mentallyWe are truly a nation of engineers here in Finland, we kinda had to be. We had to be inventive trying to turn bolder-filled forests into farmland and find a way to fish while the lakes were frozen. Later, we had to be creative when fighting against an overwhelming superpower to keep them behind our borders, and then come up with ways to pay them war reparations. With this kind of a nation and these natural resources, we needed to work hard and smart, there was no time for banjo-playing mumbo jumbo. Let’s call this characteristic that evolved from our history, engineerity.

Engineerity is a good servant in a person. At its best, it enhances the logical and creative side of thinking; it brings healthy trust in one’s own common sense and makes any situation solvable. The flipside is quite dangerous. It is reserved, stubborn, proud, and at the same time shy, arrogant, and condescending. At its worst, it is wretched and repulsive and ruins businesses. You have to consider, which dog you’re feeding.

There once was a Finnish engineer who wrote a book – spent years to get it finished. The book was very fine, and its merits were beyond any publisher’s knowledge to argue. Its writing style was also rather pleasing. However, due to it being about a special subject that required enlightened readership, it would most likely never become a bestseller. In a marketing meeting, the engineer presented his amazing master idea: “I’ve been thinking, what if we don’t market the book at all?!! Let the readers find the book by themselves and then recommend it to each other. It would be such a better marketing gimmick to let the word spread without attracting any attention to it!” Naturally, the engineer thought that this would be a more noble and elegant way than to, heaven forbid, make any unnecessary noise about oneself. The publisher was more than happy to oblige. The book did not sell very well at all, but at least they were able to save in marketing costs.

The biggest problem for businesses in Finland is that we don’t know how to sell, isn’t it? We have more than enough of expertize and know-how, the products and services tend to be of premium quality, but we just can’t sell, right? No, it is just not so. The real problem is that we don’t want to. Being reticent is cool, whereas being fluent and extrovert is embarrassing. When one of the most well-known men in Finnish literature Akseli threatens to kill himself if his beloved Elina leaves him, it is deemed as the most noble sales pitch and romantic gesture ever by other Finnish men. In other cultures, it would be seen as pathetic as the manly Finnish alcohol (ab)use. As a nation, we appreciate the autistic-like expert more than his sales man counterpart. This way we get to turn the national vice into a virtue. Think about our front line politicians Paavo Lipponen[1] and Alexander Stubb[2]. Content aside, considering only the delivery style, which one would the Finnish country men find more convincing?

Of course this is something that is changing, and in the right direction. The younger generation travels more, and therefore becomes more and more social. Through increasing immigration, we see different ways of living and behaving. We learn and we change. We have to.

The culture of engineering know-how and education must be preserved. For business, both heroes are necessary: the eyes-firmly-on-toes expert just as much as the sales man who brings in the bacon from the market. The most important job of a Finnish director is to get these two to work together and separately, as best as they can, where both appreciate the other and feel appreciated. When you become a director, you need to be able to give up rooting for your own side only. The engineer should favor the sales people a bit more and vice versa. Just as crossing the party lines is what is expected from the President of Finland.

Many think that we’ve got it better now or at least somewhat better. That’s when we should think about Nokia. Did the downward spiral start because of an over appreciation of sales or the arrogant engineering culture? Nokia’s plight is the most recent and visible flashback to our cultural weakness, and this should certainly make us flinch. The worst of the engineerity will show its ugly face as soon as we think that we have learned our lesson.

[1] Paavo Lipponen is a former Prime Minister who is known to be a stout and reticent.

[2] Alexander Stubb, Foreign Minister, is extrovert, social and fluent

The writer Pekka Paloheimo is CEO of Eero Paloheimo Ecocity ltd.  He has long  career as a Sales Rep, Sales Director and  Sales Trainer.

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Sales disabled engineers – disconnecting businesses

mentallyWe are truly a nation of engineers here in Finland, we kinda had to be. We had to be inventive trying to turn bolder-filled forests into farmland and find a way to fish while the lakes were frozen. Later, we had to be creative when fighting against an overwhelming superpower to keep them behind our borders, and then come up with ways to pay them war reparations. With this kind of a nation and these natural resources, we needed to work hard and smart, there was no time for banjo-playing mumbo jumbo. Let’s call this characteristic that evolved from our history, engineerity.

Engineerity is a good servant in a person. At its best, it enhances the logical and creative side of thinking; it brings healthy trust in one’s own common sense and makes any situation solvable. The flipside is quite dangerous. It is reserved, stubborn, proud, and at the same time shy, arrogant, and condescending. At its worst, it is wretched and repulsive and ruins businesses. You have to consider, which dog you’re feeding.

There once was a Finnish engineer who wrote a book – spent years to get it finished. The book was very fine, and its merits were beyond any publisher’s knowledge to argue. Its writing style was also rather pleasing. However, due to it being about a special subject that required enlightened readership, it would most likely never become a bestseller. In a marketing meeting, the engineer presented his amazing master idea: “I’ve been thinking, what if we don’t market the book at all?!! Let the readers find the book by themselves and then recommend it to each other. It would be such a better marketing gimmick to let the word spread without attracting any attention to it!” Naturally, the engineer thought that this would be a more noble and elegant way than to, heaven forbid, make any unnecessary noise about oneself. The publisher was more than happy to oblige. The book did not sell very well at all, but at least they were able to save in marketing costs.

