma, recognised his own approach to leadership in the meeting with Pathfinder. Here it gained a form and a language which strengthened his leadership style in Denmark’s most highly profiled supermarket chain.

Leading by being

Jesper Hjulmand, SEAS-NVE Energy is not just something SEAS-NVE sells. It’s also part of the leadership philosophy for Jesper Hjulmand, the firm’s CEO. But it requires that he as manager has the courage to put himself on the line.

Succesfull leadership requires team commitment

Vinnie Krogh, Albertslund Pharmacy and Vallensbæk Pharmacy Idealism can be good for business – but not without the support of the employees. Vinnie Krogh sees it as her principal leadership task to create this team commitment.

The Pathfinder Effect

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Pathfinder as a strategic sparring partner

Michael Hellemann, Bayer MaterialScience AG It takes tough arguments to introduce the softer methods in a German group. But Michael Hellemann Sørensen was able to produce robust results from his work with Pathfinder’s strategy tools.

Leading with authenticity

Helle Rask Schmahl, Lego LEGO’s partnership with Pathfinder included moving from an authoritative towards an authentic leadership ideal – a task which, according to Helle Schmal, Senior Project Manager, produces surprising effects.

Make the goal your own

Michèle Gundstrup, NNE Pharmaplan A goal intended to motivate people to deliver excellence should not be defined in figures. On the contrary, it must be made personal and concrete for the particular persons who are assigned to perform the task.

The team showed its strength when the crisis struck

Ivan Stendal Hansen, Jyske Market The financial crisis threw Jyske Market’s staff into an unaccustomed and extreme situation. Nevertheless, their performance as a team was unique, among other things because of the experience they had gained from the Pathfinder programme.

We’re now acting proactively

Peter Møller, Weissenborn Proactivity turned a bottom line in the red to a profit at Weissenborn. The Pathfinder concepts gained a foothold because management presented them with due respect for the differences between people.

The Pathfinder Effect



The Pathfinder Effect


Going your separate ways along the same path... You’ll rarely be quite the same after having participated in the three modules of the Pathfinder programme. We often refer to it as a journey that never ends because it involves a new curiosity and openness which can enrich you for life privately, personally and professionally. Incorporating the Pathfinder concepts in a culture involves new recognitions, new ways of handling known problems, new perspectives on tasks to be done – and on life in general – for the individual as well as companies. You may refer to it as the “Pathfinder Effect”, but in the same breath we acknowledge that the effect is individual in nature and scope. In the following, a number of prominent Pathfinder leaders tell about the effect of the Pathfinder concepts on their businesses and on their own personal development.

The Pathfinder Effect


Our projects have gained an extra dimensiion Novozymes’ project management group, ProMan, facilitates fast introduction to the market of the company’s research products. This requires comprehensive procedures and approval processes, and large well-developed systems are therefore characteristic of the department’s work. But in our company, being a good project manager takes more than just knowing the systems. A good project manager must also be able to react, act and motivate people.


The Pathfinder Effect

Leadership advantages In ProMan we’re all extremely left-brained and structured, and we have very strong execution skills. As Pathfinders we have a basis for looking behind things so that they don’t appear to be merely linear, and we’ve learned to ask ourselves the question: Is this important? We know we have to be holistic to be able to prioritise and know where to take action. Novozymes’ partnership with Pathfinder goes back many years, and I became a Pathfinder myself in 1998. All new project manager colleagues in ProMan are enrolled in the Pathfinder programme – right now, for example, an American colleague is in the process of becoming a Pathfinder. In ProMan we usually recruit internally. Those who are sent on the Pathfinder programme therefore already have competent and carefully selected internal profiles, but they gain an extra dimension after the process. This provides us with a common frame of reference and major leadership advantages in a project management organisation with a high degree of self-management.






Executive Management In Novozymes we practice value leadership. We’ve PER FALHOLT Born 1958. Executive Vice President, Research & Development and boiled down our set of values to four simple values CSO. Board positions which correspond closely to the mindset you gain Chairman: Board positions as Pathfinder. WWF (World Widea Fund for Nature) Denmark Member:


Born 1951. President and CEO.

