Why did you decide to leave Falcon.io?
The CEO, Andreas Rasmussen, contacted me and told about Nodes’ vision and what “Engineering Awesome” is all about. It caught my attention immediately. Andreas’ personality and the ambitions he has on behalf of the company played a key role when I decided to accept his offer. From my perspective, Nodes has a massive potential. The company’s DNA is based on talented employees and an empowerment culture and I’ve always believed that the people behind a successful company is the real success. A strategic focus on the people and culture within a company is the key to its continuous success.
Have you heard of Nodes before?
Yes, I’ve followed the company for a number of years. I graduated the same year and from the same business school as Andreas Rasmussen and Daniel Bæk, so I’ve known the company since the very beginning. This little, savvy tech start-up grew steadily over time and has now evolved into being a true darling in Denmark’s tech- and start-up environment. And it’s only gotten more exciting in the last couple of years because of the international atmosphere, Nodes is now a part of. When Monstar Lab acquired Nodes, the company became part of a global setup that spans from Asia all the way across Europe and into North America.
What characterises the stage Nodes is currently in?
When an organisation gets close to the magic 150 employees, the complexity within the organisation increases tremendously. This is where People & Culture becomes an important part of the business development strategy. Nodes has now reached a size where the payoff of professionalizing the People and Culture area is massive. That’s why it’s the perfect timing to bring me in and let me dedicate time to focus on the transition. At Falcon.io, I had a similar role, and I’m very excited to take the reins and be part of this fantastic journey at one of the most interesting tech companies in Denmark.
Your formal title is “VP of People & Culture” – what does that mean to you?
Human Resources needs to be rebranded. For me, the traditional HR terminology is from a time when the department was seen as a cost, ultimately. Today, People & Culture is a strategic and business critical function and it is expected to contribute to the overall growth of the company. For me, it’s important that my title reflects my actual job function. I’ve never liked the term HR or Human Resources because it’s too simple to characterize employees as a resource. The employees’ ability to learn and the ability to change themselves and their workplace is the only competitive edge companies have today. In a consultancy like Nodes, we feed off of our employees’ knowledge, skills and time. The employees are the company.
Culture is just as important as the people. Culture shouldn’t be something we quietly accept. At Nodes, we want to empower every single employee and, therefore, we are not focused on rules. Instead, we’re focused on creating a culture that fosters action-driven employees and supports the overall business strategy. And with that said, it automatically becomes a managerial task. My role is to support the management in creating the right framework for the culture and people to thrive.
What are your primary tasks?
My responsibility is to help develop the People and Culture area alongside the top management. I’m a strategic sparring partner for managers at all levels and I act as a mouthpiece for Nodes’ employees. My ambitions are sky high and we need to take a leading position if we are to attract, retain and develop the most skilled employees in the future.
What are the top 3 trends within company culture / management?
Company culture is increasingly considered to be an important strategic tool for a number of reasons. Culture can create a unique competitive edge, which is nearly impossible to copy. For millennials and the Generation Z, which are slowly becoming part of every industry, a purpose is one of the most important parameters when measuring career satisfaction and performance. The new generations want to be able to identify themselves with their company’s core purpose. If the employee can’t proudly identify that purpose and retell it to the rest of the world, the company has lost. Simple as that.
The empowerment-culture has become a competitive factor when it comes to attracting and retaining future talent. It isn’t about laissez-faire management where employees can do as they please. Employees are to be equipped with the correct knowledge, tools and processes so they can act independently. For that to happen, trust has to be established between management and employees.
Sincere, honest and authentic leaders are the building blocks for creating a trustworthy relationship with any employees. Authentic management isn’t a new type of management and it isn’t always a clear and conscious choice made by the organization – in some cases, it’s even up for discussion on how appropriate it is as a style of management. However, younger generations are increasingly expecting a management which is appear “real”.
Devoteam Management Consulting,
VP of People & Culture,
MSc in Business Administration and Organisational Communication
VP of People & Culture