Karlstad Bostads AB (KBAB) is a real estate company owned by the municipality of Karlstad. KBAB owns around 7 500 apartments and has 150 employees. A growing population changed the municipality’s expectations on production of new apartments, and an increased required return from the owner put new demands on the organisation.
The collaboration started during the spring of 2016 with an analysis of the current organisation with the purpose of identifying areas of development in order to meet the company’s new demands. The consultants from Sonder then worked together with the CEO Carin Skarman to support the implementation of the decided changes. Carin tells us about the project and how she experienced the collaboration with Sonder.
What were your challenges?
We were in need of quite extensive changes in our organisation and ways of working in a company that has had the same structures for the last 20 years. The major challenge was to make all employees understand that the change was necessary as well as making everyone willing to partake in the transitioning.
Why did you choose Sonder?
I actually searched on Google and found Sonder, without any other reference. But at the first meeting I felt that the right competence to take on such as complex assignment was there. I knew that we needed an extensive change, but could not pinpoint exactly what needed to be done. But Sonder were very calm facing such a situation and it turned out that they had that experience and competence to cope with complexity. That was the first thing, the other was simply chemistry. It felt right and very professional.
How did you experience the collaboration?
Well, it became more than a collaboration – it became a relation. I also believe that that was the key, it was entirely transparent, honest and prestigeless. We helped each other and were open for each others thoughts and ideas and agreed on that there was no obvious solution from the start. Sonder were very humble in this situation.
One should also mention that there was a fear and a negative attitude, not only towards the change itself but also towards consultants. Sonder managed to make everyone understand that change is not dangerous and provided a sense of participation. One felt confidence and that we did this together. A common journey with the goal to make things as good as possible for us as employees.
How did the collaboration contribute to KBAB’s organisation?
The work became more comprehensive than I had expected. On the other hand, considering that we have had the same organisation during 20 years I have to say that the change was fast paced during the 18 months it unfolded.
I have had support during the entire journey. It has been tough from time to time, and everyone did not like it from the beginning. But now I feel that there is an understanding in the company, and a large support for the work we have done.
Would you recommend us to others?
What is the thing with Sonder?
We have had fun together! It has at the same time been moving forward continuously and professionally. The consultants have delivered everything that I needed, at the right time and slightly exceeded my expectations.