The NOVOZYMeS RepORT 2011 Vice Chairman: Egmont International Holding A/S Rockwool International A/S

DHI Group ARTs Biologics A/S

THOMAS NAGY Part of our culture Member: We don’t necessarily think about it very much, Born 1963. Executive Vice President, Stakeholder Relations and CAT Science Park A/S COS. We’ve now implemented the Pathfinder concepts in but the Pathfinder concepts pervade the ProMan ALK-Abelló A/S ProMan and made them our own. Among other things organisation.Board Thepositions Pathfinder programme is value we use an internally adapted Graphic Gameplan for for money andMember: it’s powerful. Our American colleague Danish-American Business Forum BENNY D. LOFT our development andBorn business goals. The proactive in the teamAmerican refers to ofProMan having “The Chamber Commerce in as Denmark 1965. Executive Vice President and CFO. way of thinking and acting and the phrase “Expect Golden Standard” – and ProMan really has become Board positions the unexpected” areMember: part of our working culture, an internal brand which guarantees the level and THOMAS VIDEBÆK The Blue Planet Born 1960.–Executive Vice President, BioBusiness. and we always work with alternative plans. quality of our work probably because we have an Xellia Pharmaceuticals AS Product development is a complex environment extra dimension. where we need to know how we react and how our PEDER HOLK NIELSEN stakeholders react. Born It 1956. often takes both courage Executive Vice President, Enzyme Business. and integrity to advance what we believe is right. Tommy Rex Board positions Member: Senior Project Director, Hempel A/S In Novozymes we practice leadership. We’ve Proman – Novozymes LEO Pharmavalue A/S boiled down our set of values to four simple values which correspond closely to the mindset you take with you as a Pathfinder. The values have been carefully developed in the organisation and they are well-integrated. We apply them among other things in the evaluation system for project managers which we use at the conclusion of a project.

The Pathfinder Effect


 onest H communication pays We needed to develop our collaboration between the individual costume departments at The Royal Danish Theatre. Our goal was to become even more efficient and better at utilising each other’s competences – and not least we needed a new generation to enter the scene. Insight into each other’s worlds I wanted to illustrate how we would benefit, and for this purpose I used Graphic Gameplan and other tools. Taking this as the point of departure, we held an internal knowledge sharing course with the assistance of a documentarist from Pathfinder, and it became clear to us how much specialist knowledge our employees already had. However, we could make better use of it if we had greater insight into each other’s work areas and understood how important it is for employee involvement that they can see the general idea. Working in a theatre is a lifestyle where you don’t have what is referred to as a normal working day, and the work requires great creative skills. Therefore, it’s important to show your employees that you greatly respect their efforts.


The Pathfinder Effect

In the following year we worked in groups which had different plans and in which the employees contributed their ideas for the future. Most of them were very favourable, but people who have barriers to new ways of doing things are of course the greatest challenge. Here we worked with several employees to help them prepare for the changes – but some managers found it so hard to adapt that they chose to leave the theatre. We have become more efficient since we started the process and we have just started a new process where we take stock and look ahead. On the bottom line it has also given the managers more time to improve their planning: they no longer have to service all the tasks because the employees handle many things themselves. It’s evident that everyone takes on much more responsibility in each production, and it’s become much more fun because we know the processes better.

For me personally, it has heightened my consciousness and drive. But I think the most important thing I’ve learned is to communicate more openly and honestly – and not least to have the courage to communicate clear and direct messages.

Putting herself on the line I became a Pathfinder in 2004 and I have also completed the superstructure Natural Leadership. I’m still dedicated to this group, which consists of Pathfinder leaders from different organisations. We have our own network where we use each other to discuss everything that goes on in life and in our work as leaders.

For me personally, it has heightened my consciousness and drive. But I think the most important thing I’ve learned is to communicate more openly and honestly – and not least to have the courage to communicate clear and direct messages. The response is very different when you dare to put yourself on the line. I receive a lot of positive feedback on my communication and I can feel that we’re now much more aware that we matter to each other as persons. Tine Sander Head of Costumes, The Royal Danish Theatre

The Pathfinder Effect


My leadership style gained a language I’ve worked from a top management perspective in my entire career and I’ve positioned myself in terms of leadership as a ‘people manager’ – a style which is suited to me. Nevertheless, it was given a new form when I met Lasse back in 2000. A group chief executive among Irma’s owners, FDB, had come up with the brilliant idea that the whole executive group would participate in a customised Pathfinder programme. I’d been the general manager of Irma for a year. The business was in a bad shape and I was working round the clock to save it. Three weeks’ absence therefore seemed completely hopeless. Felt at home Fortunately I chose to say “OK, I have to be here – what can I get out of it?” And as it turned out, Lasse’s way of working was 100% identical to mine. It was incredibly easy for me to enter into


the spirit of the Pathfinder programme. I’d done many of the things before, but now they were conceptualised: peak performance patterns, proactive thinking etc. So I could go home and communicate the things that I think are right for us, and I started giving internal courses which helped inspire the employees to move in a new direction. A Pathfinder-minded business Only the management team and HR people have completed the Pathfinder programme, but the impact has been tremendous, and today we’re a kind of Pathfinder-minded business. As I see it, organisations with diagrams, forms, hierarchies and procedures are mainly about what people are not allowed to do. We want people to do as much as possible of what we and they prefer. That’s the reason we’ve built responsibility into our

The peak performance patterns in particular have created value for us because we’ve used them commercially.

