Due to JLI Vision's strong growth and profits over the past years, CEO Jørgen Læssøe was recently nominated as "Owner/Manager of the Year " in PwC's awards for the best owner/managers in Denmark.
Jørgen Læssøe was nominated in the theme category "Trust and Talent", and it was JLI's unique culture and management principles that led PwC to nominate Jørgen Læssøe for the award.
"I lead by the principle 'management by doing nothing'," says Jørgen Læssøe.
It's not laziness that hides behind the somewhat different approach to management, but rather a belief that if you go out of your way to hire talented people, you should also trust them to know how to do their job.
"The employees know how best to solve a task and organize a project. These are engineers who are used to working in groups and on projects, so there's no need for me to tell them how to do that," says Jørgen Læssøe, who nevertheless had to admit defeat in the "Trust and Talent" category this time, as the award went to Per Kirchner from Novicell.
An organization based on helpfulness
JLI's vision has been based on a flat organizational structure from the beginning, and now that the company has more than 30 employees, that organization has been preserved. People can come and go as they please - as long as it's coordinated with the colleagues who depend on them.
"We have no bosses and we have no KPI's to manage by. I've been in companies where department heads fight each other and it benefits no one. This way we are all in the same boat and therefore must help each other. This means that we have created a very helpful culture where people want to share knowledge and learn from each other," explains Jørgen Læssøe.
A goal of having too many engineers
But how do you keep on top of projects when everyone is basically responsible for managing themselves?
"We have our whiteboard meeting every Thursday, where all employees participate, and here we follow up on the projects and allocate resources so that those who are busy get help. We also share learnings from completed projects here, so we avoid inventing the same solution twice."
JLI vision's goal is to always have a few too many engineers on staff so that every specialist has enough time to research new knowledge in their field and make sure JLI vision stays ahead of the curve.
So far, unlike most other companies, JLI vision has had no trouble attracting qualified engineers, and Jørgen Læssøe attributes this to both the solid professional environment and the special culture that JLI vision can offer.
According to Jørgen Læssøe, it's also about not overcomplicating things. Because at its core, there is a simple logic behind it all:
A helpful and trusting culture with a lot of freedom attracts talent, and happy and skilled employees deliver great projects. Great projects lead to loyal customers, and that's the best path to sustainable growth.