Successful decisions with far reaching consequences must often be made at the drop of the hat. For Olli Laintila, almost seven years ago he was presented with a brief window through which he could change his career path and become a teacher.
“I was a sort of a crossroads of my career at that time,” he recalls. “I had been working for a long time in international business. I had 24 hours to decide whether I would take up teaching or go back.”
Some seven years later and he is still satisfied with the decision that he made. Aside from teaching a number of classes such as Business Processes, Entrepreneurship and Strategy in Practice for other degree programmes at Haaga-Helia, Laintila lecturers in Strategic Human Resource Management for the eMBA programme.
“I bring a wide experience from different industries, different companies and different accountabilities,” he explains, when asked what he has to offer students. “I have been in specialist roles and in development projects leading teams with different cultural backgrounds and different skills.”
With such a wide overview of the various roles in business, Laintila has also observed the growing importance of service provision in recent years.
“If we look at the big picture in Finland and all over the Western world, we are experiencing a huge transformation. Big companies have also realized that they should change their businesses to be more service-orientated. What is interesting, the high quality of the Finnish service culture has been greatly developed from industrial companies.”
However, Laintila sees service excellence as transcending the standard model of customer interaction and encompassing the different players involved in the running of business. “Service excellence is so much about people, it’s something human. It’s not just about customers, it’s also about serving excellence towards all your stakeholders, such as suppliers, employees, authorities etc.”
Text by James O'Sullivan