The Pathfinder Effect

organisation. Our store managers have personal responsibility and the liberty to make small-scale decisions. This means among other things that during the crisis we acted calmly and in good time, and that despite a minor dip we did well and made it in one piece without major changes to our concept and without job cuts. Record birthday The peak performance patterns in particular have created value for us because we’ve used them commercially. For example, we’ve set targets for how much we can sell in a week and we’ve introduced 1015 peak performance days a year. This culminates on 23 August every year, our anniversary, which we only mark on the actual day. Our 125th anniversary in 2011 was on a Wednesday, where our normal sales total DKK 6 million. But we had prepared using peak performance patterns, and instead our sales totalled DKK 46 million! It has developed into an example, not only in our sector but in business in general, of how you can make trees grow up to the sky by concentrating, focusing and preparing. A brilliant story, isn’t it?

is personal development. The Pathfinder programme is not just models. On the contrary, you get the opportunity to work with aspects of your personality and you learn things about yourself. I also think that the slow pace is unusual – but recognition take time, and it takes a long time to effectively change your habits. I think the Pathfinder programme respects this.

Alfred Josefsen Former general manager, Irma

The crucial factor The real merits of the Pathfinder programme are to move from thinking to acting. The Pathfinders I know have acted – made agreements with themselves and addressed their relations, mindset and behaviour etc. After all, leadership delopment

The Pathfinder Effect


The Pathfinderprogramme – a short introduction to lifelong learning

The Pathfinder programme is a holistic leadership development process composed of elements from fields as different as brain research, the armed forces’ elite unit, art, coaching, elitist sports and American Indian life wisdom. In the Pathfinder programme they form a synthesis which creates a new dimension for how we understand leadership, teamwork, motivation and the art of creating results. The learning practice of the Pathfinder programme is based on discovery, reflection and integration in each participant’s leadership and life situation. In this way individual insights are gained with inspiration from areas which are not normally part of development programmes for leaders – and the profit derived is both personal and effective.


The Pathfinder Effect

The Pathfinder programme comprises three different 4-5 day modules organised to support the development undergone by the participants. In our experience you benefit most if you complete all three modules within a year. Altogether this provides a holistic approach to leadership and teambuilding. But, perhaps more importantly, it offers the individual leader – the individual human being – the opportunity to work to become the best version of him- or herself. Module 1: Your goal – 5 days. In part one of your Pathfinder journey, you’ll get the story of the Pathfinder programme and the underlying concepts. You’ll be introduced to the Pathfinder’s toolbox and you’ll train using the tools – including when you work on charting your goals and your peak performance pattern. In Module 1 your assumptions about yourself as a leader, working partner – and human being – will be challenged.

Module 2: Your potential – 4 days For four intense and demanding days you’ll train your leadership skills and your personality in a simulated organisation. You’ll be part of a high performance team and use the tools you were given in Module 1 to work with both leadership and team commitment. You’ll explore your own resources under very different circumstances and you’ll continuously reflect on your experiences to enable your learning to take root.

Module 3: The Pathfinder within – 5 days In the final part of the Pathfinder programme you turn your attention inward. You’ll be introduced to new perspectives and psychological models which can substantiate the experience you’ve gained since you started on the Pathfinder programme. You must be prepared to experience new sides to yourself. And you’ll also work on integrating the behaviour you’ve chosen for the future on the basis of the things you’ve learned in the Pathfinder programe.

The Pathfinder Effect


Leading by being At SEAS-NVE we’re working very closely with Pathfinder, and there are now more than 100 Pathfinders in the business. In 2005 we made the decision that all managers and a number of internal partners must be Pathfinders to ensure maximum horsepower in our business. Therefore, the Pathfinder principles are now deeply anchored in our business, and on our onward journey we increasingly apply those Pathfinder concepts which deal with energy – and to me leadership is very much about energy and being truly present. I experienced one of my first eye openers in module 3 of the Pathfinder programme. We had a “closed” Pathfinder process for SEASNVE only, and this worked really well. The open teams with participants from different firms are good too, but the difference is that the stakes may not be quite so high there. On our module 3, which is a very intensive process, we were sitting together with the colleagues we’d be working with next Monday.


The Pathfinder Effect

The magic of the circle Here I discovered the value of telling something from my heart and giving something of myself – directly and honestly to a circle of colleagues from the business. It made me realise that I shouldn’t refrain from opening my heart out of fear of appearing as a weak leader Monday morning. On the contrary; I experienced the very opposite! I experienced what I would call “the magic of the circle” – the benefit from what I receive in return for telling personal stories and displaying trust. The circle and its results can be used as a leadership dimension! When we sit down in the circle there is a set of clear ground rules: Whatever we share stays in the circle, and this trust doesn’t change when we go home. It’s so simple, but it works. I’m part of the Pathfinder network for top executives, Captain’s Network, and here I experienced that within two minutes the circle created confidence between people I’d never met before. At SEAS-NVE we now hold our management meetings and liaison committee meetings in the circle with heart-to-heart talks about “facts and feelings” instead of a big PowerPoint show.

