Birthdays, the Red Queen, and a Bright Outlook for a Strong Future 


Last Thursday, Taival celebrated its 5th year in business – a notable milestone for any company, particularly given the unusual, unexpected, and unprecedented changes and challenges the world has experienced during the last few years.  


A birthday party like this one, where we all met together, in person, under one roof, felt extra special after two years of social separation. There we were: greeting those who have been with us during the entire journey: Taival colleagues meeting together for the first time in too long; clients who have become friends; partners who have become travel mates in our journey toward building a better, brighter future; and best of all – meeting new people as well. A big thank you to all who joined in our celebration! 


On milestone birthdays, we reflect on where we’ve been and how far we’ve come, and then we look ahead to where we want to go. Taival has grown from a glimmering idea to build a new kind of consultancy company into a 15-person-strong organization based in two countries that helps organizations succeed with emerging global trends and new priorities – where we help to connect the dots between business strategy, sustainability, ecosystems, data, and technology in order to drive sustainable business for all stakeholders – and then, once the map is drawn, to work together with our clients all the way to the finish line of successful strategy implementation.  


We haven’t come this far alone. We have worked together with trusted people and partners with whom we have grown and learned along the way. We’ve focused on building strong company values while having fun and letting our unique talents and personality show along the way, and this was evident at the event through the lively conversations and laughter over delicious food and set against the joyful experience of live music from three separate performances, accompanied by a talented band which included our CEO Petri Salo on electric guitar. Many attendees were able to relive a piece of their younger selves through the performance of Mato Valtonen, formerly of Leningrad Cowboys, who hasn’t lost his touch with the audience and who put on a lively and powerful performance, putting smiles on the face of everyone listening. Not just a performer, but a successful businessman as well, Mato also gave a keynote in which he shared his thoughts around thriving in business by learning to deal well with both successful days and failures, with a reminder to work as a team and take care of each other along the way.  


Often, our clients and friends can best reveal to us the ways in which our work has been effective. Our friend Kirsi Hulkko from Fortum shared an anecdote that stuck in our minds and our imaginations: it begins with the beloved children’s story Alice in Wonderland, where Alice and the Red Queen are running together. “It takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place,” the Red Queen tells Alice. As it turns out, this so-called Red Queen Hypothesis relates well to the business world as well. How does a business survive in a competitive world, where everyone is running as fast as they can just to keep up with everyone else? We must learn to adapt and evolve to improve and stay ahead of the game. This requires looking at challenges through a new lens and creating a strategy to address these challenges in a way that helps the organization move forward better, faster, and more effectively. This, Kirsi said, is what Taival has brought to our work with and for Fortum, and indeed, reflects our mission. Thank you, Kirsi, for these words.  


Great partnerships are needed to build great businesses, and to this end, we have worked together with other like-minded companies that help us help our customers grow.  Our recently announced partnership with Tangible Growth reflects this, as CEO Juuso Hämäläinen shared in his speech at the party, that together we develop better ideas to serve our clients in achieving their missions. As we continue our work with Tangible Growth, you will hear more about how our partnership can help you in developing and executing an agile and active strategy. Stay tuned! We will be sharing more on this soon.  


We enter our next phase with smiles on our faces, grateful for the journey that brought us to this milestone and for the people we have met and worked with along the way. Here’s to all of us: colleagues, partners, clients – friends. We’re looking forward to the next five years, with a bright outlook for a strong future, for all of us.