"You need diversity to bring about the creativity and dynamism that are needed at the cutting edge of development," says Jesper Karpsen, Head of Business Development, BA Distribution.
He has built the eleven-person team, which includes five women and six men of different ages and from a variety of backgrounds. Three are based in Berlin and eight in Solna.
Great importance was attached to the recruitment work.
"I wasn't in a hurry – I waited till I found the right people. It was important to make all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle fit together, and to find skills that complemented each other."
"I come from a completely different part of the world"
One member of the team is business analyst Meng Jin, 27, from China. She grew up in central China, studied in North Korea, obtained her business degree in Belgium , and has lived in Sweden for two years.
"Vattenfall is international and has business in European countries. I come from a different part of the world with very different culture and business environment. I hope I could contribute my point of view and experience to Vattenfall"
The team includes people in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s. But diversity isn't just a matter of age, gender and nationality – it also involves personality, experience, education, motivation and values, as Meng Jin points out.
But don't so many differences lead to misunderstanding?
"From a language point of view it's no problem – everyone in the team speaks good English. But yes, misunderstandings – or at least a degree of uncertainty – can arise in certain situations. Personally, I've never understood why there's always a piece of cake left when we have a coffee break. No one seems to dare to take the last piece of the cake – maybe they'll cut it in half and take a piece. Is it impolite in Sweden to take the last piece?"
Of course, diversity also results in many fruitful discussions, when individuals in the team see things from different points of view. Jesper Karpsen is convinced that this is the kind of thing that is needed in order to create the future of Distribution, and thinks that the range of different skills in the team is a strength. He can see how the older members like to take on the role of coaching the younger ones, while they themselves are challenged to find new ways of thinking.
The team works on business development, acquisition and divestment, strategy, competitive intelligence, start-ups and investment planning.
"The market for distribution is developing very fast at the moment, which presents big challenges. The team displays great dynamism, and there is a great willingness to take responsibility, initiate and influence," says Karpsen.