Energising others The concepts on energy are connected with my way of leading. Personally I try to lead by being. To me, leading is to use myself. That the energy I can spread to others should preferably give them and the team more energy to do a good job.

I sometimes see it in people who are able to give fervent speeches. They do that if they own the case they advocate. I’m best when I own my case, and I practise every day to make sure others hear and feel it. We’ve trained this skill as Pathfinders – and applied in the context of leadership, it’s extremely powerful.

It’s comparable to inviting guests for dinner. You like to let your guests feel that it’s all for them. You should give the employees in your department or your business the same experience when you lead. You have to show them that “the only place I want to be today is here with you, and now let me tell you what I have at heart.” This is a task which cannot be solved with a slideshow – you must use not just your head, but also your heart!

Jesper Hjulmand CEO, SEAS-NVE

You have to show them that “the only place I want to be today is here with you, and now let me tell you what I have at heart.”

The Pathfinder Effect


Successful leadership requires team commitment My history with Pathfinder goes back to the late eighties when I bought the book Like Sunshine through Mist (”Som sol gennem tåge”) by Lasse Zäll and others. The book’s messages fitted perfectly into a change project I was involved in and later I signed up to the authors’ mailing list. When they offered a course at Havnsø Hotel, I enrolled in it. This course later became Module 1 of the Pathfinder programme. In 1995, when I had become a chemist, I completed the rest of the programme, and since then I’ve used Pathfinder, Hawk and the soldiers of Jægerkorpset for my staff. Today, I run two pharmacies in Vallensbæk and Albertslund with a total of 34 employees. We make a proactive plan every year and we use value leadership. Our defined goal is to be the best pharmacy for both our employees and our customers. The plan helps us in particular to define our challenges in relation to threats and opportunities, and we use the values as a framework for giving everyone the same advice.


The Pathfinder Effect

Idealism can be good for business I want us to be a specialist pharmacy, giving priority to our prescription customers as our core competence. For example, I don’t want instore spots. They disturb the service and I’m proud that we don’t sell soft toys, creme and mascara. We must stick to our serious brand, and the fact is that we sell just as much as the other pharmacies. It is possible to be idealistic! Some of our colleagues in the sector think that what we do is totally mad, but they see that we create results. We became the best small workplace in 2010 and we want to repeat this in 2012. New employees who join us think it’s a blessing to come here. There’s no bickering – we’re very equal and we don’t feel that we have different statuses because of different educations. I also get good applicants, for if you want to attract and retain the best employees, you have to offer something special – something that’s about their own responsibility and their own development opportunities. I have, for example,

We make a proactive plan every year and we use value leadership. Our defined goal is to be the best pharmacy for both our employees and our customers.

established self-managing teams which are working on what they can do as specialists to reach the target of 98% customer satisfaction. You have to believe in what you’re doing There’s no doubt that the biggest responsibility for operation and well-being lies with the manager. It is becoming clearer to me personally how important it is that I’m visible every day. I carry a great responsibility because the atmosphere depends on me – I should preferably have no off-days, and I can’t falter. But during the last year we’ve also talked a lot about “team commitment”. Success is also about the employees recognising their manager and the strategy, and that they take responsibility for their position. They must be willing to listen to and help the manager. Good team commitment requires, for example, that you know when to say yes and no, and that you ask when there’s something you don’t understand. Before, I was a bit too much of a perfectionist. But thanks to my partnership with Pathfinder,

I’m now more cool-headed and tolerant – and not quite so trigger-happy. But I still think that you have to act in agreement with what you believe in. This is a contributing factor to my high score on credibility with my employees. If I feel that I compromise, I straighten up – you have to get up in the morning and believe that what you’re doing is right.

Vinnie Krogh, Owner of Albertslund Pharmacy and Vallensbæk Pharmacy

The Pathfinder Effect



The Pathfinder Effect

The Pathfinder Effect


Pathfinder as a strategic sparring partner I became a Pathfinder during my previous employment with Novo Nordisk. Being a North Jutlander and an ex-military man, I was sceptical at first, but after I read the book “The Pathfinder”, I registered for the programme and found some very useful tools, professionally and personally. The results speak for themselves I contacted Lasse Zäll after I started working with Bayer, and about four years ago we held the first strategy seminar attended by Pathfinder. Bayer is a very conservative company and I knew that they may find the methods controversial. I asked Lasse to bring an assistant, as usual, to document our process, and I had agreed with our COO that he would join us towards the end of the seminar to see the plan we had prepared. One of the Pathfinder tools that I like best is ”Graphic Gameplan”. We had made one with very ambitious goals for the coming years. Our COO saw the plan and was very impressed. When he subsequently saw how we not only delivered on the goals we’d described but even over-


