Meet our consultants … Iris Valk
To complete our mission toward 100% impact projects, we need a diverse team of consultants. With different expertise, backgrounds, and personalities. Let’s meet our team of consultants. What motivates leadership & performance improvement consultant Iris Valk in her assignments?
What kind of performance improvement projects have you been working on?
A favorite was for a company that produces natural solutions to combat pests in crops and cultivate healthier crops. They are on a mission to a 100% sustainable agriculture and were growing rapidly. The organization was struggling to keep up with demand. We were asked to help the technical department to evaluate their ways of working and increase productivity.
How did we help?
First, we created a picture of the performance ‘fit-gap’: what is the desired performance and what is keeping the team from realizing this? We uncovered insights by gathering all sorts of information and presenting it in one coherent story – their story. We hung all findings on a big wall and invited everyone to come and check ‘the fit-gap story’ we were uncovering. For this, we spent a lot of time ‘on the ground’. For example, spending several days following employees to understand what kinds of problems they encounter, and which activities truly add value. We also organized workshops with people from various teams to map the current processes and issues. Next, we made a plan with activities to optimize their output. We helped them with new ways of working and tools such as dashboards and RACI’s. We trained and coached people in continuous improvement methods such as Kaizen. So that they can continue to improve their performance on their own. Making ourselves redundant.
What makes this project one of your favorites?
It was my first project at Been Management Consulting. I started my career at an HR consulting firm and wanted to expand my horizon beyond HR departments. I love being ‘on the shop floor’ and stand amongst equipment and machines. It’s so rewarding to contribute to the change process of individuals, teams, and leaders.
What role does sustainability play in these projects?
To be honest, if I were to do this project again, I would do things a little differently. When talking about added value, we now use a broader definition. Using a framework that explicitly incorporates employees, the environment, and the community too. It’s a change we’ve made since embarking on our own sustainability journey in 2020.
How have we changed as a company since 2020?
A lot. We educated ourselves about sustainability, hired people with relevant knowledge and experience, built a network of frontrunners. We made many changes and became a certified B Corp. Today, over 50% of our projects have a positive environmental and/or social impact. In 2024, we want all projects be ‘impact projects’.
How about your own development in these years?
Here at Been Management Consulting we’re encouraged to be authentic and to learn and explore together. For instance, I got the opportunity to become a Gallup Certified Strengths coach. It’s based on the notion that successful development comes from turning your natural-born talents into strengths. Fostering one’s unique talents. I’ve implemented this method at Been Management Consulting. This supports our own ambition to become a more inclusive and diverse organization too.
“The culture here at Been Management Consulting is very supportive. We’re encouraged to be authentic and to learn and explore together.” – Iris Valk
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