Page 1

Now magazine for the nyenrode community • issue


fall 2011


program round-up business degree programs BBA New Business/BA (Hons.) Business FULL-TIME, 4 YEARS www.newbusinessschool.nl

Master in Management (MSc) International/Financial/Marketing Full-time, 16 months www.nyenrode.nl/msc

Part-time Master of Science Bedrijfskunde Part-time, 36 months, Dutch-language www.nyenrode.nl/ptmsc

International MBA Full-time, 12 months www.nyenrode.nl/imba

Executive MBA Part-time, 21 months www.nyenrode.nl/emba

Modular Executive MBA in Public & Private Part-time, 9 modules, Dutch-language www.nyenrode.nl/mbapp

Modular Executive MBA in Food & Finance Part-time, 9 modules, Dutch-language www.nyenrode.nl/mbaff

Modular Executive MBA in Business & IT

accountancy & controlling degree programs Bachelor of Science in Accountancy Part-time, 54 months, Dutch-language www.nyenrode.nl/bsca

Master of Science in Accountancy (RA) Part-time, 24 months, Dutch-language www.nyenrode.nl/ra

Post Master RA Part-time, 12 months, Dutch-language www.nyenrode.nl/ra

Managerial Controlling (MC) Part-time, 12-18 months, Dutch-language www.nyenrode.nl/mc

Master of Science in Controlling Part-time, 24-30 months, Dutch-language www.nyenrode.nl/mscc

Executive Master of Finance & Control (EMFC/RC) Part-time, 24-30 months, Dutch-language www.nyenrode.nl/emfc

Schakeltraject Accountancy & Controlling PART-TIME, 12 MONTHS, DUTCH-LANGUAGE www.nyenrode.nl/schakeltraject For further information please contact us at studeren@nyenrode.nl

PART-TIME, 9 MODULES www.nyenrode.nl/mbabit For further information please contact the Program Information Center, +31 346 291 291, info@nyenrode.nl

open executive programs Nyenrode’s open executive programs, in Dutch and English, vary from one-day masterclasses to management development programs of up to 11 months. Some of the subjects of these programs are: • Strategy/Management • Leadership • Marketing/Sales/Innovation • Finance/Tax/Pensions • Human Resource Management • Energy Mini MBA For further information please contact the Program Information Center, +31 346 291 291, info@nyenrode.nl

CUSTOMIZED EXECUTIVE PROGRAMS Tailormade in-company programs are developed in close collabo­r­ ation with our clients. These learning partnerships have included ­clients such as Achmea, KLM, SNS, DHL, Koninklijke BAM Groep and many others. For further information please contact us at +31 346 291 448


nyenrode now • issue 2, fall 2011

lifelong EDUCATION Nyenrode offers tailored programs and courses in the fields of financial management, accountancy and controlling. Short courses (PE or Lifelong Education) are available for controllers, accountants and other financial experts. In addition, in cooperation with KPMG, the university also provides the possibility to earn PE points through monthly meetings (PE-Café). All programs are in Dutch. For further information please contact us at pe@nyenrode.nl

executive doctorate program Nyenrode offers an international Executive Doctorate Program. The ­program is peer-oriented and part-time and is designed for working professionals who prefer to solve practical business problems to doing a traditional theoretical PhD. Part-time, 48 months For further information please contact the Academic Services Center, asc@nyenrode.nl, +31 346 291 696

FACILITIES The facilities of Nyenrode Business Universiteit are available to our corporate relations. If you are interested in hosting a meeting, seminar or conference on our beautiful 13th-century castle estate please contact our events department at events@nyenrode.nl

14 11 24

Now magazine for the nyenrode community • issue


fall 2011

7 theme: value Reflections on value and how to define it 8 shareholders vs. stakeholders Are stakeholders fighting a rearguard battle? 11 accountancy & controlling Leen Paape’s thoughts on the creation of a community 12 academic endowment Sponsored professorial chairs are a way of bridging the gap with the business world 14 sustainability Two faculty members swap ideas about a sustainable future and how to achieve it 17 crowd sourcing On Share2Start, an online platform facilitating the funding of sustainability-linked ideas 18 supervisory board Mijntje Lückerath’s code of conduct – and why she feels that supervisory boards should become more diverse 22 health The ultimate value: what’s a human life worth? 24 education Three Rabobank employees on what Nyenrode has meant for their work and their lives 27 campus close-up The estate’s value cannot be expressed in money

Value Nyenrode NOW Magazine for the Nyenrode Community, Issue 2, fall 2011 Published by Nyenrode Business Universiteit Editor-in-chief Arnold Persoon Associate editor/writer Terri J. Kester Layout U-Cap, Cynthia Schalkwijk Cover Dietmar Gunne Editorial board Jakomien ter Haar, Helm Horsten, Terri J. Kester, Arnold Persoon, Cynthia Schalkwijk, Pol Schevernels, Renske Siskens, Selma Spaas Contributors Dietmar Gunne, Gert Immerzeel, Steve Korver, Mijntje Lückerath, Pieter Jan Nat, Leen Paape, Pim Ras, John Widen Rector Magnificus/CEO Nyenrode Business Universiteit Maurits van Rooijen President Nyenrode Foundation Piero Overmars The Communications Department of Nyenrode Business Universiteit reserves the right to edit contributions Nyenrode Business Universiteit

On September 3, 2011, our 65th anniversary year started with a smashing party for alumni, students and staff. The theme of this lustrum is ‘remarkable’. For a whole year, we will celebrate our anniver­ sary with parties, seminars and events for different groups of Nyenrode stakeholders. Since the birth of our institute in 1946, Nyenrode has been of enormous value for the Netherlands and the world. We have educated many students who, in their own ways, have turned out to be remark­ able and who have contributed to growth and prosperity on a global scale. But it’s not only in gener­ ating cash that Nyenrode wishes to be a remarkable university. Our aim is to educate responsible, robust and entrepreneurial managers, accountants and controllers. We incorporate the trinity of lead­ ership, entrepreneurship and stewardship in everything we do, for this is where our true value lies. Fortunately, we are not operating in a void. We are backed by a large network of alumni who sup­ port the university with their knowledge, skills, time and money. By doing so, they contribute hugely to the value of Nyenrode. One example of this is the 65 scholarships program, which enables us to attract outstanding students from all over the world. Without a substantial grant, they would not have the opportunity to study at our university. This edition of Nyenrode NOW describes a variety of ways to create value for individuals, organ­ izations and society as a whole. Our articles zoom in on the worth of diplomas, companies – and even life itself. I hope this issue of our corporate magazine will add some value to your life, and that reading it will give you pleasure and inspiration.

Straatweg 25, 3621 BG Breukelen The Netherlands Tel. +31 (0)346 291 211 www.nyenrode.nl enews@nyenrode.nl

Maurits van Rooijen Rector Magnificus and CEO of Nyenrode Business Universiteit issue 2, fall 2011 • nyenrode now



the mix applause for a festive year

While the key word for Nyenrode’s 65th anniversary was ‘remarkable’, ‘memorable’ is perhaps a better way to describe the party that kicked off the year-long celebrations. On September 3, a large number of remarkable individuals found their way to the estate to party, party… and then party some more. Around the castle and the coach house food stalls had been set up offering the

guests – alumni, staff and students – a variety of finger-licking treats. Dutch celebrities Ali B and Xander de Buisonjé were among the entertainers getting everyone into a festive mood, and the Nyenrode Booze Band played as if there was no tomorrow. Tomorrow came soon enough, though, because the late-night party at the coach house went on into the small hours.

academic year opens at nyenrode and on the web

former head of pharmaceutical company Warner Lambert, as key­ note speakers. Dean Leen Paape and Rinze Verheijen, who currently heads the student association, also addressed the audience. For the first time those who could not attend were able to follow the pro­ ceedings through a live stream on the Nyenrode website.

