Spend ten years benchmarking, training and developing in the field of finance and you get to see a lot of ways of doing finance. Many finance organizations are good, some more complicated in various and tedious ways, but a few stand out as being in a league of their own. It’s not just how, or how well, they do what they do – it’s that some finance organizations are so extremely competent that they end up doing somewhat different things.
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Increasing productivity in Finnish companies has been a hot topic in Finland for the past year. Despite numerous efforts in three part negotiations between politicians, business leaders and union representatives, a mutual agreement on how to do this has been hard to reach. I would like to add a completely different viewpoint to the debate. How can we use positivity to become more productive and successful in business and on a personal level?
Finland is not a cheap country and that is no news to anyone. Even if the government’s efforts to bring costs down favor businesses, Finnish labor will still be considerably more expensive than most labor on earth. In the meantime, competition is getting fiercer and more importantly, the evergreen mantra “Finnish quality” is slowly but surely losing its shine. It is not that our quality shifted. It is rather that many competitors managed to maintain or improve their level of quality. With quality often being perceived comparable, many global customers start wondering, if paying more for the sake of something being ‘Finnish’, is actually worth it.
The discussion about corporate social responsibility is on the rise in Finland. Several reasons for this can be observed, among them the recent developments in the increasing number of immigrants, the Millennials’ strong focus on CSR matters when choosing an employer or buying products and also the general increased transparency brought on by digitalization and social media.