THE PORTRAIT - TIINA LAGERSTRÖM
FROM ESKILSTUNA TO VANTAA
When this interview is conducted, Tiina Lagerström is still manager of the Eskilstuna branch of Stena Recycling Sweden. But she’s in the starting blocks for a much greater role. On June 1st, she’ll namely become Opera-tions Manager at the Stena Recycling Finland’s head office in Vantaa.
|Title||Operations Director, Stena Recycling, Finland|
|Family||Husband and two grown-up children|
|Interests||The home, the summer-house and spending time in nature. I also try to exercise as often as I can.|
Tiina Lagerström is born in Tammerfors, Finland, where she lived until the age of two. Then the family moved to Hälleforsnäs, south of Eskilstuna, where she has lived almost all her life.
”For some years I worked as team leader at Posten’s head office in Solna and was, among other things, involved in moving their consumer related business to the grocery stores. But after a while I got homesick,” she says with a smile.
Having studied Economics at high school, she started her career path by working at Föreningsbanken. Since then, she’s been educated in several different businesses through her career.
”I’ve worked a lot with leadership and human resources. That’s also what I did at Antenn Consulting, a subsidiary to Proffice, before joining Stena. I had the privilege of building up their business branches in Västerås and Eskilstuna, and worked there for seven years.”
DARES TO STAND UP FOR HER OPINIONS
She came to Stena Recycling five years ago. The first two years she worked in the sales department and later she became manager of Stena Recycling’s branch in Eskilstuna. And now then it’s time for yet another career step within the enterprise.
”At the end of January, Staffan Persson, acting GM of Stena Recycling Finland, asked me if I wanted to help out on the Finnish market. It took some time to decide, since it’s obviously quite a transition to live abroad most weeks. At the same time it’s a great opportunity that I don’t want to miss.”
One of the reasons why Tiina joined Stena in the first place was the potential for development within the enterprise. ”I like this company since there’s so many possibilities if you’re just brave and curious enough to ask for it. At the same time you have to be able to stand up for what you feel and think. I decided, early on, that I was going to do what I think is right. It’s also important not to be afraid to question things and drive your own process forward. Personally, I think it’s easy to work in this company given the owner we have and I feel proud to be here every day. That has also meant a lot for my progress.”
In Finland, she’ll be in charge of the branch network and will work with the branch structure and clarification of roles, among other things. It’ll be a journey for change that she’s already made in Sweden.
”Delegated entrepreneurship is how we work at the Stena Recycling branches in Sweden. It basically means that as Branch Manager I own my branch’s result and I get to decide how to reach that result. I’m responsible for the branch and run it as my branch. We have our customers and flow of materials. Then we make the process of refining the materials as profitable as possible,” she says and points out that it’s going to be a positive challenge to implement the same kind of thinking in Finland. ”For me it’s natural to work in this way and I’m really looking forward to do this journey again, together with our competent colleagues in Finland.”
It’s not just about creating a good organisational function and structure, but also about incorporating joy and understanding for delegated entrepreneurship and provide good support for the branch managers. Tiina Lagerström is positive, structured and loyal and has the ability to bring out the best from each individual. She also finds it easy to involve people in a project and make them work towards the same targets. ”It’s important to make every person proud of working with what they do, and feel that today I’ve made a good job. What I’m most proud of having achieved as Branch Manager is the engagement and participation we’ve established. In Eskilstuna, everyone is working for each other. We’re a strong team with a very high level of competence. The branch’s status is fine, both financially and in terms of personnel.”
FINDS STRENGTH IN NATURE
In her new role, she’ll need more of a helicopter view and to utilise support from the competence at hand at Stena Recycling Finland, an organisation with 14 branches in two regions. Even though she’s proficient in Finnish it’ll still be a challenge to embrace the technical language and business language and get to know the culture and competence within the company. ”However, I know that we work in a strong organisation with access to good support, which is also a key to success.”
Outside of work, she regains her strength by spending time with her family, making things nice at home and in the summerhouse or just being outdoors, enjoying nature. ”We’re a very close-knit family and it feels very good that both my husband and my children wholeheartedly support me in my decision to take on this challenge,” she concludes.
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