The opening of the new academic year followed hot on the heels of Nyenrode’s big anniversary party. On Monday September 5, a festive edition of this annual event featured Vincenzo Scotti, Italy’s State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, and Lodewijk de Vink, alumnus and


nyenrode now • issue 2, fall 2011

scholarships on a roll Nyenrode may have reached the venerable age of 65 – the age when most Dutch people retire – but the majority of its degree students are still at the start of their careers. To mark its anni­ versary, the university will give 65 of them a flying start by awarding them a scholarship for the 2011-’12 academic year. Worth €1.3 million in total, the scholarships are funded prima­ rily by Nyenrode alumni. They will go to deserving candidates for both the International MBA and the MSc in Management. This is how it works. Contributors to the scholarship fund choose their own student and provide a coach. The winners, in turn, commit themselves to returning the grant with interest to the ­Nyenrode Fund after graduation, when their increased earning power permits them to do so. In this way, consecutive generations of students can benefit from the scholarships.

Nyenrodeans, from Dr. Albert Heijn to Ariane Inden, who started her own cosmetics brand. The somewhat random selection from the many people who have in some way contributed to making Nyenrode the institute it is today – complete with quotes and portraits – makes good reading for anyone interested in the university and its history.

wim kok

alumnus noib 1956 honorary doctorate (2003)

‘Always active, always social.’

30 Bescheiden, plichtsgetrouw en integer annelies damen alumna bba 1988

Wim Kok (1939) leidde twee kabinetten, was voorzitter van de vakbond FNV, vicevoorzitter van de SER, minister van Financiën en bekleedde nog talloze publieke functies en commissariaten. De voormalig Nyenrode-student is tegenwoordig President van de Club van Madrid, een organisatie van voormalig staatshoofden en regeringsleiders.

‘I pursued the dream I had.’

Hij staat bekend als iemand die altijd buitengewoon goed is voorbereid. Niet iemand die zichzelf graag hoort praten maar als hij iets zegt, moet je opletten. Scherp oordeel, scherpe waarnemingen. Bescheiden, plichtsgetrouw en integer. Prettig om mee samen te werken. Vaak op de fiets, eenvoudige auto, nergens franje. Maar hoe bekend hij ook is als publieke persoonlijkheid, van zijn zieleroerselen is eigenlijk niet veel bekend.

Voormalig premier Wim was op leven het Nederlands Opleidings-Instituut 12 Nyenrode isKokeen lang nuttig voor het Buitenland pensjoerd wennekes ningmeester van het Collegie tot de Publicatiën en redacteur van Het Journael. Het Collegie was in

alumnus executive mba 2009ijverig. Er verschenen extra edities van Het Journael tijdens de verkiezinzijn studiejaren bijzonder

all about the people A handsome publication appeared in September to commemorate Nyenrode’s latest milestone. Entitled Remarkable Nyenrode 19462011, the Dutch-language book contains 65 profiles of remarkable

gen en de adelborst-sportontmoeting, zo het meldt het Loghboek ingetogen, maarisniet trots. Van de harde onroerend goedwereld naar creatieve werk van de fotografie eenzonder interessante De heer Annelies Postma signaleerde in zijn rubriek Postma Scriptum met Ischa Meijer. Kok is switch. Damen (1968) is nog steeds verbonden aaneen hetinterview familiebedrijf Damen Shipyards. Eén dag in de week vervult ze haar rol van Non Executive Member of the Board. Het leeuwendeel


‘The knowledge I acquired ataan Nyenrode van de week besteedt ze haar grote passie: fotografie. Het is haar nieuwe carrière geworden. is of inestimable value.’

‘Een lange reis naar Afrika met mijn toenmalige vriend was de directe aanleiding’, vertelt ze. ‘We hadden toen alles achter ons gelaten: huis verkocht, banen opgezegd, alles en iedereen vaarwel gezegd en losgelaten. Het enige dat wij hadden was een opslagplek en een doorlopende reisverzekering. Ik was altijd al gefascineerd door fotografie. En ik vond Afrikaanse vrouwen erg indrukwekkend. Nog steeds, eigenlijk.’

60 stony conversation Nothing is constant, except growth toward new experiences. That is how sculptor Pieter Kortekaas summarizes his per­ sonal philosophy. On the day the new academic year was opened, the first of five sculptures which Kortekaas is lending Nyenrode was unveiled on the estate. The sculpture group, entitled The Conversation, is a metaphor for the new direction in leadership and entrepreneurship. The other four works will be unveiled one by one throughout Nyenrode’s 65th anniversary year. A differ­ ent group of Nyenrode stake­ holders will be invited to each of these events.

‘Als je, zoals met wij toen,pensioen zo vrij bent om te gaan en te staan in het leven, niet de drukte van het Nooit

dagelijks leven voelt, dan worden veel dingen duidelijk. Ik ontdekte dat mijn hart echt bij de fotografie ligt. Ik had al een aantal cursussen gedaan bij Fotogram aan de Prinsengracht in Amsterdam. Daarnaast hadreclameposter ik al veel reizen gemaaktinen een camera aangeschaft. Ik ben vanaf in onder Afrika Een statische verandert een speelse ervaring. Een schilderij komtde totreis leven de droom die ikEen voelde gaan streven. ben mij volledig gaan ‘Ons toeleggen fotografie. Ik heb een aanraking. lobbynaverandert in eenIkinteractieve speeltuin. doel isop het creëren van een magisch moment’, zegt Sjoerd Wennekes (1982), oprichter, eigenaar en CEO van Monobanda, een bedrijf dat, kort gezegd, creatieve games ontwerpt.


Begin 2009 deed Wennekes mee aan de FD Career Challenge en belandde in de top 10. Het bestuur van Nyenrode was van een aantal finalisten dusdanig onder de indruk dat zij hen een ruime studiebeurs aanbood. Wennekes was een van de gelukkigen. Het volgen van de Executive MBA-opleiding aan Nyenrode was een uitkomst voor de jonge talentvolle ondernemer. Najaar 2008 was Wennekes, samen met vier medestudenten van de kunstacademie, het creatieve gamebedrijf Monobanda begonnen. Na een veelbelovende start kwam het besef dat de zakelijke kant ook serieus genomen moest worden. ‘Het lijkt een vreemde stap, van de kunstacademie naar Nyenrode’, erkende Sjoerd Wennekes in het Financieele Dagblad. ‘Maar de kennis die ik daar opdoe en ook kan toepassen binnen mijn bedrijf is van onschatbare waarde. Op de kunstacademie word je getraind om vanuit jezelf en vanuit je gevoel en emotie te


issue 2, fall 2011 • nyenrode now



publications by faculty making ethics manageable

new editions of existing titles

Making insights into business ethics concrete and manageable so that they can be of practical use is no easy task. Yet that is what Edgar Karssing set out to do in his new book De oplossing is het pro­ bleem niet! (The solution is not the problem!). In the 272-page book the author puts problems relating to ethics, integrity and compliance into perspective and indicates possible solutions. Karssing is associated with Nyenrode’s European Institute for Business Ethics. In 2010 he won the Dutch National Compliance Award.

