ABN Amro: The scientific basis appeals to us most

The HPO Center talks to Eric Janssen, Director of ABN Amro

“I’ve always aimed to work with only the best. When you’re driven, you enjoy your work more and have satisfied customers as a result. I heard from the HPO Center after one of their staff held a talk for a number of young bankers at ABN Amro.

I find their philosophy very interesting. I’m familiar with numerous management ideas and theories, but most of them do not have a solid scientific basis. The scientific basis of the HPO Center and the fact that they keep it simple is what appeals to me most.

“We received a clear-cut HPO diagnosis”

In early 2009, 1 in 4 employees in our district completed the online questionnaire from the HPO Center. The results were presented to us by Chiel Vink, who also explained their theory to us. We received a very clear diagnosis from the HPO Center that is relatively easy to put into practice.

The results showed that we are not a High Performance Organization, but that we are in the sub-top. We scored well on management quality and action orientation, but there were improvements to be made in the areas of continuous improvement and long-term orientation.

“You can have your cake and eat it too”

We set to work in small groups. A lot more openness has since been created within our company. During team meetings, people are confronted regarding their performance and we have created a platform where everyone can share his or her ideas.

The results also show that we are moving in the right direction. During the third quarter of 2009, we were the best performing region. And our cost/benefit ratio is already far below the nationwide goal for 2012.

You need a certain ambition level to make the most of the HPO Center services. It is not something you buy and get immediate results from. If you are hold an executive position and do not wish to settle for second best and you believe that everyone within your organization is willing and able to make the necessary changes, I would absolutely recommend working with the HPO Center. They help you have your cake and eat it too.”

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