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Magazine from Aalto University Executive Education 1.2011

Leadership with guts


Brave organizations


Courageous feedback


sini pennanen

1.2011 The greatest thing preventing someone from succeeding is fear. Learn to face the things that scare you, Your dreams await.

Boldness is the main theme of this issue. We at Aalto EE want to fearlessly renew ourselves and offer new, bold forms of leadership training. This has meant asking ourselves how daring we want to be and how “bold” we believe that our products and operating methods can be. The courage to develop new things and create new forms of leadership training is based on the values of Aalto University, as well as the wish to be bold, promote change and further increase international operations. Experimentation, innovation and creativity are keywords in this respect. The world around us is changing so rapidly that we must continuously create new ways to operate in order to implement our vision and make good use of experimentation and creativity. In our own operations, renewal also builds on passion and enthusiasm Aalto EE’s Facebook page – it is impossible to create brave and new approaches without skilled and our blog keep you and inspired people. We also understand that bold operating methods up to date on the latest require our customers to be brave and believe that answers to challenges happenings. Check out can be found through non-traditional approaches. and, Passion as a word has been rather uncommon in the world of of course, leadership, but is today found, for example, in the concept of “Leadership and and Passion.” Passion is required of those who develop new coaching products and solutions or participate in coaching, as well as from us as an organization. It is easier to be bold if you are passionate about achieving something. Researchers have noticed that passionate people do work that inspires them and know how to make their lives exciting and significant, mirroring their own nature. Risk-taking and courage are an essential part of a passionate life. Passionate individuals constantly learn, renew themselves and explore new things. Passion means that we continue to boost our belief in our ability to achieve the objectives we set ourselves. Passion also makes the world a better place to live and operate in. What this means is that passion is essential to us as training providers, as well as to our customers, whether individuals or organizations. Our operations have come under great expectations due to the changes and opportunities brought about by the new Aalto University. Passion is what helps us meet these high expectations. As Zelda Fitzgerald said, “I don’t want to live. I want to love first, and live incidentally.” This could, perhaps, be freely adapted to our own operations Minna Hiillos in the sense that “we prefer not to be pressured into producing results, Academic Dean but first want to provide top-class training and live incidentally.” Aalto EE

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Brave leadership from the global Singapore point of view.

Being brave. Courage and change. Being brave and creative.

Panic leads to choking.

Boldness means trusting your intuition.

prepare themselves for new challenges.

Publisher: Aalto University Executive Education Ltd, Mechelininkatu 3 C, 00100 Helsinki, Finland tel. +358 10 837 3700

Avivah Wittenberg-Cox explains how to make your organization gender bilingual.
















Anticipate what needs changing before it becomes feedback.

Tips you can use

We filled the toolbox with ideas on how you can find your courage and learn to keep goals. We also discuss how young managers can find their inner boldness.

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You can also find this material from web sources.

Aalto Executive Education Academy Pte Ltd, Singapore 25 North Bridge Road, EFG Bank Building, Unit 08-03, 179104 Singapore, Singapore tel. +65 6339 7338

History repeated.


Editorial office: Maggie Oy / Zeeland, Producer: Lotta Vaija, Creative Director: Miikka Leinonen Art Director: Sissu Muhujärvi Printing: SP-Paino Oy, Hyvinkää, ISSN 1458-2058 Address register:


Feedback is dead?

Brave organizations

Acting Editor in Chief: Minna Hiillos,

Aalto University Executive Education Ltd (Aalto EE) offers high-quality executive development services, supported by the competence of the new Aalto University. The company has had a subsidiary in Singapore since 2000. Aalto EE’s mission is to build a better world through better leadership and to raise a new generation of leaders. The organization’s strengths lie in its global operating model and versatile offering. The new Aalto University has brought Aalto EE a multidisciplinary approach to executive development along with innovative learning methods. In 2010, the estimated turnover of Aalto University Executive Education Ltd is €10 million and the headcount is some 50.

The whole magazine is also here:

What have you learned about...






You can also find us here:

Chaos theory teaches us not everything is predictable. This simple idea applies also to business paradigms.

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Explained Listen to your inner voice. Trust your intuition.

Phobophobia? a.k.a.

fear of fear “Phobophobia is a phobia that is defined as the fear of phobias, or the fear of fear, which includes intense anxiety and unrealistic and persistent fear of the somatic sensations and the feared phobia ensued. Phobophobia can also be defined as a fear of developing a phobia. It differentiates itself from other kind of phobias by the fact that there is no environmental stimulus per se, but rather internal dreadful sensations similar to psychological symptoms of panic attacks.”


Text: Risto pakarinen

ere’s a brain twister: The fear of fear. As if “Choking is about thinking too much. Panic is about it’s not enough to be afraid of something, thinking too little. Choking is about loss of instinct. Panic is especially since there are a lot of phobias reversion to instinct. They may look the same, but they to be afraid of. are worlds apart,” writes Malcolm Gladwell, the author of It sounds poetic, though, and like its Tipping Point, and Blink. positive-emotion twin cousin, “being in love with being in love,” it detaches the emotions from the actual stimulus, and takes Panic means standing still. When a businessperson, the feeling to meta-levels. a leader, suffers from the fear of fear, he chokes. His The most famous use of the expression can be found in decision-making takes time and he can’t even delegate. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s inaugural address in the middle of And then, determined to show the world that he surely is the Great Depression, on March 4, 1933, a man of action, he panics. “instead of trusting when he said, “let me assert my firm belief First he can’t act, and then he does our instincts, that the only thing we have to fear is fear too much. itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified First he doesn’t trust his intuitions, we start to terror which paralyzes needed efforts to and then he’s too busy acting and doing second-guess convert retreat into advance.” things, and can’t hear his intuition anymore. our actions.” Intuition? Guesswork? Hunches? Free your senses. The keyword in Roosevelt’s insightful Gut feelings? Isn’t that ... unprofessional? and elegant sentence is ‘paralyzes.’ That’s what fear of fear Even if ‘charisma,’ the word, has its origin in the Greek does to us. It makes us tentative and self-conscious. It makes word charis (‘grace’) and charizesthai (‘to show favor’), and us stop and think, and not in the good way. It makes us weak. a belief that a talent has been granted by the divine, charismatic leaders aren’t simply born with it. And when they’re Instead of going with the flow, doing things the way we can, and trusting our instincts, we start to second-guess trying to make a decision about whether to invest or divest, our actions. We get nervous and we over-analyze. In sports, they’re not just throwing darts on a board. that’s called ‘choking.’ Sure, sometimes it’s a guess – what do we really know A superstar basketball player misses a free throw with for sure – but it’s an educated one. three seconds remaining. A hockey team loses a three-goal You are the leader that you are, thanks to all your lead in the third period of a World Championship game. A experience in business, and all your knowledge of your swimmer makes a mistake in the final turn of an Olympic final. company and your customers. That, together with your unique Not because they forget how to play or swim, but because way of connecting the dots, makes you the leader that you are. they start to think, which slows them down. They paralyze. Sometimes you just have to listen to your inner On the other hand, when a skydiver realizes his parachute voice, and trust your intuition. Close your eyes and just hasn’t opened, he doesn’t choke. He panics. He forgets every- do it. (Who knew that the old Nike slogan packed so thing he’s been taught about the situation, starts much punch into it?) to do too much, and in the process, just the same, Enticing Because sometimes you just know. You know? ideas from history’s he, too, makes stupid mistakes. Have no fear. most pressing words.


