I have been the CEO of a company called Selki Fabrik for over a year now. I still consider this position to be my day job although I’ve never gotten paid for doing it.
The contrast between this project and my day job is enormous. In my project, things seem to proceed like magic and in my day job I have a list of miscellaneous tasks that feel unapproachable. Ihmeparantaja Iiro saw my concern for this and offered to help.
Our biggest concern in the company has been getting the products sold. Iiro suggested that he could go and sell everything we had in stock. This sounded like a good idea, so we went along. However, the stuff needed to be finished. While finishing the products, we ended up discussing the true meaning of our actions. Why does the company do what it does?
Within minutes Ihmeparantaja Iiro had identified the strategic flaws we weren’t brave enough to say out loud ourselves.
Although Iiro does not use the professional terminology, he was able to point out that:
- We are lacking strategic vision
- We are fiddling with details that are not important to our business
- We are too emotional about sunk costs
- We are product-oriented not people-oriented
Selling the few products to make some money is definitely not the strategy we should pursue even though someone would do it for us for free. So we decided not to. What we did decide is that we will have an answer to all the painful questions by the end of the week.
Suddenly I’m confident that Selki Fabrik has a bright future in front of it.
It seems that Iiro is going to be a key player in pretty much everything that is going on.
The funny thing is that basically anyone can be the key player in pretty much everything if they just stop dreaming and start acting.
But you had been acting in Selki already! So what was wrong then? I would say the key question, that you yourself pointed out, was “why does the company do what it does”. That’s where you define your and the company’s value base. When you get a hold of the inner motivation and strategic vision, then it is pretty straight forward action. Glad to hear that things are working for you guys!
Thank you Heli for this comment!
It’s truly so that when people have an understandable common goal acting towards comes naturally. We’ve been acting in many directions without knowing why. It was about time someone asked that question.
I took a look at the Selki Fabrik website and I think Iiro might be worth his weight in gold. Atleast if the website is any indication of the company itself.
The biggest problems I noticed:
The website was more like a site about a sightseeing or a personal homepage – not a website of a company that wants to sell stuff.
Why “Selki people” are the people running the company? Why “Selki people” aren’t the customers that have bought the products?
Too much talk about “we” instead of “you”. Instead of “we create”, it should say “you get”.
Obviously, the company is much about the values Hanna has, not about the values the customer has.
And, something that poked me in the eye “It is important for us that the products are produced in Europe” is just a fancy way of saying “we use the cheap labour of the former eastern block”.
Thank you Bisnes, fantastic observations!
Yesterday we also discussed about the fourth item that I added to the post. The business should be about “we” and our wellbeing internally and “you” and your needs as a customer externally. When there is a common ground for these, miracles are made.
And nice that you pointed out the eastern block thing. Great example of our product-orientation.
You’re welcome. You actually gave me an idea for my next blog post, so I need to thank you as well.
Instead of product orientated, I see you being value orientated. A “fair trade” company. It’s common with young artists that start their first business.
Let me guess: the reason for the companys existence is Hannas emotional attachment to what she sees as romantic about the original Selki Fabrik.
If that’s the case, you basically have a souvenier shop, that has nothing to do with the attracment.
By the way, check out “Ollin puupaja”, if that’s something that you could find useful.
You likely wanted to point out you’re ethical with your production, but the public perception doesn’t equal what you wanted to say, especially when the front page was talking about Scandinavia.