Meet the Leader

This series of career stories is built on conversations, ideas and the Lindström community. With a mission to celebrate our colleagues and draw inspiration, it is dedicated to shedding light on the stories of Lindströmers around the world, in various positions, teams and countries, celebrating the diversity of our people. At Lindström, everyone is valued and supported in their aspiration to become the best they can be.  

Today, we bring you our conversation with Kati Pallasaho, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Sustainability.  

In August 2020, Kati joined Lindström as Director of Strategy. In a short span, she took over additional responsibilities and is currently leading the strategy and sustainability function. She is based at the Head Office in Finland. 


Kati Pallasaho, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Sustainability

To kick things off, please walk us through your background.

The perfect way of summarising my journey so far is to look at it in three chapters. The initial years of my career were spent in academia, working as a researcher, looking into how companies renew themselves and innovate in business collaborations and ecosystems.  

Research usually focuses on the past. Studying a company’s strategic transition from a ‘paper company’ to a ‘renewable materials company’ got me interested in being closer to action in real time.  

This led to my next chapter – consulting. Soon, I was advising organisations on shaping their innovation and growth strategies with a focus on clear outcomes.  

During this time, I got to know Lindström closely and decided to delve deeper into problem-solving, which brought me to my current sprint. I joined the Lindström group because I wanted to see the strategy come alive. 


Tell us about the most defining moments of your professional journey and the people who helped carve it.

I am the kind of person who draws inspiration from day-to-day interactions and finds joy in everyday work. For instance, meeting ambitious, daring people is inspiring and often leaves me with an excited, positive disposition about where I am and what’s to come. 


What is an essential skill that has shaped the leader in you?

Work demands taking care of resource allocation, taking control, setting boundaries in terms of capacity, work hours, budgets, my inbox and deadlines. Life demands empathy, connection, compassion, health and all the other aspects that get overlooked when we are stressed, busy and often overwhelmed at work. I live by Winston Churchill’s wise words, “We make a life by what we give.”  

Practising kindness and gratitude is my way of living and the value I bring to the table also at work. And these are values that are more than a moral imperative. Leading with kindness makes navigating difficult situations more manageable. For instance, sharing feedback with care makes people more receptive to them. Small considerations like how the timing is for the person who is receiving feedback can go a long way. 


Looking back, is there a situation you could have approached differently?

If I could change something, looking back, I would react more quickly in situations when a team member shows signs of distress, fatigue or burnout. These situations are tough to judge, but from past experiences, I have learned to pay closer attention to early signs, especially the unsaid ones. Also, learning from various instances, I keep an eye on moments which are perfect to emphasise that the well-being versus performance trade-off is a false dilemma.  


What value do you wish Lindström to bring to future generations?

To ignite innovation, I believe we must be driven by limitless curiosity, a passion for lifelong learning and a relentless focus on the future. But it all starts with excellent learning efficiency. A culture that encourages milking every experience for maximum learning is something I strive for and would like to see flourishing in Lindström.