The Pathfinder Effect

performed, he recently included Lasse in his own team for planning and challenging. We’ve used Graphic Gameplan ever since to operationalise and implement Bayer’s values etc. so that they function in everyday life. To me this is the strongest tool to visualise the strategy in a simple and efficient way. It has international value and can be used for setting goals, follow-up and communication. When seven or eight nationalities are gathered in my team, we always follow up on our common Graphic Gameplan. Everyone took it home to their teams and prepared supporting plans. We typically work with a three-year horizon, and in my experience this form is far better than obscure strategy plans. Introducing the ideas in Bayer went incredibly well, and I now ask Lasse to join us regularly once a year. Several key employees are currently on the Pathfinder programme and even more will be joining. I don’t push anyone into to doing it – they shouldn’t do it to please me but to learn more about themselves and their behavioural

“ patterns. But our results are unmistakable, and the number of Pathfinder candidates is therefore constantly increasing. Healthy sceptisism Pathfinder has taught us proactivity and given us the courage to set ambitious goals. The changes didn’t happen overnight of course, but we’ve created results far beyond everyone’s expectations, and this isn’t going unnoticed. Personally, I very much believe in balance, and on the Pathfinder programme I discovered that I only prioritised my job and family. Now I’ve also made space for myself – I run, and read books, and that’s perhaps one of the most important ”takeaways” for me!

We’ve used Graphic Gameplan ever since to operationalise and implement Bayer’s values etc. so that they function in everyday life. To me this is the strongest tool to visualise the strategy in a simple and efficient way.

I’ve been very conscious of which elements in Pathfinder were useful to me, and I picked what works for me and my company. They draw on elements from many different worlds – a different composition, and that works for me and my organisation. It’s the combination of soft and hard values that creates results. And without comparison, we’re creating phenomenal results here at the moment.

Michael Hellemann CPO, Global Head of Procurement & Trading, Bayer MaterialScience AG

The Pathfinder Effect


Leading with authenticity I have – with a six year break – been with LEGO since I completed my education as an engineer at the beginning of the nineties. LEGO has something special for which my heart is throbbing, and when I became a Pathfinder in 2007, I could see that there are some good links between the way LEGO and Pathfinder operate – things which have been important for me in my development as a leader and a person.

Twenty-two project leaders and one Indian Together with another leader, I introduced Pathfinder’s Indian coach, Hawk, to twenty-two LEGO project leaders. We were a bit nervous about the outcome, but it was absolutely tremendous, and we’ve had him with us twice since then. We’ve worked among other things with authentic leadership style – going into it in depth with oneself as leader and discovering where one’s potentials and pitfalls lie – and of course how to make use of the knowledge. An important aspect when moving from an authoritative management style to authenticity is nonverbal communication – a skill we had occasion to develop in cooperation with Pathfinder. If you want to create natural team commitment with others rather than pressing people to follow you, it depends to a high degree on the nature of your presence. After having worked consciously with my appearance, I’ve discovered how I can influence moods, decisionmaking power and results with my mental or indirect energy.


The Pathfinder Effect

I’ve been on a lot of leadership courses, and the Pathfinder programme is without doubt the one that has had the greatest influence on my life and my leadership style.

Where it really matters As senior project manager, I must pass on the skills to my project leaders, who in turn have project employees. Not by standing and referring to my own course, but via the way I act. They must be able to perceive it. As project leader, you must try to be a steady lighthouse which stands firmly when the wind is blowing. We experience changes in our daily lives all the time – this is when the project leader must be able to act calmly and help his team to reflect about what can now be done, and how one can act proactively next time – this requires authentic leadership.

A push to one’s own limits I’ve been on a lot of leadership courses, and the Pathfinder programme is without doubt the one that has had the greatest influence on my life and my leadership style. My limits were extended and my leadership style was challenged particularly on the Pathfinder programme’s module 2. I was tested, for example, when I was to be an ordinary project participant with no possibility of being able to take charge – I was about to go to pieces! But after a good talk with the coaches, I recognised the need to learn to create space for others instead of taking over myself.

It was clear to me that it’s here I find the way to come close to my employees as people – close to some conventions which can be challenged and changed. I dare to broach sensitive subjects – and I’m happy to talk in detail with the employees about meaningful things. I think this is one of the most fascinating things in my work – this is where I come into the picture completely, where it really matters.

