my services: supercharging your team

typically collaborations of 6 – 24 months

i love to supercharge teams. from experience, i know there is a lot of hidden talent within organisations. by creating the right context, you can unlock that potential and magic happens. i see this over and over again.

these are long-term collaborations with an organisation where i typically spend one to three days per week on the assignment, depending on the role (leading a team is more intensive than supporting a leader of a team). with my solid corporate background, i understand how organisations work and how to navigate them to be successful.

vueling  |  CO2L-farming  |  mourik  

vueling

vueling is a spanish low-cost airline and part of the IAG group, together with British Airways, Iberia, Air Lingus, and LEVEL

the approach

this assignment was simple, yet not easy: design, build and launch innovative new solutions and take vueling airlines to a new level of success. furthermore, stimulate intrapreneurship to grow the culture of innovation across vueling airlines.

watch this 3-minute video for a short explanation of our approach to innovation. includes an explanation of the three-horizon framework and showcases some real examples we worked on.

horizon 1: keeping our feet on the ground

with service design, we put the customer at the heart of our innovation strategy. we used tools such as service mapping the current state to create a holistic view of key topics, such as the airport experience, hand luggage, and ancillary revenues. the service designers were a significant part of their time out in the field.

the techies in the team were always experimenting and testing new things. they created several prototypes of services and products we envisioned to be relevant in the future. also, we collaborated with start-ups and companies to integrate their services into the vueling offering.

horizon 2: connecting the future to the now

at the same time we worked on the future with service blueprints and envisioning the future vueling experience. this helped a lot to create a better understanding of the more holistic future view – what would change and what stays the same – and get the rest of the organisation on board. see below two examples: the airport experience 5 years from now (left), and our vision on personalisation (right).

horizon 3: having our heads in the clouds

our team was asked to think far beyond the current core business. we used a tool called ‘reframing‘ to help us to open up and expand our horizon. as a starting point we took vueling’s 2018 vision and identified the four strongest beliefs that were supporting this vision. then we flipped each of these beliefs and based on these new beliefs we were able to reformulate vueling’s vision. this helped the team a lot to come up with new concepts and business model.  

vueling reframe innovation simone van neerven

creating a 'hotspot'

besides getting results we also made sure to create a context where innovation could thrive – both internally and externally. a place where people just could feel the energy. we organised pop-up demos by hacking the canteen to showcase the work of the innovation lab. our colleagues loved it, and we got a change to get some great first feedback on our prototypes. we also visited many events, where we not only shared our work but also actively engaged people in our service blueprints and prototypes to better understand their needs.

the full story

and there is so much more to tell about this 2-year adventure in barcelona. flip through the booklet to feel the energy and get an even better impression of our approach to innovation.

CO2L-farming

CO2L-farming is a Dutch NGO that is one of the few to mobilise dutch farmers to make the transition to regenerative agriculture

the team

CO2L-farming is a dutch NGO founded in 2020 by theo mulder and johannes bakker. theo has been advocating healthy soil life for 25 years. he firmly believes that the farmer is the doctor of the future. around 2015, johannes deep-dived into regenerative agriculture after retiring as an airline captain.

together they are a strong team with a lot of practical skills, a large network, and a modest attitude with which they win the hearts and minds of many.

the mission

our mission is to transfer know-how and connect the players in the field of regenerative agriculture and beyond. we inspire and empower producers, consumers, and anyone who plays a role in the ecosystem to take action to regenerate our soils and ecosystems.

bottom up co2l farming

CO2L-farming is one of the few who are reaching the 80% of dutch farmers that are willing to change. by closely working together with them, they make the first steps. once they get started, they almost always get excited and become eager to apply more and more regenerative practices.

what is regenerative agriculture?

regenerative agriculture is all about improving the soil and soil life. several practices can be applied in any context. furthermore, having the right mindset of continuous experimentation and learning is essential for a successful regenerative farmer.

the approach

supporting farmers to make the transition to regenerative agriculture is CO2L-farming’s core. however, they are also the forward thinkers in the field and like to rebel against the current system. that is, in a good way, by asking the questions that not many dare to ask, and by coming up with new solutions outside the current framework of thinking.

furthermore, they also collaborate with many different players in the ecosystem to get roadblocks out of the way, test new things, and narrow the gap between what we see in practice and scientific research. learn more about their projects.

learn more

on CO2L-farming’s website, you can find a lot of information and you can meet a number of farmers that lead the way, as well as their incredible team.  

[the website is in dutch only]

mourik

mourik is a dutch civil engineering company that builds and maintains large infrastructure such as roads, dikes, and bridges

the approach

the key was to bring an outside-in perspective combined with a lot of hands-on innovation experience. my role was guiding and facilitating rather than actively leading an innovation team. this also includes scouting for interesting, impactful innovation (sustainable only) to build or to invest in, and taking the necessary steps to bring these to life. 

a personalised innovation strategy

to come up with a good strategy and implementation plan, i immersed myself in the organisation for about two months. meeting a lot of employees, paying onsite visits, and having many conversations with management. this resulted in five key themes for their innovation strategy and a set of guiding principles:  

mourik innovatie strategie

operationalising the innovation strategy

to operationalize the innovation strategy, the executive team was asked to create a roadmap. for this exercise, we designed innovation cards; one set about ‘getting to results’ and the other set about ‘creating the right context’. we asked them to plot these cards in a timeline, based on their experience and insights. this way they created a roadmap for each division, within the broader context that was determined by the board of directors and without skipping the people and organizational side that is crucial to make innovation stick.

innovation cards simone van neerven

‘getting to results’ cards

innovation cards simone van neerven

‘creating the right context’ cards

keeping the feet on the ground ...

mourik innovatie sessie
mourik augmented reality simone van neerven

we held sessions with the workforce to listen to their ideas and suggestions.

we experimented with new technologies to solve urgent issues, eg due to covid-19 a limited amount of workers were allowed on site we tested with augmented reality to bring colleagues virtually on-site (‘eyes on site’- concept).

... while having the heads in the clouds

we introduced the innovation funnel and together with an expert from my network we scouted over 80 potential new ventures for mourik. we deep-dived into four of them, investigated their fit with the organization’s strategy, and handed them over to the responsible people in the business to operationalise and commercialise them.

opening up to the outside world

within mourik, a lot of cool things were going on, but not many people knew about it. we created a series of vlogs to show all these innovations.

a nice side effect was that mourik employees also got a better overview of all the work in the different divisions, which made them very proud to work for the organisation. 

creating 'hotspots'

one of the key concerns both management and employees identified was the lack of connections. we designed several smaller interventions that we called ‘culture hacks’. for instance, we created a whatsapp group for everyone who was interested in connecting with colleagues. over 100 people joined and many ideas, insights, questions, and things they were working on in their daily job were exchanged.  

mourik culture hacks simone van neerven

energising and inspiring the workforce

one of my roles was to bring an outside-in perspective and open up everyone’s minds. i had nice, open, and honest conversations with many employees and leaders within mourik. these inspired them to think differently and helped me to understand their organisational culture and design the interventions needed to bring change.

i already had five job interviews with other companies, but this is exciting so i have decided to stay

thank you for visiting our site! your story inspired me so much that i just asked some employees to think along and come up with a solution to prevent manual heavy lifting

you really got me thinking

thanks for your fresh perspective - this really opened my eyes

also interested in working with me?

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