I have always had a fascination for change. The idea of ‘a stable life’ never appealed to me. I feel – nowadays – most of the time relaxed in changing environments and when the future is uncertain. And for sure I don’t believe that stability can ever be achieved. It’s an illusion. And although it seems appealing to many of us, most of us would become utterly bored when nothing changes for a longer period of time. Better to embrace change as a given, although it might give anxiety, and enjoy the inspiration and new insights it brings. As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said: There is nothing permanent except change. My fascination for change gave me the basis to become a good change manager and coach.
Being a restless pupil, I left high school one year prior to start my own business when I was 19. Being far too ambitious, unwillingly I pushed my company into a crisis within the first year. The best thing – in a way – that could happened to me, while we learn much more from crises than from the stable phases in our lives, if we are open for the lessons to be learned. I had to severely reorganise my business and change the strategy. Besides that, I had to re-negotiate conditions with the bank, the hardest type of organisation to negotiate with (besides the tax authorities). The bank gave me 2 months to solve the problems. And I did it! My first crash course in change management.
I started working as a change management consultant in 1996, now helping others to navigate through difficult change phases. My work as a change management consultant involved projects for companies/organizations such as Marks & Spencers, the University of Amsterdam, and coaching individuals – on work and private related issues.
In 2001 I started working for non-profits (such as Amnesty International), getting involved in achieving change in the broader society – the hardest thing to do. As the Executive Director of Fairfood International, together with a team of 40 paid staff, 150 volunteers, and thousands of supporters, I was able to change the way how international food companies operate. Now a bit more sustainable. But the real change, though, should come from within the food industry.
Since August 2011, I work as a freelance change management consultant, advising and coaching companies, organisations and individuals on change processes besides implementing change as an interim manager within companies and organisations. Besides my work, I have been active to advocate for change within the Dutch society.
Need change and want to change? Contact me to discuss how I can help you.
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