02.10.2015 | Show comments 0
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Innotiimi-ICG selected provider for the EU institutions


Design team, the people from the left are Jean-François Bertholet (AIM), Pauline Graystone (GreenHouse Group), Project Manager Rob Bigge (ICG), István Kosztolányi (ICG) and Katri Auvinen (Innotiimi). Missing are Tommi Gustafsson (Innotiimi) and Pedagogical Manager Claude Alvarez Pereyre.

Be it something significant taking place in our private life or on a global scale, it is part of the human nature to print it permanently on our mind. With only a slight exaggeration, the six-strong Innotiimi-ICG consortium team will surely not forget that one particular evening this August.

"It had been such a long bidding process that when the news finally broke it felt like a huge surprise," remembers Katri Auvinen, and paints the picture of her setting. "I was on a holiday on our small island in The Finnish Lake District. I was so overtaken by the news that I couldn't sleep and stayed awake half a night with a happy grin on my face."

Memorable moments should be cherished and this certainly was one of them.

Innotiimi-ICG with two other European partners had been chosen  as the provider of leadership and management development programmes for the EU institutions. For the next four years this means no less than thirty seven clients in all EU member states including the European External Service with representations around the world.

Around the globe was also the winning team of the Innotiimi-ICG consortium when the news  started to spread. Messages, presumably quite euphoric, circulated from continent to continent.

"Tommi Gustafsson was sailing on the Baltic Sea. István Kostzolányi was at home in Budapest. He later told me that he had to go for a walk at night just to digest the news. No doubt, almost a surreal experience it must have been to one of us who was just climbing up the hill Kilimanjaro when the SMS reached him. Luckily enough, the connection was functioning just at the right moment," Katri smiles.

If possible, the taste of success was even sweeter when it became known that the winning concept was considered far superior in comparison with the other thirteen international competitors. In its evaluation, the main contract partner, the European School of Administration, ranked Innotiimi-ICG's and its partners' bid on top with a clear margin.

Obviously, that kind of recognition and achievement required commitment and a lot of hard work. Even during the holidays.

"The deadline was at the end of January, so we had to keep pushing also during the Christmas holiday season, wherever people happened to be – Äkäslompolo, Helsinki, Budapest, Brussels, London, Paris, Venice. Fortunately, working virtually is one of our much used strengths" elaborates Katri the working ethos.

As often is the case, the process proved to be beneficial also to the bidder itself.

Says Katri Auvinen: "Indeed, the process was quite a tough one since it was done in conjunction with our other daily work. Hardly ever have we put so much effort on any bid. This said, never before I remember having so much fun together in a similar situation. That whole period made us a more cohesive unit and I suppose that is evident and shows also in the final result."

István Kostzolányi describes the bidding process in a similar vein. According to him it had an empowering and a lasting effect.

"It was simply great to witness how people rose up to the challenge, carried their responsibility and brought along their valuable input. It definitely made us a stronger  team."

That kind of spirit and cooperation are needed also in the coming years. Expectations are running high and they have to be met. The quest is simple: think out of the box and produce something unseen before. A tailor-made learning concept - both for the groups and the individuals - that is both more effective and more coordinated.

Tommi Gustafsson is adamant that precisely those qualities constitute the essence and the strength of the Innotiimi-ICG concept.

"We proposed a model in which the learning needs are defined together with the superior of the participant Taken into account are not only the needs of the individual, but also those of the team and the working environment at large. The context of daily managerial situations is the obvious starting point. The results will be concrete and tangible – and they will be monitored."

Katri Auvinen doesn't shy away from the fact that the challenge is big. However, the basis for a successful four year period is already there. Innotiimi-ICG is not a rookie when it comes to supporting the EU institutions. Previous cooperation has gathered valuable experience.

"We are already familiar with the customer and we have built a mutual trust already since 2007. Furthermore, we have an understanding of the reality and the needs of the EU civil servants. It's been nice to hear that so many  are happy to continue with us."

The active design phase is already underway. The actual learning activities commence next year. Expect something fresh with a new twist.

Text: Pekka Vänttinen

Press release:


Innotiimi-ICG Leadership Management Development EU Institutions European School of Administration (EUSA) A tailor-made learning concept

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