We are well used to Scandi businesses being ahead of the rast of EU and even globally in key verticals of healthcare, IT development and so forth. But what about general management?
We interview Steffen Conradsen, CEO of the Calm Water start-up in Denmark, and ask him – since his reticent beginnings and company launch just a year ago – well – how has it been?
It’s a stupid question. I am sitting in the empty bar area of the Copenhagen Towers. I am struggling with my mask. The day before, I had my first COVID Test as I sauntered through CPH Airport. It took less time to queue and take the test than I would normally spend in line at my local supermarket.
These are not normal times. Steffen is silver haired, smiling, and saunters towards me, he is comfortable in his own skin, and we find a seat at the adjacent coffee bar. Steffen has seen crises all before from his time as VP at Ericsson Denmark. If anybody knows how to launch a Consulting firm offering crisis-management in troubled times it is he.
Clear Water Consulting was not born out of any mid life desire to launch a new business. It was a simple choice of expediency. The downsizing of Ericsson in Denmark, left Steffen with choices – one of which was – where is the work/life balance now, and how best to offer his consulting skills.
And at a time over the last six months of continual crisis for so many large and small companies, in a variety of vertical disciplines, this has already turned out to be the best moment, rather than the worst.
Steffen leans forward and sips his cafe latte. We have moved on from the preliminary pleasantries. What he says is; “these COVID times are not going anywhere any time soon. If companies want to stay relevant in this new world and very different environment, then there has to be a process, a strict methodology – to cope with what will be unexpected situations, quite apart from the need to define what is a go to market plan for the next 12 to 60 months.
Clear Water has a pre-defined process that he has set out graphically, as well as list the four of five key points that govern his thinking. The strategy is explained in English. It is similar to Danish thinking, and their approach to life, the being very methodical and clear, and with no deviation. Reading the corporate blurb, there is little by way of philosophic al and conceptual discussion – apart from on the last page, where Steffen talks about being relevant in society.
Steffen continues; “Sure, things have been tough, but Clear Water is already profitable, and demand is high”. We are meeting mid-afternoon, and Steffen has already had three meetings around the Copenhagen suburbs .
I am expecting to see him any time soon passing through London – but was if to prove a point – Denmark goes into lockdown the day after I return to the UK.
Steffen Conradsen can be contacted at; +45 2812 7445