My first perceptions of Fingrid

Columnist Päivi Nerg is Permanent Under-Secretary for Governance Policy at the Ministry of Finance. She previously worked as Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of the Interior. Nerg became a member of Fingrid’s Board of Directors in 2018.

I began work as a new member of Fingrid’s Board of Directors in March — and it has been a joy to thoroughly familiarise myself with the entire company’s operations. Previously, I primarily knew Fingrid through the preparedness and safety sector.

I would now like to share a few of my very first perceptions of Fingrid with you. Here is my list of four things:

Responsibility

The company operates just as responsibly as I had thought. Nationally critical preparedness and safety matters are ready for all audits and inspections. Thank you for that. I am sure that work will continue with just as much success in the future.

Pioneering

Fingrid is a pioneer in many things. Highlighting future market-based electricity system alternatives is a responsible activity for a company that could easily cling to traditional operating methods. How Fingrid commits to reducing its carbon footprint is a big deal for us Finns.

Developing the corporate culture is another significant issue that is visible in how the company operates overall. Self-direction and taking responsibility for one’s own work as part of Fingrid’s overall success is an approach that has shaped, and is still shaping, the entire company. Low-hierarchy organisation, the flexible ways in which supervisors and staff work, and the honest measurement of profit are concrete examples which indicate that words have been put into action.

Innovativeness

Investment in research and innovation activities is an essential part of Fingrid’s new strategic thinking. It has been fun to notice how strongly the approach, in which actors from various industries “collide” with one another to find new kinds of innovation, has been adopted in the company. Cooperation with start-up companies has also been a great new undertaking.

Internationalism

The European Union’s goal of developing common European balancing markets has also spurred Fingrid on to become an active developer on a European level. The development of Nordic markets is already routine in many different sectors, so it is natural and important that the next level for cooperation and developing future solutions is the EU level.

Participating in various competitions and surveys is part and parcel of working at Fingrid. When I asked, as a Board member, what indicators we use to gauge our success, or how we compare our success to other companies or countries, there were already plenty of answers. Of course, there’s always room for improvement, but there are already several quantitative and qualitative indicators in use.

The courage to develop the transmission system operator through company-wide reform and modernisation is the best operating method in a situation in which drastic change affects society overall. In times of change, it is best to be in the driving seat yourself, as it brings the company better opportunities to react at the right time to the necessary things.