Miltton Sisu ready to create clarity in confusion

Kristi Liiva, one of the founders of Miltton New Nordics and one of the most experienced and well-known communications experts in Estonia, will be pursuing a new mission beginning this fall – change management and leadership development.

Miltton Sisu

Miltton Sisu, a subsidiary under Miltton New Nordics that covers Miltton’s operations in the Baltics and St. Petersburg region, is founded with the aim to advise both Estonian private and public sector organisations and community leaders on how to be creative and flexible in the VUCA world (read more Miltton Sisu wants to help in creating working cultures and environments where people feel comfortable being themselves and thus, are able to maximise their potential.

“When it comes to work as a communications adviser, I’m certainly not going to leave our clients,” says Kristi, “I’m always there, but from now on I’m just going to be devoting more time on change management and leadership development advisory,” says Kristi Liiva, one of the founders of Miltton Sisu.

What does organisational change and development management mean?

Kristi and her team help clients to find clarity in confusion and order in chaos. Kristi promises that “in times of change, I help to think through, target, deliver and help managers create a working culture and environment where people feel joy, are capable, and productive”. Miltton Sisu’s role is to underline problems that hinder organisations and its people’s development and then advise managers on how to find ways to mitigate the issues and unlock the employees full potential.

“My own story and journey in various companies and teams have been the most important elements helping me.” Learning firsthand, she has experienced how the leadership process is many times more multidimensional than a normal command line where smart and enlightened managers traditionally lead the way as employees do what they are told. “People expect a leader to be an empathetic engager, a thinker, a good process initiator and leader, and good at getting the big picture whilst still managing to be the team’s visionary, too.”

Experiences and lessons learned

In addition to Kristi, Miltton Sisu’s team consists of Eva-Maria Kangro, Jane Oblikas, and Greetel Joanna Võrk. Eva-Maria holds a PhD in phycology, making her an expert on self-management and how to cope with change. Jane is a renowned design thinking trainer who has advised dozens of Estonian companies throughout reshaping their business model or solved their issues regarding growth. Greetel Joanna, who recently completed her bachelor’s degree in Communications with honors, is passionate about managing change in society. In addition, the team cooperates with a number of renowned experts when creating various development programs. For example, Rain Kooli, who is a clear message coach, or Arno Baltin, a negotiation expert.

Kristi herself is Miltton Sisu’s founder, a change and development consultant, but also one of the initiators of the Foundation for Bully-Free School (SA Kiusamisvaba Kool and the Arvamusfestival inspired by Almedalen week of Sweden ( Apart from continuous learning and self-improvement, she has been part of important transformational processes.

Be it the merger of Hansabank and Estonian Savings Bank, preparing Eesti Energia for the open electricity market, working at Swedbank’s HQ in Stockholm or managing the Government’s Communications Office when Estonia was about to join the European Union. Her work experience is multidimensional – crossing diverse sectors and national borders.

Whilst Kristi cherishes her experiences highly, she values her painful lessons even more. Throughout her journey, she’s gained a deep conviction for how important a good, empathetic, and an open-minded leader is. “Many of the leaders whom I’ve had the honor to work for have partly made whom I am today,” says Kristi.

Unleashing organisations’ and people’s full potential

Miltton Sisu aims to create working environments that unleash people’s creativity and full potential. The newly founded establishment will mainly focus on five areas: change management and implementation support; organisational design; developing and implementing values; strategy process and strategy development; customer journey and experience design.

A successful company can no longer focus solely on serving the interests of its shareholders i.e. profits, but now has to take into consideration the broader interests of the various parties involved. An increasing number of entrepreneurs believe their organisation to be a part of something bigger than just profit, which ideally should be nothing more than the natural by-products of a rewarding and meaningful business.

Miltton Sisu’s Future Leaders Development Programme was designed to get you closer to achieving that goal through design thinking principles and tools helping you creatively approach problems, as well as practical tools for successful self-management and team management.

Kristi is convinced that, “No organisation can succeed without engaging with the society and the community,” continuing explaining that, “Your relationship with all of the stakeholders must be well managed, not only the relationship with the shareholders. Putting the team and the organisational development into a social context is the special ingredient of our program.”

The Future Leaders’ Development Programme is designed to go beyond Estonia, as well. Cooperation with colleagues from Miltton’s other offices in the Nordic countries, Brussels and Washington D.C. is already underway.

Special programs on the way

Next year’s dream for Miltton Sisu is to design programmes especially aimed at women leaders, community leaders and mature managers who have found themselves puzzled over the generation of “snowflakes” (a label Kristi rather advises not to use for generations Y and Z).

But why do we need these specific programs? According to Kristi, the role of communities in societies is becoming increasingly important, which means that the leaders in different areas require continuous development. “I doubt that the Estonian government can, in the long run, provide all of the services our shrinking and aging society needs,” says Kristi. “But when a village joins its forces, it might have better chances at organising children’s transport to school, take care of the elderly, and make sure that our vegetables are well preserved over the winter. We need leaders for all these practical matters.”

The programme specially designed for women is once again inspired by Kristi’s own journey to become a leader. “Experiencing different situations and seeing other women has made me realize that there is potential to develop further, when it comes to both myself and others, to increase our influence,” says Kristi. “I’ve been the quiet wallflower myself, being unable to stand up for my beliefs, as if I was afraid of something. I got rid of that syndrome by asking one simple question: how would I act if I wasn’t afraid? Masculine energy in management is still so dominant. We need more powerful female leaders,” Kristi states.

The special programme designed for experienced leaders is aimed at those who feel they need relevant advice on how to better communicate with generation Y and Z, i.e. those born in the 1980s and 1990s. Kristi notes that inevitably, the older generation’s conservative beliefs and the younger generation’s views and expectations of the working life may occasionally clash.

“A lot of our knowledge and practice of management still comes from the times when an employee was perceived as a machine who had to be commanded and disciplined and thus, constantly being under control,” says Kristi. “For some executives, even working from home seems as too much freedom.” However, the new generations entering the job market expect more flexibility, creativeness and empathy. Thus, managers need to consider what is an attractive atmosphere, environment and working processes for the younger generations if they want to keep their organisations viable.

For more information, please contact:

Kristi Liiva
Managing Director, Miltton Sisu
+372 50 74 162