I think I have discovered the recipe for Nordic Magic Sauce. It’s a strong combination of hygge, lagom and sisu. Combining these special ingredients from Denmark, Sweden and Finland, a perfect harmony for successful work and business is possible to achieve. Just think success stories such as Lego, IKEA, Nokia, Volvo, Carlsberg, Kone and H&M. They all have this harmony and they combine these three in one form or another.
Sisu from Finland
Sisu is something that the Finns are most known for. It’s the reason why Finland survived the big wars against superior enemy.
“Sisu is about taking action against the odds and displaying courage and resoluteness in the face of adversity. Deciding on a course of action and then sticking to that decision against repeated failures is Sisu.”
This attribute is very useful in running any business. Persistence to make things happen despite of the obstacles and repeated failure.
The Swedish Lagom
In Sweden, lagom is a word used quite often and it
In a single word, lagom is said to describe the basis of the Swedish national psyche, one of consensus and equality. It is widely considered ideal to be modest and avoid extremes.
“It’s the idea that for everything there is the perfect amount: The perfect, and best, amount of food, space, laughter and sadness.”
Even though lagom tries to avoid extremes, it also works as a great tool and mentality for balancing different parts business.
The Danes love their Hygge
In Danmark, hygge is taken very seriously. Besides a form of relaxation, it is also part of the community creation and feeling of togetherness.
Hygge, meaning ‘snug’; is a concept that evokes “coziness”, particularly when relaxing with good friends or loved ones and while enjoying good food. It is suspected the concept of Hygge is part of the reason Danes and other Scandinavians score high on happiness.
In business culture, one needs certain moments of hygge: Hygge with colleagues, hygge with customers, hygge with friends. Hygge builds teams spirit, develops relationships with customers and makes much stronger people ecosystems.
The magic sauce with harmony
When you start combining all these three attributes from three neighbouring countries with lot of common history together, you start getting a sauce that could lead into serious benefits for the business and business culture.
Hygge is the basis of first building your team spirit, then expanding to regular customers and finally being a good corporate player in the society. No wonder, the Danes are known to be extremely social and have strong teams that play together well.
Lagom relates to setting goals and targets from the customer perspective. The Swedes are the conceptual gurus of the Nordics, since they understand when the concept has “enough” of different features. Not too much, not too little. But lagom.
Sisu is something you need for strong execution. Finnish companies have had lot of sisu while struggling with people with strong engineering background but no appreciation of smooth talk. Many Finnish companies are examples of operational excellence, which has created some truly strong industries and companies in the country.
Hygge is about people and togetherness.
Lagom is about customers and conceptual goals.
Sisu is about execution perseverance and operational excellence.