By Riikka Jakovuori, Country Manager at Epicenter Helsinki.
Today, we are sitting at the beginning of the end of the old way of working. Now, more than ever, we are not just innovating because we want to. We are innovating because we must. Now we need to take into use all great technologies there is to speed up and disrupt the way used to do business and to adjust to new normal. Luckily, the Epicenter community is an innovation opportunity. We are surrounded by people, companies with top notch technologies that offer the two-way door to exchange advice, support, and mutually beneficial business that can help all of us grow even during a difficult time. So now is the time for each of us to step up, lead, and grow together. We are done with the talk on digital transformation and taking use of technology, now it’s time for action.
When I started at Epicenter as the country manager, I did it because I wanted to make a difference, build a better future with great minds and help companies grow and innovate with impact. I have always had the feeling that I am meant to do something bigger, more meaningful, and something that didn’t exist yet. I’ve had a constant need to improve my skills, learn from mistakes, and take continuous action on new ideas. I love to inspire and be inspired. I am a big believer in teamwork, community and its power to create life-changing innovations that impact lives around the world for the better. I believe being decisive and that by taking ownership and responsibility, any challenge can be overcome. Together, we can overcome corona as well.
I have been privileged to work for companies of different sizes and positions. All of the positions have empowered me to work on the things that I have been passionate about and learn something new every day.
Back when I was at Accenture, we worked with some of the biggest companies trying to turn “large ships” to innovate and change the way they operate. It was indeed great learning, interesting and fun at times. It was also painful to try to get companies to come out of their tall towers and quickly make an impact. If only we had had the right trusted partners with that entrepreneurial mindset to cooperate and build with.
As an entrepreneur, I remember the days when we had to scrape to get the money and credibility for our great ideas. We could move fast but it took time to find those who would move with us in fast enough phase. All did not go as planned, but the journey and the lessons learned made me who I am today, ready to take the next challenge.
Most of us now are working remotely from home while building our business during a global crisis. We still have the same aspirations and visions as a week ago but the landscape has changed overnight and we are living a new unknown reality. Now, the growth mindset and innovation have a completely different meaning than some weeks back but are needed now faster and more than ever.
We know that you, the Epicenter community, have joined this unique group to better situate your companies for the challenges that come from unexpected disruption. Whether you are a growing startup, scaling company or a corporate powerhouse, the whole idea from the start was to share our strengths with the community so that a new society and economy can be built on the strength of sharing and cooperation for mutual success.
The Epicenter team and I have started to reach out to discuss how we can network and share our efforts across the community to not just survive but to grow during what may be a difficult time. Let’s not lie to ourselves. It might get ugly, but because we are not alone in this group, we have the chance to turn these challenges into the biggest opportunities of our lives.
What I am asking from each of you is to ask, “How can I help?” How can our network work together to build on the challenges we face?
I have taken some inspiration from Patrick Mesterton, our CEO. He said,
“We believe that in a society that is changing quickly, education and knowledge become more and more important. So, if companies can share ideas to collaborate and learn from each other quicker, we can also fuel the job markets with more opportunities and new growth. And that’s why we created Epicenter.”
As your colleague and friend, I am looking to find innovative ways for us to bring value to each other. That might be big companies coaching scale-ups and startups based on their experience. It might be scale-ups and startups offering the agility large companies need or a new way of thinking. It may be working together to provide solutions for the crisis itself or considering new business alliances that have been created by the current state of the world. In any case, the Epicenter team and I are looking to facilitate these interactions.
Over the next days and weeks, I want to supercharge our current collaborations by facilitating more conversations between Epicenter members. I encourage you to set up a video chat, make a phone call, send an email or message to an Epicenter member outside your own company that you can help.
If you need an introduction, the Epicenter team and I are more than happy to make these introductions, spar with you on your ideas and help you find the right connections. I am going to continue reaching out personally and calling members to find matches that spark our thinking and innovation through life-changing corona times for a better and brighter future.
We’ve updated our community calendar with a bunch of new exciting virtual events and webinars for the upcoming weeks. Sessions on digital competence and how to fight racism at work are just a few of the events that we have in store for you. Stay on the learning curve and tune in, check out all the upcoming events below. Check it out here!