Cultural reflections from the Board of Directors’ perspective
There is a famous quote that says ”culture eats strategy for breakfast”. This implies that the culture of your company always determines success regardless of how effective your strategy is. That’s why cultural issues should be considered also in the board of directors’ agenda.
Working in the international markets affect the working cultures across the companies from the operational processes to the strategic board decisions. Finnish companies would benefit from more international members and perspectives in their boards. More diverse boards will bring more diverse thought, different perspectives and better understanding of different ways of thinking among own employees and customers. Finnish companies are also not making most of the international talent already working in Finland.
“Culture is actually not a fluffy stuff. It is going to make or break your business”
This is one of the reasons Boardman organizes once a year a Corporate Governance and Board Work in Finland -training, which is especially aimed for international executive and management board members working in Finland or in Finnish companies. The training is a great choice for someone who aspires to be a board member or have sat on a corporate board for decades.
After the last year’s training Boardman organized together with AmCham and the German-Finnish Chamber of Commerce an event that explored the impact of culture on company board dynamics and strategic decision-making. During the event Egbert Schram, Group CEO of Hofstede Insights, moderated a fireside chat about cultural reflections from Finnish companies’ board perspective.
In the discussion Mervi Airaksinen and Laura Raitio shared their views and practical tips about organization culture in Finnish companies. Mervi is the Managing Director of IBM Finland and board member of several companies such as Learning Intelligence Group, Vincit and Nordic Morning Group) and Laura Raitio is the Chair of the Board of Raute Corporation and Boardman as well as board member in Solidium, Suominen Corporation, Alko and Heltti Oy.
In the fireside chat Egbert, Mervi and Laura discussed the following things:
- What are the different levels of the culture?
- What are the best practices that should be copied in every organization?
- What does “copy with pride” mean?
- Does the Board operate as a team?
- What kind of culture is important in the Board?
- What things the leaders should consider when we are talking about culture?