Text: satu rämÜ, lotta vaija Photos: johann hinrichs, Junnu Lusa

What have You learned about

being brave, Monica

De Leon Sanjuan? Is it necessary in business life to be brave? Definitely, yes. To achieve something new you have to step out of your own comfortable zone and take risks. I think being brave means also being adventurous. Instead of taking everything for granted, you should believe that there are new ways of doing things. If you stay still and do not try to find new areas, somebody else will. However, it is not enough to be just a brave risk taker. A good manager has an ability to inspire others and get them committed to the goal. Besides courage, you also need good communication skills.

Monica De Leon Sanjuan works as a marketing process owner and CRM program manager at Nokia Siemens Networks.

When have you needed courage in your own life? Did it pay off? I consider myself a brave person. I like to achieve new things and try my limits, also in a daily life. Being brave has definitely benefited me, for example, in terms of many new experiences. When I came to Finland for the first time in 1995, I was one of the first exchange students at the Turku School of Economics. For me, this exchange year was a great new experience. Two years ago my work brought me to Munich, Germany. It is always a challenge to get to know a new country and culture. It might look easy from the outside, but it takes a lot of effort to get to know your way around in the organization and in the new environment. It takes time to get to know new colleagues, new friends and a new neighborhood. I think courage has a lot to do with adaptation skills. If you want to be brave, you have to be flexible, too.

What is the hardest thing in being brave? I am not afraid of change or the future. But sometimes I start to think about the decisions I have made and wonder whether I make the right decision. It pays off to be analytical and consider a while before making a final decision. It is not good to be too brave and act fast. You have to be analytical as well.


On top of my agenda Consultant, author and executive coach Avivah Wittenberg-Cox runs 20-first, a consultancy firm that helps organizations to become gender bilingual. Her new book HOW Women Mean Business (Wiley, 2010) tells readers how they can shift an old corporate culture into the modern age.

AUDIT. Research has shown companies that are gender balanced have a better bottom line performance. However, do not rush to change too quickly. Take the audit step first. Understand the current situation both internally and externally. Ensure that there is a good understanding of where a company is coming from on this issue, what has been accomplished, and what lessons are to be learned.

What have You learned about

courage and change, Teuvo Mets채pelto? Why does it pay to be brave at work?

Thirst for... In 2010 Aalto EE awarded its twelwth Thirst for Knowledge Award. The award was given to the Office for the Government as Employer in Finland.

Teuvo Mets채pelto is director general of the Office for the Government as Employer in Finland.


We would rather rely on safe and familiar things than something new and uncertain. If, however, we want to reach a new goal, we must tolerate uncertainty. On the other hand, it is impossible to deal with uncertainty without courage. The Office for the Government as Employer launched a reform of its operations four years ago. It involved changing the thinking and operating models of each and every one of us. What we did was tackle not the tip, but the submerged part of the iceberg. Our organization has a long tradition of people working on their own. It is, however, more effective to analyze and solve difficult questions with others, even though we may not always be aware of this. Our organization bravely tolerated the uncertainty brought about by the reforms, and we are now more open than before.

Can a shy person be brave?

In what kinds of work situations have you been particularly brave?

Absolutely. A skilled leader can get the shyest to speak up at meetings, to participate and get others to listen to them. Many shy people can be exceedingly brave, while very boisterous individuals may resort to noisy behavior to hide their insecurity. Loudness and courage do not go hand in hand.

I often participate in events where people make professional speeches. In a panel focused on leadership, I decided to make a personal speech in which I talked about myself as a leader and also discussed my shortcomings. I thought my approach was successful in the sense that other participants also began to talk about the topic openly and personally. Another situation that comes to my mind is from the early 1990s. At the time, I held the number two position at the Office for the Government as Employer and attended labor market discussions with the then director general. I usually acted in a reserved and quiet manner at the negotiating table, but this time my superior encouraged me to take a firmer stand. Emboldened, I took on a more visible role and we reached an important result in the negotiations. The approach, used sparingly, helped to get our message through.

ALIGN AND SUSTAIN. Once the leadership is convinced of the issue, company personnel are ready to adapt the systemic underpinnings of their organization’s policies and processes. The alignment phase is about changing the company’s DNA by embedding future-oriented processes and systems in training and talent management as well as sales, marketing and product development. Finally, companies need to use clear and effective measures, reward structures, and communications approaches to maintain, sustain and celebrate the change process.

AWARENESS. Leaders at the company must debate and decide whether gender balance really matters to their business, strategy and bottom line. If not, drop it. If yes, it requires learning the language and culture of women, as well as men. Ask the leaders to create an action plan, that they are accountable for.

What have You learned about

being brave and creative, Eero Aarnio? What role does courage play in the work of a freelance product designer? I could cite Aaro Hellaakoski, who said in one of his poems that walking along the road makes you a prisoner of it, while freedom can only be found in thick snow. This idea contains the essence of courage. Boldness is a characteristic necessary to any freelance designer. Success comes from doing something new, not from doing what everyone else is doing. I’ve been a freelancer for nearly 50 years and have always tried to do things my own way. I’ve worked in many different jobs over the years: as a graphic designer, photographer and interior decorator. Product design, however, has always been closest to my heart. A freelancer must be bold, innovative and tough. What’s important is doing what you enjoy.

How do you deal with setbacks? How do you keep up your courage? Things will always go wrong at work, there’s nothing you can do about it. It is important to quickly leave setbacks behind you and change direction. Do not dwell on negative issues. I don’t believe that courage as such will change in the future: if you have an idea you believe in, go ahead with it. Ideas are my assets. I also need courage to trust my intuition that an idea is a good one. The pencil is my computer – it cannot even run out of power. I plan and simplify a new idea in my head and then draw it on paper, usually on a scale of one-to-one.

Eero Aarnio is a world-famous Finnish designer and a pioneer in using plastic for industrial design.

Is courage necessary for a designer? Designers must believe in their own work. If you decide to become a freelancer, you must be willing to take risks, but that is also more fun with someone else. I and my wife, Pirkko, make a good team and have fun together. Of all my products, the Bubble Chair best exemplifies the courage needed in my work. I was close to giving up several times during the design phase. Pirkko, however, said that if I didn’t make the product, someone else would. After many twists and turns, and the withdrawal of a potential partner, the Ball Chair was finally displayed at the 1966 international furniture fair in Cologne, under the heading “Great Things are Coming from Finland.” That marked the beginning of the chair’s success. P.S. According to Aarnio, a good idea is quickly sketched. He had his latest idea on the way back from a holiday in Spain. When looking out of the window at the clouds, Aarnio came up with a great idea, which, he says, is accompanied by an exciting story. It is still too early to reveal either the idea or the story, but you can read about them in the Profile blog a few months from now. 7

Working with

Knowledge Bold actions require a willigness to stand out.

