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Blue Lagoon
Wellness & Hospitality
Enterprise Solution
Grímur Sæmundsen

CEO | Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Developing a culture of accountability and initiative among the employees

Blue Lagoon is one of the Icons of Icelandic tourists receiveing over one million guests every year.

Blue Lagoon is situated next to one of the major geotermal power plants. The power plant extracts high temperature steam which through the process is condensed into hot water which accumulates in a lagoon. the water has specific features both with respect to color (blue) and ingredients (silica) which have proven to have positive effects on human skin.

Blue Lagoon was was founded in 1996 and to harness the water coming from the power plant and has since turned its unique characteristics and the uniqu surroundings into both a SPA as well as producing and marketing skin care products based on the ingredients.

Today Blue Lagoon is one of the icons of the Icelandic tourist industry receiving well over one million guests pr year employing over 800 people. The company is currently running different SPA and RETREAT concepts with restaurants among the highest rated in the country.

BL is still very much a founder driven company and has been true to its mission of „Turning natural elements into unique experience“ participating in similar ventures around Iceland. A few years ago, BL has been on a journey of professionalizing the management and operations of the company involving ever greater number of managers and middle managers in the company‘s operations and development. DecideAct was chosen as the professional partner for this development and has been working closely with BL executive management for the last three years developing a culture of accountability and initiative among the employees. The DecideAct software has proven to be the tool that has enabled a disciplined and cohesive approach to defining the strategic direction of BL and is currently adopted in all it‘s operations.

The process is involving three layers of management and extends to all units within BL. Each and everyone contributes to the formulation of the strategic plan for each unit and are accountable for initiatives as the case may be. The strategy implementation is defined in quarterly „sprints“ with a pretermined schedule of regular strategy review meetings is defined to reivew progress and define initiatives for the next sprint. The DecideAct software plays a key role in enabling a comprehensive review since it keeps track of all intiatives, related KPIs and targets and performes regular automatic data gathering by the built in automatic remainder function which contacts all accountable persons for updates periodically during each sprint.

This development has contributed significantly to the handover of management duties from a relatively narrow management group with the founder in the center, to a much broader management team, which now are rising to the challenge of creating a sustainable strategic governance function which can be carried forward independent of individual key persons.