Revised second editions were recently published of two suc­ cessful books by Nyenrode faculty members. Understanding Cross-Cultural Management, an English-language publication by Marie-Joëlle Browaeys and Roger Price, addresses the ­effective management of organizations across national and cultural boundaries. In today’s global business environ­ ment, a  keen awareness of cross-cultural differences and the associated managerial competen­ cies are key to a successful career for both managers and profes­ sionals. Offering a selective yet broad view of traditional and con­ temporary thinking on cultural management, the book encour­ ages  its readers to sharpen their insights, test theories and ideas in practice and relate them to their own experience.

what makes businesses successful? Why is one business more successful than another? Is it good leadership, having the right business model, standing out from the crowd, or the ability to innovate? In Succesvolle bedrijven? (Successful businesses?) Nyenrode lecturers Jeroen van der Velden, Hans Veldman, Richard Janssen and Fred Kandou discuss seven dimensions where businesses can distinguish themselves by means of strategic balancing. The authors carried out in-depth studies of 14 major companies including WalMart, KPN, H&M, Friesland Campina and Ahold.

two schools become one Since September, Nyenrode Business Universiteit is no longer divided into a Business School and a School of Accountancy and Controlling. The same programs will continue to be delivered, but organizationally the university is now a single integrated entity. Inevitably, a reorganization means some people have been appointed to new positions. Leen Paape is now Dean of Degree Programs and Research for all of Nyenrode and its faculty. For the degree pro­ grams, he will be assisted by Désirée van Gorp as Associate Dean, while Roberto Flören is now Head of Faculty. Jan-Willem Broekhuysen has been appointed to the position of Acting Dean for Executive Education and Organizational Development.

trailblazer in sustainability passes away After being seriously ill for some time, Gerard Keijzers, Nyenrode’s first professor of sustainability, passed away suddenly last May. An economist who in his early career spent happy years working


nyenrode now • issue 2, fall 2011

A new edition has also appeared of a publication on a less ­tangible subject. Paul de Blot, honorary professor of business spirituality at Nyenrode, has revised his book entitled Business spiritualiteit. Een vernieuwingsmodel voor organisaties in crisis (Business spirituality. An innovative model for organizations in  crisis), which was first published in 2007. De Blot sees ­spirituality in business as a better alternative to the prevalent management style, which is focused on profits, market mechan­ isms and efficiency. He devised a model using a juxtaposition of idealism and realism.

for the UN in the South Pacific, Professor Keijzers established ­Nyenrode’s Center for Sustainability in 2000 and helped to develop the center into a renowned knowledge institute. Working tire­ lessly  to integrate sustainability into daily working practices ­without losing sight of business opportunities, he was far ahead of his time.

new candidates for nyenrode phd It must be unique for the ages of participants in the same Nyenrode program to cover a range of 30 years. But then the people who kicked off the Executive Doctorate Program on April 16 are no ordin­ ary students. Together, they form the first edition of this four-year, part-time program. Although they come from diverse backgrounds, the 15 participants share a focus on practice-oriented academic research, which on completion will earn them a Nyenrode PhD. www.nyenrode.nl/news www.nyenrode.nl/insights

for what it’s worth

dietmar gunne

theme value

by steve korver


rice is what you pay, value is what you get,” the ­financier Warren Buffet once observed when asked for the meaning of value. When mere mortals are posed the same question, they tend to come up with repackaged clichés: “It’s all relative,” “Value is in the eye of the beholder,” “Nothing is worth anything without your health”… In short, value appears to be a rather random construct. And recent global financial disasters can largely be explained in terms of people and institutions being much too arbitrary – or plain tricky – in how they establish value. Now much of the world is left wondering what it actually means. Philosophers have been sweating for millennia about the ­concept. Plato made the distinction between ‘instrumental value’ (something that can be used to get something else, such as cash, gold and real estate) and ‘intrinsic value’ (something that is worth having for its own sake, such as friends, family and a sense of home). Currently, many account for the dire economic and environmental realities by pointing to our nasty habit of overemphasizing  instrumental value. It is certainly undeniable that there has been a hidden price to many human activities. There’s some truth

in the saying that you only know the true value of something when you lose it. Many things blur the line between the instrumental and the intrinsic. A common example is a green, wild and dynamic natural ecosystem which has obvious intrinsic value in its beauty, but can also be taken apart into resources of instrumental value. Another example is an education. Studying can expand your mind to a world of possibilities, but it can also help you get a well-paid leadership position. If you manage to balance the two, voilà: you are, or could be, a successful entrepreneur. Information, partnerships, networks, diversity, sustainability … they’re all things which have added value in the way they surf the wave between the intrinsic and the instrumental. Perhaps it would be wise for us to bank more on those things that don’t qualify to be locked up in a bank. The final word, on human value, is for the writer F. Scott Fitz­ gerald. He once advised: “What we must decide is how we are valuable, rather than how valuable we are.” Steve Korver is a freelance writer and editor. www.stevekorver.com issue 2, fall 2011 • nyenrode now


value shareholders vs. stakeholders

How to reconcile profits and people in most organizations the shareholders have been gaining the upper hand in recent years. so are the other stakeholders fighting a rearguard battle?


ince the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, a wave of AngloAmerican shareholder value thinking has washed over Europe and the rest of the world. In his essay The End of History, Francis Fukuyama implicitly announced this development: he described the unrestricted worldwide success of political and economic liberalism as the fittest surviving ideology. The shareholder value perspective favors profitability over responsibility and sees organizations as the instruments of their owners. Success is measured by share price, dividends and profits.

by pieter jan nat

Social responsibility is not a matter for organizations, and society is best served by companies pursuing self-interest and economic effi­ ciency. Going for maximum shareholder value will result in society enjoying maximum wealth. Since share value of stock market listed companies is reported on a quarterly basis, short-term orientation is often a direct result of this way of thinking. Stakeholder value orientation, on the other hand, emphasizes responsibility over profitability and sees organizations primarily as coalitions that should serve all parties involved. Success should be

Some of the speakers at the New Board session. From left: Anne Kvam of Norges Bank Investment Management, Nyenrode profe


nyenrode now • issue 2, fall 2011

measured by the satisfaction of all stakeholders. By having strongly motivated employees and trust with all parties, social wealth will be maximized.

short-term orientation is not a sustainable business model. He can­ didly voiced his opinion that the thinking of company management often lags behind that of its employees, who want to work for a human company that knows its responsibilities and acts accordingly.

