Development of organizational culture and structure

2008 – SPF Beheer in Utrecht, the Netherlands provides consulting and implementation of pensions, asset management, salary and various supplementary arrangements for selected customers. End of 2013, there were more than 260 people employed at this company.
In order to ensure long-term continuity retaining and recruiting the right experts is of great importance. Therefore SPF Beheer invested step by step in the development of both the organizational culture and the organizational structure; so they invest in the people themselves and in their workplace.

Why this is workplace innovation
SPF Beheer wants to become an organization with more attention to the outside world, more external partnerships and a greater capacity for change. They want to be  an organization where people work who are flexible and develop proactively new high-quality products and services. It is important that the actual staff can develop optimally and that SPF Beheer is an attractive employer for new talent; an organization that can deliver added value to its existing and to new relationships.

In order to make all employees and managers at SPF Beheer more conscious of the need for change, it was decided to start a long and intensive development process for  the management team together with a group of employees. Also it was decided to let this process be guided by external experts, because the knowledge and experience about organizational change was not present enough in the organization at that time.
In four steps they worked  towards writing a new business plan together:
– There was a reflective dialogue with everyone in the organization, individually;
– a reflective dialogue with different groups within the organization;
– a reflective dialogue with external consultants, clients and colleagues from the market segment
– a joint translation to the future: where does the organization want to go?

Then the company invested in housing and communications. In addition, all managers had an assessment and all participants a ‘90 degree feedback’  to investigate where the organization stands. To strengthen the innovative power the company  invested in coaching, focused training and peer sessions.


SPF Beheer is an attractive employer, people can develop their skills and have room for initiative. The financial performance of SPF Beheer was good, as before. And surveys show that employee and customer satisfaction are still increasing.

See the Appendix for the full case description ‘Innoverend vakmanschap in een turbulent polderlandschap’  (Innovative craftsmanship in a turbulent polder) in the ‘Kookboek Sociale Innovatie’ (Cookbook Social Innovation) (2008). For more information and to order the book, see: