24 Feb 2020

CEO Insights with DNA CEO Jukka Leinonen

One of the top concerns leaders and companies face is how to stay competitive. In the video interview series CEO Insights, we sit down with Finnish CEOs to discuss the key capabilities leaders and companies need, to stay competitive now and in the future. As we speak to top leaders from different industries about the future of business, leadership and strategy, we learn what has worked for them and what challenges they see that we’ll be facing in the future.

Listen to the interview podcast

As we sit down with Jukka Leinonen, the CEO of DNA, we dive straight into the topic of what strategic capabilities companies need to be successful. Jukka brings up three main strategic capabilities; customer centricity, agility and the willingness and capability to change, and finally continuous competence development. For the same reasons why agility is important, Jukka says it’s crucial to have the right competencies and create ways of working and a spirit in the organisation, that encourages everyone to evaluate their own competences and to learn new things.

“I'm more worried about

not being agile, than being too agile”.

Jukka emphasizes the importance of agility but also points out that if a company is in an unmanaged way too agile, a company is not able to perform. “I'm more worried about not being agile, than being too agile”, Jukka says. Around 85% of the work at DNA is done in virtual teams, where people are residing in their home units, but the work itself is done in an agile way. Jukka further explains that they are now ready to even consider organisational changes, which are built on agile models.

What enables cooperation and trust in your organisation?

“A few elements are super important”, Jukka answers. “The first one is that you need to be building an organisational environment, where people can feel that they can be themselves”. This creates a kind of “comfort zone” for people, where they don’t have to be anything else but themselves, according to Jukka. Another important element at DNA, is their flat organisation; without any kind of hierarchies in the organisation, everyone is able to talk to each other like person to person. “We need to be able to build a company where everybody feels that we are working for the same goals and the same targets”, Jukka points out.

"You need to be building

an organisational environment,

where people feel that they don't

have to be anything but themselves”.

The basis of all operations done in DNA is a common culture. Jukka explains that they have selected a transparent way of working, so that there are no surprises for the organisation, and they know what’s coming all the time, what the challenges are and where they are succeeding. “This has been creating a sense of trust in the organisation”, Jukka says.

How do you attract the best people to your company?

“If you want the best brains to join your company, there are a few elements which are becoming more and more important”, Jukka answers. Visionary leadership plus collaboration and teamwork capabilities are needed, to get the people to execute on what is needed. It is not about ordering people anymore but getting people to see the insight and the target. The third aspect of attracting the best people that Jukka mentions is integrity, which is becoming more and more important. He explains that the only way to succeed as a leader and a manager is through integrity where “people are really able to look up at you and they can trust that these guys are telling exactly how things are”.


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