Digital leadership at Kiertokapula with Fingertip

Kiertokapula Oy is a waste management company for thirteen municipalities in Southern Finland. The company is known as a competent and responsible waste management operator, and its diverse services are produced in an environmentally friendly and economical way. 

Due to these economic objectives, there is always pressure on a municipal operator to improve its operations. 

“One area where we can improve is our core business, but we also wanted to improve the efficiency of our knowledge work processes and leadership. For example, large investments and their successful implementation play a crucial role in delivering shareholder value,” says CEO Mikko Koivulehto.

The industry, which consists of dozens of local players, traditionally develops through peer monitoring. However, this is not always the most effective way to innovate. That is why sometimes it is useful to accelerate change through practices outside of the industry. 

“Our aim is to change the whole leadership model, from board work to managing and monitoring individual tasks in the units’ action plans.  This requires transparency and systematisation across the board.” Mikko continues.

 Beyond communication – to leadership

The inspiration for a complete digital transformation of the management model came from the discovery of the Fingertip system. It is a solution that transforms the Microsoft Teams communication platform, which was introduced at Kiertokapula with the introduction of COVID, into a leadership tool. 

Tero Helin advicing the Kiertokapula team, Photo: Kiertokapula

“The implementation was natural because it also helped to clarify the role of Microsoft Teams among other communication and document management systems,” says Tero Helin, Development Director. 

Fingertip’s philosophy is to support the leadership of collaborative units such as management teams and development projects from within Microsoft Teams. While Teams channels create a communication platform for collaboration, Fingertip enriches it with leadership functionality. The basic functions enable efficient meeting practices, collaborative decision-making, project and task tracking and objective management. 

In the big picture, the various collaborative activities create a network of corporate entities and projects in which knowledge work is done. Fingertip makes leading the entire system efficient and transparent. 

Off to a flying start 

The executive team was the logical place to kick off the overall transformation. Its role is central to the flow of information and leadership between departments. The initial objectives were to improve the management of meeting agendas, meeting execution and note keeping, and to clarify decision making and task management.

Based on the Fingertip deployment methodology, the operational guidelines were updated and put into practice within a month. The training took place as part of the daily work. ”One short walk-through was sufficient to learn the concept of the system. The implementation had little impact on the work of the individual executive team members, so I was able to independently support the change,” says Tero. 

While from an individual point of view, the way things are done remains the same, the management team at Kiertokapula is undergoing major ideological changes.  

Meetings every two weeks to catch up have become a two-week operating cycle, with meetings marking the change between cycles. The dynamically coordinated meeting agenda is largely handled electronically before the meeting. Rather than using a lot of time reporting, the management team meeting at the end of the cycle now focuses on the overall situation and on issues that have not yet been resolved. At the same time, the assistant who used to support the process was freed up to do more useful tasks.

Tero Helin, Photo: Kiertokapula

“The system makes the role of the management team transparent: instead of holding meetings, the management team’s primary role is to make decisions and support collaboration between units. Doing this continuously and efficiently saves time for the ‘real discussions’ in meetings,” says Tero, summing up the change in their operating model. 

The positive experience with the executive team created a strong foundation for extending the system directly to board reporting and to the implementation of development projects. 

Read more on Kiertokapula.

More information on Fingertip’s leadership team solution.

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