Fred Schoon

  • Graduate in Literature and English
  • Founder of Depth Consulting and partner of azimut consulting
  • 30 years’ experience in commercial operations, general management and operational excellence
  • Lean expert
  • Contact:
    +31 651525753
What does «Mind the Gap» mean to you?

It tells us that we have to understand the rift between grandiose intentions, as they are expressed in workshops, and their realization. The monsters wait just outside the seminar room to suck up and destroy everything that sounded so great. Those monsters are managers, culture, day-to-day boredom, and silos, just to mention a few. Conclusion: The real work starts when the workshop ends.

And, you make sure that doesn’t happen?

Yes, if the customer understands this and is prepared to invest. It is decisive to clarify that in advance, because safety nets have to be built into the implementation process. For example, they could be follow-ups with the same people who designed the process, or clear milestones and measures that tell us whether we are moving in the right direction. And naturally discipline, discipline,…

There is often talk about clarity, buy-in and alignment. What is needed for this?

We can fill an entire ocean with the «lack of clarity» that slows down organizations. Complexity and fragmentation abound and make life and work more and more difficult. I also have a fourth word: involvement. Managers seem still to believe that it is sufficient to communicate the message of change down the ranks. This leads to stagnation time and time again. Employees have to be involved as much as possible and as early as possible to become part of the change. Why? Because in reality, only they know the work.

What impresses you the most about companies?

The unused potential! I repeatedly meet people who agree that improvement is necessary and who are motivated. I meet people with wonderful ideas that are easy to implement. I am fascinated over and over again by the power of thousands of myths and beliefs that prevent these individual ideas from meeting with approval. Whenever a team can achieve that, everything speeds up and «takes off».

Everyday life as a consultant is strenuous. How do you tank up?

It’s not like that at all. At least, it isn’t more strenuous than other people’s work. If it really does become too much for me, then I pause and check whether I might be on the wrong track. I may be physically tired at times, because of being on my feet for days. However, I am mentally charged by working with people who openly share their passion to be successful.