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Interview with Ola Björk, IT Manager at Kanthal 

Change is always a part of our work lives. It can come from starting a new job or updating an old IT system. But if change is such a big part of our daily work, why aren’t organizations better at handling it? 

One company that got a handle on change management, is the Swedish company Kanthal. With almost a century of experience, this manufacturing business knows what it takes to prepare for change.


Kanthal has provided the world with industry-leading electric heating technology since 1931. As a company in the business of innovation, they need to continuously develop in order to attract talent. Ola Björk, IT Manager at Kanthal, has played a key role in the process to reach this goal. 

”I’ve been a part of the control organization for almost 29 years. I started out as an automation engineer, and then started working with IT. 15 years ago, I became IT Manager for the control division. Back in those days, we had Movex and a lot of other systems. In recent years we have started the transition into Infor M3, and it's been a great journey. It's still an ongoing journey, and it's really fun to be a part of it,” Ola Björk tells us. 

In our podcast Leading Business Transformation, Ola Björk explains how Kanthal prepare their employees for this change journey. One of our Infor M3 Project Managers and education concept experts, Jeanette Andersson, joins him to discuss what happens if you fail to train the trainer. 

Or watch the episode on Youtube: 


In this blog post, we go through topics such as:

If you bring in new people to your organization without giving them the proper training, then that's a real waste of resources. I would say it's like we would have installed a Ferrari, but chose drive it as a tractor.
Train the trainer: A strategy for onboarding and continuous education 

Education and trainings are essential when it comes to any kind of change management. It’s for example completely normal to feel a little lost when you start a new job. This is where a proper education and training program comes in handy.

“If you bring in new people to your organization without giving them the proper training, then that's a real waste of resources. I would say it's like we would have installed a Ferrari, but chose drive it as a tractor. Because you can invest a lot of money in various IT systems, but if you don't give the people the means to drive them, that's when you’re wasting time,” says Ola Björk. 

He explains that Kanthal started searching for a Train the Trainer concept after they realized that many of their more experienced users, now called super users, where getting close to retirement. Columbus was ready to help through our Education Concept, created for Infor M3 users. 

“We understood that we had to address the situation in some way, so we established a new kind of governance for our business processes. A part of this was also to establish a good education concept for our new recruits. Of course, it's also important to train our super users because they are the trainers in the concept.”

KanthalOla Björk and Jeanette Andersson recording an episode of Leading Business Transformation.


Education is a part of enabling automation

Trainings, education programs, and onboarding are all time-consuming tasks. But in the long run, you will most likely save time and recourses, which means that your colleagues and employees can focus on other things.  

It has been overwhelmingly positive.

“This brings us into automation, which is a process like every other process. I think it's really important to reduce the workload and to enable something like automation, by having reusable training sessions. If you look at training like ABC, this e-learning then gives you the A that's a good foundation for a new employee to start from.”

What sort of feedback have you received from your colleagues from using Columbus Education Concept?

“It has been overwhelmingly positive. There haven’t been any negative reactions to it as everyone, I feel, want even more training. When I interview newcomers, they say that it’s really a pleasure to come to a company where you have this available,” says Ola Björk.

Want to get started on your creating your own education roadmap? Learn more about our Train the Trainer and Education Concept for Infor M3 users. 

Or read this article by Jeanette Andersson on how to start educating your employees. Subscribe to podcast


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