Simon Gambold on how LOTS® got the ball rolling

Simon Gambold is the VP Marketing at Henry Schein Dental, EMEA Region. Being quite high up in a company that employs more than 21 000 people around the globe, he still manages to stay in touch with his customers and finds this very important too.

Henry Schein is the world’s largest provider of health care products and services to office-based dental, animal health and medical practitioners.

Simon Gambold Henry Schein– As a practitioner, you could basically just have an empty facility and we can take care of the rest. We provide everything from the products you need, the equipment, software to the marketing and the commercial side, Simon Gambold explains.

Simon Gambold felt that he was not moving forward fast enough with his team and they were not getting to where he wanted to. A friend then recommended him the tool and process of LOTS®.

–  We synced very well with LOTS® from the start, he says. Henry Schein has a close interaction with its’ customers and the importance of the customer in the process of LOTS® makes sense to us.

Another key element in the process of LOTS® is the purpose, to clarify why we exist and how we can make the world a little bit better, which is something Simon Gambold and Henry Schein can relate very well to. By helping their customers improve healthcare, they want to make the world a little bit better.

What makes LOTS® different to other planning processes that you have used?

– LOTS® gives us a common language, which is vital, especially for such a large corporation, where not only many nationalities meet, but also several different business fields.

Lotscoach® Stephan Stahl met with a group of people from various locations within the company and guided them through the process of creating a business plan. At times discussions were hard and it was a tough process. With the guidance of their Lotscoach® they managed to find the turnaround, though, and Simon Gambold sounds exited when he explains:

–  It was such a great feeling to see how the team started working together. They have now realized that we are all pulling together.

–  Now it is more a matter of holding the reins rather than getting the ball rolling, he says and laughs.

This enthusiasm is something that Simon Gambold wants to build upon and now he wants to become a Lotscoach® himself in order to keep the process alive within the company and build on the improvements that have already taken place.

– People from different units and countries communicate so much better with each other already, he says.

He has not used LOTS® in his personal life yet, but as a business professional he sees how LOTS® has already improved his leadership.

– It has added another perspective, he says. If someone else is thinking of using LOTS®, they should just give it a go, because it really works.

Feel better and make the world a better place for all of us


We can all relate to many wonderful moments at work, with family and friends, and in nature. Watching a good movie, reading an inspiring book or listening to a soulful live concert also touches our Five Aspects. These are good moments and fond memories.

What makes out a great experience is individual and personal and we should think before judging others’ experiences. We should share our own inspiration and listen with care and love to what other people share with us. Often we do the opposite. This is a matter of habit or solidified behavioral patterns.

It all starts with our personal vision or dream and to what extent we manage to live it. We can never fulfill a dream or a vision …

… without having one. Your dream or vision will lead you to many positive experiences and also bring meaning to life. What is your dream or vision? How aware are you of it?

When we and our organization define our Vision or dream we need to be aware of to what extent we are thinking and acting Outside-in. To get to an Outside-in, Five Aspects Vision we need to include others and the world around us. Reflections will help us get to our Vision.

After many years in contact with people in different types of organizations, Scandinavian Leadership and the people working with LOTS® have seen many examples of good Visions. We still face many self-centered Visions, though.

What is the Vision/dream of your organization where you work today? What Vision or dream would you like to contribute to? How much are you thinking and acting Outside-in? How many of your Five Aspects are alive and alert?

The more trouble we face in the world, the more we should promote that it all begins with an Outside-in, Five Aspects Vision or dream.

Here are a few examples of Outside-in, Five Aspects visions:

– People with diabetes live their lives as unrestricted as possible

– More and more people get access to clean air and water

– People are looking forward to growing old in our community

– A society where everyone is willing to pay their fair share

– A world where people eat, speak and laugh with confidence

– Every neonatal infant gets the best possible start in life

– Surrounded by green everyday for life, joy and inspiration

– A positive business climate for entrepreneurs

– Equipment users are safe, effective and efficient

– Together we create security

Share your Outside-in, Five Aspects Visions with us on Facebook and help us inspire others to join our path. Together we can make the world a bit better. Use the hashtag #wemakeourworldbetter

“New version of LOTS® an eye opener”

Doug Smith

Doug Smith recently upgraded his certification as a Lotscoach®.

“I did my first training with LOTS® 12.0 in 2012 and applied the process for Arla Foods® in Russia, Germany, Netherlands, China and Denmark.”

Now as an independent Lotscoach® based in Toronto, Canada, being introduced to the 20th edition was a real eye opener for him. The new version of LOTS® is simpler, has much more information on the open end questioning and identifies a broad spectrum of what an Issue can actually be.

“LOTS® is so much more and can be applied to so many more issues than I had realized before”, he says.