To get power,

take some risks

Just like companies need to differentiate themselves, so do individuals. Powerful people know how to follow their own path.


is an essential part of leadership. Occupying a highranking position provides power, of course, while promotions go to those with influence. Developing and exercising power is essential to getting things done, particularly accomplishing difficult organizational changes. Physician leader Laura Esserman was able to transform the breast care center at the University of California, San Francisco into a more patient-centered facility only by using political skill to overcome resistance. Powerful people live longer. Another reason to seek power is that it can be monetized – when Bill and Hillary Clinton left the White House, they faced enormous financial challenges from the legal costs of the Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky legal proceedings. But in the next several years, they earned over $100 million from speaking, book contracts, and business relationships – made possible by their power and connections. And power can actually lengthen your life. Research by Sir Michael Marmot, a U.K. physician and epidemiologist, shows that the amount of control you have over your job and work – something associated with organizational rank – predicts your likelihood of avoiding cardiovascular disease. So it’s no big surprise that many people seek power. But successfully obtaining power requires getting out of our comfort zone. When MBAs from leading business schools think of their first job post-graduation, they tend to follow the well-trod paths of their predecessors, to consulting firms and financial services firms. And why not? Those are the places that do the most on-campus recruiting, pay well, hire the most business school graduates, and are where the students’ predecessors have gone. But just as business strategy often implies that companies need to break from the pack to differentiate themselves, so an effective personal strategy benefits from charting your own course. Ross Walker, who was elected to the Stanford Board of Trustees as its youngest member and is a very successful real estate and hospitality industry player, with an interest in the Oakland Athletics baseball team, eschewed the normal career path for MBAs. He offered to work for free in the summer between his first and

“Get over your fear of rejection.”


second year for a leader in the boutique hotel industry and, following graduation, pursued a job with Lew Wolff, a successful developer in Los Angeles who was mostly unknown to business school students. Work out of your comfort zone. Many people are also reluctant to ask for help, as they fear being a burden on others and seeking help violates norms of self-reliance. But research by Francis Flynn and Vanessa Lake demonstrates that others are reluctant to turn down requests as doing so violates expectations of benevolence. Moreover, being asked for help is flattering. Consequently, it is useful to get over fears of rejection and ask for things. And a third way in which people handicap their quest for power is by being afraid to stand out. Marketing guru Keith Ferrazzi acted like a partner even when he was a beginning associate at Deloitte Consulting in the early 1990s, requesting dinner once a year with the head of the firm as a condition of taking the job, and pawning off work he didn’t want to do on interns from leading business schools so he could do the marketing that would create real value for himself at the firm. Some of these actions made him unpopular with his peers, but peers are also competitors for promotions. We live in a competitive world, with fewer middle management positions and more people seeking them. Often bold actions – following a different path, asking, and being willing stand out – are what is required to build a successful path to power.

Jeffrey Pfeffer is a professor of organizational behavior at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University. This column is based on his recently-released book, Power: Why Some People Have It­and Others Don’t (HarperBusiness, 2010).

Feature 1 Brave Leaderhip

Leadership in the age of iGeneration calls for courage.

Onsite interviews: Kari Kulanko, story: Joanna Sinclair

All over the globe leaders are trying out models for employee empowerment. The goal? To engage in the ways of the iGeneration, while simultaneously striving to take on and understand Generation Y. The Western way of strong leadership with all eyes on the bottom line, is still strong. Up until fairly recently, most attempts at mastering new forms of leadership have been in preparation of the much talked of ever-so-fickle Generation Y’s, the new hippies, born 1985 and later. Alas, along came social media and changed it all. There was talk of an even younger generation, coined the iGeneration, a name that allegedly refers to the Internet, but probably makes a certain household brand rather proud. Initially the name referred to children born after the Cold War ended. But as hundreds of millions of people started participating in social media, it seemed many baby boomers, X’s and Y’s found their inner I as well. 9


he outcome? A completely different working world. As Kris Girrell, a senior partner with Camden Consulting Group describes in CIO Insight: “Today, the leadership industry hears and sees a subtler, quieter and more disruptive revolution happening. It is borne on the wings of social media and its prophets are the youngest among us. It may just re-invent our entire concept of leading and what we, as leadership coaches, assist our clients in doing. In the wired world of the iGeneration, leaders don’t direct – they serve.”
 For iGeneration, tried and tested leadership models are proving less successful. Leaders have now found themselves in the midst of the subtle (r)evolution, learning-while-doing in the subtle ways of operating in a iGeneration world, and bravely taking on the first wave of the Y’s. Pioneering leaders are tackling the new situation with a mixed-method approach. New leadership insight is sought for from all over the globe. To make sense of it all, Profile visited Singapore – and ended up hearing a lot about India.


hat’s new in the world of leadership? Singapore. The melting pot of the southeastern regions of our globe, the hub of new innovation and the true home of the meaning of global. It is a natural location for Aalto EE’s Asian operations. Here, Aalto EE is educating future visionaries: responsible, broad-minded experts who can face, tackle and conquer the multifaceted problems today’s leaders meet day in and day out. Aalto EE met up with three affiliates to track the very latest trends in leadership: managing director of Aalto Executive Education Academy Pte Ltd in Singapore, Dr Jari Talvinen; Dr. James Dalziel, the head of the United World College of South East Asia’s East campus in Singapore, who also happens to currently be enrolled in Aalto EE’s Executive MBA program; and engineer, EMBA Padmanaban Shivakumar, from Nokia’s South East Asian operations. Let us start with the Nokia representative. How would he tackle the iGeneration? 10

Generations apart – brought Generation Z 1990–

Dr. Jari Talvinen is managing director of Aalto Executive Education Academy Pte Ltd in Singapore. Talvinen is responsible for EMBA and Aalto EE’s customized solutions for companies throughout the Asia Pacific region.

Padmanaban Shivakumar has been a Nokia employee for well over a decade. Working for the Finnish flagship since 1997, Shivakumar added to his previous degree in engineering by acquiring Aalto EE’s EMBA in 2009. As director of customer care, South East Asia, Shivakumar is currently leading a diverse international team comprising of 48 professionals from eight different nationalities.

Generation Y 1980–1990


ppropriately, Shivakumar begins with The Indian Way, perhaps the hottest management trend currently on everybody’s lips. “India went through a rapid business transformation when the government opened the economy in the early 1990s and allowed foreign investments,” explains Shivakumar. “The foreign influence, working together with the local culture, forged the leadership style into The Indian Way. Here, special attention is paid to the management of human resources and innovations, rather than simply maximizing shareholder value, as often seen in a Western style of leadership.” Indian executives are taking pride in enterprise success, but also in community, prosperity and regional advancement, complimenting the culture and history of India. “The result is a unique Indian model of leadership. It is not only about fixing inefficiencies, but also about challenging the whole traditional way of thinking. Companies have invented ways of delivering their products with extreme efficiency, such as Tata Nano, the least expensive car in the world at $3000, produced by Tata Motors,” Shivakumar points out.


hivakumar’s practical example summarizes many of the ideas presented in Wharton School of Business’ Professors Cappelli, Singh, Singh and Useem 2010 title The India Way: How India’s Top Business Leaders are Revolutionizing Management. As the four academics explain, the secret of the Indian Way lies in looking beyond shareholders’ interests to public mission and national purpose; drawing on improvisation, adaptation, and resilience to overcome the constant hurdles leaders face; identifying products and services of compelling value to customers – and finally, perhaps most importantly: investing in talent and building a stirring culture. Aalto EE’s Jari Talvinen sees great value in the Indian Way, yet points

together as the iGeneration Generation X 1965–1980

Younger Boomers 1955–1964

Older Boomers 1946–1954

Silent 1937–1945

Then what is the iGeneration? A name that has been used to describe either Generations Y or Z, today it is often also used as a synonym of our times. The iGeneration is not a generation as such, it refers to all generations adapting to a world that has changed, first because of the internet and mobile phones, and again due to the rise of social media. The generations who live and breathe the likes of Facebook, YouTube and Angry Birds, these are the iGeneration.

