4 reasons to create more room in your company | The Reference

‘If you put fences around people you get sheep’ L. McKnight, CEO of 3M stated this already in 1924. Companies need to provide the necessary space for their employees and this for four main reasons, claims our CEO Anja Cappelle. 

4 reasons why creating space is important for every organization

Our CEO, as a member of CxO Board of the Wise, is frequently asked to give her opinion about an issue or a question. This week Anja gave her opinion about the quote ‘If you put fences around people you get sheep. Give people the room they need.’ from W. L. McKnight. McKnight CEO of 3M stated this in the Freedom Inc book of Isaac Getz and Brian M. Carney published in 1924.

Every company needs a certain structure and clear job descriptions yet it is essential that employees can develop themselves. This not only crucial for their own growth, but also in the interest of innovation within the company. As a digital agency we are confronted with new technologies, marketing concepts and methods on a daily basis. It is essential that we not only detect those changes quickly, but also evaluate them (does this offer our customers and projects an added value?) and make them our own as soon as possible.

We are also consistently in our operating performance. Change management is not easy –witness the many books on the subject- this is exactly the reason why we believe in bottom up initiatives. We screen our candidates on their enthusiasm and the skills to make a difference. We as an organization are therefore obligated to ourselves to give the necessary space to our employees. This is the only way to facilitate change and putting up fences is thereby detrimental.

This way of thinking is for that matter necessary to put our vision into practice. As a full service agency which pursues an integrated approach we need to offer our reffers the ability to put oneself in the position of their colleagues. Therefore, we get all fences down so that multidisciplinary teams can work together, shoulder by shoulder, to put the best results. Only then we are capable to fulfill our credo ‘It’s more than digital, it’s your business.’ And let’s be honest, if we preach digital transformation, then The Reference needs to be prepared to let his employees question certain matters? Even though when it is at first sight far from their own job description.

Moreover, this belief is not only extremely important from a digital transformation perspective but also from a HR-perspective. The motivation, on the floor, is higher if employees know that they can come up with proactive proposals and that they are significantly more than a cog in the machine. Also their buy-in for change management is much larger but that is not the most important yet. At The Reference, each candidate hears two statements “Here we believe that an employee has to be able to change jobs without changing the employer” and “everybody gets on the chair that fits him or her the most”. This is the most appropriate way to get the best out of each and every one and lift the organization each time to a higher level. We cannot use sheep to accomplish this.

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