#theTIQQEcode

Have you found Your place?


I got the question, in connection with it becoming official that I would become vice president where I am now. Are you going to take your place now? What are you thinking? Will you step forward now and take your place?

That comment stuck with me. Step forward and take my place. I’m good. I’m tremendously good at my job. I am competitive, determined and over the years I have become better at running businesses forward than many men my age and in my industry do. Because I have to. I have worked all my working life in IT, which when I started consisted of less than 10% women and now stands at around 30%. I know budget, forecast on the penny when. I can see the goal that exists in ten to twenty years, make strategies for how we get there, I understand more technology than I need. I can work methodically and patiently, but above all I can see overall pictures. I have been involved in running projects worth many millions, I have worked with customers who turn over billions. I have been in smelters, traveled in mines that have more than 40 km of paved road underground, been with customers outside Sweden and gained insight into what strip mining is. My choice of profession has given me the privilege of working in Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Italy, Greece and the USA.

I have noticed a difference in how I look at a managers and leaders role compared to many. And that is that I am completely convinced that we must change how we look at successful leaders and how we create success.
How do you measure success? How do you know you have succeeded? When are YOU the BEST leader?
Is it when I get the Tag Heuer watch because I was elected Leader of the Year? When I get to talk to 700 people about my view on leadership? Or is it when I get to have my father, who in many ways laid the foundation for how I look at leadership, in the audience at a leadership event when I give a lecture on why I lead as I do?

Of course that means something to me and that I’m proud!
….but…
What really matters to me is when people I have around me and that I am responsible for somewhat feel safe and step forward. Take a step up and take their place. Dare to write the certificate with the risk of “failing”, challenge themselves to lead interviews with potential colleagues even though you do not yet see yourself as the fantastic role model you are, dare to expose yourself and your feelings for me even though we are at work, write fantastic blogs even though it doesn’t feel comfortable. When people know that every tag-line or word of value is for real and not just talk. I look forward to when we as “leaders” understand, right in the stomach and heart, that the only thing we have as our main task is to ensure that everyone around us who is on a journey to the next step, is given the opportunity to take that step. It’s not about strategies or hidden agendas. When we release, enable and see people’s potential, there is no stopping what will be achieved.

Having said that. I have taken my place 😊 The energy I get and my feeling of success is not in my title or position. It lies in all the people around me who take their place more and more every day. So today I want to thank ❤️
I want to thank those who let me find out what my leadership philosophy is and let me practice, fail and succeed over the years and I want to thank all the amazing people who work with me today. I’ll quote Buzz Lightyear.
❤️✨ To infinity and beyond ✨❤️

#theTIQQEcode

How is it to get into TIQQE

Some months ago, I answered some questions about my first impressions of Tiqqe and why I decided to join. It is time to tell you more about how my journey is going and how it is getting into Tiqqe.

The first impression I had of Tiqqe was that I was in a special company, which is characterized by unique core values and that is completely different from and with all of those that compose the IT sector.

When you start a new job however, you are on a cloud and what you usually get to see the first weeks is a front of the reality that is too good to be true: the company tends to show only the best part of itself and you don’t really know your colleagues and the dynamics within the work environment.Only after two or three months you get to know the true character of the company and to face the problems across the latter. That is how it usually is but it was not like that with Tiqqe.

Tiqqe did not put up any facade, trying to show something it wasn’t. Tiqqe was transparent and honest from my first interview: #theTIQQEcode,  avoiding hierarchies, stay agile, be nice, courage, team over the individuals, employees and clients first, inclusivity are real and they are aspects on which everyone of us is working on every day.

Getting into Tiqqe has been easier than what I could imagine: for the first time in my career, my goals both personal and professional go hand in hand with the goals of the company, my vision is my company’s vision.Even though I started concurrently with the beginning of the pandemic, I got the support of my colleagues and the organization. It felt natural to get into the dynamics of the company and to become part of it.

Currently I am a SRE for Postnord AWS Retail backend and I am having the opportunity to work with amazing developers and awesome people. No matter the workloads we have or the stress level we could reach, we support each other and we try to be always nice: we succeed and fail together.

Getting into Tiqqe is getting into a next generation company and I am proud of being part of it.

