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ART IS MORE THAN ENTERTAINMENT

Artworks met with business leader Johan Nordenström who is longing to learn more about art, whilst building on business success.

3 min read

Who are you?
I’m a 35 year old dog lover who works with data-driven marketing and the interception of IT and communicative creativity for a living.
Where are you and why?
My role as CEO of Kaplan means I’m, together with my colleagues, in the epicenter of a communicative revolution, that is forever changing the way we are working with communication and customer experience. Why? I think it is fair to say that luck got me into this business.
Apparently you run one of Sweden’s most profitable customer and loyalty management firms, are you satisfied with your achievement?
It’s a very fun job - and it’s a privilege to have seen the company grow so rapidly over the last couple of years, and to see the trust that we get from our clients across the Nordics. But the achievement is not mine - it’s the collective achievement of the group of people that everyday wake up and go to work for our company. I am proud to be part of that group - nothing makes me happier than when we do great work together and our clients are happy. Proud, but certainly not satisfied. Our journey has just started.
Do you have any key values that drive your business ethics and culture?
We certainly do. We live our lives after our motto, the four “Cs” - Customer focus, Care, Curiosity and Co-operation.
During office hours, what does your social media diet consist of?
It’s a diet that kills - zero intake, at least on a private level. Professionally - of course there is social media that we engage in on behalf of clients. Social media is naturally a very important part of the work we do in creating engaging communication and customer experiences for our customers.
What does your art diet consist of?
It's sadly quite limited. I play the piano on the weekends, and read a lot - is that art? Or am I confusing art with culture?
You have some arty friends, what is your idea of them trying to get you interested in the art?
Their efforts are much appreciated. I think you really need someone to teach you how to like and love art. Someone that is willing to spend the time to explain and give you the background of the works, painters, photographers, creators etc. Like most things - it gets interesting when you have knowledge and understand the context. Some things of course you just love by looking at it.
So, when did you last visit an art event and why?
A friend of ours, Nina Siemiatkowski is a photographer and had an amazing exhibition a couple of months ago. We just bought one of her pieces for the office - a lion holding a piece of zebra leftover in her jaws. Very dramatic. And beautiful.
What made you go for that specific artwork?
Nature is always attractive when captured by a professional artist. Lions have always scared and engaged I guess. A good combination.
Your business has an art show coming up, why are mixing arts and business?
The idea came from a group of my colleagues with the motivation that art does not have to be complicated. And that it can really bring out creativity - a trait we of course value highly as a business within the knowledge industry. And of course  - a nicely decorated office increases well-being and gives us happy colleagues and customers. Art and Business - it’s a strong combination.

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