The new CEO of TaskPublished: 30th October 2020
By: Trude Haram Frølich
Cecilie Kløvstad is the new CEO of Task. Cecilie and her partner in Skuterud Kløvstad were invited to help K and Transform round out their analysis expertise. “There was a professional spark from that first meeting,” says Cecilie.
New professional spark with Task
The first thing she noticed was the warm atmosphere. “It was simply like coming home, a very personal atmosphere and a lot of engagement,” says Cecilie.
Cecilie has a degree in media studies from the University of Oslo. She has worked as a market analyst for many years and is considered an industry veteran. She has a management background from working with large, international companies such as Nielsen, TNS Gallup Norway and Epinion Norway. A few years ago, she and colleague Vegard Skuterud started the analysis company Skuterud Kløvstad.
From spark to fusion
Cecilie talks about an exciting process in the time after the merger became a reality in the autumn of 2020. Today, the new company, Task, is one of the largest professional environment for digital learning in Norway.
“I am very committed and of course humbled when it comes to managing these tremendously talented people. We are a learning-based organisation with people at the centre of it all. Constantly evolving. We are investing heavily in development in combination with our customer work. We have introduced Task Force, where the new company is divided into five groups that work in half-year sprints, all working to ensure high quality development.”
It sounds like a dream come true! Now you get to combine all your interests in one job?
“Yes, absolutely! I was raised in a family with a lot of educators, these are people I have great professional respect for. I also get to work in a really creative and exciting environment that brings together programmers, designers and idea- and film-makers. I think the interdisciplinary collection of people is completely unique.”
A clear and strong player
Cecilie believes that those who have known the three companies before will recognise a lot. The biggest benefit of the merger is the increased distinction in the market. “K and Transform have both been part of the e-learning industry since its inception, and have always had a broader field of application than many of their competitors. K is known for having a number of skilled educators, creative processes and precise working methods, Transform, for its part, is known for its impressive and captivating high-end media productions. With the analysis expertise in Skuterud Kløvstad, the picture is complete “, says Cecilie.
«Together we are exceptional at digital learning!»
Cecilie Kløvstad, new CEO of Task
She emphasises, however, that it’s about much more than using the latest technical possibilities, even though that’s also part of it.
Cecilie is focussed on the importance of delivering precision and measuring the value companies get from their employees completing the training we have produced. Quantitative and qualitative analysis give weight to such measurements and can therefore be decisive for how well we deliver on both the target group and stakeholder goals.
She goes on to say that the development of high-quality processes and products is an iterative process that takes place through several phases. “We don’t necessarily know best the first time, but we test, adjust and develop further. This strengthens our accuracy and naturally increases the value of what we deliver. We have noticed that customers are increasingly asking for this.”
“We all have different strengths and complement each other well. I can tell that everyone in Task has a personal commitment to the job they do, and we all might be kind of professional nerds, which is a badge of honour in my books”, she adds.
A curious CEO
Cecilie believes that being a good leader is first and foremost about being a human being who sees and listens to the people around them, sees opportunities, and creates some magic along the way. “I hope and think that there are some common core values that are present in how I am as a private person and how I am as a leader.”
You have an impressive background, what drew you to the analytics industry?
“I’m very curious by nature, and I love people, hustle and bustle. Every time I meet people I immediately want to find out who they are and why they think and act the way they do. I believe this is what tempted me most about going into the analysis industry.”
Who are your professional role models?
“Niklas Källner, who has been a reporter for (Swedish-Norwegian talk show) Skavlan for a long time. He’s just brilliant at interviewing people. It’s fascinating to see how he makes every interview seem like a conversation between old acquaintances. One of my professional role models, my mentor, who is one of Norway´s foremost experts in qualitative research, is professor Marit Haldar at OsloMet. She can get up close to a subject and at the same time has the theoretical grounding which gives the specific value, and in turn, expresses the general.”
You have a great commitment to children and young people. Among other things, you worked at the Norwegian Media authority, with film censorship. What do you bring with you from that period?
“The power of film – empathy and fascination. The movies you will never forget. Strong impressions, good and alluring, or scary. I remember well when I came home shocked to the bone after watching Michael Haneke’s “Funny Games” (2007). It’s one of the most violent films I’ve ever witnessed. The interesting thing is that not a single scene of violence was shown in the film, all the violence was created in my head. I think it sums up well how powerful and successful the film medium is at its very best. This period also taught me how to withdraw the sensory apparatus, and not let everything cling. This is a technique I have brought with me. Some things are out of my hands, and I am not meant to have to think or say something about everything,” says Cecilie.
The whole world is changing because of Covid-19. The need to be able to work, collaborate, learn and develop digitally has skyrocketed.
“At the same time, the need for the human factor has not diminished. Instead, we have become aware how much a hug or a quick chat by the coffee machine means – yes, closeness, put simply. We at Task call it social-digital learning, in other words: learning which combines all these needs”, she notes.
What challenges do you foresee for the industry going forward?
“The projects we have done in recent years with Skills Norway, have made it even clearer to me how important it is to respect our differences, and how valuable it is to include different contributions. It’s about humanity and respect, treating people properly, while making the world a better place. We need to take time to include people who do things a little differently. We have to let more people take part in the society we live in,” says Cecilie, and emphasises that the business community must also contribute to this.
“We as an industry must facilitate so that people can succeed, in order for everyone to participate in digital arenas. This is an important and exciting goal for Task to solve in the time ahead of us,” Cecilie concludes.