Podcast

30

min

January 24, 2024

Ilkka Mäkitalo

How to build a global & autonomic company?

Listen now on

Summary of #TalentBuzz Episode with Ilkka Mäkitalo from Howspace

Introduction

  • Host: Samuli Salonen
  • Guest: Ilkka Mäkitalo from Howspace
  • Topic: Discussion about Howspace's growth, organizational structure, and talent acquisition strategies

Howspace: Company Overview

  • Size: Around 80 employees in over 10 countries
  • Operation: Remote-first approach
  • Business Focus: Transformation design and implementation platform, including workshopping, learning programs, and community collaboration
  • Growth: Revenue of €7.2 million last year with customers in 50 countries and about 200 global partners

Remote-First Culture

  • Adoption: English as the main language for inclusivity and remote work flexibility
  • Offices: Available but remote work encouraged for autonomy
  • Challenge: Balancing office culture with remote workers to maintain inclusivity

Recruitment Strategy

  • Collaborative process for role definition and interviews
  • Focus on expertise, cultural fit, and willingness to adapt to a growing company
  • Emphasis on practical skills and autonomy in work

Organizational Structure

  • Growth: From 7 to 80 people, leading to changes in structure
  • Approach: Agile, collaborative, and values-driven
  • Structure: Navigation group instead of a traditional management team
  • Focus: Maintaining flexibility and autonomy while implementing necessary structures and processes

Data-Driven Approach

  • Goal: To become more data-driven for business decisions
  • Challenge: Balancing autonomy with adherence to systems and processes for accurate data collection

Retention and Career Development

  • Vision and mission alignment for employee motivation
  • Fostering a culture of reflection, co-creation, and practical execution
  • Career paths focused on expertise rather than traditional hierarchical progression

Lessons and Reflections

  • Scale only proven aspects of the business
  • Blend sales skills with domain expertise for effective teamwork and learning
  • Embrace social and collaborative learning as part of the company's product and culture

Conclusion

  • Ilkka Mäkitalo emphasizes the importance of a strong vision, a flexible and inclusive culture, and a continuous learning environment for scaling a SaaS company effectively.

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