I’m the old woman in the rocket chair and the strawberry blond boy balancing the way forward. The most common feedback I get is that I’m wise, still with an inner strive to be a rockstar and a rebel. My name is Moa Vallgård, I am a leader, a mother and an incurable sometimes naive optimist. Always seeking a higher ambition I’ve tried to combine my passion for organizational development with organizations and business that strive to create a positive force in society.

Which team and when did you graduate? 

Team 1, Malmö, 2009

What have you been doing since you graduated as a Kaospilot?

Since 2017 I’m head of organization development at SVT, the Swedish public service television company. It’s a role that incorporate many of the different things I’ve been doing since my graduation. In my role, I’m responsible for driving change on a strategic as well as at an operational level. Together with my team we’re working on areas such as sustainable development, diversity, inclusion and belonging, creating sustainable performance environment in a new hybrid world, new ways of working, learning and leadership development.

Before entering the world of television, I put my time in developing culture, learning and leadership at Systembolaget, I also worked as a CEO/secretary general at the National council of Swedish youth organizations with the ambition to collectively improve the conditions for youths’​ organizations, in Sweden and on a global level. I’ve also spent a great deal of time in boards like CIVOS – the civil society in collaboration, Ledarna – the organization for managers in Sweden.and Maktsalongen, a platform for making more young women to see themselves as leaders and challenge norms that put limitations on what power looks like and what a leader can be.

What is important for you in your job?

Besides the obvious, stated above, that there’s a higher meaning:

  • To do the right things rather than doing things in the right way
  • To be challenged
  • To be able to be myself and be able to create a climate for others to be themselves too.
  • To see and be able to influence the way forward

To quote my sculpture teacher, -“most students look to much on their own sculpture and too little on the model they have in front of them

What major learnings would you point out from your experience that have shaped you as a leader? 

Being a leader is very little about you and very much about others. To quote my sculpture teacher, -“most students look to much on their own sculpture and too little on the model they have in front of them”. Same thing could go for us as leaders. Look less on the obvious things in front of you, on the activities you create, instead look out and around, on your markets, partners, and clients. Keep your focus on understanding their needs and movements. Try to understand how the system correlates and you can identify what keys will create value. In connection to this inclusion, transparency and trust is crucial and will take us far. We as leaders need to be able to work to seriously include and take advantage of the perspectives that exist in our organizations and understand the importance of different perspectives. Being a leader today is not about taking all decisions ourselves. It’s about facilitate discussions in such a way that the decisions made are allowed to be influenced by more perspectives and reflect our organization, our audience and our partners.

And at last: Systems thinking, my god, it’s both a blessing and a curse.

What is your biggest source for inspiration right now?

My Wednesday sculpture class, it’s all about finding your inner tone of voice/hands and nothing about perfection. It’s passion, playfulness and exploration. 2,5h of escape from performing and it’s so energizing.

What would be an example of a learning or an experience from your time at Kaospilot that has been important to you?

I remember a coaching I got from Gry Guldberg during our outpost in Mumbai in 2008, I was struggling with the cultural differences and had a hard time finding myself in an environment where it was hard to perform. She helped me see the old women sitting in a rocket chair on my right shoulder and the mischievous little strawberry blond boy Dennis on my left and how I tried to find a balance between these two. Always ending up giving too much focus and appreciation to the old woman. It has since been a constant reminder and an active work to go for passion, fun an courage, trying not to be too much of the wise, safe and prudent part om myself in all context but make sure to give the experimental, pushy and wild part enough space too. Trust that 80% of perfect is enough in 80% of the cases and know when to go for those extra 20. The combination of the old women and the strawberry blond boy is what makes me go for, and focus on doing the right things even though doing things in the right way now and then would be an easier way forward.

What is a piece of advice that you would like to give future Kaospilot graduates? 

Value the unique parts of knowledge and experience you possess. The ability to have a system thinking as a starting point and have the tools to set that system in motion is a competence so needed out there and still a mindset quite rare. It will make you do the right things, the things that will create value in the long run. It might not always be the things requested and you might not be able to do things “the right way” but you will be able to see and act on the right things. Keep develop that and yourself, we need it too handle the big, complex challenges we stand in front together.

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