#theTIQQEcode

Leadership program at TIQQE

Why would a company at its right mind want to invest in a leadership program for all employees?

I am a people person. Throughout my whole career I’ve been working in the technology industry, and don’t get me wrong, I love technology and all things that IT enables, but even more I love the people that come with the territory and everyone’s little peculiarities. Because we all have them, our customers, employees, partners, friends and families. But the fact is that the more we know and understand each other, the little quirks that you perceive as annoyance transforms into likability. So to get there, we need to have a common ground on how we interact and communicate with each other.

We have a number of core values at TIQQE and we were born with a strong culture that we want to make sure that we maintain over time.

  • Awesomeness – Always make our customers heroes, our teammates awesome
  • Autonomy – Let the teams be self driven with the knowledge that they’ll always do what is right for our customers
  • Ideas over status – Anyone can have the best idea. Encourage bravery in all to present smart thoughts. And be prepared to change your mind, without seeing it as a defeat.
  • Courage – We want to challenge current “truths” to achieve new things.

This isn’t just important to us. It’s our highest belief that this is what will make us succeed in our joint mission to “create a company where we all want to work” that we never will want to leave and in just that small quote comes big responsibility from everyone. In order for us all to take charge of our own personal #theTIQQEcode. We’re doing this work. Simply because it is our responsibility as a company to assure that everyone has the opportunity to affect what we are and who we are. And we want to do it Together.

What if we all were leaders and How many leaders can a company have? Here at TIQQE we believe that we can have as many leaders as we are employees. Let’s start with the definition of a Leader, which of course can be very individual. Forbes published an article of the most essential qualities that define great leadership a couple of years ago. Here is some of the qualities from that article:

  • Sincere enthusiasm – True enthusiasm for a business, its products or mission cannot be faked.
  • Integrity – Whether it’s giving proper credit for accomplishments, acknowledging mistakes or putting safety and quality first. Great leaders always do what’s right. Even if it isn’t the best thing for the current project or even the bottom line.
  • Communication skills – You can’t accomplish motivation and inspiration if you’re not a good communicator. Nor can you underestimate the importance of listening, as an integral part of communication.
  • Loyalty – True loyalty is ensuring that all team members have the training and resources to do their jobs. It’s standing up for team members in crisis and conflict.
  • Decisiveness – You are willing to take on the risk of decision making, with the knowledge that if things don’t work out, you’ll be held accountable. 
  • Empowerment – A good leader has faith in their ability to train and develop the employees. Because of this, they have the willingness to empower those they lead to act autonomously. When employees are empowered, they are more likely to make decisions that are in the best interest of the company and the customer as well.

All of the above, is something that I don’t believe is my exclusive right as my every-day work. I am convinced that all of us that are employed at TIQQE possess this within, and we all matter and have a part in the above.  We are all leaders of ourselves and we all just have to practice on it to maintain it and get better at it.

Imagine the difference between one or two people defining the truth for a whole company, rather than the whole company defining what we want the company to be together. What would the difference be in commitment to the company, the mission and purpose of our business? We believe that the difference is humongous. That’s why we invest in a leadership program for all our employees. We’re building trust, practice how we communicate and how we can coach each other, discuss and practice different tools, experiences, life and work. So if you wonder what’s happening in our office one Thursday a month? We’re preparing everyone to be tomorrow’s leaders today. 

#theTIQQEcode

Halftime and time for vacation

We have just passed the second half of 2020, who would have predicted that this is how it would look like? What a huge impact Covid-19 has had on the entire market. Thanks to all employees, customers and partners who have supported us beyond imagination.

It was just about 6 months ago we had our yearly kickoff with our employees at TIQQE. We shared our vision and mission and put our strategy in place together with our employees.

Two months later Covid-19 hit the Swedish market hard, it put us all in a different mode, which was, how do we ensure that we are able to keep all our people during these difficult times. It was a time where we all needed to put our heads together, work as a team every step of the way. This included everything from cutting costs, re-focusing sales, making sure that everyone was well informed and most importantly communication.

