Who I am, and what I do today, derives from various experiences I have had and many people I have met and worked with during my life. Together, they form the basis of the concept I work with today. From the present day, going right back to my childhood, everything I have done has contributed to where, what and who I am now.
I was born on 14 January 1962 in Twello, a village in the east of the Netherlands. I was child number six, with 3 older brothers and 2 older sisters. I spent my childhood in the countryside and loved it; I loved having the space to wander through the meadows and explore the world around me. After high school in Apeldoorn, I went to Groningen to study Geography and Biology and graduated in 1986 with a teaching degree in these two subjects.
My first real job was at the Ministry of Education, where I was the administrative secretary of the SPD (national diploma) exam. Because I wanted to experience more of the Netherlands, I moved to Rotterdam in 1990. There I joined the Hogeschool Rotterdam (Rotterdam University), where I had a number of positions, ranging from Manager Student Administration to Data Manager. During my time there I was involved in many change projects. The Hogeschool Rotterdam also gave me the opportunity to obtain my Master’s in Information Management (MIM) and I graduated from Tilburg University in 1998.
In 1999 I was hired by PeopleSoft to become a Campus Solutions consultant. This was a completely new world for me, and it was daunting because leaving the world of education was a big step. However, I really enjoyed being a consultant and working in different institutions at the same time. In 2001 KPMG took over the Campus Solutions business from PeopleSoft and I was ‘part of the deal’. I worked at KPMG Consulting and ATOS (who took over KPMG Consulting) for four years.
On Christmas Eve 2004, I decided to leave ATOS (because I didn’t really fit in with the culture) and to launch Consult Yourself. From 2005, I was self-employed. My first venture was Campus Solutions Projects in the Netherlands.
In 2006, together with Robert van ‘t Sant, I launched Consult Yourself Together (CY2), a company that enables independent consultants to work together and to present a clear face to the market. In CY2 I broadened my activities to other countries such as the UK, Belgium, France and Romania.
In 2008 I started the CIGO (Change in Groups and Organizations) programme at Leuven/Hasselt University in Belgium and graduated in 2010.
In January 2011, I left CY2 to work for myself again in Consult Yourself. Since then I have been focusing on change in organizations, learning in organizations and on how to make projects more successful. From 2012, I began developing new initiatives such as Passion & Action.
All of this has shaped me into who I am today: a consultant who enjoys working as part of a project and aims to work together with customers to bring about a change focused on long-term, sustainable success.
I like to take long walks or to work in the garden to clear my head. I enjoy a ‘village in a city’ environment where people know each other and make friendly small talk in shops, and thrive on busy city life where there is always something going on.
I like to teach and train people, to help them become independent and self-supporting in their work. I work on projects and in organizations, and try to contribute to success and happiness. I believe that success will only be real when people want to share success by working together side-by-side.
I have found out that working with the same colleagues continually can make me lose my sense of independence, so now I work in my own company again and every project brings me into contact with colleagues from different companies.