Sida is a government agency working on behalf of the Swedish parliament and government, with the mission to reduce poverty in the world. This is done by enabling people living in poverty to improve their lives, reform cooperation with Eastern Europe and by distributing humanitarian aid to people in need of assistance.
Sonder worked together with Sida to develop an adapted organisation and a common vision for the support functions within the agency – with the purpose of enhancing the core business and the implementation of Sweden’s strategies for global development. Below, we interview Maria Tegborg, acting Head of department of HR and communication and the person responsible for the collaboration.
What were your challenges?
We needed to make the different units within the support functions to collaborate, we were not synchronised enough. At the same time there was a need to raise ourselves and see the whole picture, and to become more relevant for the operations we are to support.
Why did you choose Sonder?
Their personal touch. That you don’t show up with predefined models, but instead listen and adapt your support to us based on your competence and experience from other organisations. We felt early on that your way of working is built upon dialogue. It made it possible for us to view ourselves vis-à-vis theories and other organisations. We could see us from the outside – something that was very instructive.
How did you experience the collaboration?
Very good, one can tell that collaboration is what matters most to you. You don’t want to be external consultants who simply enter and deliver. You want to make this together with us, hand in hand. You were also very careful and thorough with your recommendations to make sure that they were both realistic and possible for us to achieve. And that builds of course on collaboration and dialogue.
The collaboration with you was easy, simple and fast. And fun!
What was the contribution of our collaboration for Sida?
You helped us with our challenge. We are now working in a new organisation that we stand for and are proud of, and that we of course will continue to develop further. And the organisation is ours, not yours. The continuous dialogue with you during the assignment helped us understand what is possible, what is reasonable and what can work for us. You illustrated trade-offs, showed us how one can think and we got to way in and decide.
Would you consider working with us again?
Yes, definitely. And I know that we are many who would. Sonder has a broad palette of competencies that can face numerous needs.
What’s the thing with Sonder?
You are just enough brave and cool somehow. You are well informed on science and tends within organisational development, and generous with your knowledge and thoughts on the organisations of the future.
And you are at the same time very innovative. That you embody your ideas on the organisations of the future by doing it yourselves gives so much value when you talk about organisational development. Even if we can’t follow you, and go as far as you have. But you also say and remind us “you don’t have to go all the way, but try. This step is good for you”.
And one more thing. One can tell that you love your job. You are all proud and you have a lot of fun.