Jirimiko Oranen 9/26/23 11:24 AM

Jukka Holm: Work Must Never Stop – Ever!

I meet Jukka Holm, the Managing Director of Visma Enterprise, in an online meeting, as I have often before. Actually, we have never met face-to-face. This encounter aptly depicts many organisations' challenges in change management in a post-pandemic world. 

Holm is a crucial figure in Finland for the rapidly evolving software company Visma Group. The company develops advanced and effective cloud-based software for the private and public sectors. Holm has experience with countless change processes – through acquisitions, for example – both as a leader and via several board positions. 

I want to deepen my understanding of change management from an experienced business leader's perspective, which makes my meeting with Holm valuable and meaningful. Hence, I also wish to share the insights further. 

"Change is not only inevitable but also essential," says Holm. "Commitment to constant organisational motion aids in building resilience and adaptability." 

As the world's pace accelerates, unpredictability rises, and fragmentation threatens organisations worldwide. How do you keep an organisation on the path to success in such a chaotic environment? 

"Ultimately, it's always about people, not structures and titles. The key principle is that work must never stop, not even during significant changes like mergers," Holm states. 

Change is rightly seen as a journey. A common rule is that changing an organisation's culture takes seven years. This timeframe is often overlooked in daily operations. 

"The importance of time and relevance can't be overstated. Attention must be focused on what truly matters," Holm adds. 

As a strategy consultant at Netprofile, I often observe organisations attempting to communicate change but frequently neglecting to do so adequately. Most importantly, listening is often forgotten – understanding the emotions and thoughts of internal and external stakeholders. 

"Good communication from a leader is a dialogue," says Holm. "Transparency and honesty are key. Dialogue must be established even before a crisis strikes." 

Holm believes in the power of open organisations, as opposed to closed ones that foster an atmosphere of suspicion and fear. 

"Leaders should communicate frequently. If codetermination negotiations, for instance, come as a complete surprise, leadership has probably failed in prior communications," he notes. 

Self-managed experts thrive on appreciation, according to Holm. "It's about respecting the work and skills of the expert. You're on the right track when they know what is expected of them and that their success matters." 

Continuous learning and adaptability play a significant role in organisational success. "New skills should be regularly introduced. Job and task rotation is an excellent process for enhancing skills and enriching perspectives," Holm advises. 

In crises, the ability to see the whole picture is critical. "Holistic understanding is paramount. Often, the focus narrows when adrenaline levels rise, but one should look at organisation, communication, and situational awareness," he affirms. 

In summary, you succeed in managing and communicating change in top or middle management when you act consistently, trust good people, and focus on the big picture. 

Becoming a change leader is a long process, but change management is a powerful currency for a career. Managing an organisation's readiness and capabilities for change is central to leadership, as change agents are the source of any community's power and success. 

If you want to discuss value-creating change communications, please click the button below, drop me a line at jiri@netprofile.fi, or just give me a ring at +358 40 75 66 655.