attention to the multitude of emerging leadership trends. He does not believe in one given leadership model. Absolutely, the iGeneration necessitates learning, but each organization is unique and so are the challenges leaders face. Why not mix and match? “The economic rise of Asia does not mean the end of Western leadership models, you can benefit by combining the best parts of all leadership styles. A mixture of different leadership styles can be an advantage, especially in situations where many different cultures meet. Social networking, utilizing new technologies, linking neuroscience into leadership, globally integrated enterprises and virtual organizations,” Talvinen points out. Perhaps the most topical example of current, empowering leadership trends in Singapore is corporate social responsibility. Given great emphasis in Aalto EE programs, the trend is inspiring leaders from both business and nonprofit organizations. Dr. James Dalziel, head of the United World College of South East Asia’s East campus in Singapore, works amidst a construction site that promises to become a yardstick for corporate social responsibility. “The context of corporate social responsibility in Singapore is often about environmental friendly buildings and developments,” Dalziel explains. “Our new campus building has already been granted the Singapore Green Mark Platinum Award for its eco-friendly, energy efficient design.”


alziel is fast in adding that social responsibility naturally means much more than making sustainable choices regarding infrastructure. Above all, social responsibility is about leadership and organizational culture.

“Social responsibility means that every employee, regardless of his or her role, has the potential to be innovative and make a lasting contribution to the success of an organization. It is a leadership choice, in which you will get more synergy when you get people involved in decision-making. Moreover, this empowerment theory put in practice builds employee confidence in their capacities,” Dalziel stresses. “Take our university as an example. At UWCSEA social responsibility means welfare and the equal treatment of people. Staff is not divided into teachers and non-teaching staff, everyone is treated as an equally valuable contributor to our organization.” Shivakumar points out that Dalziel’s empowerment theory applies to Generation Y just as well as it does in dealing with the iGeneration: “In the end it is all about finding ways to leverage strengths, like creativity and new technologies. Kill the

‘efficiency mode’ when it is not needed and leave some room for innovative thinking. Sometimes you have to allow employees to fail; as a wise mind has said: ‘Make mistakes earlier and cheaper,’” Shivakumar quotes. Talvinen concurs, yet points attention to one final notion. As he sees it, whatever the choice of leadership theory; and wherever in the world a company is, be it Europe, Asia, the United States or elsewhere – one of the key issues leaders of truly global companies are facing is shifting the focus from themselves to the organization. “Courage in leading people and organizations includes being a role model for the whole organization, putting yourself in line. For leaders, this means changing the focus from ‘yourself’ to ‘us,’” Talvinen concludes. This final idea sums it up. Above all, leadership in the age of iGeneration calls for courage.

Dr. James Dalziel is the head of the United World College of South East Asia’s East campus in Singapore. The Canadian born expatriate has been teaching overseas for 12 years. He has been involved in the International Baccalaureate Organization and the Council of International Schools as a workshop provider, conference presenter, authorization team leader, and member of the Regional Consultative Committee. His doctorate, through the University of Western Australia, focuses on organizational change and leadership. Dalziel is currently completing an EMBA through Aalto University with a focus on innovation.



Feature 2 Brave Organization

Who dares to continue? The road to success is an exploration that draws its energy from courage. Guy Kawasaki, Mikko Kosonen, Yves Doz and Daniel H. Pink explain how to make your organization brave. Text: Satu Alavalkama, illustration: Dave Mathis



Daniel H. Pink

Leap into the unknown. In 1492, Christopher Columbus demonstrated the courage of European traders, sailing across the Atlantic to find a shortcut to the treasure troves of India. Queen Isabella of Castile and King Ferdinand of Aragon granted financial support for the journey. Courage gave a competitive edge in the battle for market leadership way back in medieval Europe. Columbus’s three ships, Santa María, Niña and Pinta, set sail towards unknown perils – just like the organizations of the 2010s are doing today. “A brave organization takes controlled risks. It continuously monitors its environment in a versatile and broadbased manner and systematically acquires information,” explains Mikko Kosonen, DSc (Economics) and President of Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund.

Guy Kawasaki



you’re thinking about establishing a company, school, church ­– any organization, really – check that your goals include at least one of the following three: to improve the quality of people’s lives, to correct a flaw or to preserve something good that has come under threat. This will ensure that you’re building new meanings, as well as enjoying your work,” says Guy Kawasaki, author and founding partner of Garage Technology Ventures, a consultancy firm. According to California-based Kawasaki, the wish to produce new meaning for people contains the seed of a profitable business idea. Good products and revenues will not come about if making money is the only reason for a company’s existence.

“New ideas come about when foresight is combined with intensive dialogue. Risks can be further reduced with various types of trials and experiments that test new ideas in practice. Good experiments are then spread throughout the company as quickly as possible.” What kinds of leaps do the employees of organizations dare take in their careers? “You sometimes hear the joke that in the United States, people’s esteem rises with the number of bankruptcies they undergo. Put in other words, it is a nation that values risktaking. That is an attitude we need more of in Finland, too, instead of the tendency to point out ‘where you screwed up’. Some people are always ready for new challenges, while others never have a go. If the organization is taken over by a ‘do not rock the boat’ spirit, it risks coming to a standstill.” Yves Doz is Professor of Strategic Management and Innovation at INSEAD. According to him, a brave organization identifies threats and reacts accordingly. “If you plan to succeed over a period longer than five years, you can’t just brush threats aside. You must act before the pain sets in. If your work is what you want to do and you believe in your success story, you no longer fear failure. The common good is also a strong incentive and protects your self-esteem better than monetary wages.” Daniel H. Pink, a Washingtonian author,

believes the world is such a tumultuous place that it is strategically wiser to accept a certain degree of uncertainty and ambiguity rather than have a false sense of clarity and certainty. “A brave organization is willing to challenge the status quo. If required, it can modify assumptions and practices related to products, services, the business idea, the structure of the industry or, say, the treatment of customers and employees,” says Pink. In the words of Guy Kawasaki, a brave organization maintains high standards of ethics, while also operating profitably. “Develop products and services that others haven’t even imagined. Offer solutions that your customers didn’t even know they needed.” Fuzzy vision leaves room for creativity. What Columbus had in mind was

to sail to India – meaning South and Southeast Asia – by going west across the Atlantic Ocean. Other seafarers thought his plan was insane,

For further information and http:// Kawasaki’s works include Enchantment and Reality Check Pink has written, among other things, Drive and A Whole New Mind Kosonen & Doz: Fast Strategy

Yves Doz Sami Kulju

Instinct and enthusiasm keep people on the move. As the story goes, Columbus kept two separate

Mikko Kosonen

“A brave organization often has a vision that others do not believe possible.”

since ships back then could not be equipped for such a long voyage. Columbus had a fuzzy vision of his goal, but no detailed solutions for achieving it. Mikko Kosonen lists the visions of Nokia (‘Life Goes Mobile’) and KONE (‘Dedicated to People Flow’) as examples of business definitions that motivate people in the right way. They give a meaningful direction to work, without tying it too tightly to currently imaginable solutions. “A brave organization often has a vision that others do not believe to be possible,” says Kosonen. According to Doz, organizations always have people with a keen sense of the future. “Everyone’s opinions should be taken into account. Listening to subordinates does not erode the superior’s authority in any way.”

