Kerava’s New City Strategy Embraced Through Play

Kerava has a new city strategy aiming for a Good Life City by 2025. The city strategy was developed in close collaboration with elected officials, residents, and Kerava city staff.

In March 2018, supervisor days were organized, focusing on strategic leadership. One of the objectives was to equip supervisors with tools and enthusiasm for implementing the strategy and articulate it more effectively to their teams. Muutostaito and its training process based on gamification were employed for this purpose.

“We were looking for a fresh approach to implementing the strategy. I had experience using games, including Muutostaito’s supervisory game, in my previous job, and I thought a game could be suitable for our supervisor days’ theme and objectives,” says Mari Wefvar, HR Manager at Kerava city.

Kerava – A City of Good Life

Ninety supervisors from various positions within the city, from top management to frontline supervisors, gathered for the supervisor days.

“The purpose of the game was to create a shared vision and understanding that the city’s new strategy concerns each of us, regardless of our roles and departments. We also aimed to deepen supervisors’ understanding of the common strategy. It was important to emphasize that the strategy is not a distant utopia but something very close to our everyday work,” explains Mari Wefvar.

A successful strategy game requires careful preparation. Despite a tight schedule, Kerava’s preparations went smoothly.

“I sent materials related to the new strategy to the Muutostaito coach in advance and had a brief brainstorming and preparation meeting with them. In the following meeting, we already received suggestions for game questions. The process was smooth, agile, and straightforward from the client’s perspective,” describes Wefvar.

The game strengthened shared interests among the participants. The unique approach inspired supervisors to think deeply about the best ways to implement the strategy. Supervisors from different departments played together, gaining a shared perspective on how the strategy impacts all city functions.

“After the actual gameplay, we discussed in groups the thoughts the game had triggered about various themes. Hearing what other teams had thought about certain topics surely broadened everyone’s perspective. It was wonderful to realize how many common touchpoints and interests we share across different departments,” says Mira Keitaanranta, Director of Economic Development at Kerava city.

Feedback collected from the supervisors indicated that the strategy game was an excellent choice for implementing the strategy.

“It is crucial to get supervisors excited about the strategy, and according to the feedback we received, we succeeded. The facilitator also played a vital role; their enthusiasm involved everyone in the game,” says Mira Keitaanranta.

Action plans derived from the strategy are now in place, and supervisors are discussing them with their teams to integrate them into the city’s daily operations.

“It is essential for the success that the importance of the strategy is understood. Especially, how the implementation of the strategy is everyone’s responsibility, including at the employee level. Each department now has its action plan. The implementation of the strategy is actively monitored both within the departments and by the city council,” explains Mira Keitaanranta.

Based on Kerava city’s experience, both Wefvar and Keitaanranta highly recommend Muutostaito’s training programs to others.

“The game idea works well, and it’s great that each game, including the boards, is always tailored to the client. This ensures that the game fits the specific needs of the organization. The Muutostaito coaches seemed to have a good understanding of various situations, and they could bring ideas that precisely suited our needs,” concludes Mira Keitaanranta, Director of Economic Development at Kerava city.