The biggest problem for businesses in Finland is that we don’t know how to sell, isn’t it? We have more than enough of expertize and know-how, the products and services tend to be of premium quality, but we just can’t sell, right? No, it is just not so. The real problem is that we don’t want to. Being reticent is cool, whereas being fluent and extrovert is embarrassing. When one of the most well-known men in Finnish literature Akseli threatens to kill himself if his beloved Elina leaves him, it is deemed as the most noble sales pitch and romantic gesture ever by other Finnish men. In other cultures, it would be seen as pathetic as the manly Finnish alcohol (ab)use. As a nation, we appreciate the autistic-like expert more than his sales man counterpart. This way we get to turn the national vice into a virtue. Think about our front line politicians Paavo Lipponen[1] and Alexander Stubb[2]. Content aside, considering only the delivery style, which one would the Finnish country men find more convincing?

Of course this is something that is changing, and in the right direction. The younger generation travels more, and therefore becomes more and more social. Through increasing immigration, we see different ways of living and behaving. We learn and we change. We have to.

The culture of engineering know-how and education must be preserved. For business, both heroes are necessary: the eyes-firmly-on-toes expert just as much as the sales man who brings in the bacon from the market. The most important job of a Finnish director is to get these two to work together and separately, as best as they can, where both appreciate the other and feel appreciated. When you become a director, you need to be able to give up rooting for your own side only. The engineer should favor the sales people a bit more and vice versa. Just as crossing the party lines is what is expected from the President of Finland.

Many think that we’ve got it better now or at least somewhat better. That’s when we should think about Nokia. Did the downward spiral start because of an over appreciation of sales or the arrogant engineering culture? Nokia’s plight is the most recent and visible flashback to our cultural weakness, and this should certainly make us flinch. The worst of the engineerity will show its ugly face as soon as we think that we have learned our lesson.

[1] Paavo Lipponen is a former Prime Minister who is known to be a stout and reticent.

[2] Alexander Stubb, Foreign Minister, is extrovert, social and fluent

The writer Pekka Paloheimo is CEO of Eero Paloheimo Ecocity ltd.  He has long  career as a Sales Rep, Sales Director and  Sales Trainer.

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mentallyWe are truly a nation of engineers here in Finland, we kinda had to be. We had to be inventive trying to turn bolder-filled forests into farmland and find a way to fish while the lakes were frozen. Later, we had to be creative when fighting against an overwhelming superpower to keep them behind our borders, and then come up with ways to pay them war reparations. With this kind of a nation and these natural resources, we needed to work hard and smart, there was no time for banjo-playing mumbo jumbo. Let’s call this characteristic that evolved from our history, engineerity.

Engineerity is a good servant in a person. At its best, it enhances the logical and creative side of thinking; it brings healthy trust in one’s own common sense and makes any situation solvable. The flipside is quite dangerous. It is reserved, stubborn, proud, and at the same time shy, arrogant, and condescending. At its worst, it is wretched and repulsive and ruins businesses. You have to consider, which dog you’re feeding.

There once was a Finnish engineer who wrote a book – spent years to get it finished. The book was very fine, and its merits were beyond any publisher’s knowledge to argue. Its writing style was also rather pleasing. However, due to it being about a special subject that required enlightened readership, it would most likely never become a bestseller. In a marketing meeting, the engineer presented his amazing master idea: “I’ve been thinking, what if we don’t market the book at all?!! Let the readers find the book by themselves and then recommend it to each other. It would be such a better marketing gimmick to let the word spread without attracting any attention to it!” Naturally, the engineer thought that this would be a more noble and elegant way than to, heaven forbid, make any unnecessary noise about oneself. The publisher was more than happy to oblige. The book did not sell very well at all, but at least they were able to save in marketing costs.

The biggest problem for businesses in Finland is that we don’t know how to sell, isn’t it? We have more than enough of expertize and know-how, the products and services tend to be of premium quality, but we just can’t sell, right? No, it is just not so. The real problem is that we don’t want to. Being reticent is cool, whereas being fluent and extrovert is embarrassing. When one of the most well-known men in Finnish literature Akseli threatens to kill himself if his beloved Elina leaves him, it is deemed as the most noble sales pitch and romantic gesture ever by other Finnish men. In other cultures, it would be seen as pathetic as the manly Finnish alcohol (ab)use. As a nation, we appreciate the autistic-like expert more than his sales man counterpart. This way we get to turn the national vice into a virtue. Think about our front line politicians Paavo Lipponen[1] and Alexander Stubb[2]. Content aside, considering only the delivery style, which one would the Finnish country men find more convincing?

Of course this is something that is changing, and in the right direction. The younger generation travels more, and therefore becomes more and more social. Through increasing immigration, we see different ways of living and behaving. We learn and we change. We have to.

The culture of engineering know-how and education must be preserved. For business, both heroes are necessary: the eyes-firmly-on-toes expert just as much as the sales man who brings in the bacon from the market. The most important job of a Finnish director is to get these two to work together and separately, as best as they can, where both appreciate the other and feel appreciated. When you become a director, you need to be able to give up rooting for your own side only. The engineer should favor the sales people a bit more and vice versa. Just as crossing the party lines is what is expected from the President of Finland.

Many think that we’ve got it better now or at least somewhat better. That’s when we should think about Nokia. Did the downward spiral start because of an over appreciation of sales or the arrogant engineering culture? Nokia’s plight is the most recent and visible flashback to our cultural weakness, and this should certainly make us flinch. The worst of the engineerity will show its ugly face as soon as we think that we have learned our lesson.

[1] Paavo Lipponen is a former Prime Minister who is known to be a stout and reticent.

[2] Alexander Stubb, Foreign Minister, is extrovert, social and fluent

The writer Pekka Paloheimo is CEO of Eero Paloheimo Ecocity ltd.  He has long  career as a Sales Rep, Sales Director and  Sales Trainer.

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