Ongoing debate Nyenrode recognizes the importance of the ongoing debate on the apparently conflicting models of shareholder versus stakeholder value orientation. In June Fred Lachotzki, Professor of Business Policy, chaired a New Board Program executive session on the subject at the castle, with speakers from international business and the Dutch Association of Shareholders. The shareholder perspective was represented by Jan Maarten Slagter, managing director of the Vereniging van Effectenbezitters (VEB). He defended the Total Shareholder Return position but insisted that, contrary to widespread thinking, shareholder interest is best served if management and supervisory board focus on longterm sustainable growth. He did not support enhancing customer and employee satisfaction by means of remuneration or incentives for other stakeholders. Anne Kvam, Global Head of Ownership Policies of Norges Bank Investment Management (NIBM), even went a step further. She underlined the long-term sustainable growth perspective but explicitly added that her bank takes stakeholder interests into account. NIBM is working in close coordination with Norway’s ­Ministry of Finance. Its investment capital equals the total value of the country’s gross domestic product. NIBM’s long-term orientation stems from its mission to safeguard and build financial wealth for Norway’s future generations, and its policy is to take active owner­ ship in well-functioning, legitimate and efficient financial markets in strategic areas relating to climate change, water management and children’s rights. Kvam’s presentation caused one of the par­ ticipants to exclaim that he would love to have shareholders in his company with a similar perspective. Tex Gunning, a member of the executive board of Akzo Nobel, expressed his confidence that the controversy between shareholder and stakeholder orientation will eventually be solved, as financial

Farsighted CEOs Two executives who are taking their responsibility to society very seriously are Feike Sybesma, CEO of DSM (life sciences and materials sciences) and Peter Bakker, formerly CEO of TNT (global transfer of goods and documents). Sybesma managed to convince his share­ holders to accept making DSM’s knowhow available free of charge to the world’s 900 million poorest people. Since DSM is a global player in the food and pharmaceutical industry with a large number of process patents, this generosity is bound to improve the quality of life of disadvantaged people all over the globe. Peter Bakker, who addressed the New Board session, got his company involved in the UN World Food Programme. TNT not only helped transport food aid to areas where it was needed but also

turning the tables: the albemarle case When Akzo Nobel sold its catalyst division to the American chemical corporation Albemarle in 2004, most employees – and many customers – were shocked to see its business practice jump to shareholder orientation. The shift of focus to monthly and quarterly results was immediate. A broad management layer became subject to the quarterly scrutiny of stock market analysts and everything possible had to be done to make the financial results shine, which sucked up tremendous amounts of energy. Short-term thinking prevailed, and the atmosphere on the work floor deteriorated. Many employees left the company, starting with those with an attractive CV and a good education. At a later stage, many others departed as a result of rationalization programs. Meanwhile, Albemarle Catalysts started losing market share, and the relationship with the remaining customers toughened. Then things started to change. There were daring management interventions, mostly in product pricing. The financial results of the division improved, and in time the catalyst business unit began to prosper. Gradually more people-oriented managers were appointed, which improved the atmosphere on the work floor. The company committed to a significant budget for medium and longerterm product development to support sustainable energy utilization. This longer-term perspective helped improve staff commitment and motivation, and as employees saw a richer perspective for their future, fewer of them left the company. Today, Albemarle Catalysts is a thriving business unit.

essors Steven Schuit and Fred Lachotzki, and TNT’s former CEO Peter Bakker. issue 2, fall 2011 • nyenrode now


value shareholders vs. stakeholders

facilitated hands-on assistance of TNT employees on temporary assignments. Both Sybesma and Bakker feel their initiatives improved motivation and loyalty among their staff and contributed value to their companies.

Academic angles The feeling of discomfort about the exclusive focus on shareholder interest has resulted in a multitude of academic research projects seeking to establish whether the financial interest of shareholders

tex gunning: «the thinking o f co m pa n y m a n a g e m e n t o f t e n   l a g s b e h i n d t h at o f t h e   e m p lo y e e s »

is indeed best served by a tight focus on maximum profit. Pieter Jan Bezemer, a research fellow at Queensland University of Technol­ ogy in Australia, demonstrated last year in his dissertation entitled Diffusion of Corporate Governance Beliefs that between 1992 and 2006 the focus on shareholder value in the Top 100 listed companies on


nyenrode now • issue 2, fall 2011

the Euronext stock exchange increased from 13 to 74 percent. How­ ever, this steep rise had a negative influence on the financial results as measured in Return On Assets, while there was no significant effect on the Total Shareholders Return. Academic research on the business effectiveness of stakeholder models is also being done in the emerging markets. An example. In the Republic of China, Su, Chenting, Mitchell and Sirgy have pub­ lished research results on the effectiveness and structure of Guanxi management (literally translated, Guanxi means interpersonal con­ nection), which describe the effectiveness of layered stakeholder models. Overall, the research shows that China’s relentless economic success is due to a mix of long-term government planning and unrestricted shareholder value orientation.

Shifting perspective Taking the corporate world as a whole, there is a variety of positions ranging from a tunnel-view focus on shareholder interest to broad acceptance of social responsibilities. Whereas a temporary focus on short-term shareholder interest can improve the financial basis of a business (see Turning the Tables on p. 9), long-term orientation is again gaining ground, not only with large institutional investors but also with organizations defending the interest of private inves­ tors. The predominance of the Anglo-Saxon brand of shareholder value thinking that has prevailed in Europe and much of the rest of the world since the end of the 20th century is no longer an undis­ puted fact of life. Pieter Jan Nat is a freelance journalist and business consultant.

value accountancy & controlling

Coffee makes the world go round the dean opens up the shutters to turn nyenrode’s network in accountancy and controlling into a true community. to achieve this, a good cup of coffee can be an excellent lubricant. by leen paape


ccountants and controllers are constantly valuating. Whether it’s annual accounts, the financial situation of a company or management procedures, financial experts put a value on it. But what is the value added by these people themselves, for their customers, their employers and society at large? And what kind of training does it take for an accountant or controller to continue to add value? Nyenrode’s Accountancy and Controlling programs are search­ ing for the answers to these questions. The process of innovation is ongoing, and we have formalized it under the heading Opening the Shutters. We are throwing the shutters open and invite our stakeholders to join in. The method we have chosen to accomplish this is called appreciative inquiry. The idea is that instead of taking problems as our starting point, we look at the things that are going well, the success stories. The two questions we want to answer are: “what makes a robust accountant/controller successful?” and “what are the preconditions for success in the process of learning and development?”

mentoring and coaching module for fourth-year students. This module comprises lectures about coaching and peer sessions to practice the techniques that have been learnt. The participants also act as mentors for first-year students.

Sharing dreams A number of students of communication and multimedia design also attended Opening the Shutters. They told us how they create a sense of community: by sharing their dreams and passions right from the start. And by making sure they have a pleasant place to meet each other – with a good espresso machine. Leen Paape is Dean of Nyenrode’s Degree Programs and Research.

Recurring theme A recurring theme during the most recent brainstorming session of Opening the Shutters was ‘community’. In our view it’s important for robust accountants and controllers to feel involved with their study programs and their fellow students. This involvement enables them to develop their personal and communicative skills and to have the courage of their convictions, so that they will be in a posi­ tion to offer society more than just their financial expertise. But how can we make sure that our accountancy students, who work at their offices four days a week and follow lectures around the coun­ try on the fifth, develop a bond with Nyenrode and each other? A sense of community is created by talking to each other. We are experimenting with two different ways to achieve this. Firstly, as a pilot program, we have started to interview prospective students. The object is not to select students but to establish personal contact with them, discuss their expectations and motivation and talk about possible pitfalls. Secondly, we have developed an optional issue 2, fall 2011 • nyenrode now


value academic endowment


a chair the chair of family business and business transfer gives nyenrode access to the business world

pim ras

and the accountancy firm baker tilly berk to academia. everybody wins.


nyenrode now • issue 2, fall 2011

by steve korver


hy rent a skybox at a football stadium if you can sponsor a chair? The phenomenon of a sponsored chair, or endowed professorship, is almost as old as higher education itself. The earliest chairs were established in Athens in AD176 by Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius for the four main schools of philosophy, and the idea quickly spread to the major cities of the empire. With such longevity, an endowed chair has obvious value for both the holder and the sponsor.