logs of the distances covered: one for the crew and one, the more accurate one, for himself. This helped to keep the crew enthusiastic even though proof of reaching the goal was long in coming: on the twenty-ninth day at sea, the crew detected birds flying west and the ships changed direction to reach land. “A hazy goal is a mystery: it promises more than a clear one does. However, it is never advisable to go ahead because something ‘just feels right’. Enthusiasm is maintained by continuously providing people with signs of and information about the distance to the goal. This can be challenging at times, if no clear signs of progress are to be seen, and puts the leader’s own faith to the test. Leaders, however, must not show their own uncertainty,” says Kosonen. Enthusiasm may also be synonymous with idealism: Nokia wanted to show the world that Finns were top professionals in technology. Yves Doz points out that a strong leader, such as the founder of a company, can also be an important motivator. According to Daniel H. Pink, a vision is born out of emotion, but also out of reason. “People decide where, how and why they work. What you need first and foremost is a motivating goal that is best achieved together.” Guy Kawasaki also believes in luck. “When drawing up a vision, do not forget the instincts and enthusiasm of people. Luck is rarely talked about in the open, but it has contributed to the success of many good projects.” Bloodless decisions. Columbus believed that the inhabitants

of the new continent could be peacefully converted to Christianity. However, the acts of vandalism carried out by reckless Spanish sailors led to disputes with the natives, and a nearly one-hundred strong army of Indians attacked the expedition. The decision-maker’s authority did not extend to his subordinates, who had not been involved in making the decisions. “Decisions affecting the future should be reached through dialogue. A debate is useful only when enough facts and information are available,” says Mikko Kosonen. According to Kosonen, people who end up in decision-making positions usually have above-average capabilities for the task. “In some exceptional cases, you also come across nervous decision-makers, who perform endless cross-checking. At times, people are afraid not to make a decision or to postpone it.” 15

Yves Doz believes that old-boy networks stand in the way of difficult decision-making. “Who wants to be the scapegoat? We are often too cautious and judgmental. Decision-making is a process that should be improved as a whole without getting stuck on individual results.” In Daniel H. Pink’s opinion, the more employees are allowed to make decisions – especially ones affecting their own work – the braver the organization becomes. Some decisions must still be made in a top-down hierarchical manner. “Good decisions can be made in many ways: top-down or vice versa. There is no single right or wrong way, only ways that either work or don’t for your organization. It may take some effort, but eventually you find your own way,” says Guy Kawasaki. Job rotation brings refreshment. In January


1493, Columbus left for his return trip. Back in Spain, he was welcomed as a hero. Columbus brought back home imprisoned natives, samples of gold, tobacco, pineapple, turkey, hammock and chilli. Despite the rewards, he did not bask long in the glory of his achievements, but began planning a new voyage. “People easily become defenders of old practices. We need more challengers, who create new visions. They can be found through job rotation and by recruiting people from different cultures,” says Mikko Kosonen. Yves Doz considers job rotation to be a sign of trust and freedom, both of which improve the results of work. “In organizations, superiors have the power and responsibility to transfer people so they remain alert. Everyone fights in their own spot, and everyone is looked after.” Daniel H. Pink wonders why companies try to motivate people with monetary rewards, even though academic studies show they reduce creativity and weaken performance. In his opinion, freedom, power of influence and interesting duties are the best incentives.


Passion & Speed into Valio’s leadership Finnish-based food products company Valio is looking to add passion and speed to its leadership and product development through project coaching across organizational borders. In February 2011, Tuomas Salusjärvi, a research manager of Valio’s starter products, will introduce the 23 other participants in Valio’s Palo&Vauhti (“Passion&Speed”) Leadership Lab to a new snack, which is once again expected to win over consumers with its typical Finnish authenticity and delicious flavor. The development of the delicacy benefits from ideas that the product group, marketing, production and product development have jointly worked on during the four-month training. “All in all, this Lab is a fun way to work: it includes input on coaching days, as well as bold little trials and tests at work, after which the best ideas are adopted as new procedures,” he explains. Salusjärvi began his work in the Passion&Speed project by visiting a Norwegian company considered to be a good innovator as a part of a five-member team. Interviews were conducted at every level all the way to senior management. Of special interest were the leadership methods that had helped to spread the strong innovation approach throughout the organization. Discussions gave rise to ideas that the participants now apply in their own work and analyze to see what works. History compels innovation. The markets for Valio’s products are strongly competed, and new ideas are sought continuously. The triumph of innovation started in 1945 with the Nobel-awarded AIV feed. Among other things, Valio was the first to introduce probiotic products containing lactic acid bacteria on the European market. “I was happy to take part in the Passion&Speed project because of the tough pressures on development in the Snacks, Cooking Products and Jams unit, which I’m in charge of. Coaching is instructive and useful, especially since it deals with very real product development ideas,” says Sami Nupponen. According to him, it is a great advantage that management as a whole is committed to the project. According to Eveliina Myllyluoma, R&D manager working in human resources, the goal is to learn how to be an inspiring leader for oneself and for other professionals working on the same task. “The underlying theme is courage. It helps us renew our thinking and take risks. To renew thinking, you need bold leadership, as well as willingness to accept risk-taking and even failure,” says Myllyluoma. “In Passion& Speed, we applied, for example, the See One, Do One, Teach One learning principle familiar from the training of surgeons. In this way, new insight into leadership can be transferred into practice,” explains Leena Huotari, in charge of the procedures of Aalto Leadership Lab at Aalto EE.

Feature 3 Brave Feedback

FEEDBACK IS DEAD. Long live FEEDBACK! Boldly stepping into the unknown and wisely

second guessing every move. There is no shame in making mistakes, the only shame is striving for perfection or expecting it from others. Gone are the days when criticism and praise were saved for last. For brave organizations, feedback in its traditional sense is dead! > Text: Joanna sinclair, pHOTO: gETTY IMAGES


“You need to be the first to come out and admit mistakes.”


you wait until a project is finished to offer criticism – even constructive criticism – you are the one to blame, not the person whose efforts you feel did not meet expectations. Should you wait to the end to offer your first bit of praise, you may find that a great idea has only led to mediocre results, as people were unsure as to what direction they should take. Yes, feedback in some respects is dead, yet it has also gone nowhere. Feedback, the phoenix of organizational communication, has simply reborn in a new and improved form. Instant, constant, real-time. As American author and acclaimed management expert Ken Blanchard cunningly put it, feedback is the breakfast of champions. Although still a staple, something interesting has happened to the contents of this course. Business founder, advisor, CEO, and many others Marko Parkkinen has so many titles his business card has two spinning wheels that you can rotate and mix-and-match his various endeavors with titles. Internationally recognized as a new-business expert, perhaps Parkkinen can shed light on the secrets of feedback.

Want to learn the hostile way of feedback?


Feedback today is given at every stage of work imaginable. Transparent group work, bouncing ideas inside social media, open innovation and crowdsourcing – or just open offices and peers watching over your shoulder... Put it all together and you will find that the majority of issues we work with are available for feedback all the time. Wise businesses make the most of this. Why wait for a customer’s reaction to the ready product when you can give him a prototype to play with? Better yet, have the customer screen initial ideas of prototypes before even constructing them.

