Roel van Dijk


How the collaboration with How Company started
Roel van Dijk, director of software developer ANVA, was looking for an organization to support his company go through the culture change he hoped to engineer. An old colleague and friend advised him to talk to How Company. “I was looking for something that would intensify the quality of the teamwork within our company. We weren’t used to give each other feedback. We were too nice with each other.” Meanwhile, business targets were not being reached. “The potential was there in the company, but we didn’t manage to translate that into results. To make a shift in that area we first had to understand the influence of our own behavior and communication on the results.”
  • Personal leadership
  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Custom made programs
  • Organizational change
  • Incompany
  • Team development
We were used to managers determining everything, but I wanted a company driven by the employees. That shift has now been made. As director it has not only made things less lonely, but much more fun, and it generates better results.
In order to secure a true culture change in the organization ANVA ran a series of How Company programs across all layers of the organization. Roel was the first one to take an open How program to get a taste of the How Company approach. “These training programs are the best I’ve ever taken in my career as far as trainer interaction on behavior and attitude. That’s because the trainers sense what each participant needs. They maintain a sensitive balance: not accepting superficial answers, but never pushing trainees beyond the point that they feel safe. That way they get the best out of the group.”
After this initial positive experience a custom-made 3-day program was put together, similar to the Communication For Excellence, for all managers above a certain level in the organization. “With a major change like this it’s important that the management sets the example of the culture we want to see.” The rest of the organization took a two-day program “practical communication skills” and the managers then took the three-day Leadership For Excellence. The management team had a session with How Company in which they set the vision and mission of the company and the outline of a strategy. This was then pulled together in the so-called Culture Day, during which the whole organization came together to work out and agree on a series of working agreements. In total 130 people within ANVA have taken part in a How Company program.
The group was a mix of employees from different departments. “People who didn’t usually have much to do with each other now got to know each other and understand each other’s needs. That worked well,” says Roel. Not only did this lead to more mutual understanding, but to a greater understanding of themselves and their environment. Issues – both work-related and private- that they had not known how to handle in the past became clear during the training, and it became clear how to handle them. Meanwhile Roel also saw a significant improvement in both the quality of their products and customer service. “We have become even more reliable in our delivery, and the quality of our product has improved enormously.” Roel puts this down to a more effective teamwork and the ability to make clearer choices. “We have become much better at prioritizing. We now make real choices, rather than deciding half-heartedly. Performance has really improved, and there is still room for even more improvement. It is as if we are exploring each other step by step.”
About ANVA
ANVA supports its customers, insurance advisors and other financial services to capitalize on their future opportunities by providing software solutions and services. With its innovative standardization, digitalization and chain integration services, ANVA has proved itself a solid and reliable partner for the past 40 years.