Developing human solutions

Great innovations – in the 21st age – will be human (John Naisbitt)

A technical background

Facinated by the possibilities of technology I became an industrial design engineer. My final thesis did I write on a typing machine with a pair of scissors and glue. As partner in a design bureau I realized tools for health and productivity. For instance medical equipment, a ladder truck, lightning and more. Every project started with an inventarisation of the problem or question in interaction with clients. Than – step by step – I produced ideas, concepts, prototypes, user tests and technical drawings. What I liked most of all was to create ‘simple’ solutions with maximal functionality – and a minimal use of materials. Also the development of human-centred production systems became a part of my work. At one point my insight in possibilities of technology was good enough for me.

A shift towards people

A job and collegues in an organization was a new experience to me. As a (management) consultant – I improved (the design of new) working situations. As a teacher and lecturer I helpt workers and students work smarter. Projects were related to computer work, logistics, lifting weights, organization of police work, usibility of software, healthy control rooms. Developing strategies for innovation of offices has been my work too. We replaced seperate working rooms by half open work spaces, flexible facilities and activity based working. Changes and adaptations in workplaces were huge. Anyhow these adaptations in the workplace and this guidance of people did not make people more helathy. Instead the level of stress, sick leave and burn-out started to rise. Something was out of sight. But what? This missing link is now slowly being discovered: The character of human work changes since the digitilization and automation in the nineties.

Alternatives in work design

Intense mental work is replacing simple fysical work. But yet we hardly organize that new type of work. Freedom is the standard in flexible working, Any Time Any Where. Making your own choices is fine if you know how to do. But just that is the problem: Mindsets and ways of working have hardly changed. A dominant culture – of efficiency and shortterm profit – leaves little room for development and adaptation. Thus high levels of stress, sick-leave and burnout are no surprise.
With my initiative ‘de werkontwerker’ (workdesigner in Dutch) I offer people the possibility to adapt and develop the organization of their brainwork.

Realising durable workstyles

Rebalancing machines, man and tasks improves annual working situations. This check and process will not only result in better technology. This integral human-centred approach will deliver vital and competent workers as well. And there is more. A restructuring of mental work can higher productivity and lower sick leave.

Eveleens Workstyles improves 21st work with the cocreation of ideal workstyles with people. They learn how to apply existing basic principles and knowledge in a new way. Professinals upgrade their own level of working tailor made. Develop your people and their work, as a solid basis for durable growth.

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