Meet Elisabeth – leading EGGS Trondheim by letting others shine

On inclusion, innovation, and her visions going forward

Elisabeth is not the one who steals the spotlight. Quite the contrary, she’s the leader who leads by letting others shine and thinks before she speaks. That makes an interview with her a truly reflective experience. Read on to learn about her thoughts on leadership, the role of inclusion in innovation, and what opportunities she sees in the Trøndelag region.

Elisabeth, you’re the new leader of our Trondheim office. What does good leadership mean to you?

”Good leadership means making business by unleashing everyone’s potential. It’s about people doing a good job while being fulfilled and happy at work. This, of course, means different things for different people, so you have to be flexible as a leader. At the same time, you need to be clear on the organisation's vision and communicate direction, goals, and expectations well.”

Would it be correct to call you a reflective leader? Someone who thinks before she speaks?

"Yes, definitely. I tend to think things over and reflect before expressing my thoughts on something. I don't believe you have to immediately have an opinion about everything or act on everything without reflecting first. I prefer rushing slowly. I try to use that in my leadership – listening to people is essential to lead."

“I don't believe you have to immediately have an opinion about everything or act on everything without reflecting first. I prefer rushing slowly. I try to use that in my leadership – listening to people is essential to lead."
Elisabeth Skuterud, Regional Director, EGGS Trondheim

Where do you see EGGS Trondheim heading going forward?

“There are many tasks to be solved in the Trondheim region, and our customers are more and more design mature. We have grown every year since the start, I see that as an expression of the market being happy with how we solve their problems. I stand by EGGS’ purpose of crafting lovable futures, and I truly believe that design has the power to contribute to a better world. In Trondheim specifically, we discuss topics like femtech, inclusive health tech, and sustainable food systems frequently. There’s a lot to do when it comes to creating technology, products, and services that are designed for all and give back to the planet and the businesses that provide them.”

Elisabeth is truly a leader who leads by example - a great listener who always thinks before she speaks, and who puts people first.

What are the main challenges and opportunities you see in the Trondheim region?

"I think the ocean and health industries represent both great challenges and opportunities. So many exciting things are happening here – many innovative products, businesses, and tech solutions. After all, Trondheim is the tech capital of Norway! But businesses and organisations that are heavy on tech often need help putting the user in the center when designing their offerings, which is where we come into the picture as designers and creative techies.”

How can design help solve these challenges?

”The design methodology looks at the problem first. It doesn't rush to find the solution without properly identifying the needs first. This is particularly relevant for many tech-driven businesses, which tend to look at which features they have the competence to make and the solution first without necessarily having identified the real problem yet. A design-driven approach can prevent losing time, money, and energy on developing products that later fail because they don't correspond to the actual needs in the market. Another thing that might not be often discussed but that I believe is highly valuable to our clients is that we know how to stand firm in uncertainty – we thrive there! We can help clients and guide them through uncertain times – we have the experience and methodology to deal with these situations.”

“We know how to stand firm in uncertainty. We can help clients and guide them through uncertain times – we have the experience and methodology to deal with these situations.”
Elisabeth Skuterud, Regional Director, EGGS Trondheim

You’re passionate about the role of diversity and inclusion, especially when it comes to innovation. What is the role of DEI in innovation?

”Everyone talks about that we need more diversity in design and innovation. But I feel few talk about harnessing its power once you have a diverse team. I want to unleash the power of diversity! And there’s no doubt that there is great power there. As innovators, it’s our job to design solutions that include everyone. Of course, having a design team that represents every single group in society is not possible – that's why we do user insights work. But, having a diverse and inclusive culture makes it easier for us to ask the right questions.”

“As innovators, it’s our job to design solutions that include everyone (…) having a diverse and inclusive culture makes it easier for us to ask the right questions.”
Elisabeth Skuterud, Regional Director, EGGS Trondheim

What are your best tips for companies that want to become more innovative?

”First and foremost, it's about daring to be comfortable in uncertainty, not knowing where to go. You need to start somewhere without having the answers ready. If you have the answers already, you’re not innovating. Then you’re only working with incremental improvements.”

What pitfalls are there when working with innovation?

"I think one of the most common mistakes is giving in to the urge to head straight for a solution. Skipping the steps of digging thoroughly into the problem before suggesting solutions is a sure way to make mistakes. And these mistakes can be both costly and time-consuming. Not to mention that by taking shortcuts to the solution, you might miss a lot of great innovation opportunities.”

In EGGS, we often talk about self-leadership. What does that mean to you?

”Self-leadership means that as a co-worker, you should have the freedom to make decisions and lead your work. But this type of freedom also demands a lot of responsibility from employees, so we need to give them a solid framework to handle that responsibility. That includes clear direction, support from leaders, and psychological safety to discuss problems and make mistakes without fear of negative consequences. We want people to be daring, try new things, and come up with insights into how we, as an organisation, can do our work better for clients and ourselves. I see people in my team as experts – I have full confidence in them knowing how to do their job best. I, and other leaders, should merely guide and support them."

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Short about Elisabeth:

Born in: The beautiful island of Stord on the Norwegian west coast

Education: MSc in Business Administration and in knowledge leadership

Previously worked with: Business developer in Teknologisk instistutt Trøndelag, Partner and CEO in Arkiplan, Consultant and market coordinator at Rambøll

Chose EGGS because: I enjoy creative environments. In EGGS, it's a short way from thought to action – I love it! EGGS has the best culture I have ever experienced.

Does in her free time: Singing in choir is my battery charging and flow zone. Finding literally the same frequency as 29 others is pure magic. Also, I love being at or by the sea.

Sounds interesting?

Elisabeth Skuterud

Get in touch with Director of EGGS Trondheim
Elisabeth Skuterud
+47 934 40 534
Email

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