Pathfinder has also changed my picture of how much I can do, and it has given me a far more nuanced picture of what can be done. Taking chances and big decisions can cause a few butterflies in the stomach, but that’s OK. For I now know that I can manage a lot more – including over long periods – than I used to think possible. Helle Rask Schmahl Senior Project Manager, LEGO

The Pathfinder Effect


Make the goal your own I became a Pathfinder in 1998, and reaped the benefits in 2000 when I was employed in the consultant engineering company NNE Pharmaplan. The company designs and builds production plants for the biotech and pharmaceutical sector, and at that time it was in the introductory phase of becoming independent of the parent company Novo Nordisk and competitive on equal terms with the rest of the market. One of the visions then was to be able to reduce the project execution time to a third over five years. An outlandish task and the start of something bigger We were given the job of building a turnkey pharmaceutical factory in 18 months – a project which at the time generally took about 3438 months. We had no idea how we could do it when we were given the job. But we knew that it couldn’t simply be done by making a few adjustments here and there – everything had to be rethought. It was thus a double job, because we had to develop the methods of implementing and managing the project as well as performing the actual project of designing and building the factory.


The Pathfinder Effect

We broke everything up for efficiency. I was given the responsibility for building teams, the right mindset and clear communication, where I used the approach and the tools I brought with me from Pathfinder. For me, it’s particularly about creating role models, working with teams, and being clear about the goal before starting anything. In the end, we did it in 18 months, for we were determined to show that it could be done by doing it differently than we had done it before. This project became the start of the new journey we in NNE Pharmaplan took concerning the way of running projects – and reaching our goal of being able to build turnkey pharmaceutical factories in 12 months. Make the goal personal For me, one of the most important things I’ve taken with me from the Pathfinder programme is to set my personal goals. In most workplaces, the individual’s goal is typically mapped out elsewhere – e.g. by customers or management – and I see the goals as “my basic goals”. This is what we have to deliver – end of discussion!

…to release my energy, find the passion, put the drive and the proactive element into play, find what’s interesting for me and my team, I must go in proactively and put “that little bit extra” into the goal. What Pathfinders call “the 113% goal”.

The Pathfinder Effect


But to work my energy, find the passion, gain the drive and the proactive role, find what’s interesting for me and my team, I have to add “that little extra” to the goal proactively. What Pathfinders call “the 113% goal”. If you want people to be over-performers, it’s important to make the goal tangible to the individual person and nuance it with an understanding of the fact that people are motivated by entirely different things. Here at NNE Pharmaplan, we set e.g. individual business and development goals for the coming year – and as they have to be objectively measurable, they exist as a series of numbers in our systems. But for me, figures are only means or indicators without power. By themselves, they don’t switch me on in any way. Personally, I convert the figures into something I find interesting and which can motivate me. And this is what we must grasp!


The Pathfinder Effect

We must dare to step outside the norms I became further immersed in Pathfinder when Lasse Zäll offered me a position as senior coach, and I worked at Pathfinder for a year on the Pathfinder programme and development jobs for a number of companies. But when NNE Pharmaplan established a unit to develop the project management work – the work I myself had started on – I came back. Now I’m working in Global Consulting and running the “Beyond Project Leadership” programme, which can be called a “little brother” to the Pathfinder programme, but geared to use the Pathfinder concepts in project environments. I’m also helping our customers with all sorts of different projects, e.g. management of major change processes, design and facilitation of strategy seminars, optimisation of their project startups or optimisation of the way they run their projects.

In my experience, a lot of people are driven by the fear of making mistakes more than by the desire to win – and when they do something, it’s with the seat belt firmly fastened. Instead, ask yourself “What’s the worst thing that can happen? – and how likely is the worst thing to occur??”

I think that as experienced leaders, we have a duty to take the lead and be role models, e.g. by showing that everything in the company doesn’t have to be done in a particular way to make yourself “accepted” and do it “correctly”. For you won’t be in the lead if you’re always following in other people’s footsteps …

As a Pathfinder leader, you take the lead and you’re courageous – and perhaps a bit reckless. In any event, you pay no attention to what others might think about it, and what you can risk. Of course I can better allow myself to “dumb down” now than I could ten years ago because I’ve established a few things. But if you’re young or inexperienced, you must dare to throw yourself into it – or others will squeeze past and do it themselves. It has been a part of my pattern of success, as I can now see.

Michèle Gundstrup Senior Management Consultant, NNE Pharmaplan

The Pathfinder Effect


pathfinder staff Lasse Zäll, CEO and strategic coach Lasse Zäll has been working as a professional coach since 1986. In the nineties he was a mental trainer with clients including the elite Danish rowers Arne Nielsson and Christian Frederiksen when they won various medals in the World Championship and the Olympic Games. Since then, he has transferred his coaching skills to the world of business and founded the company Pathfinder. Lasse has gathered his experiences here in the Pathfinder programme and acted as strategic coach to hundreds of top managers within sport and culture, and prominent businesspeople in both the private and public sectors. Lasse has a very special ability to arouse people’s commitment, challenge their assumptions and develop their leadership abilities on the basis of their characters. Over the years he has therefore made his mark on significant development projects and turn-arounds in a large number of Denmark’s biggest companies. Contact Lasse Zäll on +45 4014 2811 or Hawk of the Yellow Wind, Personal development facilitator Hawk of The Yellow Wind is the Canadian Algonguin Métis Indian. When quite young, he commenced his education in Iroquois and Lakotah traditions with older members of the tribe. He has now been occupying himself with original American culture, traditions and wisdom for over 30 years, and he is an internationally recognised trainer and lecturer as well as an adjunct researcher at Aarhus University Hospital. Here at Pathfinder, Hawk has been a permanent facilitator for 18 years in the Pathfinder programme’s Module 3 and other company courses – he also frequently teaches at LEGO and SEAS-NVE. Hawk’s teaching goes to the core of the matter and is marked by his high level of human insight, an impressive ability to couple Indian wisdom with modern business management and way of life – and not least a legendary sense of humour. Contact Hawk of the Yellow Wind at