Persuasive professor For over ten years Roberto Flören, Nyenrode’s newly appointed Head of Faculty, has held the Baker Tilly Berk Chair of Family ­Business and Business Transfer. Through the 1990s, he had already undertaken a long-term sponsored research program. But when a merger swallowed up his sponsor company in 2002, he was forced to look elsewhere for funding. His solution was to approach the accountancy firm Baker Tilly Berk. An independent firm of ­chartered accountants and business advisors, BTB traces its origins back to 1914. It has over 900 employees in 18 offices across the Netherlands, and around 75 percent of its clients are family-owned businesses. “I just went and told them that they were running their business incorrectly. Luckily, as an academic you can get away with saying that sort of thing,” Flören recalls with a laugh. To his surprise, they agreed to sponsor his chair after just three meetings. “It showed their entrepreneurship that they were ready to sign a contract so quickly. And their commitment continues to this day – they recently signed on for a third five-year term.” The enthusiasm for this partnership certainly shines through when speaking to Stefan Jansen, the partner at Baker Tilly Berk in charge of the company’s family business section. “It sounded like a good idea from the start, but of course we had to discuss it with our board. We all agreed that it was a good opportunity for

r o b e r to f lö r e n : « a u n i ­ v e r s i t y i s n ot j u s t a b o u t t r a n s f e r r i n g k n ow l e d g e b u t   a b o u t c r e at i n g i t »

to bridge the gap with the business world. The importance of that should never be underestimated, because it is what makes Nyenrode Nyenrode. While a professor’s salary is usually already covered in the larger school budget, such a financial stream allows us to bring in PhD students for longer, more in-depth studies. After all, a univer­ sity is not just about transferring knowledge but about creating it. Basically, a sponsored chair gives us more time for innovation.” Over the past decade, the resulting research has already pro­ duced six books and countless articles in national and international publications. Baker Tilly Berk also funds an annual Family Business Day, when over 300 family businesses gather at Nyenrode to learn about the latest trends and strategies in their sector. In addition,

s t e fa n j a n s e n : « i t w a s a g o o d o p p o r t u n i t y to a d d a n   a c a d e m i c e l e m e n t to our efforts»

Flören provides guest lectures and in-house training at Baker Tilly Berk for accountants who want to grow in the organization or become more specialized advisors. “All these activities work to involve the whole company and generally help with the continuity,” says Jansen. “The greatest value we derive from this relationship is getting Roberto in person,” he continues. “On a personal level, he has really fed my passion for family businesses and helped me immensely in understanding how they think and function.” Family firms are the  predominant form of enterprise in the Netherlands, account­ ing  for 60 per cent of all companies. “Generally speaking, they’re just more successful than other businesses,” observes Jansen. “They tend to last longer and make more money, and their personnel are  happier. In hard economic times they are willing to be more entrepreneurial and find alternative solutions rather than laying off staff.”


the market we serve to add an academic element to our efforts. We had been talking with an advertising agency but they seemed unable to provide what we were looking for. It was a purely strategic decision, based less on direct financial return and more on image and credibility building.”

Even with his new duties as Head of Faculty, Flören doesn’t plan to give up his professorial chain any time soon. “Management is just for the medium term. I hope to remain a professor until I am 65. Family business is my passion.” In turn, Nyenrode has become a passion for Jansen. “Whenever I cross the bridge into the Nyenrode estate, I get a smile on my face. I turn off my phone and just focus on this other world – a related world, but another world nonetheless.”

Bridging the gap The advantages for Nyenrode of such a partnership are obvious. Flören: “Nyenrode has always been about establishing direct links

Professor Flören invites organizations interested in sponsoring ­Nyenrode chairs to contact him at r.floren@nyenrode.nl issue 2, fall 2011 • nyenrode now


value sustainability

danielle zandee and sander tideman, two people who believe in a more sustainable world, engage in a free-ranging discussion on how to achieve it.

by terri j. kester

danielle zandee “If we talk about value, my focus is on shared value creation. Not just for the shareholders, but for everyone. Not just here, but every­ where. And not just now, but also in the future. Creating value together is a win-win proposition, and the frontrunners understand that. I’m interested in the human side of sustainability. If organiza­ tions want to create value externally, they should also be sustain­ able themselves. We have to work toward a climate in which people can flourish. Beyond being efficient and effective, organizations should be open to innovation and allow space for participation and new ways of thinking and acting. Within organizations, we have to be pragmatic in nurturing change. I am very much in touch with the appreciative inquiry approach. That’s a process of organizational change where you value the basis that’s already there and the human capacity to col­ laboratively achieve change. You try to unleash your imagination, so that you can imagine a future world. Such change processes are very participative and often bottomup. You’re creating value for all parties involved. In that sense, the medium is the message. Unfortunately, people become skeptical when organizations practice ‘green-washing’ and ride the wave of sustainability without being truly committed. If the medium is not

Sander Tideman is pursuing a PhD by researching sustainable leadership, with Danielle Zandee as his co-sponsor. He also lectures in Nyenrode’s executive programs, and, together with the Center for Sustainability, he started the SEAL Institute (Sustainable Enterprise through Action Learning). After a career with ABN AMRO Bank, including several years as its chief representative in China, he turned his back on the financial sector. “I could see that most board members just looked at stock prices and did not understand where real value comes from. I now have a broader perspective.” Tideman is a founding director of the Global Leaders Academy. In his PhD dissertation he explores the leadership that is needed to stop the overexploitation of our planet.


nyenrode now • issue 2, fall 2011

pim ras

sander tideman

Back the fu

k to uture

the message in the way you work and in your style of leadership, there’s an incongruence which people will pick up very fast. I’m not saying it’s easy. To go beyond the fad, we need systemic change. We have to disrupt the old systems in which we find our­ selves caught through experimentation and innovation, and come up with better alternatives.”

sander tideman “We both feel it’s time to take new steps. For the past 20 years, sus­ tainability has been seen too much as a technical and material field. The focus has been on creating and selling products which are as green and clean as possible. That should be the baseline for any company, but it’s a narrow view. The next step is to look at the whole value chain from a human and social standpoint. We should change our mindset to go beyond short-term value, because the world is an interconnected place. We shouldn’t just consider our ecological footprint, but also our relationships with our clients, suppliers and other stakeholders.”

danielle zandee “We’re probably best described as pragmatic idealists. The world is obviously very fragile at the moment. But rather than just shrug­ ging our shoulders, we want to link up with likeminded people around the world who say no to complacency, who understand that we need to turn a corner and embrace the notion of the global vil­ lage. That may be idealistic, but we’re also pragmatic. As academics it’s one thing to be smart, but something else to be smart for a pur­ pose, to be socially relevant.”

sander tideman “This is why my company and Nyenrode co-founded the SEAL Insti­ tute. Sustainability is not a problem to be solved, but a future to be

danielle zandee Danielle Zandee is Professor of Sustainable Organi­ zational Development, co-director of the Center for Sustainability and Director of the Advanced Manage­ ment Program. After taking both her BBA and MBA at Nyenrode she worked in the HR department of Shell, which sent her to South Africa as the era of apartheid was drawing to a close. “I got to know change in a changing environment. Everything seemed new: the new Shell, new leadership, the new South Africa. I have been focused on change and development ever since.” While working on her PhD in the US, Zandee learned more about business as an agent for constructive change. First and foremost, she wants to find the answer to the question: how are we going to organize ourselves for a sustainable future?

