Your hosts in Finland

“Learning….. not more training”

Junnikkala Ltd is a Nordic Saw Mill company which is a family business with a €80 million turnover. A little over a year ago, they realised the need for a change in their working culture  – it was in bad shape. The company decided to take a big step towards fixing this.

Managers have started to apply team learning methods to improve teamwork within their own departments. Some of the participants have also started the process to become Team Coaches themselves which means that the change is happening on multiple levels.

Instead of focussing on numbers, we wanted to focus on leading our people and improve our team work. That is why we started collaboration with Mikael Hirvi. He had a lot of experiences of working with different sized organisations.” Explains CEO Juha Junnikkala

After we started the coaching process, the culture has improved and we can see more open and honest dialogue within our organisation. In general, we work more together than alone and we have seen that work is now more fun whilst the results are improving.”

Personally, I have seen an impact on my own leadership and realise that I have grown and changed a lot during the process too. Currently, work is more meaningful and my stress levels have dropped dramatically. In our forestry department, where it all started, we have received a lot of positive feedback that staff want us to continue on this path. The change takes time, but we are clearly going in the right direction!”



Wärtsilä is a global leader in smart technologies for the marine and energy markets, with a turnover of €5 billion.

In 2005, they began a program which became a transformational learning process which is enabling them to dismantle hierarchies and provide governance through networks of teams. Work started with the financial department which has grown from 43 to 90 staff who handle global transactions.

Collaboration with Wartsila service parts department started 10 years ago. We changed the structure of the department from a hierarchical structure to a team structure. Mikael was strongly involved, especially in the beginning to help us move in the right direction. Over the years his role has changed from being at the centre of the team in the beginning, to becoming an external supporter to spar with now. As we grew, we also coached our superiors to become team coaches so the process the we designed carry on within the organisation.”  Jukka Saaranen – General Manager, Parts Supply.

“The model we created in Finland has spread to European departments one by one and we are well on the way towards creating a supply chain that functions 24/7, which was our main goal in the beginning. Even though we have a lot of knowledge and competencies, we now know how to use these to best effect and it is still good to bring an external viewpoint  when working with new countries and building departments. This is why we still work with our Team Coach – they are the natural partners for us. ”  Jarno Tunturi – Director, Indirect Purchasing.

These are two of the organisations that we will have access to on our expedition. During our time with them, you can speak with staff and managers to see the impact adopting a more collaborative way has working is turning them into the businesses of the future.