With over 20 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies globally, Karin Volo, CEO and Director at Evoloshen, is an expert in organizational culture, employee engagement, personal and organisational development, and an international bestselling author. Evoloshen’s purpose is to transform business through culture.
Karin began her career in sales and executive search. After moving to Sweden from the United States in 2000, she eventually found it was easier to start up her own company by doing what she loved, versus trying to learn a new language and get hired in an organization. Several years later, Karin wrote her international bestselling book, Engage!, which is all about how to create an amazing company culture. And that was the catalyst to get into professional speaking and training. Karin was asked by leaders and companies to teach more about engagement, purpose, and trust. So she shifted from her focus as an executive recruiter from taking the best talent out of companies, and pivoted to teaching them how to attract and retain great talent. She asserts, “I named the company Evoloshen because I believe we must always grow and evolve. Even my career has evolved onto this path without me knowing that this is where I’d be now.”
Evoloshen is engaged by CEOs and leaders to transform their business through culture by training and developing both the leaders and employees. They help people understand how to lead with a purpose, to deeply connect and create effective collaboration, and develop behaviours that build a great company culture. Leaders who understand the value of their people and want to create trust as the foundation of their company culture consider Evoloshen as a trusted advisor on their journey to reimagining their culture in 2021. Its work in organizational culture is focused on, training, coaching, and supporting leaders, to build high levels of trust, discover their purpose beyond profit, and increase employee engagement.
“What I say to any aspiring leader is ‘find your purpose’ and that will carry you through any challenge,” explained Karin. “For women, specifically, we NEED women leaders everywhere right now. I think we are naturally hardwired for caring and that is what companies need to do right now—create caring cultures. All the other metrics will follow. But let’s genuinely connect human to human and provide a place where people can thrive.”
And the international team at Evoloshen practices what it preaches, with very high level of engagement built on trust and integrity. The team of highly experienced coaches and consultants also thrives on creativity, so it is drawn to supporting innovative high-tech companies that are making a positive difference in the world. Karin shared that the team truly comes from a place of service with our clients and delivers a quality client engagement that makes a difference for them.
Hard Work Makes Success Beautiful
Karin fully appreciates her success today when she recounts her story of how she started out by working in door-to-door sales to businesses in the perfume industry. “Talk about a tough way to learn sales, but if you can succeed there, you can work anywhere. And I did.” At the age of 22, Karin opened her own office and had more than 20 salespeople working for her. After getting burnt out because she was working so hard, she made the shift to working in Executive Search. She recalls, “While working with Executive Search, I had my own firm in Sweden and served companies throughout Europe. Since I started my career in a branch in the US, it has given me a lot of insights and experience in different industries and many Fortune 500 companies.”
Karin has been highly recognised for her success throughout her career, especially for her work around culture, engagement, and trust. However, she is most proud of Evoloshen’s recent recognition by HR Tech Outlook as one of the Top 10 Organizational Development companies in Europe. “I am most proud of this award because it recognizes the efforts of Evoloshen’s team. The work we do is a team effort, and I’m very proud of my team and all the hard work we are doing to support our clients.”
But Karin notes that recognition isn’t the only definition of success. She believes that success is very personal thing, and everyone needs to find their own version of success. “There isn’t a cookie cutter answer to what success looks like,” explains Karin. “Each person should search inside of themselves to define what that actually looks like for them in their own lives.”
What Makes You Stronger
More than most, Karin has had some extreme challenges and roadblocks. But she always found a way to use them to drive her forward and to create something good out of it. Her personal story is quite riveting and some massive challenges in her life helped her to figure out her personal purpose. Her memoir is called 1,352 Days because it was a four-year nightmare that made her want to teach others how to not only survive, but how to thrive in their lives regardless of the circumstance. She details in her memoir the experience of being wrongly held in a high security jail for nearly four years without ever being convicted of a crime because she trusted and married someone who she later discovered was a professional conman who had used her name in his fraudulent dealings. Karin shares that horrible experience has been the catalyst for the work she does today with Evoloshen.
Keeping Up with the Changing Times
From Karin’s story you might imagine that she isn’t a leader who rests on her laurels. She still wears many hats running her company and plays an active with the key clients creating and training sessions in partnership with the client. She has also recently taken on the role of the Chief Inspiration Officer for the Inspiring Workplaces initiative in Stockholm. Karin also keeps up with her writing authoring monthly articles and a newsletter. And she still loves meeting and interviewing progressive CEOs to see how they can bring value to their organizations for her podcast at TheAmazingLeaderSeries.com
In Her Own Words
“My one word always comes down to joy,” said Karin. “When our clients come to understand our tools and apply them, you can see the visceral effect it has on them. They are happier, more engaged, and are more at ease even when they are dealing with those difficult conversations.”
Living with Gratitude
For Karin, gratitude is one of the key values, tools, and ways to create a great culture. “At Evoloshen, we begin every meeting a round of gratitude,” she explained. “Expressing and receiving gratitude has been proven by neuroscience to release the ‘feel good’ chemical of oxytocin, which is vital to health and well-being.” And, as usual she practices what she preaches to stay optimized at peak performance by staying focused on her health, eating well and working out at least four times a week.
A Global Vision for Evoloshen
As is her pattern, Karin’s vision for Evoloshen is fueled by her own learning and experience. As a leader, Karin is constantly learning and developing with coaches and mastermind groups. Next year, Evoloshen will be expanding its offerings with team coaching. Not only is group coaching an effective tool for creating culture change, it helps to fulfil Karin’s vision that the more she people she can reach, the more she can help not only their company, but help each individual reach their full potential. Her belief is that the health of a company’s bottom line is directly related to the health and well-being of their employees.
Karin’s vision for Evoloshen is continued growth to serve clients around the world. “I want to see Evoloshen be known globally for cultural transformation that helps progressive CEOs and leaders bring to their companies with training that truly empowers people professionally as well as personally.”