Unleashing the Power of Culture

At Teleste we have always strived for excellence and fostered innovation within our R&D, engineering, and manufacturing teams. Our sales teams have gained a reputation for their customer-centric approach and attentiveness to our customers’ challenges, and many of our teams have greatly succeeded in ensuring top-quality for our customer deliveries and interactions. Still, since I joined Teleste family almost three years ago, it felt that there was even more we could achieve.

Despite the good reputation, and many other achievements encompassed in our company, we came to recognize that a carefully led, unified and unique Teleste Culture has been lacking. This realisation explained some of the unwanted frictions and unnecessary silos in our organisation that we were determined to remove. We set ourselves the goal of fully revealing the potential we had in our teams across the organization.

To start the change, we wished to find out the strengths of Teleste’s culture and create a new, company-wide, culture vision to guide our operations and the way we interact. The basis for this work was our strong belief in culture as an asset capable of strengthening engagement and employee well-being of our international #TelesteTeam, accelerating idea-sharing and innovation, and driving for even better customer and employee experience.

Until today our primary focus has been on ensuring successes in our customer projects, designing industry leading product portfolios, and nurturing technical expertise. While these aspects remain fundamental to us, I feel that we today understand that a thriving culture would play an equally pivotal role in our journey towards success. This realisation has prompted us to prioritize our company culture and give it the attention it truly deserves.

Defining Goals, Roadmap, and a Common Vision

Building a strong company culture requires dedicated effort over time. In our case, we embarked on a seven-year culture transformation journey that is divided into clear phases.

Like any successful journey, we also want that ours has a clear purpose and a common vision. For the first year and a half, we focused on defining the desired culture vision together with our #TelesteTeam, which consists of more than 800 international professionals located across three continents. From the beginning, it was clear that we wanted to engage as many Telestians as possible across the company, and our culture vision was shaped through a collaborative effort involving dozens of discussions, surveys, and sessions where hundreds of us actively participated.

A strong culture can only be achieved by first understanding the current strengths and weaknesses.

Some critics might challenge the idea of spending over a year on defining a vision, deeming it too long. However, I firmly believe that this time was needed not only to commit our teams to this journey, but also to understand all that was already there. As culture had not been on our official agendas before, there was also some groundwork we needed to do to get started. Our first goal was to understand the company’s nearly 70 years of history and what has driven us forward during the past decades. We also wanted to figure out what our people are proud of and what they feel that is missing from our culture.

Additionally, our goal was to learn from all the companies that have joined our Teleste family over the years. And, of course, we wished to look ahead and determine the areas we needed to strengthen, add, or perhaps even remove. A strong culture can only be achieved by first understanding the current strengths and weaknesses and then very consciously reinforcing the good that exists and adding new elements – and doing this together with every Telestian.

In practice, we invited our teams to take part in two surveys to share their insights on both our strengths and areas for improvement. These surveys, open to all Telestians, were a great source of information for us, and very soon we were able to form a preliminary understanding of the areas we all wanted to focus on in our culture work.

We wanted our new culture to emphasize joy, innovation, and respect.

Step by step, we were able to delve deeper into our future culture vision. Throughout the process, we also engaged in numerous official and unofficial discussions. All comments and ideas were carefully documented, resulting in a comprehensive mind-map that illuminates the areas our culture should prioritize. With this clarity, it was time to start the fine-tuning phase. We rewrote and summarized and sought constant feedback and new ideas from our colleagues.

In spring 2023, our culture vision was finally released, marking the completion of Phase 1 of our journey. The new vision has four cornerstones: our will to strive for excellence, our love for experimentation, innovation, and learning, the willingness to celebrate successes, and the understanding that we are at our strongest together. We wanted our new culture to emphasize joy, innovation, and respect.

Teleste Culture Vision 2023

Towards a common culture

In addition to the culture vision, the initial phase of our work produced other important outcomes. We received numerous recommendations for actions that our company could take to bring the new vision to life and documented all of them carefully. With this list of ideas now in hand, we have paused to plan the second phase of our journey. Moving forward, we will continue by encouraging everyone to celebrate our successes and focus on fostering actions that support innovation and idea sharing. We will prioritize internal communications and provide our leaders with an extensive training program on how to effectively build our culture forward.

Moreover, we recognize that while we build our culture under one umbrella, it is essential to acknowledge that each team, department, and unit has its own unique dynamics. It is important that every team finds their own unique ways and styles to incorporate the cornerstones of the vision, ensuring that our culture resonates with their specific context while staying aligned under the umbrella of our vision. This way, I believe, we can unlock a wide range of benefits for all of us.

Vilma Westerlund

Vilma Westerlund

I’m currently leading our corporate marketing and communications team, and my passion lies in fostering a culture of idea-sharing and collaboration. Together with our dedicated team, we strive every day to ignite the work we do at Teleste and pave the way for a smart, safe, and smooth future.

Please visit my LinkedIn profile and connect with me there.

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Vilma Westerlund, Teleste

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