Introducing the Genelec Culture Map

null Introducing the Genelec Culture Map

Introducing the Genelec Culture Map

I’d like to start this piece by quoting the 1965 poem Into the forest stillness, by Finnish modernist poet Eeva-Liisa Manner, translated in 2009 by Emily Jeremiah:

I´m like a foolish elk
that sees its reflection in the water
and thinks it´s drowned.

Or what does it think?
Maybe it sees another elk there.

But it doesn´t make much difference.
I´ve got to become what I am
not what I think I am
or would like to be;
nor what you are (or the other one);

this becoming of mine is a slow undressing:
leaving the clothes of individuality
on the shore of commonality and swimming,

I´ve always got to swim across, always towards the other shore;
I once saw my anonymous shadow
climb up a precipice
and disappear into the forest stillness, never to return.

In this poem, Manner writes: “I´ve got to become what I am / not what I think I am / or would like to be; / nor what you are (or the other one); /”. She seems to be suggesting that there is some kind of core identity that we should find in order to grow and become what we really are, in our heart and soul. It is something that is not defined by someone else, or by trends or appearance. It is something that grows inside us, determined by something other than what is on the surface for all of us to see. This might also apply to companies.

Who we are: the Genelec Culture Map

At Genelec, we have explored our identity by creating a Culture Map. It is a collage of nine images, summarising who we are as a company: why we exist and what our promise is to different stakeholders. Being able to identify the basic building blocks of our identity and existence is essential to actually being able to navigate our way through this world. It also gives everyone in the company the possibility to reflect on whether Genelec is the place they wish to grow as professionals and human beings, and whether it is a company to which they are willing to give their time and effort, day after day.

2022 Genelec Brand Matrix 1200px

Knowing ourselves, reflecting on our thoughts and actions, finding out what the anchors are in our life and what values remain – no matter how the world is changing around us – is essential. It is not only during challenging times that you need to know who you are, and what principles you stand by. When things are going well – when you get positive feedback and you are being celebrated – it is easy to lose track of yourself. You might say “yes” when you should be saying “no” or “maybe, let me think about it”. It is only human to be blinded by praise, and therefore it is important to explore how we react in times of prosperity.

Swimming across to the other shore

It is often said that the world is in constant change. The world is also full of opportunities and possible new directions. It is important to react and evolve, working towards better practices and aligning yourself with reality. At the same time it is vitally important to recognise the parts of our life that won´t change, or where the change is extremely slow. What in our identity must we hold on to when external things change, or new opportunities arise? We need to have a constant dialogue to understand who we are and where we want to go. In this dialogue, our Culture Map is an excellent tool. It is a mirror reflecting different aspects of our company from our customers’ perspective, right through to our location and heritage. People might be standing on different parts of the map, but it is still the same entirety for us all.

S30 and 8361

Even though not all change is necessary, it is impossible not to be transformed over the years. In the poem above, Manner writes: “I´ve always got to swim across, always towards the other shore;” So while it is important to hold on to things that truly matter, it is as important to understand where, when and what kind of change is needed. For us, a scientific approach and our customers’ needs always lead the way. We wish to listen to and understand what our customers need, and what solutions are therefore required. It is our basic task. Our solutions involve all the experience and wisdom we have gathered over the last 45 years. When you compare our first product, the S30, to The Ones, you can appreciate what kind of journey it has been. We have swum across, to the other shore. What hasn´t changed is our basic philosophy, our values, our goals. They are the things that won´t change, but will maintain their form and shape throughout the years, ensuring that we always stay true to our mission.

About the Author

Maria Martikainen 450x450px

Maria Martikainen represents the second generation of Genelec, and she works as an enterprise culture developer in our HR team. Maria graduated from the University of Helsinki with a major in Finnish literature, and lives in Kuopio with her family. Outside of her work, she has a particular passion for the forest…..and loves mushrooms!

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