Blog 29.9.2020

Renewal based on extreme customer focus and genuine cooperation  

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As pioneers in digitalisation, we are building the foundations for — and accelerating — renewal. Key changes are needed in the approach taken to dealing with people and their mutual cooperation, rather than in technology.

It has long been clear that fewer and fewer people are willing to pay for grandstanding or high-flying performances, just because they are supposed to be part of the process. It is also generally understood that top experts want to do work that they find interesting and meaningful.

But what kind of renewal will enable customers and world-class experts to flourish together?

Having spent the last 15 years in executive positions with digitalisation pioneers, I have noted that customer focus and genuine cooperation lie at the heart of successful renewal.

Each action must generate value

I strongly believe in what I would even call ‘extreme customer focus’. This means being continuously attuned to customer needs and their development. Actions are focused on what is best for the customer now and in the future.

For extreme customer focus to succeed, power structures must be dismantled and process reshaped. The thinking or actions of top experts are guided by flexible frames of reference and concepts empowering them to do what is best for the customer. When problems occur, the focus is on finding solutions rather than culprits.

Then, every act creates value for the customer, the actor, and society.

Everyone feels pride in common achievements and knows that they will have a positive impact. This makes them trust themselves and others, engendering high growth and success at all levels.

We used these principles to build the success story of Silver Planet alongside our customers. From the perspective of a growth company, I also know that a consulting firm with an extreme customer focus can be scaled up rapidly, very profitably, and in a way that everyone finds rewarding.

Cooperation enhances everyone’s impact

Genuine cooperation enhances everyone’s impact. A shared situational picture and intent enable people to better solve multidimensional problems. If extreme customer focus sounds challenging, genuine cooperation definitely is exactly that.

Players in Finland have spent the last 15 years painfully seeking the optimal collaborative approach between business activities and IT administration. I ardently hope that this search is successful. In fact, I see no other option: how else can we build new digital business models, flourishing businesses and a vibrant Finland?

The Koronavilkku app showed that, by collaborating and using each other’s core competencies, we can build a secure and intuitive application for two million Finnish mobile phones in just weeks. I would also like to see willpower of this kind outside times of crisis.

This requires healthy self-esteem from everyone involved. Superior strengths or skills in one area or another do not detract from what others can bring to the party. In a strong customer relationship, genuine cooperation is an opportunity to grow stronger together.

It is a pleasure to help Gofore’s customers and Finnish society achieve success while making use of the things I have learned in my career. Everyone here believes that actions are taken to ensure a better customer and employee experience, innovation, and thriving ecosystems will have a far-reaching effect.

And this journey is all the more rewarding when made together.

Elja Kirjavainen

Elja Kirjavainen is responsible for Gofore's digital transformation consulting services. He has more than 15 years of management experience in digital pioneering companies. Elja believes in extreme customer orientation and cross-border cooperation as an enabler of success.

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