To me, renewal means the continuous development of my own work and my organisation’s operations. It also means a readiness to critically evaluate my work as a supervisor and leader, and to receive feedback.
Self-development begins with realising that you are not perfect as a leader and with admitting your mistakes.
However, leadership does not revolve around the self. It is a good idea to stop and take time to evaluate yourself and how you should change your ways, so the people around you are able to do their jobs as well as possible. This type of reflection always pays off – for supervisors as well as employees. Every year, I select a few aspects of my supervisory work and seek to change them systematically in my actions.
In my opinion, involving all employees in the planning is essential in leading organisational renewal. The key question that leaders and supervisors need to answer is: why? What is the purpose of the changes, and how will they affect our day-to-day jobs? Renewal just for the sake of renewal will not bring success, and hardly anyone is likely to commit to the changes unless they are justified. During the renewal process, it is important to allow enough time for discussion, and internal communication plays an invaluable role in major renewal projects. With regard to leading renewal, it is also important to translate changes into measurable intermediate goals and to actively monitor their achievement, so that the main goal is achieved on schedule.
The customer experience is widely recognised as a key success factor. To maintain a readiness for renewal, it is essential to continuously and systematically listen to customers, even to their unspoken messages. Innovation is needed as well, as good ideas for products and services also come from sources other than customers. Customers should always be taken into account, even when planning internal changes, as changes tend to be reflected in the customer interface. Today, in Metsä Group’s wood supply, we plan and pilot all services in cooperation with our customers by means of service design and participatory design.
Over the past five years, Metsä Group’s wood supply has developed from a purchaser of wood into Finland’s best provider of forest services. Communication about the importance of the changes and systematic training for employees have played a key role in this successful transformation. We are also leading the way in making use of digitalisation in our industry. As a result of this, our Net Promoter Score has improved by 50 per cent from 2014, and our sales of forest services have tripled. We can be very proud of our achievements!