High quality, but there is no boasting
By Michiel Kolff
In a series of interviews, we shine a spotlight on colleagues from our interim management network. Who are they? What do they enjoy about the interim management profession? And what energizes them? For this interview, we spoke with Michiel Kolff.
Staying relevant through wide engagement in society
As an interim manager, I enjoy seeking out projects with significant challenges. I am ambitious and like to make improvements. However, ultimately, it's about execution because results are what matter. Currently, I am actively involved with an online bank, a scale-up experiencing rapid growth and significant changes. I started alone with a blank sheet of paper for the development of a new proposition. Now, a year and a half later, after overcoming various challenges with the entire team, we are about to launch a new product. This gives me a lot of satisfaction: operating at the intersection of commerce and operations, with room for entrepreneurship. I am proud that we can now introduce a valuable product for our customers.
Projects begin with conceptualizing or further developing the strategy. I try not to quickly focus on the solution but rather explore the problem from various angles. What is happening, and why does the problem exist? Then, collaboratively, we arrive at the best possible solution. My focus is on excellent customer service, which should always be the starting point. What does it deliver for the customer? How can we optimize the service? That's what it's all about for me.
This is achieved not alone but with a team of enthusiastic and dedicated professionals, working together hands-on. By giving people the right responsibility and opportunities for development, you get the best out of a team. I like working in a role where I can get a team on its feet and guide people in the right direction towards a structural change. Change is always a balancing act between operations, goals, and personal aspects. That's why job satisfaction is crucial: there should be room for laughter. Ambition and objectives are great and provide clear direction, but it also helps not to take oneself too seriously. That keeps everything in balance.
Broad social development
To maintain balance in my own development, I find it important to be socially active. I have worked a lot in financial services so far, a sector with a lot of dynamics. If you like change, there is plenty to do: new laws and regulations, online customer service, improving quality, etc. But besides that, I also do completely different things. I am an active board member of a national organization with the goal of helping people in (silent) poverty in case of urgent financial need. This helps me stay grounded and connected to current issues and problems in society. Additionally, I regularly teach as a guest lecturer at a vocational school. This gives me a better understanding of the new generation and what motivates them. I believe that this broader perspective keeps you relevant for the work you do. Therefore, I will certainly continue to explore opportunities in other sectors to be actively involved in the future.
I feel at home at Highberg. It is an inspiring and entrepreneurial group. It's of high quality, but there's no arrogance. There is a down-to-earth way of presenting, and there is a lot of investment in the network, focusing on expertise in various themes, feedback, and continuous improvement. This aligns with my level of ambition. Therefore, I see myself as an ambassador for the Highberg network!
Does your organization need change capacity? Do you want to realize the desired change from within? Or do you simply want to know more about the network of interim managers at Highberg?
Contact us now!