issue 2, fall 2011 • nyenrode now


value sustainability

created. SEAL is a learning platform for executives about collabora­ tion from the sustainability viewpoint. Some of the learning can go online, but for real learning the passion and emotion need to be felt, you have to get people physically together. We are bringing people together for round-table discussions at Nyenrode.”

the value. Unfortunately green products are often more expensive, although there is no reason why a ‘green’ apple from De Betuwe should cost more than a regular one from New Zealand. The current global trade systems create systemic distortions in established flows.”

danielle zandee “At the Center for Sustainability we strongly feel the urgency of a shared task. The issues involved are too big for any organization to solve alone. We facilitate discussions to see what knowledge can be gained that may be applicable to other situations. We want to com­ municate our insights to the pockets of people who are working on this all over the world. I am not just talking about large companies and academics. They are often not around in the places where inno­ vation is happening. In India, Brazil and China people are starting projects in their own communities. Those projects are not docu­ mented, so we aren’t aware of them. But they are happening all the same: in agriculture, in healthcare and in the fight against crime and pollution. Much of that small-scale social enterprise falls under the heading of sustainability.”

sander tideman “Increasingly, large companies are trying to reach the billions of people at the bottom of the pyramid. They may not have much ­purchasing power, but if you’re a smart enterprise you design ­sustainable products they can afford and help generate micro busi­ nesses. Within multinational companies, there is a lot of bottom-up

sander tideman: «we should change our m i n d s e t   to   g o b e yo n d s h o r t - t e r m va lu e , b e c a u s e the world is an inter­ co n n e c t e d p l a c e »

pressure to do this. There’s a famous case where Philips initially resisted that pressure, but someone in the marketing department persuaded the board that many Philips products could be manu­ factured more sustainably. In the end, the company used the spon­ taneous energy of its staff and showed smart leadership. Companies often talk about driving results but it’s actually the people – including consumers who pay for products – who create


nyenrode now • issue 2, fall 2011

danielle zandee: «as academics it’s one thing to b e   s m a r t , b u t s o m e ­ t h i n g   e l s e to b e s m a r t f o r   a   p u r p o s e , to b e s o c i a l ly   r e l e va n t »

danielle zandee “What we need on this planet is global governance. We have the technology and the strategies, but we don’t have the collabora­ tive capacity. To work together on the premise that we’re inter­­ dependent and that there’s an urgency to address large issues, we have to get new people around the table. The UN doesn’t function well enough, and individual governments cannot solve these issues by themselves.”

sander tideman “We get confused by the old language. To discuss these issues, we need a new vocabulary. The word sustainability is a case in point. When I was in banking in the Nineties and started to speak about sustainability, people kept asking me: what the hell is sustainabil­ ity? It took a long time for the concept to take root.”

danielle zandee “The trouble with the word sustainability is that it implies we should make the world less unsustainable. But we should try for something better, and create the vocabulary needed to do so. A word like research, for example, can sound bookish and boring. I find inquiry a much more elegant word. New words and new meanings can give us space for innovation, space to explore, ponder and reflect. I think the three elements of Nyenrode’s strategy fit into this new language. If we have good leadership, entrepreneurship and stewardship, we can draw up a shared agenda to bring about a more just and sus­ tainable global society.” Terri J. Kester is a freelance journalist and associate editor of ­Nyenrode NOW.

value crowd sourcing

Powerful platform nyenrode alumnus jan bouw is developing an online platform to mobilize the crowd in the interest of sustainability.

by helm horsten


ast summer, young entrepreneur Jelle Drijver found a creative way to finance his MBA. Most of the fee was ­covered by a grant he won in the FD Career Challenge, and he paid the rest from the proceeds of selling the back page of business newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad, which he divided into 50 sections. Drijver is not alone in seeking new ways of funding an ambitious plan. Rather than turning to a bank for a loan, entrepreneurs today often find their own sources of finance. Nyenrode alumnus Jan Bouw is a good example. With his business partner Sjoerd van de Meerendonk he has launched Share2Start, an online crowd sourcing and crowd funding platform for sustainability-linked initiatives.

jan bouw: «we don’t judge w h e t h e r a p r oj e c t i s r e a l i s t i c o r n ot . w e l e av e t h at to t h e c r ow d »

“In the current economic situation, banks are reluctant to invest in new concepts,” says Bouw. “Entrepreneurs know this, so they look for alternatives. In essence, crowd funding and crowd sourcing are about using the power of an open mind. You have to stop hemming in your thinking and think in terms of opportunities. Books like James Surowiecki’s The Wisdom of Crowds show that an opinion from the crowd is often more valuable than one from an expert.” Bouw explains how Share2Start works. “The idea is to facilitate crowd funding campaigns for sustainable ideas. An entrepreneur can post an innovative idea to get in touch with potential investors. Or, even better, he or she can ask other parties to help develop the idea as a co-creative venture. We facilitate this kind of crowd sourcing as well.” “When an idea starts to take shape, we thoroughly check whether the entrepreneur is really serious about the project. Many people don’t yet have experience of crowd funding, so it is of the utmost importance to ensure that we are regarded as a solid plat­ form. Once we are convinced we are dealing with a bona fide entre­ preneur, we discuss how much money is needed to develop the product or service and what percentage of the shares the initiator is willing to sell. We also work with partners, who offer everything a starting entrepreneur might need: finance, knowhow, skills, ­support and training.” The projects that Share2Start facilitates need to satisfy three ­criteria; they must be innovative, sustainable and scalable. Bouw: “We don’t judge whether a project is realistic or not. We leave that to the crowd.” He made a conscious decision to start on a small scale, with just two projects. One is about operating electronic devices through gestures. The other is an online platform for sustainable tourism, where travelers are put in touch with local travel entrepre­ neurs in distant countries. Share2Start is now gaining speed and the projects posted on the website are getting more innovative. Bouw can draw on more than 20 years of financial experience for his venture. Share2Start itself does not offer financial services, however. “We are not allowed to do that. We’re just a platform.” Bouw decided to leave the bank where he used to work when it introduced a system of performance management and he began to feel like a puppet on a string. “The spirit just left me. But when I talk to starting entrepreneurs in my new role, it comes alive again.” Helm Horsten is the corporate web editor of Nyenrode ­Business ­Universiteit. issue 2, fall 2011 • nyenrode now


value supervisory board

Monitoring the monitors mijntje lückerath summarizes her proposed code of conduct for supervisory directors in the netherlands. by mijntje lückerath


upervisory directors (SDs) are often accused of over­ looking the important issues, or of failing to intervene in company decision-making. Society increasingly dis­ trusts them – as it does executive and non-executive directors – because they frequently figure in the reporting on finan­ cial scandals and deceptions. But are SDs really to blame? Do we actually know what their role is meant to be? Or could it be that society, with the media at the forefront, expects too much of them? Or that the value of the supervisory board is misunderstood or wrongly interpreted? Because SDs monitor an organization from a distance, they always have an information backlog compared to executive direct­ ors. This is why the role of the supervisory board lies principally in monitoring the process of decision-making rather than concerning itself with the underlying information. To really understand its value, both the SDs themselves and society as a whole should under­ stand what the supervisory tasks entail and what can – and cannot – be expected of SDs. The code of conduct which has been published in the Journal of Business Ethics answers some of the questions.

