Sisu – Transforming Barriers into Frontiers [TEDx]

Emilia Lahti, a fellow Penn MAPPster, and Queen of Sisu (as I like to call her) has finally given a TEDx talk. Sisu can be defined as fortitude, perseverance and indomitable determination in the face of extreme adversity. It´s part of the Finnish culture but obviously is not limited to Finns – everybody can display (and profit from) Sisu at times. Here you go…

People were created to be loved. Things were created to be used…

The reason why the world is in chaos right now is because things are being loved and people are being used.” *

Sound especially true now that Christmas time is here again…

People were created to be loved

* Could´t find an original source. If you know something, please tell me.

With ordinary People to extraordinary Returns

Nico Rose - Handelsblatt Jahrestagung Private EquityA couple of weeks ago, I was invited to give a dinner speech at a private equity convention that was hosted by Handelsblatt, one of the most eminent (business) newspapers in Germany. I was a little surprised since – to be honest – I don’t know sh.t about private equity, mergers & acquisitions, etc.

So instead, I decided to talk about some subjects I do know, e.g., Positive Psychology, Self-Determination, and alternative forms of leadership.

Subsequent to my talk, I was invited to put into writing what I said that evening. The result is a feature that spans topics such as burnout, employee engagement, managing organizational energy, and the theory of the Kondratieff waves. My tagline was:

Extraordinary returns will be realized where ordinary people are empowered to achieve extraordinary results.

An English version of the piece is available available here. Enjoy!


Being better better – with Systems Intelligence

IMG_4016-0I’m a big fan of the idea of Systems Intelligence, a concept by Finnish philosopher Esa Saarinen and his collaborators that I’ve explored Systems Intelligence here on Mappalicious.

Recently, together with some colleagues from Aalto University, he has published a new book by the name of “Being better better” that explores Systems Intelligence in a way that addresses the layman. You can download a free PDF of the book here. I highly suggest reading it. Enjoy!

Ready to push the Button? Instant Feedback for a Positive Work Culture

Today, I stumbled upon an article in The Wall Street Journal (Are You Happy at Work? Bosses Push Weekly Polls) that explains how some firms have adopted short weekly employee surveys/polls to measure workforce well-being, engagement, but also other work-related attitudes such as preferences for communication tools and software usage, among other things.

I find this highly interesting as receiving regular feedback, but also being able to provide feedback to bosses and the company as a whole seems to be a driver of well-being at work, and as a consequence, performance (especially among the younger part of our workforces). So basically everything that enables or facilities giving or receiving feedback could be a worthwhile investment.

This then reminded me of a photo that I took a the airport in Bergen/Norway when flying home from my TEDx talk in October.

Feedback Button - Bergen, Norway

It displays an easy-to-use feedback system that is installed right after the security controls. While walking by you can simply press one of the buttons to convey your opinion with regard to the quality of the control procedure. No pencil-and-paper, no log-in, just a short movement with your hands. You can even do that while carrying several bags.

How about having one of these gadgets at your office´s main entrance? It could be used to receive day-to-day feedback on your employee´s satisfaction, or based on the prompt, e.g. organizational energy. Quite obviously, a system like this will not tell you why a certain measure may go up or down, but this can be tackled using more sophisticated (and less frequent) feedback systems.

Are you ready to push the button?