Innovating in the Flow of Work
One of the things I am quite proud of when I look back at last year is that, as a company, we remained fully ‘in motion’. Despite a difficult and unpredictable time, we continued to approach the market as we always do: Eyes (wide) open and always looking for opportunities to improve ourselves.
My grandfather (who was also active in our company) taught me a great wisdom: ‘The money is on the street, but you have to be willing to bend down to get it’. Opportunities and possibilities always present themselves, but you have to make an effort, be constantly alert, be open to them and keep a close eye on them.
In my previous column, I wrote about the opportunities we see around technological innovations. Another area where we are constantly looking for opportunities to improve is our logistics network. Last year, thanks to a new partnership with Cargoline, we were able to give our services to Germany and Eastern Europe an enormous boost. And this year, too, we are going to make some great strides. For example, a new daily service between Vianen and Basel (v.v.) will start on 1 February to speed up transports from Switzerland to the Netherlands and deliver everything within 48 hours. We can even guarantee delivery in Basel within 24 hours.
We have a very finely meshed network that enables us to serve all destinations in Europe excellently. Of course, such a network does not come out of the blue. It is a matter, as mentioned above, of being constantly alert and constantly looking for opportunities for improvement.
The other day, I read an article about how the learning and development of employees is changing. In the past, employees would take an occasional course to keep up, but nowadays they talk about ‘Learning in the Flow of Work’: people learn continuously, as part of their work, and compact online learning moments are built into their work. In the same way, I think you can speak of ‘Innovating in the Flow of Work’: innovation is not something you do occasionally, but it is a continuous activity. It is not a trick that you perform next to your core business, but an integrated part of our work, which always goes on, when the sun is shining, but also when it is stormy, in economic prosperity, but also when the market is struggling. If the desire to continuously improve is at the heart of your organisation, then this desire translates into natural, self-evident behaviour and you are constantly taking steps. In my opinion, this is a prerequisite for an innovative organisation.
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