Training to become a Lotscoach® is intense. Doug Smith especially appreciated being able to learn more from his Senior Lotscoach® John Dunnigan’s wealth of experience. He now wants to help leaders and companies in Canada and internationally to get to where they want to be by using LOTS®.

“My experience as President & CEO of Arla Foods Canada for 22 years helps me to understand a wide range of issues a leader may be facing.”

Having worked for many years in a Danish Swedish Dairy Cooperative he has gotten to know the Scandinavian way of working very well. He also finds that there are many similarities between the Canadian and Scandinavian mentality, with both striving for consensus, emphasizing working as a team and having an international outlook.

How do you see LOTS® clarifying the thinking of the leaders you will work with?
We all have an Issue in our mind. For me it is about defining it. By doing this you have already taken a huge leap forward.

Contact details for Doug Smith
If you would like to work with Doug Smith you can contact him via e-mail: or phone: +1 416 277 0806.

Sara Vogt
Scandinavian Leadership

A unique insight to the development days with LOTS®

development days with LOTS®.jpeg

Exactly how educational and inspiring the development days with LOTS® are can be hard to grasp if you haven’t had the chance to participate yet. For those of you that are keen to learn with and from others that have been certified as Lotscoach® and develop personally and professionally, we asked some of the participants from our days in March in Uppsala, Sweden, a few questions:

Johan Hassel, 37, Head of business development at Länsförsäkringar Östgöta, is a Lotscoach® since 2017.

How do you work as a Lotscoach®?
At Länsförsäkringar Östgöta we apply LOTS® as a business planning model.

What did you like the most about the development days?
The major advantage with LOTS® is that is incredibly easy to reflect and decide upon various issues, large or small. This was made especially clear when two participants, certified for less than a month showed fantastic performances as Lotscoach® during the development days, this really impressed me!

How did these days make you feel more confident in your role as Lotscoach®?
I have developed my ability to use the methodology for various types of issues and have also had some good insights on how we can improve our business planning process at Länsförsäkringar Östgöta.

Why would you recommend somebody else to participate in the development days with LOTS®?
These are days filled with love where all participants and not the least Hans Akerblom create an atmosphere where the chances are very good that you will develop as a leader in general and as a Lotscoach® specifically!


Linda Tillman, 42, works as a consultant for leader support and operations management (interim manager, controller) for Tillman Management AB and is a Lotscoach® since 2017.

How do you work as a Lotscoach®?
I apply the tool/approach of LOTS® for current issues and projects with my existing customers. The idea is also that I would like to help companies as a facilitator/Lotscoach®.

What did you like the most about the development days?
I attended one of the days and was lucky enough to be both issue owner and Lotscoach® during that day. To practice being a Lotscoach® was very rewarding and I feel that I am learning more every time. Most inspiring was meeting the other participants to exchange experiences!

How did these days make you feel more confident in your role as Lotscoach®?
To know that there is a network you can contact and the practice with real cases on a keen level.

Why would you recommend somebody else to participate in the development days with LOTS®?
LOTS® is useful in many aspects; larger and smaller issues – in a private context or for business purposes. If you already are a Lotscoach® this is an excellent opportunity to learn from and be inspired by others that also work as Lotscoach® and to refresh your memory and get more practice.


Stephan Stahl, 52, working as a potential developer and Lotscoach® for Quest-Team Nordic AB in Uppsala, Sweden and is a Lotscoach® since 2016.

How do you work as a Lotscoach®?
As a self-employed person I work with national and international companies from various fields of business. It can be group processes or working with individuals. Personally I use LOTS® for everything I do, from planning to preparing for a customer meeting and structuring a quotation.

What did you like the most about the development days?
To be able to see the same thing from totally different perspectives. The insight of how all of us as Lotscoach®, with and identical language and philosophy as a base, have our individual ways of working with LOTS® and how LOTS® in that sense offers such additional value for so many.

How did these days make you feel more confident in your role as Lotscoach®?
To be able to learn about experiences and living examples of various people that work as Lotscoach® and to be able to put different approaches into practice and try them out as a group.

Why would you recommend somebody else to participate in the development days with LOTS®?
You can define your competence as Lotscoach®, share your experiences and learn from experiences that other people that work as Lotscoach® have gathered and above all, have fun together.

Daniel Linde, 43, works with IT – business development at Conevo in Stockholm, Sweden and is a Lotscoach® since 2017.

How do you work as a Lotscoach®?
In-house at Conevo.

What did you like the most about the development days?
Very inspiring meetings with others that work as Lotscoach®.

How did these days make you feel more confident in your role as Lotscoach®?
By experiencing and learning how others work with LOTS®.

Why would you recommend somebody else to participate in the development days with LOTS®?
The common ground, the exchanging of experiences, learning more.


Leif Bremark, 53, entrepreneur for Antre AB and is a Lotscoach® since 2016.

