To start with, we squeezed the L&T business strategy from a thousand PowerPoint slides into a one-pager.
Our work with Lassila & Tikanoja began in the spring of 2011. The first project was around creating a new direction for their waste management consultancy, then called "Managreen". After digging into the trends and technologies that are changing the industry and thinking about the opportunities therein, we envisioned that consultancy to operate a lot more like a startup than a corporate division. Less PowerPoint, more service. More visualised material flows. More value.
With some of the key people from Lassila & Tikanoja we were really stoked about this new directive. So stoked, in fact, that we thought it should actually be the core of the entire company's overall business strategy.
Fortunately, a lot of new executives jumped onto this bandwagon. The business strategy was ratified and in the autumn of the same year we were asked to jump into the pitching process for L&T's brand strategy and identity. Keep in mind we're not an ad agency. Not even close. But: with the knowledge and enthusiasm gained from the first project there was no way we could say no. We gave it a go and happily we won the case.
Our brief was simple, yet unfathomably complex: "Create a brand and story that combines all our diverse businesses into one single Lassila & Tikanoja."
This is important: We don't see brand and business as separate entities. After reading the strategy, surveys, and studies, interviewing key people and observing the company from the outside, we were able to see where L&T's brand needed to go and likewise where its business needed to go. The brand story and new vision we created were bold for what was a traditional waste management company, but crucial: Lassila and Tikanoja moves the world from a mass consumption society to a society of recycling.
The big idea behind the story is that our society - consumer and business - is doing bad. We're using so much energy that the globe is warming; we're consuming all the virgin raw materials we can find, and in the future we will have to extract them from somewhere else. At the same time the economy is in turmoil. To find new growth, companies have to be simultaneously innovative and effective.
Fortunately Lassila & Tikanoja has all the assets to answer to these challenges - but the assets needed to be unified. Part of our success was in shifting the focus from selling products and services to producing business benefits: energy efficiency, material efficiency and cost efficiency.
Markets have been excited about the new direction. Since L&T's CEO Pekka Ojanpää launched the new strategy in September 2012, the share price has gone up by 70%.
After debuting the new strategy, something was needed to reinforce it internally. Something that would help people understand there's no turning back, that L&T is now undergoing a complete transformation As fast as prudence would allow we redesigned the brand identity to reflect the new company vision and its feeling - and at the same time make L&T stand out from the competition. To introduce it, the very first thing was something for the employees. We decorated the HQ's ground floor with recycled furniture and painted the company vision and stories on the walls - so everyone would get inspired about what Lassila & Tikanoja does.
Much of the real-world value that Lassila & Tikanoja creates is communicated primarily through arcane numbers and statistics. Most people aren't moved by numbers and statistics - so our job is to create interesting, inspiring graphical stories that are easy to understand and reflect the company's good work.
In January 2013 we finally began the job we had eagerly awaited throughout the first year and a half: the total digitalization of Lassila & Tikanoja. With the executive team we set a goal to create a data-led company that constantly innovates new solutions to fast-changing challenges. And it's happening in a big way: over the last year we have been digitizing the L&T business infrastructure by innovating and deploying new solutions that create efficiency and value and amplify the business benefits of the new strategy: energy efficiency, material efficiency and cost efficiency.
The new solutions are custom-made with modern technology, have beautiful user interfaces, and make the everyday work of L&T's employees easier.