Boskalis jaarverslagen 2011

BLDP: successful integration in action

On many levels Boskalis and SMIT are becoming increasingly intertwined. Departments and office organizations are finding new and promising forms of cooperation, and on projects Boskalis and SMIT are increasingly cross selling and piggy backing on each other in the execution of the works.

Training programs also revolved around the integration with SMIT and the joint development of skills. A large number of courses saw a mixed Boskalis/SMIT group of participants. The Boskalis Leadership Development Program (BLDP) is an example of successful integration in action.

Long-term investment

The BLDP is an extensive training program developed in cooperation with training institute De Baak. The BLDP is a long-term investment in senior managers, with the aim of achieving more effective leadership, encouraging entrepreneurship and developing networks within the organization. In four one-week modules, spread over a period of nine months, detailed attention is paid to subjects such as personal leadership, business strategy, change management, entrepreneurship and innovation. In 2011 there were 20 participants: 13 from Boskalis and 7 from SMIT.

Out of the box

In the first week the four working groups were formed and were tasked with developing innovative projects in the field of sales, integration, organization and new business, with the aim of achieving maximum synergy effects. To guarantee a really ‘fresh perspective’ the members of the working groups members were asked to devote their attention to subjects outside their own area of expertise.

“When you say ‘BLDP’ doors open”

Members of the Board of Management and the Group Management ‘adopted’ the projects. In the course of the BLDP program the members of the working groups got together regularly and held numerous meetings and interviews. September saw the launch of useful plans for such things as new commercial possibilities, optimizing the integration process and improving the organization. “The involvement of the Board of Management and the Group Management shows how important this program is to Boskalis,” said Richard Leijnse, division controller at SMIT. “That was very inspiring. We encountered lots of cooperation throughout the organization. When you say ‘BLDP’ doors open. I learned a lot from this program. It comes on top of your work, it was a major time investment for everyone, but it was really worth it.”

DNA structure

Anne Jan Fokkema, project manager at Boskalis: “During one of the sessions we examined the two companies’ ‘DNA structure’. The general conclusion was that the two companies have much more in common than you might initially suppose. One of the findings was that SMIT people are strongly client-focused and Boskalis staff are more performance-oriented. That can result in a great mix.”

Doing things together

In the first week the participants were also asked to describe how they were experiencing the integration of Boskalis and SMIT. Richard Leijnse: “What was striking was that Boskalis employees mainly spoke enthusiastically about the opportunities and the potential synergies. They didn’t examine what this means for the SMIT organization, whilst for the SMIT colleagues the situation also felt like a goodbye – for me too. But those four BLDP weeks also helped to give us closure and in that respect I also found the process very valuable. In my experience this course was very conducive for the integration. On the one hand by bringing this group of people together, but mainly by getting them to do things together. In September we concluded as a group that integration really happens automatically if you do things together. Holding meetings about it is not very productive; undertaking things together is. As far as I’m concerned that is the most important conclusion: less talk and more action! In a short time I got to know the whole new organization really well. That would not have been possible in any other way.”


Anne Jan Fokkema added: “As well as being an important personal development for the participants, the BLDP – partly thanks to the project assignments – also supplied them with a first-class network.” Richard Leijnse concluded: “The trick is now to see to it that the impact of the BLDP is not limited to the 20 course members. We want to share our experiences and insights with the rest of our people to the best of our ability. We have already set up a number of activities to achieve this.”

Added to My report add to My report Source: CSR Report 2011, Our social performance, page 36