Ville Tolvanen // December 13 2017

Simplify to Amplify

It’s been a year of changes for everyone in the company. New name, branding, strategy, organization and people. I have to thank Sami Paihonen once again for making this all possible having worked as the CEO for the first nine months of 2017.


We all know we still a have huge amount of work to do in in the coming years to get to where we want to be. The Digitalist story has just started and it takes a lot of work that has to be done by our people, customers and partners alike. Still, I see great improvements happening every week.


My first hundred days as a CEO are just about to come to an end and I thought I’d like to share some perspective on what we’ve co-created together to make our dreams come true. This is a very personal list and I’m sure there are many things missing. Maybe the idea for this text is to get you to think about the first year we’ve shared.


Here is the list of activities I see as the most important in terms of the past and my first 100 days:

  1. Crystallizing values. They are the key drivers that make us choose the team we work with and give guidance and light to the everyday struggle. I’m happy about our work on creating shared values and hope we will all live by them. After all, it’s our routines that show what our values really are.
  2. Simplifying to amplify the company strategy. It’s hard to work without crystallized direction, objectives, goals and a story you can share with your peers. There is still room for improvement, but it’s a good start. I will continue evangelizing our direction every week.
  3. Storifying your value to the world and customers. A great company is always a fantastic story. If you can’t tell a compelling story, try even harder. It’s the stories companies tell that build the strongest brands.
  4. Organizing company leadership. Define the key competences and the people with the ability to lead strategy into everyday action. Make sure your organization operates bottom up and also top down. Make objectives and goals visible to everyone. Remember to keep repeating the key things in every meeting.
  5. Defining the company brand and creating a global marketing plan. Digitalist is all about people, planet and profit. It means we work “by the people, for the people and with the people” to co-create tomorrow’s solutions today. Our brand is our CX and is mostly delivered by cool experts of the company. Make sure your brand is something people may connect with. It’s all about experiences and not about corporation, organization or routines.
  6. Supporting sales. Sales is a team effort. The more senior, the bigger the role in creating the company value. Sales is nothing to be left to sales only. Make sure the whole senior leadership participates in the value creation process and customers. Treat your customers as your people and let everybody share the cool spirit.
  7. Cleaning up. Try to figure out how to be more clarified, consistent and efficient. Find ways to think different and once again simplify to amplify weekly routines and daily activities. Work with the administration and become essential part of the people and the culture. After all, a company is a mothership for cool people living up their dreams. Try to become someone people thank and respect.


These are the seven important things we’ve started at Digitalist in the past 100 days. It’s a start of a journey and hopefully the best years in business together. Digitalist is an attempt to co-create tomorrow’s solutions today with anyone interested. In our minds, we are an open source platform for digital revolution. It still feels like a dream job to work with these great people and a huge challenge. Thanks for the ride so far. I hope to be a little bit better the next quarter and ever after. Enjoy responsibly!



Photo by Crown Agency

More from Ville Tolvanen