Laughter, conversations and most importantly listening
Already at the age of 10, Kim Lindqvist got to act as a technical support for Wärtsilä’s customers. “It’s possible that some of our customers have encountered me already when I was a school kid,” Kim says cheerfully.
Naturally, this happened by accident. It was 1980s when mobile phones didn’t yet exist but there were landlines in each home. At that time, the customers of Wärtsilä used to call the Lindqvist family reaching out to Kim’s father, a former Wärtsilä employee, for support. Young Kim often answered the phone and as his voice sounded very much like his father’s voice, the business people ended up talking with him for minutes before Kim had the chance to say ‘hey, you probably need to talk with my dad’.
As the story indicates, Wärtsilä has been in Kim’s life since he was born. As his father used to work with the company, Kim understood a lot about Wärtsilä’s business already at a young age. “After finishing my school day, I frequently visited the Wärtsilä office in Vaasa city centre – it was a 30-minute bike ride to get there. I still remember the scent of metal, heavy fuel and lube oil in those days. And many times, when I had to do some school work, the topic was around engines,” Kim describes his youth. Following his father’s footsteps, Kim applied for his first summer trainee position with Wärtsilä in 1997.
Now after 22 years, Kim’s career is filled with good memories he has experienced with colleagues; from customer meetings and seminars in remote locations to signing the first partnerships around new lifecycle solution offering. “As a leader of a newly established team, announcing the team members has also been one of my career highlights. Especially today when I can look back and realise how our team has established its role within the company – and done it with excellent performance.”
The team Kim is referring to is the Energy Services’ Concept Development team that Kim has been responsible for since the beginning of 2019. With his team mates, Kim is developing and managing lifecycle solutions offering for the Energy Business. In addition, the team gets to work on lifecycle value modelling, performance analysis and business integration.
Kim being so lively and humorous himself, one can only assume that the team work is going on well. “I laugh a lot and try to listen more than I talk. This may sound like a quite peculiar trio. But how I see it is that sense of humour creates an energising work atmosphere. And where talking is important, listening is even more – for sure, it is sometimes hard to remember,” Kim explains how he leads his team. Besides humour and listening skills, Kim empowers the team to make use of their strengths: “I believe I can see the big picture in things and do not dig too deep into details unless it’s really needed. I like to see progress rather than process, and to get things done in order of priority”.
Since ideas and solution development are part of the daily work in Kim’s team, one is eager to know how Kim feels about his personal growth. “In my job, it’s vital to have discussions with various stakeholders to agree on what makes sense and what not. This is where the listening comes in; with the constant market changes, staying up-to-date on customer needs and investment risks is both crucial for our work and helps in professional growth,” Kim describes how the work continuously increases his understanding on the world. “The role of our team is to develop solutions to support our customers in securing their investments. Recently, we’ve put lots of efforts in developing our value propositions for the lifecycle of the power solutions and I look forward to the market feedback.”
During his years with Wärtsilä, Kim has seen the company growing into a genuinely customer-centric organisation – a progress that has happened thanks to its people and interactions. “Today, there is much talk around artificial intelligence and internet of things. For sure, they’re needed to enhance customer value. However, it is still the human beings working together that make the core value to the customer. And the people at Wärtsilä are the reason why I enjoy working here,” Kim tells and wants to discuss more about the opportunities in his workplace: “In addition, Wärtsilä offers multiple opportunities to grow as a professional and try different things – if you have the appetite to explore and test your limits”.
It’s especially thanks to Kim’s own team – and the different personalities within it – that Kim stays energised at work, and next he’d be keen to use this energy to develop strategic partnerships and Wärtsilä’s lifecycle value. “Strategic partnerships and lifecycle value represent the area where I personally want to grow, and I hope to see us as a company focusing more on them in the upcoming years,” Kim tells and continues to more personal matters.
“Of course, I cannot talk about my future without thinking of my family. As a husband and a father of three children, I look forward to spending a lot of time with my kids – taking them to hobbies and so on. They’re honestly very busy with hobbies as they don’t even have time to answer my mobile phone if I get a work-related call,” Kim says with a cheerful grin on his face – this must be the same expression that he had when talking over the phone with customers, on behalf of his father.