Sociologists assert that setting rules of conduct is part of the professionalization process in any profession. So if we agree that supervisory duties constitute a profession, then a code of conduct in the form of a set of recommendations designed to maximize the value of the supervisory board should be considered. The themes included in the code that has been formulated relate to the tasks and role of SDs, their independence, their integrity, confidentiality within the board, its composition, evaluation of its functioning, the remuneration of SDs, their knowledge and experience and, finally, their responsibility and accountability.

Tasks and role SDs’ main sphere of influence lies in their responsibility for appoint­ ing, rewarding and dismissing management. It’s up to them to keep a critical eye on the executive board and challenge its strategies. An open relationship with the executive directors is essential. The SDs should be proactive, exercise their critical faculties and intervene where necessary.

Independence, integrity and confidentiality Vague guidelines Contrary to international practice, Dutch companies are governed by a two-tiered board, with executive and supervisory directors operating separately. The Dutch Civil Code says little about the supervisory board. While describing its tasks as monitoring and advice, it offers no explanation how this should be done. The exist­ ing legislation, known as the Corporate Governance Code, provides guidelines on the board but no details about the way its members should conduct themselves.


nyenrode now • issue 2, fall 2011

Supervisory directors should carry out their duties impartially and objectively while avoiding pressure from external sources and con­ flicts of interest. The criteria for independence laid down in the Dutch Corporate Governance Code are minimum requirements. The important thing is that SDs should follow each other, the execu­ tive board and the stakeholders critically and not allow themselves to be guided by any individual’s advantage or self-interest. The duties supervisory directors have toward third parties should be balanced with their duties to stakeholders. Improper

behavior and incidents may bring the profession into disrepute. This could have consequences for the confidence society has in SDs. Restoring this confidence is one of the reasons why corporate gov­ ernance codes are being developed. To achieve this, SDs, executive boards and stakeholders must be able to operate in an atmosphere of confidentiality.

Board composition Supervisory boards should be composed in such a way that they can operate as a single body. The nature and activities of the organ­ ization should be reflected in the backgrounds and expertise of the  appointed members. Recruiting candidates from outside the ­existing network, possibly with the help of external specialists, may contribute to achieving greater diversity in the composition of the boards.

Evaluation and remuneration SDs are usually people who have already proven themselves, so they are not accustomed to having their performance assessed. Never­ theless, an evaluation of both the supervisory board as a whole and its individual members should take place at least once a year. Dur­ ing this evaluation SDs should be encouraged to speak their minds and be given the opportunity to comment critically on other super­ visors, the person chairing their board and the executive board. Engaging external evaluators can contribute to an independent and critical attitude. The level of remuneration of the supervisory board is deter­ mined in the general meeting of shareholders. It is not linked with the company results, because interventions by SDs should not be influenced by considerations relating to their income. The remu­ neration should be based on the board member’s position and the time invested, and should have no impact on his or her independ­ ence and critical approach.

Knowledge and experience Members of the supervisory board are required to continuously develop and maintain their competency in their field. However, it will be difficult if not impossible to draw up specific knowledge requirements and introduce the concept of a qualified supervisory director. Individual SDs are themselves responsible for this aspect of their task.

Responsibility and accountability Taking responsibility and being held accountable for their actions are important issues for SDs. Because they represent a company’s interests, they should be accountable to a broad group of stake­ holders. At least once a year, they should render a transparent account of their actions by publishing a report. This can be particu­ larly important if legal liability has to be established.


m i j n t j e lü c k e r at h ’ s co d e o f co n d u c t w a s p u b l i s h e d in the prestigious journal of business ethics

All these themes can serve the purpose of guiding SDs on three key issues. Firstly, they compel the supervisory board to reflect on its val­ ues. After all, both the stakeholders and society at large see the board as representing the organization and legitimizing its values. Secondly, SDs need to give expression to their unwritten rules. The annual eval­ uation of their performance, preferably by an external facilitator, should reveal any discrepancy in the way individual board members interpret these rules. The third and final issue is awareness of the risk of developing ‘groupthink’ and group behavior, which could result from the tendency to go for unanimity in decision-making. Dr. Mijntje Lückerath-Rovers is professor of corporate governance at Nyenrode Business Universiteit. Her article appeared in full in the Journal of Business Ethics, Volume 100, Number 3, p. 465-481. In the following pages, Mijntje Lückerath suggests improvements in the composition of supervisory boards. issue 2, fall 2011 • nyenrode now


value supervisory board

the female factor once a year, mijntje lückerath compiles the dutch female board index. recent legislation stipulates that the executive and supervisory boards of large companies should include at least 30 percent of each gender. but the reality is that the number of female board members hovers around 9 percent. lückerath explains why she is a firm believer in a diversified board. by terri j. kester


istorically, there has never been much need for Dutch women to work, because the Netherlands is a relatively rich country. This may explain why women are still underrepresented in business, par­ ticularly in the top echelons. I would like to improve this situation, and hope my voice will be heard. Unfortunately, the discussion tends to be dominated by moral arguments. Proponents of quota legislation support their opinion that women have a right to be appointed at the top of organizations by pointing to discrimination issues and equal rights for everyone. I take a different view. A com­ pany is not a democracy and the quota issue cannot be compared with, for example, universal suffrage. Therefore I am not in favor of fixed quota and penalties, like they have in Norway. Instead, I look at ways governance can add value to an organization by having more diversified boards and at the role women can play in this. I contribute to the discussion by showing hard facts and figures every year in the Female Board Index. And every year I hope for a breakthrough. But so far the awareness of the need for change is not reflected in the figures. The latest Index shows that there are just five more female directors than last year. The economic crisis has contradictory effects: on one hand, society wants a breakthrough in the homogeneous composition of company boards, on the other the economic situation makes people risk-averse. This may be one of the reasons why women are stuck. Rather than just focusing on women, I favor diversity on com­ pany boards. It’s good to have a broad range in terms of age, cultural


nyenrode now • issue 2, fall 2011

background and so on. Boards need to have a real connection with their stakeholders and with society. If 50 percent of a company’s customers are in China, it’ll want at least one Chinese board mem­ ber. By the same token, all companies should have female directors and board members.

