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Ster College VAVO: Silo thinking
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Ster College VAVO: Silo thinking

Silo thinking within Ster College Eindhoven

Island thinking is a phenomenon that occurs in many organizations. Each department works with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are only relevant to them. Departments operate in isolation, which results in students not being at the center, and they feel the impact of it. So organizations steer in silo thinking primarily through the organizational chart. This was also the case at Ster College in Eindhoven. Geert Slits and Jack Heesterbeek from the VAVO team (Secondary General Adult Education) recognized this issue and engaged iPM Partners to transition from silo thinking to integrated performance management. Rose-Marie Manders, a team coach and change expert from iPM Partners, was the designated person for addressing this challenge, utilizing the “team power” methodology.

During the initial sessions, it became evident that professionalism is a core competency at Ster College. The staff members at Ster College deeply care about the students. The teachers at Ster College aspire to take pride in the organization and the impact they can make on VAVO students. However, silo thinking hindered these objectives.

It quickly became clear that a significant amount of energy was being wasted due to unclear objectives. To address this, ”team power” was implemented. Specifically, this involved internally assessing what was going well and identifying areas for improvement within the team. Team Power aligns with the team’s current state and aims to maintain the aspects that are functioning well while collaboratively improving other areas.

From silo thinking to team power

The first step in implementing the iPM method was to collectively establish goals. The team was divided into subgroups so that a group of colleagues was involved in each team goal. Leaders were appointed to strengthen the change process. The focus shifted towards efficiency in (collaborative) processes.

The excessive meeting culture was also addressed to eliminate unnecessary meetings.

An additional effect of integrated performance management is that different departments now collaborate much better. Meetings such as M3 and M4 intervisions are now conducted together. There is also a smooth transition from H4 to H5, ensuring that students can easily progress or exit without falling through the cracks.

Every team member was involved in the change process at Ster College. The team’s strength has significantly grown since receiving guidance from iPM. Geert Slits and Jack Heesterbeek mainly observe increased job satisfaction and improved performance, such as student satisfaction.

From a structural perspective, efforts were made to foster efficient collaboration. Team members have a better understanding of each other. They now recognize each other’s strengths and weaknesses. By engaging in dialogue, there is now a greater sense of safety and mutual trust. Additionally, there is a greater sense of ownership and professional pride.

During the dialogue, the team noticed that providing feedback helps to enhance collaboration. Initially, this was challenging, but through team power (demonstration – doing together – doing on one’s own), giving feedback became easier. The teachers at Ster College quickly recognized the team’s potential and qualities. The personal qualities of each teacher are now utilized in suitable tasks, allowing each individual to thrive in their strengths.

The positive effects of team power

Within Ster College, there is increased focus on communication styles in both external and internal communication. Teachers are also more open to improvement and innovation. Separate departments have grown closer by tackling tasks and goals together.

“We have transformed the central study area for students into a motivating space. The walls display team goals and outcomes of student discussions.”

Teamkracht has positive effects on both the teams and individual teachers, as well as on the students. Students feel more valued, which was less the case before. This is evident, for example, in the increased involvement of the student council in developments such as PR and the website. The student and their educational journey are now much more central within Ster College.

At the beginning there was much guidance needed, but over time, the team found its strength. From iPM, leaders were trained to continue successfully implementing the method, even after receiving less intensive guidance from iPM.

Geert: “To ensure that the teams continue learning and progressing on this path, we must all remain focused, make an effort, and emphasize collaboration within the group. We must continue to identify areas for improvement and we must not slacken.

After the guidance from iPM, Ster College has taken further steps to practically implement and develop the approach on their own.

Development of the leader

Through the collaboration with iPM Partners, the leader of Ster College is now more capable of “letting go” and trusting in the qualities and initiatives of the VAVO team. The shift has been from a directive approach to a more decentralized collaboration, allowing room for team members, and this has been highly beneficial. Jack: “I give the iPM approach a solid 9. They provide tailored support for your team development and your own growth. iPM adapts the guidance according to the team, their desires, and the goals. They listen attentively and provide structured assistance. The energy is contagious: no one escapes their attention, and everyone is truly engaged.”

Ster College has made significant progress and placed a strong emphasis on collaboration. It is a remarkable example of how iPM Partners can support organizations and businesses towards a better future. If you would like to learn more about the iPM Method or prefer to book an inspiration session right away, please get in touch with us for all the information you need.

One of the actions with the most impact is that we have grown much more together as a team.

Ster College VAVO onderwijs

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