WRITTEN BY KAISA TIKKA-MUSTONEN
Kaisa Tikka-Mustonen is an experienced Growth Culture leader within the Technology Industry. Her experience covers various companies and industries, from scale-up Public Cloud consulting to high growth digital payments and global technology consulting. Kaisa’s passion is People First cultures in the growth environment. She holds Masters of Arts, Education. Kaisa has a family of two kids and a husband and keeps her childhood favourite hobby, dancing, still very much alive today.
Q1. Tell us about you, your role at Helvar, and how it is like to work at Helvar from your experience?
I joined Helvar 2,5 years ago to lead People practices globally. My main focus is not only to ensure that Helvarians can excel in what they do today, but that as an organisation, we must build our capabilities, develop our ways of working and create a culture that will deliver for the future too. For me Helvar has the elements of both an easy-going & trusted workplace with a very ambitious strategic agenda. I truly enjoy working in such an environment. I personally experience lots of freedom to impact. The impact can be visible on both a small and large scale at Helvar.
Q2. You’ve been involved with senior leadership for many years now, how does your position impact the work you do at Helvar?
For me one big difference when working in senior leadership is the disciplined focus towards the future. Yes, we need to also help to remove the bottlenecks or worries of today and celebrate the successes right now, but the main focus needs to be in the future direction. It’s a true challenge to keep the balance right with “today and tomorrow”.
Q3. What does a good leader look like to you? And what is the most important quality of a leader?
This is no news, but since we all live in an increasingly complex world, I personally value clarity. Another important element for successful leader is to acknowledge the people as a whole – empathy for me is crucial in building safe conditions for others to shine. Being visionary is definitely the third one. This links to the future-orientation and is more a mental mind-set than a set date or a strategy clock. Finally I need to say humour. This might sound corny, but unless you can laugh to yourself and with others, it will be difficult to reach the stars. Magic happens if you combine all the mentioned qualities 😉.
Q4. What is the biggest lesson you have learnt through your career to date? And what keeps you motivated?
Be authentic, open-minded and curious. Most of the things can be learned, not many things can be predicted, and your mindset either can block or accelerate your experience.
Being quite a passionate person, I get inspired by the drive of doing something meaningful. And if very lucky, sometimes even purposeful for the bigger whole. I am very fortunate to have spent most of my career surrounded by complex mental challenges and great colleagues to work together on those challenges. This has kept me going – and is keeping me going currently.
Q5. What is your best advice for young women looking to develop a career in leadership / the Industry / professionally?
Working my whole career in male dominated industries, I have succeeded by being my authentic self. This is the best advice I can give. I have not altered my behaviours, nor done any compromises about prioritising also other elements of life, like building a family. Trust your own vision, and naturally good mentors and colleagues can help you throughout the journey. This could be one practical advice: find yourself a good mentor or a network to spar with.
Q6. How does your position help Helvar achieve its wider goals, and what does the future hold for Helvar?
First of all, Helvar has “People First” agenda, and I have an amazing team and amazing colleagues across Helvar. This is a job for the whole team 😊. It is not my position as such, but I’d say the strategic alignment that helps to deliver the company-wide goals.
The future is sustainable, intelligent and connected, providing the optimal conditions for all users in different spaces. I am proud of working in a company which actually improves the human experience, believes in insights and can help with the global level challenges such as energy consumption.
For all the females out there looking for a career in Intelligent Lighting: Trust your own vision. Be authentic. Let’s get connected!