We decided our top priority was to first and foremost ensure not letting go of any of our staff and from that decide the priorities and decisions. Sales was more than ever an extremely important part of the solution to rapidly reach out to the market and interpret where the market is, where the customers are and how we align our offerings to the market. Within two weeks, all the actions we had brainstormed where executed on and we found our fit in this uncertain market. Time passed and we worked with different scenario planning, if this happened then we need to do this and if this happens, we should do that etc. Some came true some didn’t. We executed and we broke many eggs, somethings worked some didn’t, we learnt and then moved forward with the next idea.

Was it all doom and gloom? Of course not, it challenged us all, it challenged us to think differently. We had different circumstances than before and we found better and more effective ways to interact with our customers. When it came to our employees, we needed to be creative and we tried many different things and most recently we had a summer party online with all our employees, something we hadn’t even imagined possible 6 months ago.

The result?

Even during these challenging times, we still managed to grow in pretty much every area.

  • 0% turnover of customers & employees
  • 76% growth with new employees
  • Improved diversity from 17% women to 33%
  • 100 % growth with new customers
  • All time high in employee satisfaction (eNPS)
  • All time high in customer satisfaction (NPS)

With this blog we would like to share with you the past 6 months at TIQQE but also to send out a huge thank you to all our customers, employees and partners who have all been extremely important. Thank you and we look forward to work with you and hopefully be able to meet face to face in the near future.

Thank you!

#theTIQQEcode

You think “off-shore”, we say multicultural! #part2

As mentioned in the previous blogpost, we want to enlighten the great possibilities to work in teams with a variety of cultures and time-zones. When working with TIQQE, you will work with four nationalities from three countries and in two time-zones. We are Swedes, Philippines, Italians and Chinese. And we’re really, really, proud of that.

So, to manage that kind of spread, both geographically and culture wise, how do we at TIQQE work to overcome the gaps and misinterpretations that (of course) comes with that?

Let us start with our friends in the Philippines. When they onboard a team, they will attend a ”Western Culture” training. And Yes. It’s needed. 

Because no matter from what angle you look at us in Sweden from the outside, we do things differently., We might think that the way we do things (everything between how we want to be managed and lead to how we’re running companies) is the norm for the world, but believe me. It’s not.

So when a manager from Sweden says ”I would really appreciate if I can have that piece of work on my desk on Wednesday”. We actually mean that ”I expect that it will be on my desk on Wednesday”. This can be interpreted in two ways, depending on the receiver. If it’s a Swedish person – he or she will have it done by Wednesday. If it’s a person from any other culture, it’s probably not that important since it’s just appreciated so it might wait until next week. To say the least, we Swedes are not always so crisp in our communication.

When we recruit into teams, we look at your personality, competence, how nice you are, your willingness to learn new things and your ability to grasp and understand the business that you’re going to work for. We found that teams where there’s a mixture of personalities, time-zones and competences are the strongest. Therefor we’re not looking for a copy of anyone already amongst us, we’re looking for unique people. 

So that’s before. What happens when you start?

Lets say that you’re about to be part of a TIQQE-team. You’ve been interviewed and the team wants you to start. First thing is that there is a ”meet and greet” where you just sit down and converse with your new team-members. The human connection is essential for succeeding. 

You will get an overview of the plan within the project so you will get an understanding for the work, and together with the team you will find a ”Goldielock-task” that you can execute (not to hard and not to easy) so that you feel that you’re contributing and that it’s not that scary with the new assignment.

We have a goal that a new team-member should be able to deploy something into the AT-environment the first day.

This is how we do our team-introduction. Both very simple and quite difficult.

Now you might wonder how we work and make sure we stay connected during our days?

To get the inside-story, look out for part three!

Read the first part here

#theTIQQEcode

Keeping up the company spirit

I believe that we, as leaders, have a big responsibility to keep up our company-spirits during these different times.

When push comes to shove is when the world turns upside down and we really have to prove ourselves to our employees. We have to show that we’re not only talk-the-talk, but that we also walk-the-talk. And it’s even harder when you don’t meet the people face-to-face. Everything that you do will be easier to interpret the wrong way, especially if most of the communication is in written words.

So, what can one do?

At TIQQE we’ve been working from home since 16th March. Now, almost seven weeks later there’s a new ”normal” at our company. In the offices we have – you’re not welcome if you have any flu-signs at all. We have a slack-channel where everyone that is planning to be in the office communicate with the others so that it becomes everyones free choice wether to be in the office or not. So being in the office is the one thing that you cannot do without regulations here at TIQQE.

