Hoe kan een project ontsporen en hoe breng je het weer op de rails?

De projectmanagement standaards zeggen er weinig of niets over. Dat roept vooral op: “zoek het zelf maar uit..”

AMI Consultancy organiseert daarom vier keer per jaar de Masterclass Project Recovery. Voor data 2016: http://www.recoveringprojects.nl.

Een leerzame en stimulerende belevenis voor projectmanagers, opdrachtgevers en stakeholders.

“een beeldvorming van minstreel vs chirurg, de veehouder vs jager maken de masterclass krachtig” | “kleinschalige opzet waardoor een ontspannen, open atmosfeer ontstond met veel ruimte voor respectvolle interactie” | “ik ben zeker geïnteresseerd in een vervolgsessie om een aantal zaken extra onder de loep te nemen”

Gebaseerd op praktijkervaringen en wetenschappelijke kennis reiken Martijn Jong en Peter Storm een integrale aanpak aan waarin ‘hard’ en ‘zacht’ elkaar versterken.


Voor meer informatie en aanmelden: www.recoveringprojects.nl

The principles of Cooperation(s)

Marjon Oosterhout is one of our regular bloggers and also happens to be a great person and sparring partner. Here she writes about the principles of becoming a team. If you do not need each other, there is no need nor reason to call yourself a team; you are (at best) a ‘club’ and share the same membership…

We need each other. We know each other. We trust each other.

These are the principles based on which Mayer Friedrich Raiffeissen founded a credit society, where members’ deposits served to provide loans for other members. The first Cooperative bank 150 years ago.

For me these 3 simple principles are still the foundation for effective cooperation. Not just for companies with a co-operative structure, , but for co-operation and collaboration within and between teams in general. A lot of the work I do with teams is about effective teamwork and cross-business collaboration. Most of the struggles I experience are related to these 3 principles.

Earlier this year I worked with an executive team that really wasn’t a team. It was a group of individuals responsible for their own portfolio of businesses and functions. I asked them if they had a shared aspiration. It turned out they didn’t, the lack of such an aspiration simply meant they didn’t need each other. They could achieve their individual targets faster without than with each other. So why would they co-operate? Their perception was it would slow them down. Two of them seemed to really connect, as it turned out they both had an autistic sun. I asked the others what they knew about their colleagues …. not a lot.

The question do you really trust each other I didn’t dare the ask at that moment. (Now I do!)

These are simple principles and I know over-simplification is dangerous. Still we shouldn’t confuse simple with easy! My belief is that it is worth taking the time for quality dialogues to establish a shared aspiration and to identity why and how the team-members need each other. To focus on the differences (diversity) as a source of added value. To get to know each other, also as human beings. Both serve as the foundation for developing trust. I’m pretty sure that that overloaded, task focused meeting agenda’s don’t help.

Hopefully you will take the time to enjoy the summer, relax and maybe reflect on these 150 years old leadership lessons.


Passion for talent

Great thought on leadership by Brad Smith

Sometimes, for no reason, you stubble upon an article or blog that really hits a sweet spot. This blog by Brad Smith is really inspiring because of the clear insight and message. He really succeeded in translating a ‘big topic’ into an easy to understand concept and that is not easy at all.. The most difficult part is to learn to adopt these leadership principles.

I really would like to share it with you and I hope he’s ok with that.


How to scale your leadership style

“I was recently asked how I think about scaling leadership.

To answer the question, I first need to share my view of leadership, which is grounded in the belief that it is not a leader’s job to put greatness into people. But rather, it is our job to acknowledge the greatness that already exists and create opportunities and an environment for that greatness to come out.

So as your organization grows in size and complexity, how do you move from being a personal trainer where it’s one-on-one training for a small team of employees, to someone who can have an impact across a large group of people and advance the capability of the entire group? From my experience, this requires three techniques:

Your ability to create focus. A leader should strive to paint an inspiring vision. Most people don’t want to run from something, but rather they seek to run to something. As individuals, we want to be a part of something greater than themselves. A leader should paint this inspiring vision, and then articulate the priorities to help help people know how to make progress against that vision.

Your interactions should produce the three E’s. The second thing I believe underpins scaling leadership is your interaction model. My view is the outcomes a scalable leader should create in every interaction is the three E’s:

  • Energize: You should leave people with their hearts beating faster. This does not mean always being a cheerleader. In fact, constructive feedback and course adjustments can be equally stimulating if they are delivered in the form of coaching, versus judging. Seek to energize in every interaction.
  • Educate: Leave every encounter with the team having learned at least one thing they didn’t know (or had not realized) before you met with them. You should also seek to learn at least one thing you didn’t know as well. Scalable leaders use every opportunity to learn and to teach.
  • Empower: Scalable leaders measure success, not by what happened in the meeting, but how capable the team is able to execute without them after they leave the room. Did you build capability during the interaction?

The secret to the three E’s is principles-based decision making. Bring your coaching to the level of guiding principles. That way, the next time a team faces a similar situation they can refer to the principles as guidelines, and will have a better sense of what to do.

How you invest your time. The third and final piece to scalable leadership is how you choose to invest your time. As leaders, the resources we leverage include time, people, and dollars. We can often find more people and more dollars, but we can never manufacture more time. It is so critical to be very discerning about where you’ll invest your time for two reasons. It is your most scarce resource, so getting the maximum ROI is essential. It is also the strongest signal you can send to a team around what you deem to be the most important.

So to scale your leadership as your organization grows, create focus through an inspiring vision. Be clear about your interaction model and the three E’s. And keep a close eye on how you spend your time.”





