Advice 2018-10-23T12:53:49+00:00

Paradoxically competent organizations

We advise organizations in complex challenges from a ‘both-and’ perspective. Here are some examples:

Vision, mission and strategy:

  • How do you ensure your vision, mission and strategy provide a clear direction but allow you to switch flexibly between sometimes opposing paths to get there?
  • How do you ensure that your vision, mission and strategy are not made up of empty phrases but identify, acknowledge and appreciate the actual polarities every employee in the organization experiences on a daily basis?
  • How do you provide a clear frame of reference and give your team members the space to make their own consideration within this frame? How can you work from trust and leave decision-making as much as possible to the professionals on the ground, without becoming rudderless as an organization?

Organizational design:

  • How do you bring opposing functions (e.g. innovation and ‘ongoing business’, sales and operations, entrepreneurship and compliance, front office and back office…) together in a single organization? How do you organize that in such a way that both sides reinforce each other instead of polarizing or even clashing?
  • How can you collaborate in a multidisciplinary manner while reinforcing the strength of the individual disciplines?
  • How do you ensure a workable balance between the corporate center and the business units? How do you optimally combine the power of a centralized and decentralized approach?

Service delivery: 

  • How can you increase efficiency with digital service channels and artificial intelligence and still give personal attention?
  • How can you work consistently and treat all customers equally on the one hand, and keep an eye on the individual needs and specific situation on the other? How can you give your service team the space to make their own assessments and decisions without that leading to subjective arbitrariness?


  • How can you establish a change approach that enrichesthe existing with the new instead of replacingthe existing with the new? How can you simultaneously appreciate the existing (and not give employees the feeling that they have been doing wrong up to now, which would immediately create strong resistance) and still provide sufficient impetus for change?
  • How do you avoid expensive, one size fits all cultural change programs meant to embed new values (e.g. demand orientation, collaboration, result focus, pro-activeness …), but that make little or no difference and mainly just evoke resistance, cynicism or indifference? By contrast, how do you make employees agile by giving them tools to situationally deal with dual values (result AND people, partnering AND critical distance, bespoke AND standard)?

Cooperation in diversity:

  • How do you enable the different organizational units (or entire organizations), each with its own focus points, perspectives and interests, to work together in a seamless chain? How can you connect your own perspective with the perspective of the other?

Talen development and HR policy:

  • How can you get more out of the potential of your people by appreciating their multiple talents and by giving staff the space to develop very different aspects of themselves? How can you facilitate this with your HR policy? Are straightforward and one-dimensional competency profiles still sufficient or is it more about a deeper meta-competency: the ability to switch between approaches and styles depending on the situation?
  • How can you enable your team to better deal with ambiguity, complexity, volatility and unpredictability? How can you stimulate and challenge them to anchor their professional identity and ‘sense of belonging’ on a deeper level, so that they can handle the continuous flow of change more smoothly? As an organization, what stable anchor points can you provide in times of rapid change?
  • Which (meta-)competencies and fundamental talents are needed to also be successful in the future?

In addition to advice, we also offer support in the design and execution of projects in this area.

Feel free to contact us if you would like more information