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Sari SonninenOct 11, 2022 2:00:00 PM3 min read

The Drawing on the Napkin

In the summer of 2007, the Sonninen family was on a holiday trip and made a stop at a gas station. During that stop, for whatever reason, they started casually talking about leadership. Inspired by the conversation, Jorma Sonninen grabbed a pen and started to sketch an overall picture of deepening leadership on a napkin. His wife Sari Sonninen said while looking at the drawing: "Take that with you, it must be saved!"

That drawing on the napkin showed the different stages of successful management. The idea and the foundation of something that later took form in were already on that sketch. Next came along the company culture. In connection with the development of the client´s safety culture, the DuPont Bradley Curve emerged. It describes the stages in the development of the company's safety culture, which shows a reduction in damages and accidents. The leadership of the Renewal Movement, which they had been using for a long time, fitted right into it.

Jorma&Sari webJorma & Sari Sonninen, the founders of


Next, they became interested in the Balanced Score Card. They commissioned two students to do the thesis. The research found out that this development structure has a clear place in SMEs. A similar model in use in the SME sector could not be found anywhere else in the world. In the same context, we stated that Business Intelligence models deal almost exclusively with customers and money. Not much had been retrieved from under the hood.


A similar model in use in the SME sector could not be found anywhere else in the world.


Inspired by the research, they set out to deepen and operationalize the levels of the BSC, people, and processes. They started looking at the timeline from people capability through efficiency to customers and on to results.

Their findings on the building blocks of capability were consistent with Ossi Aura's and Guy Ahonen's research results on Strategic Wellbeing Management. The Sonninens approached efficiency through the development of management teamwork, process management (Lean and Six sigma), and teamwork. In that, they had the elements together as a development platform working together in a way, from which began to emerge.


Nothing good comes easy

For years, they put time, effort, and sweat into considering and building the idea into a concrete product, because they were pained by managing the pieces. They saw how in many organizations, as a result of scattered management, one area was strengthened only at the expense of others. That created a vicious circle of trying to fix one thing and finding another weakness in the process, and then again, and then again, and so the cycle continued. The reality is that everything affects everything and everyone at the same time.


As a result of scattered management, one area was strengthened at the expense of others. Then you had to attack the next piece, and then again, and the cycle continued.


The Sonninens learned how every organization was full of tacit information. Some of that information was never found, and some was never told. Or the tacit information was silenced. Wisdom indeed doesn't live only in the corner offices but is scattered like a mosaic throughout the organization. They were able to state time and time again that the one actually doing the work is the best expert in his/her own work. In order to collect the information from inside people's heads, a "structure" was inevitably needed, which would allow the cause-and-effect relationships of things and phenomena to become visible.

Digitality was the solution to that problem. The Sonninens decided to take digitalization to the maximum so that the invisible would become visible easily and quickly and in such a form that everyone in the organization would understand what it means and what could be done about it. finds hidden wisdom and gives tacit information a voice.


Sari Sonninen

Sari's passion is to help when strengthening one's professional ability or developing competence to meet the requirements of the work is needed. When people find their inner motivation and courage to take action, great things start to happen.