‘Listen, learn and speak your mind’: Five minutes with Henriikka Tammes from Finland’s finance ministry

By on 11/03/2024 | Updated on 11/03/2024

Henriikka Tammes, senior specialist in the Public Sector ICT Department of Finland’s Ministry of Finance, discusses her career highlights and tips, as well as her coolest hobby.

This is part of a ‘Five minutes’ series featuring speakers from the forthcoming Global Government Forum Innovation conference (London, 19-20 March). At the event, Tammes will speak during a session on robotic process automation (RPA) in the civil service and how it can be used to boost government efficiency.

What drew you to a career in the civil service? 

I was drawn to a career in the civil service because I have a strong desire to work for the public good and enhance public sector services.

What have you achieved in your career that you’re most proud of?

In my career, one of my proudest achievements has been contributing to the successful completion of a long-awaited reform in public social and healthcare. After years of effort and collaboration, we were able to form new legislation.

Read more: ‘Changing the narrative on civil service careers’: Five minutes with Fiona Ryland, the UK government’s chief people officer

What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given in your working life?  

Tell your boss what you are really thinking!

What do you like most about working in the civil service? 

One of the aspects I appreciate most about working in the civil service is the unique ‘front-row seat’ that it provides.

Working in the civil service also provides an environment where you can – and I would say you must – constantly acquire new knowledge and skills.

Which country’s civil service or which government department or agency are you most inspired by and why? 

I can’t name just one as there are so many inspiring actors.

Register now: Innovation 2024

Are there any projects or innovations in your country that might be valuable to your peers overseas?  

The University of Turku and its research group called TurkuNLP trained generative GPT-3-like models for Finnish.

What attributes do you most value in people? 

The ability to listen to others and learn from others.

Do you have any unusual hobbies?  

In Finland this isn’t that unusual but in the winter, I go ice swimming every week in the sea.

What are you most interested in discussing at Innovation 2024?

I’m interested in discussing all the new ways to make public administration even better.

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