Finext in connection. Network practices in organisations
2006 – The article of F. Wijnstra discusses the network organisation FiNext in Voorburg, the Netherlands. Finext supports the senior financial positions within larger companies with consultancy and interim management services. This company is actually organized as a network of workers.
Why this is workplace innovation
A network structure makes the personal network of worker accessible. Some advantages: large market response, internal flexibility, knowledge sharing, maximum responsibility, horizontal organization, connectedness by culture and by creating a ‘home base’-feeling. A stable organization with motivated employees.
The 150 employees at Finext have organized themselves in twenty teams: the Business Projects. The employee can choose his or her team. It’s his/her free choice to connect with a team and vice versa. And it often happens that someone changes team in mutual agreement. It is a dialogue on mutual added value and in which location in the network you perform the best.
Teams have any control means they need and operate independently: recruiting new colleagues, sales, expenses, investing time in new developments, and so on. That means that in addition to the financial consulting jobs there are also to fulfill other jobs such as those in human resources, finance, research, acquisition and sharing of knowledge.
Some structure is needed to send the bills on time, to have a ‘clubhouse’ to meet. But soon too much structure works suffocating on the induction of network connections. If such a thing occurs, collectively the question rises whether this is what they want. Back to the question “how will this help us?”.
The workers themselves take responsibility because it is their own choice. Please note, taking responsibility goes one step further than giving responsibility. It seems like a small difference, but it has great influence on the networking behavior. It is more proactive and more started from their own strength. It also seems that the freer the worker is in the inception of connections, the stronger the network connections, that he makes.
The case follows the major trend among today’s youth. In response to decades of individualism, they appreciate loyalty in the relationship, but make individual choices at the same time.
Wijnstra, F.: Netwerkpraktijken in organisaties – Finext in verbinding (Network practices in organizations – Finext in connection). In Poorthuis, A. (2006): De kracht van de netwerkbenadering(The power of the network approach.) The article is attached in the appendices.
Finext was named one of the ‘Smartes companies of the Netherlands’ on the ‘Energyday 2013’ of the MKB Krachtcentrale (a network of SME’s initiated by Syntens, a former state owned agency). The jury-report is also attached.