Consensus, involvement, respect, democratic leadership- these are some of the ideas that were elaborated on at the Business Lunch at Mykolo4 about Swedish Leadership Culture and Management Practices, on Wednesday, 11th of April 2018.

Three speakers representing IKEA Lietuva, Swedbank Lithuania, and ManpowerGroup provided interesting and inspiring insights, based on their personal experiences on implementation of aspects of Swedish culture in their working context.

The event was kicked off by Kristina Mažeikytė, Marketing Manager of IKEA Baltic. She gave an overview of three different Swedish companies she worked with in her career, each with their own unique value systems. Kristina concluded the presentation with giving a glimpse to IKEA’s remarkable corporate culture. What surprised her the most, was that IKEA’s corporate values are deeply integrated and acted upon in daily life. Even the CEO sits at the same table as the staff during a Swedish Fika, wearing IKEA uniform as front-line staff. The working atmosphere is driven by togetherness and working for the same goal. Her final advice was, in line with IKEA’s founder Ingvar Kamprad: “Dare to make mistakes, as you learn most from it!”

Dovilė Grigienė, CEO of Swedbank Lithuania gave an overview of Swedbank’s values and how they are realized in Lithuania. As the first organization in Lithuania that abolished the gender pay gap, Swedbank is quite progressive and change-oriented. A crucial success-factor is to make the employees feel confident about the change ahead, and to engage them in joint decision-taking. Regarding the leadership culture, one of the most important aspects is building social networks, instead of hierarchical structures. To understand that the leader is not always the expert of everything. Her conclusion: leadership must be authentic; leaders should be confident with who they are and act this way.

After a very delicious three-course lunch, inspired by Vilnius bourgeois cuisine, the last speaker, who came all the way from Sweden, presented a narrow, psychology-based approach of Swedish corporate relations. Magnus Gustafson, Senior consultant and behavioral scientist at ManpowerGroup Sweden, gave a profound insight into what factors shape human behavior: getting along, getting ahead and finding purpose. People have the need to be accepted and to be part of the group, they want to get ahead in life, attach meaning to their professional career and know where they are heading. These factors are well integrated into the Swedish Business Culture. Magnus also highlighted some typical characteristics well-known as Swedish management culture: team-orientation, low hierarchy, delegation of work and avoidance of confrontation.

Combined different viewpoints of all three speakers provided deeper motives behind Swedish business culture and identity. The SCCL appreciated this opportunity to bring Swedish Culture closer to the audience and creating a context in which real-life experiences could be shared. Thanks to everyone who contributed, the outcome was pleasing!

Find pictures of the event here!