“As an ‘angry young man’ and the person with final responsibility for a reorganisation, I used to pretty much barrel through; ramp up the pace, intervene in the structure and the processes … done. But that sort of approach results in few lasting changes. Coming to that realisation was an enormous trigger for me. Things are more nuanced than that.
When you know what motivates your people and you tap into it, it can seem like you make the firmest decisions, but despite – or rather because of – these decisions, people are better able to come into their power.” Otte-Pieter Banga’s passion for his profession is obvious and you can’t help being caught up in his enthusiasm. Just one meeting with Otte-Pieter and you find yourself thinking, “I want to know which beliefs are holding me back in my work too.” In September last year Otte-Pieter took over responsibility for executive coaching and the executive programmes for each of Accezz International’s behaviour change programmes.
Taking a look under a team’s bonnet
Accezz tackles more efficient working right where it happens. The company improves the quality of the working process, with the same number of – or often even – fewer staff. “Thanks to Otte-Pieter Banga, we secure lasting results,” says Martin van der Lee, the director of Accezz International. “I look at the values that are under the radar, beliefs that are hidden in the subconscious of teams, management and the Board of Directors,” Otte-Pieter adds. “Using our work method which is partly based on ‘spiral dynamics’ [currently the most successful change methodology – Ed.], I use a digital test to discover where the strength of a team and its members lies – as well as where the energy is leaking. We continue with this in the workshops.
People find it both enlightening and confronting when their strengths and their blind spots are brought so clearly into focus. Literally, because the bar charts show exactly why certain mistakes have sometimes been being made for years.” But if the team doesn’t really do anything with this information, the problems will return. The greatest benefit of this approach, therefore, is the deep, self-reflective discussions that the teams have with each other. After all, a test is just a test. Entering into a deep dialogue with each other and arriving at defining insights and decisions – that’s the real benefit. That is the foundation for lasting improvements.
Is team reflection a trend?
“Yes and no. The word ‘trend’ implies that it’s temporary, and this is more than that. I see that self-reflection is becoming increasingly important within organisations, on both a team and an individual level. Businesses are realising that it pays to invest in their people. In our ‘executive coaching’ tests I see that intuition is more highly valued and teams are scoring increasingly higher for this value. Even business change organisations like McKinsey recognise this specific value in the process of behaviour change and are following Accezz in their approach.”
Reorganisation is more than just coaching
“This analysis is only a start. It marks the beginning of awareness and the first step towards finding tailor-made solutions,” Otte-Pieter says in his lively and inspiring way. Banga is not just an ‘excellent executive coach’. He knows what the leaders in a reorganisation and change process are dealing with. To put it simply, Otte-Pieter loves ‘making things work that aren’t working’. In addition to executive coaching, he is often enough on the other side of the table, for example as interim director. “I know what keeps my clients awake at night, because just last week the same things kept me awake thanks to my role as interim director. I know how things work in practice and this, along with my approach, is my added value for Accezz’s clients.“
Banga is currently testing and coaching the team and the Board as part of a reorganisation process at one of the larger Dutch health care institutions. “For years, the underlying value was, ‘there’s enough money, and quality of care comes first,” he explains, “but times have changed thanks to legislation and competition. People expect more than quality, for example better planning, better financial negotiation skills with care administration offices, more efficient operation. You can implement the most effective working methods on the work floor, but when you don’t have these new skills under the bonnet at management level, the organisation is still at risk. When old beliefs persist and you’re not attracting people who operate according to this new way of thinking, you will never achieve a sustainable business model.”
Rubbing makes things shine
After an intensive programme consisting of a team analysis, various workshops with different tailor-made working formats, one-to-one coaching and solution-oriented interventions in management or team composition, the foundation on which reorganisation and change management solutions are based stands firm. “Everyone knows that with a solid foundation a building can survive a storm. My work is no different. And yes, sometimes that rubs some team members the wrong way. But you know what, rubbing makes things shine …”