Miikka,

it’s week three and that time once again to hear from me… I hope you had a life-changing experience at Cannes this week, it looked incredible. While you were sunning it up in the south of France I was still here having my own little life changing experiences – largely due to the Finnish public holiday just passed, Juhannus or Midsummer. Which brings us nicely onto this week’s topic – Culture.

Culture; the beliefs and attitudes about something that people in a particular group or organization share.

What I’ve found fascinating is how intrinsically linked our two companies cultures are to the countries in which they were founded and the people who founded them. So many of the differentiating points between Thinkhouse & Superson are in-fact just derived from the same differences we share as Irish and Finnish people. Yet so many of the cultural points we share can be traced back to the similar personality traits in our two CEOs, Jane & Samppa.

The Thinkhouse way is unashamedly loud and proud, something which is undeniably true of the Ireland as nation. The Superson way is equally proud, yet perhaps lacks some of the loud that is so often associated (often humorously) to Finnish shyness. To draw a comparison to our respective nations sports teams, we are both exceedingly ambitious in spite our country’s relative size and are both well-equipped to celebrate our wins on an international stage. Yet Irish celebrations historically may just be a bit louder. I feel it’s important to note that this culture of vocal celebration is in no way indicative of ambition but perhaps more a reflection of how the ambition is vocalised externally.

However what’s arguably more intriguing are the shared commonalities within our company cultures. The emphasis placed on being different from the competition is inescapable and seems representative of the ideals and morals that our respective CEO’s espouse. The combination of quirky individuality with insatiable work-ethic make for a fierce mix and one that goes a long way to inspiring those that are fortunate enough to work in close proximity of it. This underlying ethos within each company also inherently helps inform the profile of the staff that we work with. Creative thinkers and problems solvers filled with passion, kindness and skill who have a unquestionable commitment to producing the best work possible. This warm, fuzzy feeling of positivity is compounded and reinforced by each company’s dedication to caring for its staff in ways such as upskilling, wellness programs among others.

However the most valuable facet of our shared cultures in my opinion is the inclusion of fun. Throughout so many companies in various industries you will find staff who are dissatisfied, restless and lacking motivation. I’ve seen statistics quoting numbers as high as 85% when referencing people who ‘dislike’ or even ‘hate’ their jobs. Factoids like this serve as a reminder of how fortunate we are to work within organisations that value our happiness. It is this happiness that keeps people showing up every day with a smile of their face and striving to make an impact. Whether in Helsinki, Singapore, London or Dublin it is this aspect of culture that should be valued and prioritized above all else.

It is with a heavy-heart I look to next week with the realisation that only one more of these blog posts remains and therefore marks the end of this little experiment, but for now let’s enjoy week four.

Until then, peace & love.