Interview of the month syyskuuta 29, 2016

Success factors in managing a Nordic team

Managing a Nordic team means traveling a lot between countries, building and earning trust, listening and embracing diversity.

Stephan Seliger, Enfo’s VP, Managed Services offering, is constantly on the go wherever his team needs him the most. Stephan’s weeks consist of him working in different Enfo office locations: Espoo, Karlskrona and Stockholm. Stephan manages a Nordic team of 10 people, with half the team in Sweden and the other half in Finland. The team works closely together on a daily basis.

“I feel that being close to my team is very important. I travel a lot between the two countries because I want to be involved and be part of the team. Face-to-face communication is crucial when building up team spirit and trust among each other as well as coming up with new solutions to problems,” Seliger explains.

Stephan and his team are responsible for Enfo’s Managed Services offering on a Nordic level – they need to find the best possible offering for the market and the companies operating in it. The Offering team must be able to meet these demands, so it is divided into four areas: Pre-Sales/Solution-Design, Offering Development, Marketing and Strategic Partner Management. We determine what clients and potential clients need and produce the right offerings meeting the market demands. This is quite challenging in an ever-changing market where speed becomes more and more crucial both for our clients and for ourselves.

Diversity creates innovation

“Dare to eliminate the bad things and dare to promote the good things” is Stephan’s motto. Team members need to trust each other in order to be able to perform well and collaborate seamlessly together, without gaps. Brainstorming without any filters is a method that is commonly used in Stephan’s team; when you disagree something you’re obliged to put it on the table for discussion.

“Everyone’s opinion matters because people look at things from different perspectives. Diversity within a team is an asset because it creates innovation. If everyone comes from the same societal background and with the same education, for example, the level of innovation capacity is much lower compared to a team with members coming from different parts of the world with versatile backgrounds,” Stephan emphasizes.


Key factors for optimal team performance

  • Have an open mind. Be humble. Take in as much information as you can.
  • Listening is key. So listen, listen and listen even more to what your team has to say.
  • Don’t make any assumptions. Communicate a lot in order to understand and embrace cultural differences so they become assets instead of hindrances.
  • Achievements and excellence in team work are far more important than job titles and obeying the corporate hierarchy. It’s important that everyone feels that they can call or talk to everyone, and not be intimidated by a person’s position or title.
  • Team members must meet on a regular basis face-to-face on-site. This way the team becomes stronger and gets to know each other. Spending time outside office hours is also beneficial for the team.
  • Communications have an important role: use multiple channels such as Yammer, chats, etc. and face-to-face communication and conversations.

Stephan Seliger

Age: 40
Title: VP, Offering, Managed Services, Enfo
Lives in: Rävlanda, outside Gothenburg
Family: Manuela Seliger, wife
Surprising talent: Certified KCBS BBQ Judge
Hobbies during spare time: BBQ, motorcycle riding