#188 - How to make workplace culture less accidental - and let people succeed from the get-go.

An interview with Petri Lehtonen, CEO of Flowtrace

This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to help create the workplace culture we’d all dream to work in. My guest is Petri Lehtonen, CEO of Flowtrace

Petri is a startup leader turned into an entrepreneur. He’s what he calls a professional Inter-team communicator. He’s had significant exposure to strategic partnerships, nurturing startup cultures, and building cloud products. 

After 20 years of tackling the slow and manual processes of organizations and teams, Petri figured there must be an easier, modern way of making work more transparent and avoiding the recurrent pitfalls of teams not collaborating with each other. 

He realized that work is changing whether we like it or not. The tools we use are also part of that change. For a leader to understand their organization, new ways of overseeing are needed. The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 was the final push – as it made it even more pressing to solve the obstacles of collaborating remotely.

That became the founding idea behind Flowtrace in 2020. Flowtrace is on a mission to bring about the future of work for everyone. It’s doing this by building a platform and focusing on the things that really matter in inter-team collaboration – making modern work more meaningful.

And that inspired me, and hence I invited Petri to my podcast. We explore what’s broken when it comes to creating successful company cultures – and what are the consequences of failing. We discuss what culture creation really is all about, and how technology can play a fundamental role in amplifying the benefits in areas such as boosting productivity, creativity, quality, and/or innovation. Lastly, we dig into Petri’s big lessons learned around creating a product-market fit and creating momentum through messaging.

Here are some of his quotes:

I started a little bit differently than many other founders. Becoming a founder, I knew I wanted to build something that b2b companies can leverage. I wanted to increase the communication and collaboration in the startup tech industry. So the next six months, I spent talking with people who are in the same position as I am. I was trying to find a viable, feasible and valuable solution in these conversations. So I was basically designing my solution just by talking the first half a year.

Towards the end of those hundreds of calls and conversations I had some people started to ask at the end of the call, “Can I actually try your solution?” 

It obviously shocks you a little bit, but when it happens many times enough, you realize, I actually don’t have any product. Maybe now it’s time I need to actually build it.

During this interview, you will learn four things:

  1. That success starts by being specific – Being specific about the value you create and who’d benefit most from this value
  2. Why selling the vision will help you grow momentum faster than selling the features
  3. That it’s essential to get to product-market fit fast – and how to achieve that almost without coding a single line 
  4. That there’s often a big difference between what customers want and what you think they want – and how to go about that by addressing the fundamentals

For more information about the guest from this week:


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