Maria Rusko: I joined recently to a family. Group of people with shared memories and values.

It was not easy. They wanted to meet me time after time to ensure that I would fit in. Share their will to put customers and co-workers first. Work with a human touch.

Already during the recruiting process, they told stories of the things that tie them together. How they sat down after each week just to ask from each other how they are feeling. To share joyful moments and laugh at mistakes. Update the latest doggy and kiddy news. Just to be themselves with the good and bad you carry around.

Now everyone can see I’m lontti
There was a surprise waiting for me at the office on my first day. Survival kit to give me a kick start for my new career.

There were villasukat to prevent cold feet. Bracelet with our motto engraved in it. Necklace to hold my key card. Champagne to celebrate. I was truly becoming a lontti.

The birth of lontti
Just like Kalevala the lontti story had been collected by asking people to tell the folklore only preserved as hear say. The first draft of this mystical beast was drawn with permanent marker on flap paper(ys) and it soon became visible for all that it truly was a significant creature. Chameleon with huge heart. Ready for adventure. Adapting to different surroundings. Persistent to make its way to the watering hole. And ready to carry along those who struggle with the burning sun.

Instead of being a mystical being like basilisk, lontties live all around our office and can also be seen in many of Finland’s most prestigious companies helping them to succeed in change initiatives.

As if
With the mileage comes cynicism. All companies have stated the values. Even companies like Enron. It is damn hard to live by them. Especially when economics get tough.

Even in lontti family there are tough decisions to make. And how does lontti then act. She asks from herself is this according to our values?

During my first days in CCEA I must have heard dozens of times management decisions being reviewed through lontti classes. Our rewarding system is structured to encourage our people to make things happen together. Our people are taken along to decision making to ensure they can commit to our way of doing things. We do this to ensure we live according to our values.

Values=value

Strong set of values restricts or limits the operational and strategical freedom of the leadership. This said CCEA has become the largest transformation and change leadership enabler in Finland. Lontti family has grown from 20 to team of 40 change experts and revenues triple folded in last four years.
Behind the figures is extremely high customer satisfaction. And behind that – I guess you know by now – the CCEA values.

Only time can tell if we are able to walk to talk of lontti familily values and they might change with more lontties joining the team. What I know for sure is that we keep on trying. Not just to make the growth trajectory but because our values give us the meaning of something bigger. Sense of belonging to a group of people sharing similar mind set and who have decided to be together. Be a true family.