“The bigger the change, the more you need to invest in internal communication”
In his podcast Groei Gesprekken [Growth Talks], Marc van Eck (Newgrowth-strategies) recently spoke with Jan Kleijn (Director Housing at Heijmans). The podcast (in Dutch) can be found here:
Who is Jan Kleijn?
Jan Kleijn is the Director of Heijmans Woningbouw, which is a division of Heijmans N.V., a Dutch construction and engineering company that specializes in residential construction, property development, and infrastructure projects. As the Director of Heijmans Woningbouw, Kleijn is responsible for overseeing the division’s operations, strategy, and performance. He has extensive experience in the construction and real estate industry, having worked in various leadership roles for companies such as BAM and VolkerWessels before joining Heijmans in 2015.
Why construction companies use OGSM
Construction companies, like many other organisations, use OGSM (Objectives, Goals, Strategies, Measures) as a strategic planning tool to help them achieve their objectives and goals. OGSM is a framework that provides a structured approach to developing a clear and concise plan of action that aligns with the company’s mission, vision, and values.
One reason construction companies use OGSM is that it allows them to break down their objectives and goals into smaller, more manageable pieces. By doing this, they can create a roadmap that outlines the steps needed to achieve their desired outcomes. This helps to ensure that everyone in the organization is working towards the same goals and that resources are being allocated efficiently.
Another benefit of OGSM is that it allows construction companies to measure their progress and adjust their strategies as needed. By defining specific measures and key performance indicators (KPIs), companies can track their progress and identify areas where they need to improve. This helps to ensure that they are making the most of their resources and that they are continuously improving their performance.
Overall, OGSM is a useful tool for construction companies because it helps them to align their goals and strategies with their mission and values, break down their objectives into manageable steps, and measure their progress along the way.
How Heijmans woningbouw’s internal communication benefitted from OGSM
During the conversation, Jan Kleijn explains how his organisation has benefitted from OGSM. As a major property developer in the Netherlands, Heijmans is trying to meet one of the largest and most acute housing demands in the country’s history. The housing crisis has a significant social impact and, given the magnitude of the current housing shortages, speed is of the essence. At the same time, however, widespread labour shortages limit Heijmans’ access to experienced builders and construction workers. The strategic challenge, then, is to maximise the company’s capabilities while reducing its dependence on hard-to-obtain skilled labour.
Heijmans’ answer is twofold. Firstly, Heijmans aims to industrialise much of its construction processes using mechanisation and automation. Secondly, the company has migrated from concrete to wood in much of its construction, which is easier to handle and also contributes to meeting Heijmans’ and its clients’ sustainability goals. These are big shifts for the company, Kleijn acknowledges. But using OGSM as the foundation for its strategic process has been beneficial to communicate the importance of the changes
“The bigger the change your company is going through, the more you need to invest in internal communications. You need to make sure everyone understands why choices are made. Also the people on the construction sites. Having a plan on a page facilitates communication. It is not a panacea, there will still be people who don’t like this new way of thinking, but that is fine. The people who stay fully embrace it and go for it.”
Kleijn also noted improvements to his company’s strategic process. In the past, a great deal of attention went into perfecting the strategic plans before releasing them. OGSM has made strategy an ongoing process, where the plan is never ‘finished’, but keeps becoming better over time. That makes this method highly effective in this day and age, in which new developments must be woven into the plan so regularly.
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