Agents of Change: Per Brantsing Karlsson: “You need to know what motivates people to work the way they do”

February 4, 2016

VMware’s Agents of Change initiative celebrates smart CIOs that are catalysts for change, harnessing the transformative power of technology to change the way their business operates.

“You can have the most brilliant technology, but it doesn’t mean that people will use it.” These are the sobering words of Per Brantsing Karlsson, CIO of Akademiska Hus, Sweden’s second largest real estate organization. Experience has taught him the importance of understanding a company’s culture.  Getting people to adopt new working patterns isn’t always easy.

“You need to understand what motivates these people to work the way they do. Only then can you motivate them to do things differently. If you can do this, and gain critical mass, then the technology will work. Otherwise, the technology will fail.”

Thanks to this considered approach, the creation of a truly mobile workspace for Akademiska Hus employees has been a great success.  It’s had a positive impact on job flexibility so employees are embracing the new mobile way of working. It is also enabling the company to improve and develop new services. And the company’s virtualization strategy has saved it millions of Swedish crowns.


“A strong economic case is, of course, essential to convince the Board to endorse significant change. And showing considerable cost savings will help you get their attention,” remarked Karlsson. “Ultimately, the job of the CIO starts in the boardroom. For transformational projects to work, there must be a corporate buy-in, from the very top to the bottom. As a senior management team, this means nurturing a culture of innovation and an understanding that it is critical for the business to succeed.”

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