This spring Marimekko took part in an international leadership-focused training program for students called CEO x 1 Day. The program is aimed at searching future leaders and giving them an opportunity to get to know the everyday life of leaders on a very concrete level. The talented students selected through a challenging recruitment process were given an opportunity to spend a day with one CEO from selected Finnish companies. In April, Marimekko’s CEO Tiina Alahuhta-Kasko spent a day with a management student Linda Helistö from the University of Tampere.
During her day at Marimekko Linda got to see and experience various aspects of CEO’s days by participating in a Management Group meeting, planning personnel development with HR and planning the most important events of the year from a corporate image perspective with marketing. In addition, the day included getting to know the work of corporate communications and the operation of Marimekko’s textile printing factory located beside Marimekko’s head quarters. Tiina and Linda also spent time together by discussing about frameworks for change management, leadership and how to involve people.
”The best thing was to see how the Management Group turned strategy and vision into concrete things. During the day it also hit me how social everything is in the end. CEO is like a conductor or translator. I was particularly impressed by the fact that Marimekko’s operations truly are based on the things that are publicly stated. Corporate image is true! The day was an amazing experience and it gave me many interesting ideas for my future”, Linda sums it up.
The day was rewarding for Marimekko and it brought up some new ideas also at the company’s end.
”It’s always inspiring to hear out future talents and their new ideas and perspectives, as well as also open-mindedly invite them to challenge our own ways of thinking. It’s important that new talents and new kind of thinking is given enough space and their development is being supported. I myself started as a summer trainee at Marimekko over ten years ago and I have always felt that this company has the courage to think boldly and help individuals develop. Linda’s ideas brought new fresh perspectives to the way we do things”, says Tiina.
The annual CEO x 1 Day program is organized by an executive search company Odgers Berndtson. The program was organized for the second time in Finland.