How soviet are you as a leader?

On 7 October 2014, in change, meetings, transformational, by Ruben van der Laan
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I am on my way back from Kyrgyzstan where I facilitated a 3-day conference. Kyrgyzstan (for those of you who don’t know) is a former Soviet Republic in Central Asia. Hence, it’s one of those countries where the state ruled and intervened in all aspects of individual lives of its citizens. And though the Soviet […]

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How to get your whole team to work

On 16 April 2014, in meetings, methods, by Ruben van der Laan
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‘Our meeting rooms fit a maximum of 8 participants.’ I was being guided through the new headquarters of a major bank. Of course the design of the brand new offices showed the decency and the wealth you may expect from a conservative institution as a bank. But I was pleasantly surprised to see a lot […]

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‘Managers need to learn to say no’ – Interview with Cyriel Kortleven

On 7 April 2014, in change, creativity, meetings, by Ruben van der Laan
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Cyriel Kortleven is a much sough-after speaker at conferences and meetings. Through is enthusiastic and playful attitude to life, he creates an open and informal atmosphere. ‘Less is Beautiful’ is his fourth book in which he invites professionals to look for ways to gain more with less efforts. I met Cyriel several times and every […]

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Improving your meetings is a waste of time!

On 17 February 2014, in change, innovation, meetings, by Ruben van der Laan
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Most meetings are an energy drain. Everyone working for or with a big organisation knows that. So I often get clients that would like to see their meetings improved.   – Why do you want to improve your meetings? – Well, says the client, I’d love to see people engaging in the topic instead of […]

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Why a ‘boss free’ organisation is not boss free

On 27 January 2014, in change, innovation, transformational, by Ruben van der Laan
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Since Zappos decided to turn into a holacracy, we definitely have a hype around boss free companies. Not that ‘boss free’ companies are new, but that a well-known brand and big company is taking up the challenge is definitely worth noticing.   ‘Boss free’ is an answer to the problems of bureaucracy, which in the […]

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‘Self-management invariably works better than hierarchies’ – Interview with Richard Hames

On 22 November 2013, in change, innovation, meetings, participation, by Ruben van der Laan
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Richard Hames is a corporate philosopher and knowledge designer. He is one of the most influential strategic foresight practitioners currently around. I had the chance to experience Richard’s wit, intelligence and sharpness in projecting the future of our world and its consequences for society, business and government. Richard is an acclaimed writer and speaker and […]

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You are listening, aren’t you? (deep listening for beginners)

On 7 October 2013, in meetings, methods, participation, by Ruben van der Laan
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Meetings are all about communication. Without communication, the meeting would cease to exist.   The word ‘communication’ has a Latin origin of which the root is mun- (not uni-). The Latin munus has to do with gifts or duties offered publicly. In ancient Rome, the communicatio generally involved tangible goods. The word has then evolved […]

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‘With Jugaad Innovation you save on time and resources’ – Interview with Navi Radjou

On 21 August 2013, in innovation, meetings, transformational, by Ruben van der Laan
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Navi Radjou is co-author of the bestseller Jugaad Innovation, in which he explains how emerging economies are innovating frugally by clever improvisation. Filled with many examples, Navi Radjou and his colleagues show that frugal innovation is flourishing in emerging countries. Think low-cost, high quality and affordable solutions in health care, energy, communications etcetera. Jugaad Innovation […]

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9 signs you’re taking innovation seriously

On 5 August 2013, in ideas, innovation, methods, by Ruben van der Laan
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How well are managers able to judge the value of ideas from their organisations?   I was running a workshop for innovators within a big company. Great and novel ideas were discussed, challenges were solved and exiting business models were created. Yet, in the background everyone feared his or her idea would perish in the […]

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Enabling great decisions: balancing spheres in meetings

On 11 June 2013, in meetings, methods, transformational, by Ruben van der Laan
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In some settings groups are unable to reach consensus and decisions. If the exchange of ideas has stalled and if all point of views are clear, then change settings towards a cosy and warm atmosphere.   Location: a normal meeting room ‘I don’t understand why you aren’t giving us the information!’ I had lost count […]

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