Here is what we do. 

We’ve been practicing on conducting all our meetings on-line, and what we found is that with a few meeting-rules, it works as well, sometimes even better. We also learned the importance of having continuous communication. I would say that we are transparent in a normal world, but these days we’ve become better at it. Of course we have been forced to make tough decisions as well. We’ve cancelled sub-contractors in favor for our own employees, but we’ve been doing it with deep respect and love.

And with the joint intention to work together again once the world settles. I try to communicate with all employees in some way, pretty frequent. We still have our monthly meetings and me and Jacob show the truth, in numbers, and the actions we’re doing with words and slides. Every weekday we have an open online-channel, our lunch-hangout, where one can join from home and eat lunch and catch up with each-other. I don’t have the possibility to join every day, but I do it as often as I can and the discussions and talks are always energy-enriching. 

We have an eNPS system that we use, sending out questions every other week to all employees to see the temperature at TIQQE. And during these times, it was heartwarming and surprising that our numbers has gone up. So, to wrap this up. It’s not the big things that makes the difference, it’s the small things and what could be easier then to step up and walk-the-talk and be your word?

TIQQE eNPS January vs April compared to industry benchmark

#theTIQQEcode

You say “off-shore”, we say multicultural. #part1

The traditional view of working with people that’s not in your time-zone, or that don’t fit in in your countries culture is that it’s not people. Rather FTE’s where you can send your bulk-work. Or not all work… because ”they don’t do anything if it’s not in the specification. And god forbid that you forget anything in that specification. Even if it’s chrystal clear that it should be done, it won’t if it’s not written down.”

We don’t look at it from that perspective. The big difference is that we work together with all our developers regardless of location.One of our core values is that ”we build everything in teams”. That puts some pressure on us solving our geographical distance, different time-zones and technical behavior.

It’s also of essence that we can manage to involve every one that is a part of a team so that the feeling is that it is borderless. We never ever communicate with Italy or Philippines just through specifications or managers, we communicate face-to-face (even if it’s digital) and developers to developers.

If we’re adding team-members to a team, the interviewer can be either here in Sweden or in the Philippines. When we contact customers, it can be from here in Sweden or from Italy. It really doesn’t matter. For us, people together with our joint technical expertise comes first. If we can build successful teams where not all members happens to live in Sweden. So be it.

What matters to us, is that we deliver the expected outcome and that we keep having people in the teams that are nice, support each other and help each other grow their technical and soft-skills knowledge. Now you might wonder how we solve it in our every-day life. Well, stay tuned and the answer will come.

To give you a short summery of TIQQEs cultural compote.  At TIQQE we are 27 people employed in Sweden from three nationalities. Swedish, Italian and Chinese.  We have part of our sales office in Florence – Italy and we have 21 developers working with us from Cebu – Philippines. We are roughly 33% women aiming for 50%.

#theTIQQEcode

Stop focusing on customers and employees!

In recent times we see a huge rise of companies stating that they are employee first or customer first company i.e. customer centric & employee centric, an organization which is out-side in and not inside out. I’m sure you have heard all of this before. But is this a recipe for success? In this blog I would like to challenge this and provide you with a different perspective.

Employees

In our companies’ employees are our most valuable assets, they are the ones who build services or products for our customers to consume. But are employees just employees or are they in-fact also people? I’m sure you will agree with me that all employees are also people who come from different backgrounds, have different opinions, different experiences, ideas, challenges etc. So why do we continue to talk about employee first, employee centric etc. Why not instead focus on the individual person instead and focus on their strengths and provide them with the best foundation for them to succeed? Because if we as an employer manage to make every person in the company seen, heard and engaged in the company’s mission – won’t success be the result?

Why aren’t I mentioning people’s weakness and how we should overcome them? Let’s go back to when you employed the new addition to your team, did you employ them because of their strengths or weaknesses? The answer is obvious, but does this mean we should never coach our people when something isn’t right? Of course not, however it’s about how we do it and for this to work there is one vital key ingredient which this person must have, and this is – to be humble and always have a willingness to develop. Then the person will be open to new ideas and other viewpoints than their own and that is when you will build a successful team with everyone bringing the best they have to the table.

