Turning a culture playbook into an everyday workbook



Genelec is a leading manufacturer of active loudspeakers for studio monitoring, installations and home theaters. Based in Iisalmi, Finland the company has been dedicated to the professional audio business for over 40 years. Its commitment to research and development resulted in a number of industry firsts and established Genelec as the industry leader in active monitors. The company employs over 200 people and operates globally with subsidiaries across the US, China, Japan and Sweden, in addition to its factory and headquarters in Finland.


– Culture insights
– Creative concept
– Content writing
– Internal launch


Genelec partnered with us to help address a two-fold culture challenge:
• How to integrate new talent in a well-established company culture?
• How to inspire all employees to actively develop the culture while honoring its legacy?

The fact that a company manages to retain employees for over 10-20 years speaks volumes about its culture. It means that people believe in the company mission, enjoy their work, and feel that they are part of a community. As a family-owned company, Genelec has a strong sense of identity and a remarkable legacy. Since its beginnings in 1978, the company grew with a strong set of values and a way of working that involves thorough exploration and the pursuit of excellence.

As the company welcomes new employees, understanding Genelec’s culture with the same depth as the people who have been in the company for over a decade proves to be a steep learning curve. At the same time, the long-term employees are challenged to change and transition their ways of working together with their new colleagues.

To address this challenge, we co-created a culture playbook that serves as an everyday working tool rather than a static, one-time-read type of document.


We started by observing and listening. We explored the company history, the founders’ legacy, as well as the various culture materials and documentation. We interviewed leaders and employees across different countries and had in-depth conversations about how they experience the company culture and how it influences their day-to-day work.

“Co-founders is a company that listens carefully and respects the culture that you have. They have this sense of giving time and space for others.” Maria Martikainen, Co-owner and Enterprise Culture Developer at Genelec

Several key elements stood out: the deep impact that the founder of the company Ilpo Martikainen had on the working culture, the belief in creating something beautiful and long-lasting, the explorative nature of the work, the ambition in constantly perfecting the product, as well as the deep care for the people and the environment.

These insights helped us understand the essence of Genelec’s culture and sharpen the creative concept of the playbook. We co-created the playbook together with Genelec’s leaders and employees.


The result of this work is Työkirja 43: a culture workbook that takes its inspiration from the founder of Genelec, Ilpo Martikainen. Throughout his career, Ilpo used 42 workbooks for his notes and sketches. He entitled each of them Työkirja, meaning workbook in Finnish.

Työkirja 43 is dedicated to the wider community of people that contribute to continuing the legacy of Ilpo and his first-generation colleagues. The workbook invites employees to freely reflect, write, sketch, collect inspiration and share this content with other colleagues. The act of writing on pages that contain concentrated bits of the culture is a practical and interactive way of engagement with Genelec’s culture.

“This project strengthened our insights of the culture by hearing and reading how people feel about the company. As now there are so many new people on board, I think it is very important that they have this physical book where their colleagues have shared their thoughts, because it is a way to pass it forward and keep the culture alive.” Maria Martikainen, Co-owner and Enterprise Culture Developer at Genelec

The workbook outlines Genelec’s strong legacy and supports the onboarding and integration of new talent. It serves as a strategic tool that fuses Genelec’s culture and brand and energizes the systematic development of both in the long run.