Christer Gaardmand Zäll, COO and process coach For Christer Gaardmand Zäll, Pathfinder thoughts have been second nature for more than 15 years. Christer is a coach in the Pathfinder programme, and he frequently acts as a process coach in Pathfinder’s specially arranged leadership development courses and strategy seminars. Christer also has general responsibility for the organisation and coordination of Pathfinder’s activities, and he also undertakes a large portion of the contact with the company’s customers. Christer is also responsible for Pathfinder’s wide range of network activities, which strengthen relations between the many active Pathfinders who regularly work with the Pathfinder concepts. Christer has worked in the biotech company Symphogen, where he worked on implementation of the Pathfinder concepts from an internal perspective. Christer graduated in Communication at Roskilde University Centre Contact Christer Gaardmand Zäll on +45 6130 8474 or


The Pathfinder Effect

Anja Andersen, High Performance coach Anja Andersen is Pathfinder’s High Performance coach. She was proclaimed the world’s best handball player in 2007, and has long been (as is well known) one of Denmark’s biggest sports figures. As both handball player and trainer, Anja has shown a unique power of innovation, training mentality and discipline, while simultaneously always having fought to maintain the game in the sport – including at elite level. She therefore has extensive experience in building up and entering into a High Performance Team, her concept of which involves attitude, “giving it all you’ve got” and being able to deliver when required. Anja uses all her experience and talents when, with her friendly and effervescent manner, she helps teams and individuals in the Pathfinder programme and at Pathfinder seminars to lift their performance to new heights – for as she herself says, “Everything can be trained.”

Anders Rich, Administration and Finance Anders is a member of the permanent staff at Pathfinder’s head office in Aarhus and the central person in the company’s daily operations. He has been looking after Pathfinder’s financial management and administration since 1998, and he is in regular dialogue with Pathfinder’s coaches. Anders is also responsible for the practical organisation of our many courses, meetings and activities. Anders is always present on the first day of module 1, where he greets all forthcoming Pathfinders. Many people will also recognise his name, his smile or his voice, as he is responsible for the daily contact with Pathfinders, customers and partners.

Jørgen Carstens, Marketing and Communication Jørgen is responsible for Pathfinder’s marketing and communication with Pathfinders, partners and interested parties. He’s the one who looks after the compilation and dispatch of Pathfinder’s newsletters, POW information and publications on Pathfinder’s work. He also helps Anders with a range of jobs and he is also responsible for coordination and development of the assignments for the assistants who document Pathfinder’s courses. Jørgen was trained as a coach and he has 10 years of experience from the advertising sector. Like Anders, he is also a part of the daily manning of Pathfinder’s head office. Contact Jørgen on +45 2856 1306 or

Contact Anders on +45 2814 6700 or

Contact Anja Andersen at anja@pathfinder.dkk

The Pathfinder Effect


The team showed its strength when the crisis struck Module 2 in particular was rewarding for us when I and 12 leaders together completed the Pathfinder programme in 2005 and the years following. The common task under difficult circumstances was challenging both physically and mentally. We learned to recognise each other’s peculiarities, but above all we became more conscious of our own strengths and weaknesses.


The Pathfinder Effect

A unique team performance This benefited us when the crisis struck – we all went to work on Sunday night, 14 September 2008, and checked and settled currencies, derivatives and interest positions. It was an extreme event when one of the world’s biggest investment banks went bankrupt, and none of us had experienced it before. But we gathered together as a group and immediately allocated the roles and faced the situation as a team.

There are qualities in the Pathfinder programme which can be very rewarding in a time of crisis. For example, we’ve become more conscious of the need to remain focused and not to become fragmented, even if we meet challenges.

