- Programme: Leading Change
- Nationality: Dutch
- Job Post-programme: VP Group Internal Audit at Carlsberg
Real-life business cases
I realised recently that the more senior I have
become within my company, the more my
leadership and management has involved
changing ways of working. At a wider
organisational level, it also involves changing
company culture. I came to the programme to gain
a more theoretical understanding of change
management and reassess my strategic thinking.
The programme provided me with a number of
very useful insights, including structured
frameworks to apply and practical tools to use.
Real life business cases were introduced in class
and the opportunity to discuss challenges with likeminded
peers from other companies was
exceptional. We agreed at the outset that
everything said during the course was confidential
– this created an extremely open environment and
allowed people to contribute with businesssensitive
examples. I got the most value from
breakout groups where we worked with 4 or 5
other participants, gaining a deeper understanding
of managing change across cultures and how to
adjust to different local approaches.
Theory and practice
Leading Change examines the theory behind
change management, but it is also practical
enough to translate into daily work. One of the first
things I did when the course finished was to
implement the technique of peer pressure.
Internally at Heineken, we have a lot of operating
companies that are organised in the same way and
invariably some are performing better than others.
By contrasting the good performers against the
rest, the companies doing less well have stepped
up and improved their results.
Staying true to yourself
I’m currently preparing for my next role where I will
be responsible for the internal audit function
across the Americas and, inevitably, for convincing
people to do things differently. My takeaways from
Leading Change are proving invaluable. One of the
topics we covered was how to start a new role as a
leader. I’m using that knowledge to develop a
strategy that will take me through the first three
months of my new role. I’m also approaching the
role with a much greater level of self-confidence.
I’ve always felt that to bring about true
organisational change it is necessary to be an
extremely charismatic individual. Leading Change
taught me that the most effective leadership is
about staying true to yourself, and to your own
integrity. As long as I remain passionate about the
change I’m trying to effect, I’m much more
comfortable persuading people to work differently
and to change their behaviours.