2014 – Newco Europe BV in Moerdijk, the Netherlands is a supplier of non-food products to petrol stations and to ‘Do it yourself’ businesses. The company it is market leader in the Benelux. It has 43 employees. Newco is a flat organization. The company is headed by a Director and has four divisions headed by a manager: logistics, sales, purchasing and a support department.
Newco Europe is organized in ‘roles’ rather than in jobs. With stakeholders the Director discusses the strategy, the structure of the organization and the design of the work. The employees are expected to be team players and to ensure the quality of the work, as a team. The manager has the responsibility to keep the team together.
1.5 years ago a program was started aimed to encourage entrepreneurship. From this program emerged the idea that everyone had to be encouraged to take his or her own responsibility. Employees are facilitated and encouraged to organize their work to their own insights and make decisions themselves. In case of problems for example in the picking flow, the employees learn to raise the problem themselves and to analyze it and to investigate several problem solving options, in consultation with colleagues and management.
Executives control and provide room for the employees to organize their work together. Communication is open and direct. Employees learn to discuss with each other when something is badly organized or someone is not keeping appointments.
There are appraisal and assessment interviews on a regular basis and the employees are given the opportunity for education. There are opportunities for growth in the company and in the parent company.
The reliability of the company is improved. Everyone can express ideas and there is a good cooperation. There is little turnover.
Open communication at all levels is an important precondition. Employees must properly and timely be informed about all aspects that affect their work. In addition, proper arrangements have to be made about the organization of work. Intrapreneurship is primarily a matter of culture. The management’s task is to be persistent and consistent: to stimulate initiatives and not punish what people have done conscientiously. It is important to point at good results, for example when a large client is acquired.
The case description is taken from the website: www.socialeinnovatiebrabant.nl. See also the website of the company www.newco – europe.com.
Themes: Intrapreneurship; SME, Team work; Self Organization