Clarity Of Vision, Unity Of Purpose; A Key Theme From This Year’s Sweco UK Business Forum
Max Joy, Managing Director, Sweco UK
I was delighted to welcome senior leadership from across Sweco UK together, for the first time, with the management leads from the recently acquired MLM Group at our annual Business Forum, held at Oulton Hall in Leeds. Sweco’s investment in MLM is a vote of confidence in the UK business specifically, but also in the UK market as whole, and so this year’s Forum was an important chance not only to celebrate this, but to express, align and refine the joint business’s strategies and ambitious growth plans for the next 3 years.
It was the synergies made evident between the two company cultures that really captured the optimism in the room over the two-day event. The findings from an interactive session on culture and people led by Sweco’s very own global expert on organisational development and performance, Ulrik Langermann, provided stark confirmation that the decision to combine the two businesses had been the correct one. Expertise, approachability, commitment to every project, safety and sustainability were at the centre of both cultures. However, where Sweco was unanimous in identifying a value-driven approach as a key strength and driver of success, this was perfectly complemented by MLM’s investment in developing a culture of entrepreneurial thinking.
The theme of sustainability, as an important differentiator for Sweco, provided a positive talking point against this backdrop of offering clients the best possible value. Sweden leads the way in climate change, and we are very much a part of that from both a visionary and operational approach across the UK too. It is this Nordic identity and strength in sustainability that helps Sweco stand apart in planning and designing sustainable communities and cities of the future, both across Northern Europe and here in the UK. And enjoying further debate on this topic over fika – the Swedish word meaning ‘to have a break’ over coffee and cakes – MLM colleagues were given a taster of a Nordic approach first hand.
The acquisition of MLM has significantly increased Sweco’s footprint in the UK, enabling us to better serve our clients and partners nationwide with an extended breadth of expertise. Now, integrating the best of both worlds into a single force, the company is in a strong position as it moves into 2020 with clarity of vision and a unity of purpose.