Ton ten Broeke

Ton ten Broeke


In a shared process lies the key to change

You can invite me on issues that have been stuck for a while and where “quick-fix solutions” don’t apply. That is when I am delighted and I will organize a process where the people involved search for what is actually happening and where possible solutions can be found. As a consultant, I have come to know a great deal of organizations over the last couple of years and I have been doing this work for years with a lot of pleasure.

What strikes me is, when it comes to change, people often think of models emanating from a universal truth. For example: Lean management, Prince II, Operational Excellence, 7 characteristics of effective leadership. As far as I am concerned, a universal truth doesn’t exist. There is no “ONE” truth; there is always a truth in the here and now, given meaning to by the people involved. 
I understand that (project)managers feel the need to steer, oversight and get a grip on things. I recognize this urge from within myself. But a result of this might be that people take unilateral decisions, and that others have none or little ownership here. Whereas a shared process is the key to change.

I look at organizations in the way they were designed, with the formal structures and lines and how they actually are. The last situation has, in my opinion, the germs for changes. My contribution, together with others, is to locate the spots where change is already happening, where there is energy. I want to pull that energy to the foreground, strengthen it, and enlarge it. I am convinced that the real knowledge of how things operate is with the people in the work process.

In change projects I always move on different stages: on one stage I meet the managers, on a different stage I meet professionals and on yet another stage I meet executives of other employees. With every group I talk in a different way about what is going on, each from their own perspectives. After that, I bring these groups with their different perspectives together. That way a multiple focus on these issues arises, which helps solving the problems. My role is being the director of the interaction, where I am an objective mirror. I help to start up the process where shared ownership of the changes arises. On other moments I am a coach, trainer or a consultant. I try to find a suiting role and position for every single situation I work in and see which intervention will be best.

Besides being a consultant, I am also a teacher at the Ooa. An accredited postgraduate training Implementation and Change at theOpen Universiteit.