Walking the walk of change
Walking the walk of change

Having returned late last night from a business trip, I had pretty much collapsed to bed and pulled a total of 8+ hours in absolute oblivion. The light sleeper I am, it’s very seldom that I get a full 8-hour stretch of sound sleep at night, let alone on the night prior to a FTD. In fact, on the night before FTD I am typically so stoked with my mind buzzing on visualization and brainstorming that it’s difficult to find enough calm to sleep well. In terms of pre-FTD excitement, this day with Tamora was no exception, but I guess even we, the watch dogs at the mouth of a cave need some sleep sometimes.

Anyhow, I had initially targeted Tamora for a FTD session  coming across this curious concept of Muutosmuotoilu or Change Design directly translated. Based crumbles of information, my perception was that at Tamora people actually do something to make a difference. Based on hearsay, they will even push buttons at client decision makers or call your “we can’t do this” bluff to see actual results in their assignments changing Finnish work.

As an example, in one case they brought cloud, BYOD, agility, and modern communication culture to municipal work at lakeside Finland in just a matter of hours. Part of this case was built around giving all the employees a tablet -yes, even the ones with very little to none office work in their responsibilities (eg. cleaners). With the Finnish cost of labor being what it is, they calculated that only 9 minutes of saved working time per month (!) will pay the device itself back. (Read more in Finnish here.)  I have seen it myself, that no matter how strong your ROI numbers are, these type of investments are difficult to digest at the employer decision making. Now these guys were actually able to pull something like this off. – Hooray Tamora, I salute you!

Being a sucker for hope to see change for the better, I had to find out more about what Tamora does and who they are. After shooting couple of emails back and forth we agreed on a date with Ville Tura, a Project Manager and a Coach at Tamora.  Sketching on some ideas what to do, the wheel of fortune stopped on content management system (CMS) related themes.

Arriving at their office in Siltasaari, I was welcomed with a nice cup of tea and even some brekkie supported with appropriately edgy let’s-get-s**t-done-rock-tunes in the background. -not bad! Looking around at their laid back open office, there were three more Tamora project manager guns delivering what they were supposed to; sending offers, finalizing customer reports, administrating etc. In addition to VilleJani Henriksson, Joonas Liimatainen, and Mikko Toiviainen had showed up. Even a partner at Tamora, Kirsi Parviainen popped by before a client meeting. There was also some plumming work going on and additionally some security guys working on the office alarm system. Apparently the office was seldom so busy and things also settled down a bit after the morning fuzz. We also managed to find some work for me after the typical intros.

As usual, this particular FTD went by really fast and I think we had to start wrapping up just when things were starting to really catch flight. It had been a really fun day, despite once more staying stronger on the reactive side rather than sticking to the initial plans. In fact, their working culture was so collaborative and sharing, that it was almost impossible to restrain from reacting.

All in all, the rushed day was a good mix of laying some ground work for possible further steps, but also being able help and share a burden for a while. In fact, the biggest take away for me from this FTD was probably how my hosts allowed me to get involved to help. I’ve seen it time and again that it’s simply not easy to expose your work and/or delegate when there’s a lot things to do – I personally suck at it at least and it’s most likely the biggest obstacle to cross with this whole FTD concept. These fine gentlemen, on the other hand, had enough courage to take the risk and I think it paid off at the end of the day.

As a closing remark for this report, trying to pin down individual success factors of a thriving company, culture of open sharing is probably a very strong candidate! Thank you Tamora – I hope to see you again!

A book and a t-shirt with a strong message - Christmas came early this year!
A book and a t-shirt with a strong message – Christmas came early this year!