Marjon Oosterhout is one of our regular guest bloggers. Could a management team also learn from community principles? Food for thought…

A Senegalese man, who had been living in The Netherlands for 4 months was asked for his observations and what had surprised him most.

His answer was “only food at the middle of the table is meant to be shared”.

What he was basically highlighting is the principle that the more we have the less we seem to share. Isn’t is amazing that people who have little share it all? I guess many of you who had the privilege to travel to developing countries and visit people at their homes experienced this.

This is not “just” the case with food. I think it applies to many aspects of our professional life as well.

Sharing means getting something from others, but also giving away something we are attached to. Like responsibility, influence, decision making power and resources. In working with many Management Teams my observation is that letting go, trusting others and sharing responsibility are not obvious.

Going back to the food metaphor of the communities in Senegal. They share what ever they have. One has rice, the other chicken, a third vegetables.
What if Management Teams would start working like these communities. Putting all the knowledge, experience, talents and resources there are on the table, share it and enjoy it together. Breaking down the “this is my responsibilty” and the “this is my contribution” thinking.

It may sound naive, but I believe this would make working in these teams more enjoyable, it would mean diversity optima-forma and I’m sure it would lead to better results.

I’m interested in your experiences with sharing.


win win

Marjon Oosterhout is one of our regular guest bloggers. This time she shares an interesting thought on what it takes to start healthy collaboration.

Last week I attended a couple of events around the theme of circular economy. My most important take away, other than that it’s already developing, is the need for a different mindset regarding the nature of relationships. Connecting, collaborating and creating win-win seem to be the key words to make circular economy work.
It reminded me of an interview with Desmond Tutu on Dutch TV a couple of weeks ago. He was asked for his opinion about the intentions of the Dutch government to cut the budget for international development aid. In his usual style he didn’t give a direct answer. Instead he told a story of a man who got the opportunity to visit heaven and hell. He first travelled to hell, where he found a group of starving people seated around a table piled with food, each person held a spoon with a long handle therefore they couldn’t get the food to their mouth.

Next he visited heaven. Here he found happy and healthy looking people. They were also sitting around a tale piled with food and they also had spoons with long handles. However rather than trying to feed themselves, they were feeding each other. I never heard a story that better illustrates what collaborating and win-win really mean. The story makes it so obvious that (only) focusing on self interest leads to lose lose.

Creating a win-win may require us to be the first to give something away, without even knowing if we will get something in return. It only takes one person to start the transform that hell into a heaven. I guess none of this is new, yet for me personally it was an important reminder!


Passion for talent

Fighting spirit

Marjon Oosterhout is one of our regular guest bloggers. This time she shares a very personal experience concerning the question of leadership and trustworthy relationships at the top of the organization.

If the changing (new) values of an organization do not reflect the actual way of working, should we consider this a risk for the change process? Should values and behaviour be consistent with each other? Maybe good governance and top leadership in organizations need a different set of values and rules-of-play? Is deep change possible in such a situation?

“Those of you who know me better also know I’m not that easily lost for words. Last week I was. The setting was a meeting with a potential client looking for support for culture change. As many companies, the organization was moving from highly decentralized to a more integrated organization. A draft value statement spoke of cooperation, organizational learning and external focus.

I asked the CEO to describe the quality of the relationships in the Board and he used the term “fighting spirit”. In my naivety I thought he meant fighting the competition, the external enemy. He actually meant fighting each other. When I suggested this didn’t strike me as consistent with the new values he lectured me “there is no need for board members to be each others friends”. That was when I was lost for words. It was also the moment we both realized that I wouldn’t be the right person to work with them.

This is probably an extreme case. Yet not the first time I’m surprised or maybe sad is a better word, that there seem to be few Top Teams where trust based, quality relationships are the norm. Almost every day I see examples in the media of organizations where the lack of these relationships or even conflict at the top have severe negative consequences. For individual executives and for the organization as a whole. Sadly, those causing this unhealthy atmosphere are often not aware of their impact.

Don’t get me wrong, being too kind, too respectful and demonstrating a lack of courage to have difficult conversations is not what I’m suggesting. Challenge and courageous conversations are needed to keep each other alert and awake. But to make these effective you need a strong foundation of trust and respect, there needs to be a sense of “we are in this together”. Challenge needs to be experienced as constructive for the business and not as an attack on the person.

This is not “just” about role modelling. This is also about fulfilling basic human needs. I wasn’t only lost for words, I was also seriously concerned about the stress levels Board members of that CEO must feel.”


Passion for talent

Organizational change is dead? No way!

A provocative blog by Seth Kahan. At fastcompany.com he states that organizational change is dead. Because the classic organizations are non-existent anymore…

His definition of an organization is interesting. Organizations are ‘entities’ to create and deliver value. And because of globalization, internet and social media, boundaries that once determined this entity have shifted and are, in more and more cases, fluent.

Therefore people are more relevant than the organization they belong to. Value creation is about connecting yourself and your business to MPV’s (Most valuable People). Because through people and with people, you’re able to meet the demands.

In my opinion organizations are alive. But struggling with the new demands driven by both market, their clients and the professionals. And professionals are struggling too. Maybe that is the change we’re talking about. How organizations and their professionals can adapt to these new conditions together. Because the value organizations create is not only related to the output they deliver. Organizations are communities and people want to connect.

I agree that organizations are social communities. Belonging to a community is also value. And maybe this is more valuable that we think.

The blog by Seth Kahan can be found here: organizational change is dead