“It’s about being brave enough to set things up so that you never need to wait for feedback,” Parkkinen starts. “You need to be the first to come out and admit mistakes. Transparency and honesty are not only refreshing; in my mind, they mark winners. It takes guts and shows character to admit you made a mistake and not wait to see if someone picks up on it.” Even more importantly, you need to be brave enough to try out new things every day and set up constant measurement and feedback systems, so you can acquire detailed information on an hourly basis if needed. “Data that shows trends, continual dialogue with your stakeholders, ongoing service and product development directly with your customers – these are the hallmarks of successfully making the most of feedback.” TBWA Diego’s strategy manager, author and public speaker, former digital media researcher Sami Viitamäki is the ideal sparring partner for these ideas. As is often the case when speaking to people on the very cutting edge of ideas, Viitamäki largely concurs with Parkkinen. As Viitamäki explains, operating in a manner that allows constant feedback requires transparency, and transparency takes incredible courage. Yet organizations better get used to it – in the digital era, secrets are even more obsolete than traditional feedback. There are no secrets kept, just less known stories waiting for exposure on YouTube, Twitter or the likes. “An ideal modern company is capable of strategic learning each and every day,” Viitamäki points out. “Achieving this requires fulfilling at least three prerequisites: first, employees need to have real-time visibility to the company’s performance; second, some level of power over decisions that influence performance; and third, a reward system to support this kind of pre-emptive, agile culture.” Parkkinen and Viitamäki link measurement closely to feedback. It seems either should not – or indeed cannot – be discussed without the other? Thus, the logical next step is to visit IBM. As rumor has it, they are in the know.

Question your questions and weigh your measures. International Business Machines,

IBM. The three letters spell sustainable success all over the world. The global leader is known for being rather meticulous when it comes to measuring the success rate of its innovation projects. They are keeping a close eye on the figures – to ensure that there are enough failures. As IBM sees it, if their success rate is too high, it would indicate that they were playing it safe and not being brave enough to try anything radical. In IBM philosophy, taking things to the next level necessitates a culture where failure is a welcome, natural part of things, providing useful stepping stones on the learning curve. IBM Business Analytics Solution Executive Juha Teljo is known as a crowd-pleasing speaker who makes complex constructs sound easy. His take on measurement and feedback is much in line with what Viitamäki and Parkkinen have brought forth. “In my line of business, three things have become quintessential. First, business must appreciate that data is worthless. All value lies in the questions we pose to data; they can be priceless,” Teljo begins. “Searching hard to find new questions, reaching out to networks and social media to find new ideas for questions to make, this is the first prerequisite for those organizations aiming to survive over the long haul.” Second, if last years worst-case-scenario suddenly becomes the highest hope you could aspire to reach, you need to be in a position to react and change course well before the storm hits full force. It is all about foresight. Teljo’s next affirmation is best explained with an age-old hockey quote. Follow the reasoning of Wayne Gretzky’s father Walter. “One should skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it is. Foresight is the foremost talent for any organization in our day and age.” The problem with foresight is that organizations fear it, says Teijo. The thing is that all information regarding the future is always fundamentally wrong. “Of course it is! Yet as it happens, it is also often times darn useful. Getting over the fear of failure, the fear of fuzzy or incorrect information is liberating and tremendously useful. It enables us to predict and take affirmative actions.”

“React to feedback before it becomes feedback.” Pursuing perfection is the aspiration of the timid. Wildly jumping into the unknown are acts of dare devil endeavors. Champions take adventurous risks all the time – and monitor the effect with clocklike precision, endless, constant feedback and the vigilance to change course at any time.


“Brave organizations empower their staff to act.” Time is of essence. As a third point, Teljo brings to attention the ever-timely question of timeliness. “Brave organizations empower their staff to act. They have a culture where people know that they are trusted to take care of things in the best interest of the customer; to react to feedback before it becomes feedback.” He gives the example of an internet provider serving small businesses. During a staff meeting, they noticed a pillar rising up swiftly on their display monitoring incoming service calls. In moments, the staff was able to indicate that all calls were coming from the same area where a server had gone down. They produced a real-time response to the problem by recording a new message to be played to callers waiting in line. The message stated that the problem has been identified and should be fixed within 30 minutes. “They got the new message rolling and then sat back and watched the pillar of incoming calls drop in front of their eyes. The problem was fixed well before the given half hour was done, but what is more, potential customer dissatisfaction was neutralized or perhaps even turned into a positive experience of being served well,” Teljo points out. Teljo’s story encompasses one of the key insights of feedback today: making sure it is never received regarding things that should perform like clockwork. Viitamäki uses online-shoe outfit Zappos as an example of a company that has took this notion to new heights. Zappos core competence is customer service and logistics. “Their business runs around eliminating negative feedback and making sure everyone is always tremendously happy with their service. Each and every member of the personnel has full executive power to make sure this happens,” Viitamäki explains.


Is anybody out there? Working in the realm of constant idea reassessment Celebrating success or serendipitous failures after a project is finished is a practice naturally still alive and well. But even there, the nature of feedback has changed. The essence of the upcoming feedback should never be a surprise to teams who have been encouraged and directed by a strong leader – or, in the case of open innovation, each other – all through the way.

“You did not like your shoes? We’ll send a new pair over by taxi right away... The shoes you bought nine months ago broke? We have them in stock, you will have a new pair home delivered free of charge within 24 hours.” This sort of service is everyday there, says Viitamäki, which is why even the mighty Amazon could not compete with Zappos and ended up buying the firm for $928 million in 2009. Indisputably, word-of-mouth matters in a world where each individual voice has an average of 130 Facebook friends. The opportunities for brave organizations are vast, if they know how to maneuver their way in the digital era. In our new era, freedom of speech has turned into the freedom to Tweet. Parkkinen pulls together the do’s and don’ts of bravely making the most of modern day feedback. • Be brave enough to fail – and hurry up to tell everyone about it before they have a chance to tell you or others. • Don’t forget to keep one eye on the rearview mirror. Learn from the mistakes so you never need to get the same negative feedback twice. • Raise your level of trying new things five fold – not five percent, but five fold – and actively ask for feedback on them.

