What’s the best thing about working at Höganäs?
That we’re both a small and a large company. We’re present all over the world with global customers, we have production facilities and sales offices in fourteen countries, and yet we do it all with only 1,800 employees. That makes it easy to know who everyone is and connect with someone and have meaningful exchanges. It also makes it easier to influence what Höganäs does and how we do it.
What are the biggest challenges as communications manager at a global organization?
We’re a slim organization so out in the regions we have few resources for running areas like HR, finance and communication. When my central team wants to spread new ways of working or setup project groups around communication we do so through people who have communication as an extra assignment, on top of their main role, and often don’t have a communication background. Since it isn’t their main focus, they have to step in and out of the role, which can be hard.
Why do you think storytelling is such a great tool when working with film and content?
I’ve worked with editorial communication for a long time, so for me it’s clear that stories convey clear, easy-to-understand messages. Storytelling is a core part of our editorial communication and a great way to help people understand complex topics and events. We also use storytelling when we let individual employees step forward and tell their story as the experts in their field, and thus exemplify a vision or a strategy.
Why have you chosen to work with Symbal for such a long time?
We started collaborating with Symbal in 2009 when they helped us with a vision and values conference held in Shanghai, China. I knew we needed a partner who could help us with change communication, which is how I first found Symbal. The conference was a success and the cooperation worked very well so it was natural for me to continue to choose Symbal for assignments in various contexts.
What is the most enjoyable part of working with Symbal?
I really appreciate that we have a lot of fun when we work together and that we laugh a lot. We travel together and sometimes we have projects that stretch out and then get prolonged even further. Symbal has a lot of patience for our internal processes and what we at Höganäs are going through.
What do you think is most important in a customer relationship?
To me, the most important aspect of a customer-supplier relationship is good chemistry, that you get along and have fun together. It’s as simple as that. The next aspect is to have a mutual understanding and exchange. An openness that works both ways. I as a customer can be open with my needs and expectations and Symbal in turn can be open towards me, what they need from us as company. Then we can develop together and form a solid mutual understanding of where we’re going.
(A shorter story about Ulrika are available at Vimeo and Youtube)