urgency regarding profitability. This was particularly obvious to the exter- nally recruited group of executive managers. They asserted that people within SDN still lived in the protected world of a state-owned company, one that, if necessary, would be financed by the Swedish state. In order to shake up the culture and impose a sense of urgency and change, a set of corporate values was derived and implemented. With the new corpo- rate values – Dare, Care, and Simplify – in place, a set of activities involving all key managers and talents in the company (top 200 managers) was launched. The purpose was to define leadership expectations and to educate and implement responsible and sustainable leadership. The program was called ‘Leadership Boost’. The initiative was launched as a three-module change program, with each module addressing one of the three stated corpo- rate values. A reward system was also put in place that aimed to encourage and reward a more entrepreneurial approach, in hopes of achieving innova - tive growth and stronger financial result. Common key performance indica- tors were developed and rolled out across the group. This program was referred to as ‘You First’. The idea was to put the individual at the core and emphasize not only the content of operations (what was done) but also how business was achieved. The new CEO repeatedly referred to the new corporate values and ‘You First’ as the main pillar in the engagement dialogue with SDN employees. The change program was an invitation to co-workers to participate and make a difference, but it was also a quest to achieve more broad-based commitment to stay true to the new strategic vision and the corporate values. In the Eurasia business, where more than 60 per cent of the managers were replaced, the new CEO formed a team of top managers from each country. The region management in Eurasia expressed pride in working for SDN and cherished the emerging culture and the new corporate values. The dual objec- tives of fighting corruption and implementing sustainable business models were perceived as both challenging and rewarding. Frequent visits combined with hard work on anti-corruption policies and practices, corporate values and leadership seemingly paid off. During a taxi ride from the airport, a local Sustainable development and business inlaga.indb 217 2017-01-16 11:18
218 INGALILL HOLMBERG AND PERNILLA PETRELIUS KARLBERG taxi driver turned to the new CEO and expressed a sentiment seemingly shared by the local SDN people – ‘Thank you for bringing democracy to my country’. TAKING STOCK OF THE FIRST 24 MONTHS During the first six months, the Chair of the Board and the new CEO worked closely with daily contact. In operating the business, the rough task-order was linked to the two main strategic issues, cleaning up corrupt behaviour in Eurasia and repositioning SDN as a new generation telco. While the Chair focused on current investigations and compliance issues, the CEO concentrat- ed on building a new team and creating the foundation for a new leadership practice. In the Chair´s words, ‘I handled the external relations relating to the
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