“The courage to be yourself and to be proud of that”

A courageous, responsible and committed workplace is a workplace that is open, happy and supportive.

This is the view of Lena Elserth, whose work includes looking at the impact production has on the surrounding community. This might involve waste and noise issues.

“Our aim is to cause as little disruption as possible to our surroundings and in my job I am in contact with the municipality and the County Council, for example. There are four of us working closely together on what we term external environment issues, such as noise.”

Lena and her three colleagues carry out monitoring and compile reports. She describes her workplace as accepting, happy and supportive and thinks that these words sit well with Holmen’s core values of courage, commitment and responsibility.

“They are good values. Commitment and responsibility go without saying in a workplace and are about doing your job and doing what you are supposed to do. We depend on each other, and care about each other and that the company is doing well.”

Courage is perhaps the most important value in her view. Courage is about daring to reveal your weaknesses and to be yourself. “It’s hugely important that I have the courage to, and feel I am able to, admit that I sometimes don’t understand something and need help from a colleague or a manager, for example.”

In Lena Elserth’s view, if that sort of courage is allowed in a company, it’s a major benefit and the organisation will become a courageous organisation. But she thinks that if the values are to have real power in work day-to-day, what is needed is proper face-to-face meetings.

“I don’t think the phone works very well. But I love meeting people. It fires me with enthusiasm, gives me energy and can help create a team dynamic. Meetings like this foster commitment and that leads to greater individual responsibility, which in turn can make people more courageous.”

Lena thinks that the values have a real importance for the development of the company and of her team.

“I think that in my team we are developing in that direction – we have got better at being courageous and at being ourselves. Of course we are committed and responsible too.”


Courage: Being yourself with the faults and shortcomings you have, but still feeling proud. Having the courage to be supportive and accepting.

Responsibility: Doing your job as well as you can, but speaking up and asking for help from others if you are out of your depth in a specific situation.

Commitment: Meetings between people. It is important to care about the big things and the little things.


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