Herman Zondag

COO, AFAS Software

How the collaboration with How Company started
For Herman it has always been important that he and his employees continue to develop themselves. He decided to have a conversation with How after two people from the company came back from one of How’s open programs, were positive about it, and saw potential in the program for AFAS. “You come across a lot of people in your life, but with only a few of them do you get the feeling that there is a real click. We didn’t talk about business at all in that meeting, but about what drives me in life, and what I want to achieve with my organization. It was an interesting and exciting conversation.” A lot of people at AFAS have been working there for years. “It’s important for us that they don’t trundle along in the comfort zone, but that they challenge us, that they look for chances to develop and give meaning to their role. We wanted to offer them the program as a kind of MOT service."
  • Personal leadership
  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Custom made programs
  • Incompany
  • Team development
What How Company is able to do like no other, is get to the core of the organization and put their finger on what is stuck. Their method and tools offered our people a clear route forward.
The How Company program at AFAS started in 2012 with a 3-day program for the MT of AFAS Support. The team examined the impact of their own thinking and behavior on issues in the company, identifying personal blocks and releasing them. Meanwhile tools like Communication Styles, working with expectations and giving and receiving feedback gave them practical instruments to work with. In 2013 another team took a 2-day program focused on communication styles and personal development. In 2014 this group went through an additional program to develop the quality of their leadership. Since then a series of regular individual coaching have helped embed the programs in the organization. AFAS has dedicated a personal development budget to make this all possible.
"The trainers from How quickly get beneath the surface to the real stuff in the workshops, which can be a little confronting. But the result is that you experience the vulnerability and care of your own colleagues. It was amazing that people were able to talk openly about issues both professional and private; whether it was fear of failure, anxiety, image, you name it, it was all out there." The trainer played a crucial role in all this. "Her alertness, assertiveness and honesty created just the right environment for us to open up and talk about the real stuff." After following the programs people were much more open and honest to one another. Some things were identified and solved noticeably faster. I noticed that people started to ask each other critical questions. The workshop made people see their own patterns, which gave them a lot of insights."
About AFAS Sofware
AFAS is a family owned Dutch software developer serving both the business and the consumer market. Social responsibility is a central pillar in the company, which views not only the wellbeing of its customers as its core objective, but also of its employees and the environment.