“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:

Marck van Eck having a conversation having a conversation with Jan Kleijn, Director of Heijmans woningbouw

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.

Do you want to learn more about Heijmans? Click here

Follow Jan Kleijn and Marc van Eck on LinkedIn: Jan Kleijn, Marc van Eck

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