Customers

Customers are so important and they help us to develop, they provide us with new areas to explore and of course they pay our bills and put our food on the table. Without our customers we wouldn’t have a company so you could easily argue that customers are very important for any company to succeed. But is it really the customers who make this happen or is it actually the people at the customer who enable this?

Employees are about the people and the same argument goes for customers, every interaction with our customers is with people. That’s why, as stated in the beginning of this blog, we need to focus on the people who we work with at customers. Focusing on understanding their challenges, what are keeping them up at night, what is required to make them successful and how we can help to enable this. Because if the people at customers are successful won’t that also result in the success of the customer?

TIQQE

At TIQQE we believe in people intimacy, we believe in focusing on the individual who ever you are, whether or not you are a customer, an employee or a partner. The main focus is how we enable success for you and in most cases, the people we meet are the people who can answer that question. How we get there? Let’s do that together.

We don’t come to you with a ready-made solution and thinking this will be the solution to your problem. We won’t turn to you as an employee thinking that we know where you are and what you want to achieve without hearing this from you. Together we can help you develop in the direction you desire.

Let’s focus on people intimacy!

As a child I was always told that a problem shared is a problem halved, so if you have a challenge facing you or looking for new employment where the focus is on you as an individual, then please don’t hesitate to reach out.

#theTIQQEcode

It’s supposed to be scary

Imagine going to work everyday and doing the same task over and over, I reckon you would get pretty good at that task, I reckon you would feel confident in doing that task and if somebody asked you to perform that task you would feel no anxiety doing so. I also reckon that you wouldn’t grow much, you would definitely lose out on the adrenaline rush of doing something you haven’t attempted before and you certainly would not have as many interesting stories to tell at the next party you attend. Now if you think that is fine, if you’re content being in a bubble of affirmation that’s ok but spoiler alert… You’re missing out.

We should always challenge ourselves and others to step out of our comfort zone, it can be in simple tasks like talking to the new co-worker you’ve seen around the office or something bigger like making the effort to hold a knowledge sharing lunch about a topic you’re passionate about or even something colossal like taking the leap of faith to switch to serverless while everybody else is debating whether we really should use public cloud or not.

Regardless of the scale there are two things I think we should keep with us:

  1. In the process of doing something new we are evolving
  2. it is okay to fail

The first one is to motivate us through the process, by reminding us that despite the difficulties and despite the overwhelming feelings that we are becoming better by going through it. Even if in a worst case scenario you don’t develop any new skills and don’t learn anything you will still have built character by stepping out of normality — there’s just no lose case.

The second one is to make us build up courage to do something in the first place and to keep that courage after something we tried didn’t go quite as planned, because failing is a part of the process.


I must admit that as i’m writing this I’m stepping out of my comfort zone. This is the first blog post I’ve really ever written and it is scary, the thoughts running through my head are endless “will anybody even read this”, “who cares about this stuff”, “what if everybody hates it”. Regardless of this I felt that I had to do it (with some motivation from my colleagues and friends) and in the end I feel proud, I’ve gone from an idea to a three paragraph long text about something that interests me and in the process I’ve gotten to practice a bunch of skills and honestly even if no one reads this, I’m still happy that I took the time to sit down and put these word together. I hope that the next time an opportunity arises for you to step outside of your comfort zone that you think back to this post and give it a shot, I mean, the worst that can happen is that you evolve.


If something is hard or scary, do it often & improve the process until it’s not hard or scary any more.

#theTIQQEcode

Update from Christoffer

Follow our new colleague, Christoffer Pozeus, and his experience of joining TIQQE. Christoffer has documented his impressions of TIQQE as an employer in a series of vlogs – time for vlog #3.

Christoffer is passionate about technology and has been digging into the art of designing and building fault tolerant, self-healing, elastic and highly available systems on AWS for several years. He’s been working with some of the major automotive companies the past years and set up enterprise class architecture for autonomous driving initiatives.

In this vlog, Christoffer is just about to join the yearly kickoff with TIQQE at Loka Brunn and share his thoughts of the onboarding process so far.

Don’t miss his previous vlogs

vlog #1

vlog #2

vlog #3 – Christoffer is about to join the yearly kickoff at TIQQE

Thanks for sharing Christoffer!