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Customer stories

5 lessons Gaia Leadership learned using Howspace

By Hanna Liimatainen on Apr 6, 2018 7:59:19 AM

If you'd like to read the text in Finnish, please click here.

Catharina Axling, partner and consultant at Gaia Leadership, recently used Howspace in a client project. She now shares five lessons that she learned using digital facilitation platform, which she believes made her a better consultant.

Catharina Axling supports managers in change and transformation work. She has extensive experience from the client side, so she understands why consultants are needed in organizational change and development.

“Managers do not have time to drive change, as they have so many day-to-day activities to deal with in today’s high paced work environment. As a consultant, I can focus 100% on change management and support managers in focusing on the goal, the time schedule and building for the future.”

A year ago, Axling started consulting a trade association on its strategic framework.

The client also wanted to go more digital. For this reason, Axling decided to carry out the assignment with the help of Howspace. After all, according to Axling, there is no better way to show a company how they can benefit from digital tools than to start using them.

Using Howspace for the first time taught Axling a lot. She now shares five main lessons learnt.


1.Employees are the experts!

Work is highly complex nowadays, and managers simply cannot do everything. The skills of all employees are needed to implement the change in the right way. I started working with the management first but soon held workshops for the whole company. However, the development did not stop between the workshops. That is when the magic actually happened in Howspace. People have different paces and ways of working, so they need to be able to get on board in different ways. Howspace also provided an arena for those who were not as comfortable shouting their valuable thoughts out loud at the workshops.

2. Get everyone on the same bus

All 45 employees at the company travelled to a conference together by bus, and we all worked effectively for the entire journey. I wrote questions about values in Howspace and everyone else worked in pairs on the bus and answered these questions. This resulted in wordclouds and a lot of good conversation! Without Howspace facilitating, this type of “bus workshop” would have been tough to implement.


3. Inspirational content has many sources

The communication department made a three-minute video, in which all the employees described which values they find meaningful. We watched the video on the bus and it was a brilliant conversation starter. I also posted inspirational Ted Talks and pictures of the workshops in Howspace. When all the information is available in Howspace, it is easy for people to follow the development of the process.

4. Consultant's job is not to give the answers

I motivate and inspire people to find the solutions. Before Howspace my main arena for inspiring people was the workshops. With Howspace I was able to keep the process alive between meetings. I understood that even in Howspace, I should not lead everything. I asked the first question in Howspace and then people started chatting with each other. Soon the employees started asking each other questions and it was like I was no longer needed!

5. There is one thing I should have done better

Teaching the management team how to use Howspace and how to promote it inside the company. It is crucial to make sure that there are some managers in the organization who know the tool well and who will take ownership of the process and be part of the conversation. 

Gaia Leadership is a global leadership consultancy. Active in leadership and corporate development, the company supports organizations and individuals, across the world, to achieve better business results through the development of their leaders. Gaia Leadership was founded in 1999 and today consists of over 60 consultants.

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