I’m Annicken, the founder and CEO of Corporate Spring. Our company story starts with my story, and an early childhood memory that led me to my purpose in life.
I grew up in a small town outside Oslo, Norway. My dad was a medical doctor, and my mom was a nurse. My memory is from a night when my parents had friends over for dinner, and someone asked me: “So, little Annicken. What do you want to be when you grow up?”
“I want to be happy and have fun” I replied with a big smile. I can still remember their laughter and what they whispered as they walked away: “She’ll soon enough wake up to the harsh realities of life.” There and then I decided that I would prove them wrong.
Fast forward, twenty-five years later, I was the Chief Culture Officer of Tandberg, a fast-growing entrepreneurial IT company founded on the philosophy “fun generates profit”. My job description was to “take care of the corporate soul.” Work was fun, not only for me but for all my colleagues as well. Even the customers could feel it. “Whatever you guys are on, we want some of that too,” they said. The company was awarded Best Place to Work year after year, and lo and behold; fun did lead to profit. The company had a 35% yearly revenue growth, and five years after I joined, Tandberg became the global leader in the videoconference industry.
When the company was sold to our biggest competitor for 3,4 Billion USD in 2010, I decided to use the “winning concept” that my team and I had develop and test it on my new company’s 70 000 people organization, one team and one business unit at a time. I then learned that our approach to building thriving, joyful high-performing team cultures worked just as well in a large company setting as the startup I came from. Seeing the light go on in people’s eyes as they realized the power of purpose, identity, trust, growth mindsets, and found a new passion and joy for their work (and life) was my greatest gift these years. But I also learned that my personal passion and purpose wasn’t quite aligned with that of big company, corporate America, and slowly, but surely, I was losing my own joy for work.
Then one day I heard the voice of Steve Jobs, not inside my head, but from a YouTube video filmed at his Stanford commencement speech in 2005.
Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
– Steve Jobs, Stanford commencement speech, 2005
That was my wakeup call. Two months later, the summer of 2012, I left my big, corporate job to start my own company. And Corporate Spring was born. “Spring” as fresh starts, new thinking, growth, endless opportunities, and most of all: fun and happiness at work. With first-hand experience of how much better happy, inspired employees collaborated, innovated, and performed, than those who were only there for the paycheck, I knew I was onto something. And I wanted to share it with the world.
Soon after I founded the company, I was joined by two of my former colleagues and dear friends Tove Maria and Trude Helen. Almost ten years later the three of us are still business partners, co-owners, and best friends (yes, it’s possible).
Corporate Spring today is a global team of talented executives, business psychologists, culture, leadership, and communications strategists, based in Oslo, Gothenburg, London, and Los Angeles. We are all driven by our purpose of making the (corporate) world a happier place and our mission of helping teams around the world build thriving, joyful, high-performing team cultures. We work with some of the world’s leading companies and most forward-thinking leadership teams. By helping them focus on the human side of their business, we see them do good for people, profit, and our planet. We feel so lucky to get to do this kind of work!
Our values guide us every day and they help us to never compromise on our core belief: that when we’re happy and having fun – great things follow. And they do!
Welcome to Corporate Spring!
Make the (corporate) world a happier place.
Because it is good for people, profit, and our planet.
Help leaders and teams build thriving, joyful, high-performing cultures.
Happy people are good for business.
Freedom & Variety
Freedom is our oxygen. Variety is our spice.
Passion & Joy
The combination of the two makes the magic happen.
Brains & Hearts
We bring both to work and life.
The Corporate Spring Core Team
Annicken R. Day
Founder and CEO Corporate Spring, executive advisor for Fortune 500 leaders, international keynote speaker, moderator and writer; Annicken R. Day helps and inspires leaders around the world in building thriving, high performing team cultures wired for the new world of work. As Chief Culture Officer Tandberg and Culture Ambassador Cisco, she played an incremental role in building world class cultures in fast moving, high-growth IT companies, and today Corporate Spring has some of the world’s leading IT firms as clients. Annicken is also a columnist for Huffington Post and Business Insider, co-author of the book "Creative Superpowers" and author of the novel Fly Butterfly (recently released in Norway as Fly, Sommerfugl). Read more here.
Trude Helen Shelby
Former HR director TANDBERG and Cisco, Organizational Psychologist and certified Gestalt Psychotherapy Coach, Trude Helen has in-depth experience and understanding of the underlying dynamics of organizational life and how to use effective HR strategies to meet the ever-changing needs of business. With background from organizational transformation, mergers & acquisitions, talent and succession planning, leadership development and team excellence, Trude coaches leaders and team members, facilitates workshops and give keynotes on how to optimize team performance and create thriving work cultures for the new world of work.
Tove Maria Helgaker
Partner & COO
With background from hospitality and telecom; organizational and product development; Tove Maria joined Corporate Spring in 2013 and has since then handled the operational side of the company; including coordinating clients and consultants on 3 continents. Tove Maria is also responsible for Corporate Spring’s online platform and corporate video offerings, in addition to helping our clients develop personalized storytelling videos to improve their online presence. With equal passion for people and technology, Tove Maria helps make Corporate Spring’s offerings accessible for a larger audience on a global scale.
Cherry Johal Yates
With her experience in the entertainment industry including leadership positions at Discovery Channel, National Geographic and FX Networks, Cherry is a global communications strategist, experienced in marketing and corporate communications. Her various leadership roles instilled a passion for building high performance teams and for promoting professional growth and culture of inclusivity, diversity and belonging.
Associate Business Psychologist
Licensed psychologist with extensive experience of developing people and organizations, Mikael’s expertise is to develop management teams and coach leaders into become the best versions of themselves. He assesses and advices individuals in their personal development and helps leaders and management teams develop their business, while helping them integrate their personality with the current role in the present context.
Leadership & Culture Strategist
With background from Fortune 50 corporations to VC backed startups, Liz has served in executive positions across finance, accounting, audit, risk management, operations, and consulting. She has worked with thousands of executives and team members to drive change, create intentional cultures, and achieve alignment around a shared business purpose, unleash their full potential and find renewed joy in doing work that matters.
Associate Innovation & Culture Strategist
Erik is passionate about new models of learning and new ways of working. He has a background as an innovation consultant and learning designer and uses this to coach, advice and consult everything from startups to large complex organizations on some of their trickiest challenges. Always working from a deep rooted belief that the client’s know their business better than he ever will and that his job is to create the space for them to collaborate, grown and learn together.