It had to be done quickly because we knew that the world would look different on Monday morning. The banking world is highly analytical, and it has also become very technically oriented. But we acted intuitively here because we relied on each other and our experience. The concept of high performance teams was fantastic in this context. We use it to move the borders, and it has increased our awareness of how we function as a team. Each of us has become more open, and we confront each other via the tools we’ve gained. The tools for personal leadership which we gained under module 3 are also useful in everyday situations. They have given us a common point of reference and trained us to communicate more effectively – a single word to a colleague can often be enough. More prepared for change There are qualities in the Pathfinder programme which can be very rewarding in a time of crisis. For example, we’ve become more conscious of the need to remain focused and not to become fragmented, even if we meet challenges. Our preparedness for change has become much

greater, even if we naturally constantly test it. But we’ve become conscious of the need to adapt to changes quickly and not to lapse into self pity. We can’t do anything about the world’s financial situation here and now. Instead, it’s a question of acceptance and finding a plan B – if there’s a blockage, we need to examine what’s involved and find a feasible way through it. Our leadership group has of course changed a little relative to the team with which I became a Pathfinder with in 2005. But we’re still sending new leaders to the Pathfinder programme – because it works!

Ivan Stendal Hansen Manager, Jyske Market

The Pathfinder Effect


We’re now acting proactively The meeting with Pathfinder has made us aware of the importance of proactive thinking. We work in a sector which is in rapid development, and a lot of smaller companies are not surviving the changed demands of the market. We therefore decided in 2009 that we would help to create the future in the sector – and therewith for our company. From strategy to behaviour On the basis of a thorough analysis, we commenced implementation of a new strategy to support our mission to offer documented quality as big companies do, combined with the same flexibility in deliveries as the small companies. We’re now working proactively rather than reactively awaiting the agenda set by others. We’ve introduced the internal implementation of the Pathfinder concept in small doses and with the attitude that the motivation to develop must come from the individual employee. But here too, we’re conscious of the need to help our employees work more proactively. The fact is that the strategy only has an effect when it’s converted from thoughts on paper to behaviour in the organisation.


The Pathfinder Effect

We’ve used the Graphic Gameplan tool in our strategic planning for some years. This is a powerful tool which is good at communicating strategic direction simply and to many people. We use it at the strategic, departmental and individual levels, where it helps us to maintain our focus. Action creates progress We found in 2009 that the number of orders was decreasing after a long period of growth. This left us with two possible options: Will we bide our time and wait for an upturn, or will we act proactively? The latter option has become natural for us, so new efforts – among them our own quality department – have led to our having achieved our truly ambitious goal of 30% growth for the year as early as in the third quarter. The values are operational Inspired by Pathfinder, we have also formulated our mission and vision so that we can act in accordance with them. It functions well as a filter for new decisions, and it is well integrated with the managers via workshops, and not least the feedback culture we’ve built up as a framework for how we give and receive feedback.

Our meeting with Pathfinder has taught us that we ourselves can help to mould the future. Our actions and decisions should do more than merely treat the symptoms. On the contrary, we recognise the challenges and respond proactively.

DOKUMENTERET KVALITET TIL KRÆVENDE APPLIKATIONER Graphic Gameplan is a powerful tool for communicating strategic direction simply and to many people. DOKUMENTERET KVALITET We use it at the strategic, departmental and individual levels, where it helps us to maintain our focus. TIL KRÆVENDE APPLIKATIONER Peter Møller Co-owner and general manager, Weissenborn


The Pathfinder Effect



Going deeper – raising the bar Pathfinder’s object was to collect and utilise Lasse’s many years of experience as a coach in a leadership development programme – the Pathfinder Programme. More than 1,500 businesspeople from private and public companies such as LEGO, Novo Nordisk, Bayer, Novozymes, Jyske Bank, The Royal Theatre, Cowi and Aarhus University Hospital have now undertaken the Pathfinder Programme. They have gone on to generate positive results and ongoing changes as leaders, colleagues and private persons – and their journey is continuing.

Pathfinder’s ambition was – and remains – to act as a sparring partner for people and companies intending to develop via non-traditional but highly effective methods. The Pathfinder Programme introduces new knowledge and tools which build upon the professional skills which the participants already possess. The result is an interesting blend of professional knowledge, practical abilities and self-understanding which enables participants to create extraordinary results together with others. Lasse Zäll established the company Pathfinder in 1998 in cooperation with then manager Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen. Since 2010, the company has been owned by Lasse Zäll and Christer Gaardmand Zäll.


The Pathfinder Effect

From the left: Jørgen Carstens – (Marketing Manager), Anja Andersen – (High Performance Coach), Anders Rich – (Finance and Logistics Manager), Hawk of The Yellow Wind – Personal Development Facilitator, Christer Gaardmand Zäll – (COO and Process Coach) and Lasse Zäll – (CEO and Strategic Coach).

The Pathfinder Effect


PATHFINDER HQ Kirstinelund Skæringvej 96 8520 Lystrup, Denmark PATHFINDER East Soho Flæsketorvet 68 1711 Copenhagen V, Denmark Ph. +45 8731 6700

The Pathfinder effect  

10 significant Pathfinder leaders give their personal stories about how the Pathfinder ideas have influences their companies and their perso...

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