Leadership profiles: Kimmo Virtanen

In the Leadership profile series, we aim to highlight our leaders who are living by our values and leading by example by promoting the culture for growth and innovation.  

Our next participant is Kimmo Virtanen, Regional Manager of Technical Documentation based in Turku, Finland. 

Leadership Kimmo Virtanen_Leadership profile

How would you describe yourself as a leader? 

I think you would get the best response from my team, but I would like to consider myself as open, approachable, and I like to be around people. Hopefully I am also a fair leader of people.

How does Etteplan support leadership and growth?

Etteplan supports leadership and growth by creating a good environment, being able to discuss with other leaders sharing successes and concerns. The business is complex because of so many service areas in many business fields, this also means that there are countless options to choose from and grow into.  

Our various service areas also help you grow because you can develop so many areas of knowledge, because of this, roles tend to expand. Looking back at my career I started out writing manuals, grew into my role as a team leader, after a while I earned my position as Department Manager, Area Manager and now Regional Director. Starting off from the basics in my career also helps me be able to explain any part of the process to customers, because I know the actual work that goes into it.



How would you describe the culture at Etteplan?

Part of the culture is innovating solutions, because we have so many specializations we bring something new and unique to the table by combining our many areas of knowledge and expertise.

What I think is very important, is that we offer a service to our customers – we are service oriented, we try to find solutions to support our customers in their business. We are constantly considering the end user, so the customers of our customers in our development processes so that they don’t have to. Being flexible is part of the solutions that provide value, along with strong customer relationships with companies we have been working with both short and long term.

In what ways do you feel you have an impact on the company culture?

I’m one part in the big machine, I would like to see myself as someone that is having these conversations with customers. Not only making promises, but keeping my word and delivering.

I want to be an expert on my customers businesses, always thinking ahead to the next move and constantly improving.



Our values are Customer oriented, attractive, and proactive. What do they mean to you? and How are the values seen in practice?

They are all important and they are all related to each other. If we want to be the best we need to have the best people, we need to be attractive as an employer. We must also be attractive to the customer, know them, and make sure they know us. Proactive in having discussions, getting leads, and nurturing the relationships that we have built. Normally we went to our customers, we saw them every day, this was the challenge with COVID – but we have been working hard to find other ways to keep our relationships strong.


Wildcard: If you could offer one piece of advice about anything, what would it be?

If you get a customer to talk, listen. By listening you can understand the customers experience, and how to change. Listening ears are better than a talking mouth. If we get a customer talking, this is where you will get the most valuable information. We know how to talk about ourselves and what we do, but we learn the most from listening to others. People have good things to say. 

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