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International management team in building change

The organisational change in Cargotec’s Port Cranes product division was kicked off after the new international management team participated in the Building for Change programme. The programme led by Humap enabled the creation of an interactive cooperation culture within a multi-location team using hybrid methods.

In Cargotec, a specialist company known worldwide for the production of port cranes, assembled a management team consisting of ten employees (from Tampere, Turku, Rotterdam and Shanghai) of the Industrial & Terminals business area. The team was then developed further in cooperation with Humap. An organisational change was initiated in the group’s Port Cranes product division when a new international management team was built for the company. The framework was a one-year-long management team programme called Building for Change, consisting of ten meetings. The programme was designed to develop cooperation, grouping, and interaction among team members.

The new management team required a change of attitude – the spirit of cooperation and working as a team. We wanted to start pursuing results while respecting soft values, because changes related to developing cooperation do not come about overnight. This is why we wanted to spend the entire year for this change process, says Ismo Matinlauri, Head of Port Cranes Division.


A chain of events was created between the management team during the year-long development programme. In each of the meetings lasting half a day, the team paused to consider how they communicate with each other, how the team reacts to changes, and how it works in everyday management. Even though the framework of the development programme was carefully planned from the beginning, the programme was adapted throughout the year according to the wishes and needs of the team members. The programme gave plenty of value to open dialogue and considering personal and collective ideas and operating models, which is why the programme also needed to be flexible.

As the everyday lives of the participants in the programme are challenging and busy, it was important, and also a bit challenging, to have the energy culminate in a specific location and time. During the meetings, we paid particular attention to the impact of ways of speaking and listening skills in creating collective thinking among the team. We came to realise that the term ‘interaction’ contains wisdom in itself: it has an impact on results and it requires people to take turns. The rhythm of speaking and listening is crucial – having only one of these skills is not enough, says Humap’s Pekka Pirhonen, who was responsible for the programme as a whole and who facilitated the meetings.

People really liked the monthly training events, and after getting started, they felt quite positive about them. Pekka had a challenging and inspiring way of communicating, and he truly listened. This made us think about things differently – it made us forget the time and place, and start wondering how the human mind works. The training sessions were like an oasis in the desert of business life, describes Matinlauri.

As some of the management team members participating in the change programme work abroad, the project was carried out with the help of technology. For each meeting, at least half of the team was physically present at the same time, while others were contacted through a video or live meeting. To promote team spirit, three of the meetings were organised so that the entire team was physically present the entire day. These meetings were held in Naantali, Shanghai, and Rotterdam.

A year-long training programme is quite ideal for its creator. Often, there are only a few days to carry out the training with the underlying assumption that a major change would be possible already in a couple of days. To make this kind of a change happen, however, it requires time to start influencing attitudes. We now had plenty of time, so it was productive in a different way to designing the programme and carrying it out. During the year, I saw that the team really moved forward and started to develop, says Pirhonen.


As part of the one-year programme, the Port Cranes management team was also involved in the Dialogue Team measurement aimed at developing the quality of discussions. The measurement was carried out by recording two meetings of the management team on a 360 degree camera, one at the beginning of the training period and the other at the end. Based on the recordings, an interaction analysis was carried out, the results of which were then reviewed with the management team in two separate discussion workshops.

We aim to determine the relationship between the quality and productivity of the management team’s interaction. Measurement makes the quality of the interaction visible in relation to the team’s productivity and its functionality”, says Humap’s Matti Hirvanen, who carried out the measurement.

Using two measurements made in different phases of the management team’s development process, it was possible to review the current state and the development of the quality of interaction in Port Cranes. Based on the results of the analysis, the aim was to improve the team’s understanding of their discussions by paying attention to the quality of the entire team’s discussions, not that of the individuals.

According to Matinlauri, the Dialogue Team helped the management team to examine its communications on a new level.

With the tool, we received concrete evidence of our interaction. It is difficult to measure the soft values in any work community, but with the help of Dialogue Team, we were able to develop our practices in all areas. At the same time, we received confirmation that we have done the right things in order to progress, and we have clearly improved. This is the way forward.