June 2006. Jeff Howe. Ring any bells? If you are working in the field of innovation, R&D, marketing, HR or most any field relating to people and ideas, you already know what this side story is about. Rarely has any term gained such large spread recognition, enthusiasm The most challenging part of crowdand hype as crowdsourcing, coined by Howe in his article some four-and-asourcing comes after the crowd has given half-years back. its share: harvesting the vast field of ideas Howe quoted then MIT, now Harvard-based Karim Lakhani, whose study produced by the group, and providing partishowed that the odds of a problem solver’s success increased in fields cipants with feedback and possible rewards. where they had no formal expertise. He pinpointed a notion from the heart By harvesting, Erkinheimo means of Granovetter and network theory: the most efficient combining artificial networks are those that link to the broadest range of intelligence and statistical information, knowledge, and experience. Most of all, methods – neuro networks Howe brought attention to the large-scale business paired with cluster and benefits crowdsourcing could offer. regression analyses – to Everybody wanted their share. By the time the make sense of the vast Financial Times newspaper shortlisted Don Tapscott amount of ideas crowd1_ Having a purpose and Anthony D. Williams’s title Wikinomics for its sourcing produces. These 2_ Finding a business sponsor business book of the year award in 2008, it was methods are already in use, apparent that a new way of organizing work was but new research would 3_ Having a humble outlook: about to change things forever. be more than welcome, you must be humble enough to Great success stories occurred inspired by the Nokia crowdsourcing realize that there might be pioneering paramount Open Innovation ventures someone out there who has better head points out. such as Linux, yet less remarkable efforts dominated Still borrowing from the ideas on the subject than you do! the field for some time. In the early days of 2011, agricultural metaphors, after 4_ Selecting an appropriate crowdsourcing is miles apart from where it was harvesting it is time to feast. crowd internally or externally a few years back. In crowdsourcing, this means “Crowdsourcing is in the junction of open feedback, rewards or both. 5_ Understanding your crowd innovation and social media paradigms. It is no “Should you use monetary and finding the right ways to longer hype, it’s an established and effective way of rewards? It depends on motivate participation working and bringing together the best talent from the task. Sometimes money is all corners of the earth,” affirms Pia Erkinheimo, 6_ Setting a straightforward, a great way to raise interest understandable task head of Nokia’s Global Crowdsourcing. and acts as a good motivator. and putting people to work Nokia has used the method to great effect. Their At other times, offering money Open Innovation Africa Summit, sponsored and ran be pointless, and 7_ Facilitating the process, giving would together with the World Bank and Capgemini, is even inappropriate.” feedback, monitoring progress looking to explore Africa’s innovation ecosystem. An You need to know and ideation platform was opened as a crowdsourcing understand your crowd 8_ Harvest and feast: harvesting venture prior to the summit, aspiring to bring people and their driving forces. the pool of ideas, then providing participants with feedback together and empower their joint innovation. Feedback, peer support and possible awards The foremost contributors were invited to join the – and, in certain tasks, summit in Nairobi Kenya during November 2010. rewards – form a crucial part Nokia is doing its share to help the planet. Yet, as of crowdsourcing. The best with any listed company, commercial examples naturally outweigh pro-bono case scenarios are naturally those in which ones. Thus often times Nokia’s crowdsourcing ventures are internal. ideas created with crowdsourcing become “Worldwide, we have over 30,000 professionals in positions where they a reality in one form or another. “That is can easily access the web during working hours. Handpicked, trained Nokia the best reward a participant can get!” professionals. Naturally, they are often my best bet when I am selecting Erkinheimo explains. a crowd,” Erkinheimo points out. “Crowdsourcing is already of great advantage to us, yet I feel that so far we have only scratched the surface of all its Harvesting with a purpose. Selecting a crowd is one of the foremost potentials. In the last two years, we gathered cornerstones of successful crowdsourcing, but in Erkinheimo’s mind, it does ideas and feedback for certain parts of our not come first. Above all, crowdsourcing must have a purpose. Without one, strategy through crowdsourcing. Challenging you cannot expect any crowd to show enthusiasm. the status quo by crowdsourcing our entire strategy is not that distant of an idea.”

Eight steps to crowdsourcing

22 23 24



Personal courage Bravery is doing what needs to be done in the face of fear. When everyone else fails, the economy is broken and all the odds seem against you, your time has come!

Text: minna valtari

Personal courage and being present “The ability to know what is fair and to apply this knowledge despite fierce opposition and possible harm is certainly a quality that fits the definition of courage,” says Ben Nothnagel, a lawyer and lecturer in global executive education programs. “Courage has different faces. There’s the courage that Nelson Mandela clearly has, the courage that requires great personal strength to fight injustice. There is also the type of courage that is required from us to understand, face and overcome the challenges in our personal and professional lives.” Fast changing business practices around the world clearly require a new set of business skills and possibly a different mindset that includes deeper insight into cultures and business models. “Facing the challenges to remain relevant in this fast-changing business environment requires a new mindset of courage,” Nothnagel says. “A mindset that will allow you to evaluate your existing competencies and acquire or develop the competencies required to remain relevant in the market place.” Nothnagel believes that one big challenge many of us will face is to remain employed in a world that probably will require very


different skills than most of us are formally trained to have. This especially concerns those of us who are over 40 years old. “One of the most courageous actions, in my opinion, is to look outside your comfort zone and ask yourself if your actions are supporting your ambition, potential and the results you want to achieve.” Our internal voices of pessimism and fear lead to a mindset that is more prone to avoid action or to criticize the solutions of others rather than to seek durable solutions ourselves. “To change your mindset doesn’t mean that you have to change you. You will probably only have to make a few adjustments,” Nothnagel reminds. “An easy way to change is to look at what alternatives you have to fulfill your potential and ambition. Being brave or courageous can be learned!” Having an optimistic outlook together with an attitude that invites solution building is the type of courage we need to succeed. “Those of us that are really present in our dayto-day activities are more aware of the challenges that we are faced with and of the possibilities and solutions available. Being present takes courage, but is absolutely vital.” Courage starts with you evaluating if your behavior is contributing to the life you want to live, feels Nothnagel. If the answer is no, then you have to be brave and create new pathways that will provide you with the attitude, competence or behavior that will support who you are or want to be. “Having the courage to re-invent yourself to meet the personal and professional demands of a changing world almost always has the additional payoff of contributing to your enjoyment of life!”

How to be a bold young manager Ben Nothnagel, a visiting trainer at Aalto EE, gives a handful of advice for young managers. He sees courage as a combination of the following: • discipline to turn knowledge into insight • ability to turn insight into goals or visions • confidence to communicate the vision to decision makers • commitment to drive the acceptance of their ideas in their organizations

“I say this because it takes great courage to face a changing, complex world with little experience. Turning knowledge into insight by networking with other professionals often requires us to leave our comfort zones.”

3 Failure is good

“Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.”

- Winston Churchill

On the road to success, most of us will endure at least one failure. The important part is to get up after you fail and try again. Failure merely brings you closer to eventual success. Rather than fearing failures and letting the fear prevent you from trying, consider failures as learning experiences. Learning how to fail is almost a requirement for eventually becoming successful. Don’t fear to fail today – it helps you to succeed tomorrow!

You can use Toolbox materials at work, to link with your blog, when giving a presentation – or forward it to colleagues. The background ideas are available in a variety of web sources.

Keep your goals to yourself After hitting on a brilliant new life plan, our first instinct is to tell someone, but Derek Sivers says it’s better to keep goals secret. He presents research stretching as far back as the 1920s to show why people who talk about their ambitions may be less likely to achieve them. This idea can be adapted into a practical example. If you have a good business idea, you should first share it with people you trust who come from different backgrounds but support your idea. In this way, the idea can be developed further before it is presented. If you start presenting your idea too early and others put it down, you won’t be able to develop it further, since the idea is already doomed.


See more at derek_sivers_keep_your_ goals_to_yourself.html

In slides: In pdf-format:

The whole magazine:


Courage to say uncertain issues out loud


Sudhanshu Palsule, an award-winning educator, consultant and leadership coach, regarded as one of the leading thinkers in the field of Transformative Leadership.


Kitti St udio Pe tt eri

“If you don’t know who you are and where you are going, running faster won’t get you there. Moreover, you’ll find yourself running alone.”