How do you work as a Lotscoach®?
I have used the approach for a long time, ever since I met Hans Akerblom while working on a project more than 10 years ago. Only now that I am certified do I now work in a structured way

What did you like the most about the development days?
Watching Stephan (Stahl) facilitating the issue of the Swedish Church. The facilities also added to the experience (Norrlands Nation, Uppsala).

How did these days make you feel more confident in your role as Lotscoach®?
More experience to see how others work as Lotscoach®. This works especially well for me since I am more of a pragmatic type of person.

Why would you recommend somebody else to participate in the development days with LOTS®?
It is inspiring and unfolding.

Sara Vogt
Scandinavian Leadership

How do I make life meaningful – Jesper Ek on the future of leadership

There will only be two types of jobs in the future, meaningful jobs and meaningless jobs, according to Jesper Ek, Head of Sub region Nordics, Roche Diabetes Care.

It’s not about making people come to work and do work. We have robots to do that, he says. Therefore it is important for anyone who wants to make a contribution to think about how to make life meaningful. See the full interview here.


We wish you an inspiring and meaningful new year!

LOTS® – Scandinavian Leadership

Who do we have responsibility for – an important message in a troubled time


When we are in harmony with ourselves it is quite easy to accept that we are all One and interdependent. When we get into our fears with compensation ambitions and Ego traps it is more likely that we focus too much on ourselves. Life is a constant challenge between love and fear. 

I wrote this dialogue between Moderns* and Co-creatives** several years ago and we need to remind ourselves about the challenges, taking into account what is happening around the world right now:

Moderns: “Life is hard and there’s so much I want. I want to be successful and be recognized by the world around me. 

Co-creatives: “But we all live on this earth together. Don’t we need to give and take together so that we can all be in as good a situation as possible?”

M: “That sounds really beautiful and if it helps me to be recognized then I am intelligent enough to accept it.”

C: “So you would do anything to be recognized and to belong?”

M: “No, of course I want to contribute to a better world to live in.”

C: “For whom?”

M: “For all of us who share our democratic values and contribute to our own development.”

C: “So what happens to those who don’t have that ability or who haven’t had our opportunity and privilege of an education and a good job?”

M: “Well, we can give them some contributions so that they can do something about their situation.” 

C: “How would you like to contribute?”

M: “By doing a good job and taking care of my family.” 

C: “What is a good job?”

M: “It’s when we make our budget and meet the shareholders expectations on increased share value.”

C: “And how would you like to be rewarded?”

M: “I have a bonus program that allows me to make enough money to do what I want and have security for me and my family. I also have a retirement program that makes me feel secure about the future. I really feel good about that.”

C: “I understand how you feel and at the same time I’m wondering if we should care about the 30,000 children that die every day due to lack of food and clean water and those who are affected by storms which some people believe are direct results of how we treat the environment. Who should care about this?”

M: “There are so many organizations around the world spending loads of money on these issues and they can deal with these problems. I take care of my own responsibilities.”

C: “But what happens if those who have this global responsibility all think like you do?

M: “You’re just confusing things. I do what I have to do and so should everyone else.”

C: “I’m just saying that what we think and what we do affects us all and shouldn’t we consider that when we are making decisions?”

M: “My customers are satisfied with what we do and my family likes our vacation house and skiing trips.”

C: “I sense that we are distancing ourselves from the issue of who we have a responsibility for.”

M: “I’m very busy with my own life and I don’t care about others, well except maybe my loved ones.”

C: “Our dialogue is going in circles. I hear you saying that you have a responsibility for your loved ones and that you take it. At the same time the world isn’t that big. Everything we do affects us all and the earth. Shouldn’t we all think of the big picture and how we can leave the legacy of an equally good or better world for coming generations?”

M: “Well, sure but there’s not enough time for that kind of thinking.”

C: “You say that you think about yourself and the ones close to you. What will you and they think when people take whatever they want through crime or other kinds of aggression? What will you and they say when poorer people produce the same things you do, only cheaper? What will you and they think when natural disasters strike?”

M: “Now you’re really talking crazy.”

C: “Maybe, but I don’t think that we can build an enduring society without thinking bigger. We need to think about the fact that we are all dependent on a functioning world with its social network and that we humans need to live in harmony with the earth, the people around us and other living things. We are all part of a bigger picture.”

M: “God, what a burden!”

Warmest greetings and best wishes for the new year!

Hans Akerblom

*Moderns drive an SUV, live in the city, focus on career, making money etc.
**Co-creatives create solutions for challenges that humanity is facing. Energy and water supply, climate etc. 

The importance of living here and now

Joseph Thampan started his career in a hotel kitchen and is now the General Manager of Manufacture and Trading at AL ADRAK LLC in Oman.

In the video clip below we hear Joseph Thampan talk about how well the philosophy and tool of LOTS® works in the Middle East and India. He also emphasizes the importance of high level of participation and the importance of living here and now.

