Interview Ineke Duit
What is happening on the moor?
This spring all Woonpunters participate in one of the “driving sessions” in Brummen or Garderen. Two intensive days around personal leadership, under the inspiring leadership of Ineke Duit of NICE. How does she view Woonpunt? Time for a further introduction.
You often talk about personal development. How important is that for you?
“I think personal development is crucial: stagnation means decline. In this time you can hardly do anything else. After all, there is more room to be an individual, which means that everyone has to find his own way in the constantly changing world. Just like a child, I am hungry for development. For example, I recently obtained another degree at the HULT Ashridge Business School, an international recognition for supervising coaches. I’m very proud of that. At the moment I am also following a PhD program there. The subject I have chosen is Personal Sustainability. That is about how you as a human being can also pay sufficient attention to yourself, your children and relationships in everything that comes your way during your life. Such a personal sustainable life fascinates me. “
You have been helping the Woonpunt management team for some time with the development of the organization. What is your added value in that process?
“Three things are important for a new management team such as at Woonpunt. To begin with, the team must get to know each other well and trust each other. Leading in changing times is a difficult task. In addition, it is important to consult with each other in a structured way: how are we doing, what steps have been taken and what else is needed? Finally, the new management team members had no experience with such a radical change process. I can help them with that, my added value is supporting new things, taking time for reflection and creating mutual solidarity. “
In addition to Woonpunt, you guide other organizations with developments within their organization. Have you done such an intensive process before?
“What I do now at Woonpunt is unique to me. What makes the trajectory special is that all employees in relatively small groups together consider where they are now and where they are going. The most important thing is that everyone can tell their story and think what the change means for him or her personally. I have a lot of respect for the board and management that they want to facilitate this. The results always exceed my expectations, so I do it with great pleasure every time. ”
What is the long-term effect?
“Taking time for reflection, exchanging experiences and thinking about what you have to do has an effect on everyone anyway. The program is strong enough for that. If you only did it for an afternoon, the effect soon disappears. The sessions can make the difference for an organization in change. Because there are people who decide that they want to go one step further, but there are also people who decide to leave. Exactly what it does is difficult to measure, but it can be experienced and it has effect. If you build on the working method that we put together through this program, you implicitly change the culture of the organization by the way you interact. “
Why do these leadership sessions have to take place in the Veluwe? Why not enjoy the Heuvelland? Saves a lot of miles.
“It could be anywhere, as long as it is not too close to home. Because if you go home in between, the impact is much less. People must then always switch off and are always busy with their departure. In addition, there is time for informal contact during dinner and in the bar. That is at least as important, you have to embed that in the program. Why the Veluwe? Because the management sessions also take place there and we don’t want to make a difference. We want everyone to have the same experience. “
Participation in the leadership sessions is not compulsory, but the board insists. Why is that so important?
“I think it’s the most normal thing in the world for everyone to participate. The organization is evolving and with the leadership sessions it is possible for everyone to participate in that development. Because if you don’t get on the train of change, then the gap with the rest of the organization is getting bigger and ultimately no longer to be bridged. I understand that people don’t like it. That’s not surprising, new things are always exciting. But that quickly turns out to be my experience, if they notice that the program means the best for them. “
Which result of the leadership sessions can Woonpunt be satisfied with?
“Woonpunt may be satisfied if the majority of employees look back on the meetings with pleasure. If there is a connection between people and across departments. And when some of those present start thinking about how they are about to change and what they can do themselves. But also when employees have experienced that Woonpunt had to change and change for the better. And that they can say the things that are important to them. The involvement is huge, I notice. I also think that many employees have more in house than they realize themselves. The assignments, presentations and metaphors are of a high level. “
A lot of anger emerges in the meetings. Why is it so important to express it?
Much has happened in the organization, where Woonpunt is not unique. But there were also a number of abuses that could persist for a long time. A lot of anger is right there. If he does not get space, then that anger is suppressed and therefore greater. Then it goes on under the skin and that is undermining and contagious. If you get the space to express your anger and you experience that you are not the only one, then you can get started. “
After a number of these sessions, how do you view Woonpunt?
“Beautiful people work at Woonpunt: committed, dedicated, with a high degree of creativity and craftsmanship. The collegiality is great. At the same time, they have not had to invest in their development for so long that they are not looking forward to it. Instead of experiencing this as a gift. That surprises me. There are simply professional requirements that everyone must meet and Woonpunt facilitates these. “
What kind of changes do you see with employees during those two days?
“I see people coming in expectantly, a little skeptically. Several people also say that during the opening: I don’t understand why we are here, why so far and what does it cost? But I see people gradually relax. As I experience it, this is due to the history of Woonpunt and the exchange about it. Mutual respect increases further during the interviews, through the stories people tell. In the course of the afternoon / beginning of the evening I see a change taking place. Interconnection has been established, people are sometimes surprised about what is happening in other departments, but sharing positive experiences also has a great impact. By the time they leave, most people are a lot happier and lighter. “
What causes those changes?
Taking a combination of time for each other – there is no time pressure – and paying attention to each other. Your story may be told and shared and you will also hear other stories. That personal reflection ensures that people also start thinking about themselves in relation to the changes at Woonpunt and how they feel about this themselves. “
How can we maintain the mutual connection that arises?
“When I hear the word, I get a little restless. We cannot hold on to anything, we must always go further. Beautiful moments color us, it is the memories that we take with us as pearls. The only thing you can do is meet each other and create new moments and milestones where you feel that connection. So you cannot hold the connection, but you can maintain it. “
Finally: what else do you want to give the Woonpunt employees?
“There is no path that goes all the way, an impressive statement based on a Chinese poem. Nothing lasts forever, that goes for me too. Woonpunters are very involved and socially motivated, I would say: have that compassion towards each other. “
Ineke Duit is a co-founder and director / owner of NICE. She is a trainer, OD specialist, executive coach and team coach, supervisor (coach for coaches). Ineke specializes in, among other things, organizational development and leadership. “I’m looking for the story of people and their organizations.”