We examine the extent to which international management concepts challenge the Nordic Working life Model (NWM) – negatively, by undermining inherent principles of NWM, and positively, by renewing the model. Two theoretical concepts for understanding the travel of management concept into the Nordic countries – Transfer and Translation – are introduced. The travel of Lean into Nordic working life is examined, based on earlier research. It is found that Lean may challenge the NWM. However, we also find that strategies of active translation can pave the way for strengthening the NWM and that translational activities are implied in the NWM. This calls for continuous strategies of active translation, however, combined with ongoing critical examination of the possible negative impact of international management concepts on work environment, and principles and characteristics implied in the NWM.