Joseph Thampan shares a good example of how LOTS® as a business tool and unifying language really works and tells us about how this one experience with LOTS® really convinced him:


The fear for and necessity of change


Personal change is often connected to positive energy, according to organizational change expert Jim Hemerling. Organizational change though, is often related to fear and negative thoughts.

“Change is happening every day though, even though we, as leaders and team members, occasionally allow ourselves to be persuaded that security lies in staying the same. If we do not continuously develop and change, deviations from the outside world and from within ourselves will finally become too great. The changes we are then forced to undertake could be highly traumatic.

In order to be able to take the initiative and adapt to change, we need to develop our ability to think and act both Outside-in and Inside-out, in small things as well as in big.

This is what the philosophy, common language and tool LOTS® has contributed to for over 40 years. LOTS® and the facilitator or Lotscoach® want to create a “quality room“ where you can inspire yourself and release the potential in yourself, your team and in what you are doing.”

From the book LOTS® – Outside-in and Inside-out by Hans Akerblom

The future does not exist – we create it. No organization has the right to exist if the people in it can not explain how they are either making or intend to make our world just a little bit better for a specific group of people and at the same time for all of us.

How balanced is the Outside-in and Inside-out thinking in your organization?

For those of you who have not had the chance to update yourself on the new version of LOTS® we would like to share the first chapter of the book LOTS® – Outside-in and Inside-out with you. We wish you an inspiring read! excert-lots-outside-in-and-inside-out-chapter-1 (PDF)

If you are curious on Jim Hemerlings speech on “5 ways to lead in an era of constant change” you can watch the full version here.

If you are interested in your own copy of the book, click here.

Sara Vogt
Scandinavian Leadership

”I think of Hans every day”

Kenneth Hansen
Kenneth Hansen,, is the author of several books on subjects varying from Argentinian Tango and cooking to his latest book where he shares his experiences from his professional life. Kenneth Hansen has received Gullblyantens/Kreativt Forums honorary award and has received a number of other awards, such as for an ad that he created for VW.


I reach the art director Kenneth Hansen straight after his morning coffee in his home in Stavanger, Norway. There is no doubt that Kenneth Hansen is a creative visionary, the conversation takes us from Argentina to Mallorca, from advertising agencies and big deals to the whiskey bar in New York and unexpected creative projects. LOTS® is to Kenneth Hansen the structure that he needs, in spite of his creative side he likes set frames.

– It might almost sound religious, he says with a smile on the subject LOTS® and the founder of LOTS®, Hans Akerblom.

– There is something special about Hans, the way he creates an atmosphere in a group. The way he can make the participants to open up, the way he creates a relaxed atmosphere and a focus on the here and now.

At the same time it is tough and challenging to work with Hans, he continues. He has been forced to think further and deeper; what is really hiding behind the creative thought? A three-dimensional world has opened up to him, it is no longer just Kenneth Hansen and the client, but also the world we – and our customer – live in and what we can do to improve it.

– It is the one method with the most experience that I have ever heard of, he says. And if I can be honest, I must admit that I think of Hans every day. When I start working with a group of people for example, I start out by thinking of what Hans would do in a situation like this.

LOTS® is the structure and the navigator that Kenneth Hansen’s creativity needs, but much more important, he emphasizes, are the people he meets through LOTS®. The experience he gains during the development days are to him of utmost importance. To meet, get to know the men and women that work with LOTS® as Lotscoach®, people that reflect and to exchange experiences.

Especially Hans Akerblom as a person has meant a lot to Kenneth Hansen. His life took a new turn when he through a customer heard of Hans and LOTS®. In a matter of weeks had he then contacted Hans, met him in Gothenburg and become a certified Lotscoach®.

– It was like meeting an old friend, Kenneth Hansen says, we had so much in common.

After a very successful career as an art director for large international agencies, the family in Stavanger and his ageing parents made him want to move back from Oslo to Stavanger. His idea was to leave the advertising business for good, but the customers did not let him. To his customers Kenneth Hansen’s meeting with LOTS® has meant that his creative thoughts have gained a structure that is easier to follow. At the same time LOTS® has given him a sense of security that makes it even easier for him to be creative. He has also become a better listener and give all his customers’ questions the time they need.

– It has become more important to me to listen in order to understand and grasp what the customer is talking about. I have become more empathic (I hope), which might also come with age and experience, but LOTS® definitely has a part in that process, Kenneth Hansen says. I used to be seen as the big creative child, a fun and exiting guy, today I am probably more professional, if one is allowed to use such big words about oneself.

Now Kenneth is moving to the Spanish island of Mallorca, where he wants to work on his own projects and continue working with LOTS®, because no matter where in the world he finds himself, he has found where he feels at home – with LOTS® and the cooperation with Hans Akerblom.

Sara Vogt
Scandinavian Leadership