Both small family businesses and large corporations live in tandem with megatrends. Waves of change from the world also reach Finland, and can sometimes change everything for a company or a whole sector. The internal culture of a company is rarely immune to the effects of these megatrends. How do cultures survive and adapt in a changing world?
The project, which was carried out in cooperation with Elo Mutual Pension Insurance Company, focused on companies and crises in their internal cultures. We started without any precise or specified hypotheses concerning our finds. Instead, the identified stages or growth and human pain points through the findings of the study – converging phases and bottlenecks that recur in companies in different sectors and with different profiles. The research was segmented in a new way: company founders and key people who had witnessed the growth of the company over a long period and up-close were selected for in-depth interviews. During the project, we identified crises in company cultures at different stages of the business activities and the details and formulas of the processes were mapped.
An in-depth study of customer segments helped compile examples and concretisations. The preservation of academic integrity enabled the use of a new kind of lens and the humanisation of the research created a face to support figures and data. The new information was structured in a clear and useful way, to support speculations and assumptions. Ultimately, the in-depth ethnographic research became a basis and a guide for the achievement of Elo’s goals.