“I have always been interested in what happens in the world and it has lead me to work with several projects that deal with the changes in urban life,” says Asko Ahokas, a consultant based in New York City who provides visionary trend forecasting, media and communications services. “We forecast how the world will change in short term, in the next season, or in longer term, say in ten years.” Ahokas admits that it takes courage, especially when you are new in the field, to forecast the future when your work will highly affect your client. As a well-known and inspirational lecturer for more than ten years, he is able to translate emerging trends in the consumer market into an insightful and value-adding vision. “I consider it important to get closer to the fear and the uncertainty because the topics that are uncertain and that increase fear are usually related to new developments and future trends,” Ahokas comments. “We often learn a lot when we approach new topics and are able to gain vision and Based in New York, Asko Ahokas insight into the future.” provides trend forecasting and He says that being communications services to a continuously expanding roster of courageous often feels like international clients. you were jumping into the dark. “Going abroad can be a moment when you learn the most of yourself because a lot of things might change when you see them from a different point of view. Learning more about the unknown is interesting. Forecasting future is not easy but when you gain experience, you begin to notice the changes.”

How to keep your cool in any situation so that you can make the best decisions possible?

Why is it difficult to focus?

How to maximize your chance of finding insights that can solve seemingly insurmountable problems?

rate o b a l l ly? to co How e effective mor

Why does your brain feel so taxed?

7 How to maximize your mental resources?

David Rock’s book Your Brain at Work provides answers to these questions: David Rock: Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long (HarperBusiness, 2009)

Why providing feedback is so difficult and how to make it easier?

DRIVE: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (Riverhead Hardcover, 2009) by Daniel H. Pink

What truly motivates us? And how we can use that knowledge to work smarter and live better?

Way too often external rewards, like money, are seen as the best way to motivate people, but that is not true, claims Daniel H. Pink. His provocative and persuasive book Drive concludes that the secret to high performance and satisfaction is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world. The mismatch between what science knows and what business does is exposed openly by Pink. He demonstrates that while carrots and sticks worked successfully in the twentieth century, this is precisely the wrong way to motivate people for today’s challenges.


Follow Aalto EE

Jari Talvinen has been appointed managing director of the Singapore subsidiary of Aalto EE, Aalto Executive Education Academy Pte Ltd. He was selected for the post among 132 applicants. Talvinen (49) has a PhD in economics and has previously worked for IBM, CapMan, Ericsson and Nokia, and as a business consultant for PwC. Since 1991, he has also worked at the Aalto University School of Economics, first as a full-time and later as a part-time instructor. Talvinen currently works as docent in information systems science, specializing in customer relationships management. Talvinen got interested in Aalto University around a year ago when he attended the university’s academic year opening ceremony. One of his main goals is to make the Aalto brand better known among target companies. “We must first clarify Aalto EE’s offering and the added value that Aalto University produces for target companies and their people,” he stresses. “In the following phase, we will offer increasingly better content in both EMBA programs and customized training. Our third goal is to expand our operations in the target regions, such as China. This also includes stronger cooperation with prominent local schools.” Asia is an enticing market for the new managing director. “The region already has many emerging economies and more are coming. China and India are familiar names, but Indonesia and Vietnam are following hot on their heels.” Talvinen considers Singapore to be a great hub for all of Asia. It is an interesting, attractive and wealthy country that invests strongly in innovation, education and people, as well as in the utilization of technology. “All this is a good match with Aalto University’s focal areas. Aalto EE is a challenger in Asia. We are a small player, which is why we must make our own offering crystal-clear and of such high quality that we stand out of our competitors. It isn’t difficult but calls for hard work and courage.”

In addition Find out the latest happenings at Aalto EE: www.


to lots of other points of interest, Aalto EE’s Facebook page includes photos.

Dive into Profile’s blog: aaltoee. blogspot. com

Aalto EE accelerates


Text: Lotta Vaija


Clear objective and hard work

Text: Heli Satuli

more updated information,

In ten years time, Aalto EE will be one of the best executive education providers in Europe – known for its quality, innovativeness and courage. And according to the chairman of the board, Professor Teemu Malmi, Aalto EE has the means in place to ensure this vision turns into reality. “The key words are Aalto community and global partnerships,” opens Malmi. “We will now focus on establishing ourselves as strong productive partner in Europe and actively build partnerships in Russia and in Asia – especially in China. Growth in Asia is a great possibility for us.” As far as innovativeness and courage is concerned, the main ingredients of Aalto EE’s recipe for success are people, pedagogies and education programs. “Aalto EE aims for a unique offering in way we make people and organizations learn. For example, our Leadership Lab is established to ignite those precious aha-moments,” Malmi explains. One example of an innovative course that Aalto EE is currently offering is International Design Business Management. This is an area in which Finland is indisputably one of the global leaders. And an area in which Aalto and Aalto EE possess unique multidisciplinary expertise that cuts across the areas of business, design and technology. “We are already stronger than our size suggests. But with our new additional resources the future looks indeed appealing for Aalto EE.”


Not everything is measurable – even in business.

Text: Joe White

Predicting chaos

Chaos theory is readily understood today. But in its heyday, the proponents risked everything to prove they were correct. It was already apparent by the twentieth century that reliable old Newtonian physics was no longer subtle enough to answer all our questions. The very instruments developed on the back of the great man’s work were becoming sophisticated enough to reveal tiny anomalies in the universe that refused to respond to linear physics. Einstein and his relativities – Schroedinger and his cats – Heisenberg and his uncertainty principles – were blowing holes in the ability of conventional science to predict all events, or even entirely describe them. Such men, Newton included, represent a heroic lineage of scientists who have courageously stuck to their guns to defend a revolutionary notion against ridicule, disgrace or even worse. Not everything responds to mathematics. By the 1960s it was clear that the real world, whatever that is, would not respond to the mathematicians’ urgings, fixes and certainties. Gathering more data was not helping; it merely opened up more questions. More to study and evaluate. And, anyway, the same data often behaved differently in different circumstances. Tiny events were upsetting bigger patterns. Fluttering butterflies in Brazil were stirring typhoons in Tokyo. Weather forecasting, in fact, was providing telling examples of the chaos in our universe. No matter how much you knew about an approaching warm front, you could never exactly predict how that might translate into rain on your crops – or on your summer holiday. Things don’t operate in cosy linear patterns that make life simple for mathematicians. Perfectly stable systems like icebergs can suddenly sheer and shatter; earthquakes may follow long periods of quiet with a sudden catastrophic shudder and horrendous loss of life.

We might call such events fate, but by the early 1960s, scientists were looking at what was to be called chaos, the state where things are not behaving in the same way as the events next to them. Turbulence, thawed areas of an iceberg, a flame exist in domains of chaos. Researchers became intrigued and slowly began to peel back the layers that concealed this hidden monster this chaotic behavior often within the very heart of apparently stable systems. Persisting even through criticism. Many scientists were offended by the students of chaos; even calling them irreverent, for surely everything can be measured, tested and ultimately explained. Yet these upstarts were suggesting that this might not always be true. If science could not predict, then what good was it apart from supplying fancy descriptions? But the chaos theory advocates persisted. One even published a major work in the magazine he was editing – against all the accepted protocols – but he was convinced his work was too important to ignore. Fortunately for him – and science – he was right. The list of courageous inquirers extends down the millenia – many have suffered death or other hideous privations in the pursuit of what they deemed to be the truth. Chaos is now an accepted realm of study, but its early advocates are among the latest who risked not death, perhaps, but at least career suicide, ignominy and ridicule to make it so. Of course, when you’re in the business of taking risks and being brave, it does help to be right. Read about Roald Amundsen’s incredible journey to the Antarctic, where the ability to feresee the future would have been useful.


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Aalto EE Profile 1 2011  
Aalto EE Profile 1 2011  

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