In my previous life I was in the military. In the Air Assault Brigade to be exact, famously known for their red (maroon) berets. How I ended up there and why I eventually left is a story for another time, but it definitely defined for a big part who I am today. Driven, disciplined, responsible and exemplary. I served with some of the best, and we were very motivated to show that by giving the right example.
“Nec temere, nec timide” - “Neither rashly nor timidly”
– Motto of the NL 11 Air Assault Brigade
After those almost 6 years I started in IT, as a software developer. Being fortunate to experience leaders who helped me grow, I was leading a department of about 50 developers around 6 years after I left the army. What I loved and enjoy most is working with people and teams, coaching them to get better and achieve great results together.
During this period I came across the work of Andre de Waal: how to create a high performing organization. I was sold. Someone did scientific research which shows that all the things I had been doing so far to help get my team(s) better actually work. It gave me a framework to continue doing what I love most. Helping people and organizations get the best out of themselves.
“A High Performance Organization is an organization that achieves financial and non-financial results that are exceedingly better than those of its peer group over a period of time of five years or more, by focusing in a disciplined way on that which really matters to the organization.”
Another thing I learned about during my years working in IT was the Agile Manifesto and Scrum. The Agile Manifesto describes a mindset that optimizes the delivered customer value while focusing on people and their interactions and improving continuously. Scrum is a framework to help your team solve complex problems with adaptive solutions. Scrum is one of the many ways you can work Agile and when applied properly I’ve seen it work, for real.
Since I was a kid I’ve been a member of Scouting. I started as a cub scout (welpje in Dutch) and progressed while I grew older. In Scouting one of the things you learn is working together and leading others. This starts out pretty young. At cub scouts you are part of a small group that stays together. The oldest (or most mature) person of the group will ‘lead’ it. The older the group the more responsibilities the group and the leader get. The groups I was part of and led show in retrospect the same characteristics as the teams I was a part of and led: safe, fun and good enough. We didn’t necessary compete for first place, but always got the job done in a way that was enjoyable for everyone.
Creating these environments is what I want to do. I believe it’s what’s needed and that I’m good at it. But as a one-man-army there’s only so much I can do. That’s why I started Agile Operators. In the military soldiers are sometimes referred to as ‘operators’. With this company I want to create Agile Operators, leaders who will create high performing Agile Professionals, Teams and Organizations. Our goal is to create such environments for 10.000 people over the next 5 years. We do this using our core values Fit, Focus, Flexible, Fun and Family.
I would love to help you and your organization to become a place where people can be the best they can be. Check out my services or contact me for more information!