"What we do in a Blink": Matthijs Breeuwsma

Due to the great variety of projects in which BlinkLane is involved, it can be somewhat challenging to come up with an unambiguous explanation of how BlinkLane consultants deliver value to their clients. This can be particularly challenging for future candidates.

To enhance the understanding of future candidates on what is it like to be a transformation consultant at BlinkLane, we have decided to start an interview series that specifically focus on the role BlinkLane consultants have within their projects. The first interview from this "What we do in a Blink" series is with our colleague Matthijs Breeuwsma, taken by our colleague Maartje Mom.

“As Transformation Consultants we work on developing and shaping organizational capabilities that allow organizations to build digital capabilities in order to remain competitive in the future”.

Both technical and organizational capabilities are required to move forward in the digital transformation process. If you are a consultant working on digital capabilities you may be implementing AI, Internet of Things (IoT), or other technologies.

If you are a consultant on the organizational capability, you are enabling the organization, for instance, by steering towards different ways of working, processes, structures, or even goal-setting mechanisms. Matthijs explains that, in general, these organizational capabilities consist of three domains: (1) the structure of the organizations, (2) the process design, and (3) the culture and mindset of people working at the organization. The scope of a project does not necessarily always comprise all domains. The focus will depend on the type of project.

At BlinkLane we describe ourselves as end-to-end consultants which means that we can have different roles at different stages in the transformation process. Matthijs defines three types of roles you can have as a BlinkLane consultant:

  • at an early stage, we can be involved in strategy development. We do an in-depth analysis and advise organizations on strategy execution.
  • another role that BlinkLane consultants can have, is being a guide and facilitator of change. You often work with an internal transformation team. You help them to maintain a helicopter view of the change, in order to plan purposeful action.
  • the third role can be pure execution. In that role, you will have a hands-on approach and you will get into a more detailed plan of action yourself. Matthijs also describes that your role can evolve over the duration of the project. You often start as the frontrunner of change. Nevertheless, we always aim at co-creation as you need the people to move with you and because you need to hand it over at some point. If that happens, your role shifts more toward being a facilitator of change. Inevitably, your role might not be as distinctive or black and white as it is described here. Regardless, it gives an overview of what your role as a BlinkLane consultant could consist of.

Let’s think about this through the analogy of a baseball game. Hopefully, this will make the value of a BlinkLane consultant more tangible and relatable.

Imagine you are part of a world-class baseball team. You and your team members are amongst the highest-performing (technical) players in the world. However, the composition of these players does not necessarily make you the most successful team. How do you make sure that this team becomes the most successful team in the world? How do you make sure that the strategy, training, coaching plan, and line-up can allow you to win over any opposing team? And what happens if you start playing in a different competition? To what extent do you continue to discuss the line-up and at what point do you start experimenting and learning from practical experiences?

These are the kind of questions that we help to address within organizations.