In the interview below, you can read more about what Axel Johnson International CEO Martin Malmvik thinks about leadership and leadership training.
Why is leadership so important for your company?
We are an industry group with more than 110 subsidiaries operating within 5 different business areas, which are currently spread throughout 27 countries. With such a diversified group, decentralized leadership is necessary – meaning that each regional company and CEO has responsibility for their business regionally. We acquire companies in order to develop them over generations. So we want to give each company the best conditions for continued success in the long term. For us, this means managers who are courageous and who take responsibility for their business and its future. This makes it really important that we give them the right tools to develop as a leader and manager. Core values play a central role in our organization and are tightly connected to how we view leadership. These values provide a framework for each manager to work within and to lean on in challenging situations. This is why leadership is totally front and center for us at Axel Johnson International.
Why is it that you are happy with Mindset as a partner when it comes to leadership training?
Mindset has a real understanding of what it is that we want from the training. They also simplify and clarify, which quickly leads to results in our day to day operations. Leadership training is highly adapted to our core values and needs. Pre-work and implementation exercises before each training day leaves a lot of room for discussion and for a sharing of experiences during the training days. It’s extremely valuable for us to work, together with Mindset’s consultants, with defining core values and discuss these with those in similar roles. For example, as a manager, how do we use situational leadership in different cultures?
What results have you gotten from the leadership training?
Because we’ve been consistent in our work with leadership, over time, we’ve created positive results. For example, it’s mandatory for all CEO’s of newly acquired companies to take part in the leadership program within two years. This gives them an understanding of our core values, and they receive the tools they need to succeed as a manager within the Axel Johnson International group. The training is designed after we, together with Mindset, have defined the success factors in daily work. Since all our managers take the same training, we create a unified view and language around leadership. The effort that we make, of which the leadership training is a part, also leads to employees who are more satisfied. When there’s clarity and when employees know what they are doing, then there’s an element of trust. Because of this, we see that managers and employees within the organization are taking responsibility and dare to make the necessary decisions. This creates results.