« i t w i l l b e d i f f i c u lt i f n ot i m p o s s i b l e to i n t r o d u c e t h e co n c e p t o f a q ua l i f i e d s u p e r v i s o r y d i r e c to r »

I don’t want to stereotype women. A woman on the board doesn’t represent other women, but gender is a clear and easy way to diversify. I realize that it’s harder to find qualified women than men. To expand the talent pool, we must loosen the assumption that you need executive experience to be a supervisory director. SDs shouldn’t always be looking for people like themselves. Aware­ ness of the need for change is the first step toward breaking out of

this tunnel vision. We should open up our minds to find out which individuals can add the value that’s currently missing. For me, masterclasses given by top businesswomen have been very beneficial. Women can inspire each other and stimulate a female leadership style. The opportunity to connect with other women should be part of any leadership course. There’s no need to channel women toward particular sectors, like retail or healthcare, because we don’t have a shred of scientific evidence that they are

stronger there. Nor, for that matter, has any link been established with company performance. Once the number of women at the top increases, we’ll have more role models. My own mother worked, and that really helped me. Role models are important, because they bolster women’s motivation.” Mijntje Lückerath has three children. She works full-time and is a ­supervisory director of ASN Bank and Achmea.

the ajax supervisory board: diversity at a price If there’s one supervisory board that has generated publicity in the Netherlands recently, it’s the one overseeing Ajax, the Amsterdam-based football club. With a woman and two seasoned pros with impressive reputations in European football, its diversity credentials are impeccable. Its members’ conduct, however, is sometimes controversial to say the least. Board member Johan Cruijff, for example, didn’t bother to attend the photo session presenting the new supervisory board at the end of June. The other members are, from left, Paul Römer, chairman and Nyenrode alumnus Steven ten Have, Marjan Olfers and Edgar Davids, who played for Ajax from 1991 to 1996 and again in 2007-2008.

issue 2, fall 2011 • nyenrode now


value health

The price on your head


nyenrode now • issue 2, fall 2011

governments are afraid to ask the question how much a human life is worth, says professor loek winter. but fear is a bad guide if you’re making healthcare policy.


ome people are said to have a million-dollar smile. But how much is a human life worth? There are quizzes on the internet that claim to give you the answer. However, finding out on www.humanforsale.com that your life is worth, say, three million dollars doesn’t mean anyone will pay this amount if you try to sell yourself on eBay. Also, such quizzes will not provide the answer to the question how much a healthcare system is willing to spend on you if you get sick. Medical technology gives us new possibilities for diagnoses and treatment all the time. Thanks to innovative developments in imag­ ing, for instance, certain forms of cancer can be detected at a much earlier stage than before. This means that people can get effective treatment when the cancer growth is still in its preliminary phase and there are no disseminations. Thanks to this, the five-year sur­ vival rate will rise.

« f i n d i n g o u t yo u r l i f e i s worth three million dollars d o e s n ’ t m e a n a n yo n e w i l l pay t h i s a m o u n t i f yo u t r y to   s e l l yo u r s e l f o n e b ay »

But there is a downside. The innovative imaging equipment is expensive. And if thanks to this equipment more people can be treated successfully, the cost of treatment per patient may go down but the overall cost of the treatment for this larger number of people will increase. The availability of the new imaging possibilities also raises the question on whom we should use them. On everyone? Radiologists have been telling us for years that our ability to look through people may result in a healthcare system where healthy human beings are constantly surveyed to check on the possibility of a disease emerging. Imagine the cost of that.

No limit? It’s only logical, then, that governments, healthcare professionals and patients increasingly focus on the question how much a human life is worth. The simplest answer is that there is no limit, as long as a patient has health insurance. But this only leads to the next ques­ tion: what percentage of our gross national product are we willing

by frank van wijck

to spend on healthcare? Technological innovation will never end. People keep getting older, and old age brings health problems that need to be treated. So if we stick to the idea that there is no limit, the percentage of the gross national product that a country spends on healthcare will continue to rise. Of course we don’t want that to happen, because we also need finance for education, infrastructure, safety and so on.

Quality of life When asked for his views on this issue, Loek Winter, Nyenrode’s professor of healthcare entrepreneurship, replies: “We need some­ thing that tells us to which limit we should give somebody medical treatment. In fact we already have it. It’s called the QALY, which stands for Quality Adjusted Life Year.” The definition of a QALY is one year in good health. If through a medical intervention the life expectancy of a patient is prolonged by one year in good health, the outcome is one QALY. If the inter­ vention does not prolong life, but gives the patient a better quality of life during his or her remaining days, the outcome is also one QALY. Quality of life can be measured according to the value a person or a society places on a certain state of health. This in turn can be measured by means of questionnaires in which people put a value on a certain state of health in relation to complete health – for example after cardiac arrest. If a large number of people fill out such questionnaires, there is sufficient data to establish a QALY.

Vote killer If we can measure health, other questions arise. Do countries use these data to put a stop to the ever-increasing cost of healthcare? Do governments actually say to their citizens: “You have reached your limit, and we will no longer pay for your treatment?” “They don’t,” says Winter. “They are reluctant to do so, because telling voters their lives are only allowed to cost so much money is an absolute vote killer. Which is a pity, for QALYs are a very good measuring rod, and the question about how much money we are willing to spend on healthcare needs to be raised – and answered. We cannot go on like this forever.” What, according to Winter, should governments do? “They could pose the question how much of their country’s money people think should go to healthcare. They could also inform people about the long-term consequences of not making any choices now. It might be a better idea to spend money on making traffic safer than to invest in more intensive care units for victims of traffic accidents. Why don’t governments start talking about this kind of thing? I think people will be willing to think about it.” Frank van Wijck is a freelance journalist specialized in healthrelated subjects. issue 2, fall 2011 • nyenrode now


value education

A sound investment two recent graduates from the rabobank nyenrode management program and a rabobank employee currently taking her executive mba in food & finance discuss the value of their studies for their

p h oto g r a p h y p i m r a s

work and their lives.


by john widen

s a ï d a r a c h a k : « i ’ d h a d m y f i l l o f k n ow l e d g e - b o o s t i n g t r a i n i n g co u r s e s a n d w a n t e d to d e v e lo p m y p e r s o n a l co m p e t e n c i e s »

nyenrode now • issue 2, fall 2011

saïda rachak “vulnerability is not a weakness” After spending several years as account manager private banking, Moroccan-born Saïda Rachak (33) has held a management position at Rabobank’s branch office in the Alblasserwaard for the past three years. Since June 2011 she has been in charge of 24 people, through two team leaders who report directly to her.

policy and exploiting the individual and collective capabilities of my people in order to realize our objectives. About six months into my current position I realized I’d benefit from some practically oriented management tuition. This is why I decided to do the Rabobank Nyenrode Management Program, from which I recently graduated. In the event, the reason I did the program came less to the fore than I expected. However, the pro­ gram distinguished itself very robustly in the way it strengthened

“I’m active in Rabobank’s mortgage operations. My responsibilities include defining policy and verifying its effectiveness, risk and mar­ ket management and maintaining relationships with important players like real estate agents and solicitors. In May 2011, I graduated from the Rabobank Nyenrode Management Program, which I chose to do because I’d had my fill of knowledge-boosting training courses and wanted to develop my personal competencies. The program has certainly had the desired effect. It’s given me invaluable insights into myself, both as a person and as a leader. It has also shown me how important it is to be myself and that vul­ nerability is not a weakness, which always used to be an issue for me. I suppose it’s given me the right balance between being true to myself and maintaining my authority as a leader. On a personal level I’ve attained more peace of mind at work. This must show, because I have received feedback to that effect. Having more belief in my way of managing people has, I’m sure, made me more forceful in the way I do it. In my dealings with senior management and ­fellow managers I am more able to promote and defend my stand­ point on important issues. Thanks to this, I now enjoy my work much more. On a practical level, consecutive financial crises have certainly thrown up a few challenges recently. Sharing experiences with my fellow participants and trainers during the program has helped me to coach my people. I was able to identify and address negative sentiments, for example, and turn them into positive energy. The market might be slow at the moment but it’s stable, and at Rabobank we are gradually growing our share of it. My Nyenrode program was funded by my employer. In any business, return on investment is always the bottom line. I am happy to say Rabobank got an excel­ lent return from this one.”

robert kooijman “i see leadership from a whole new ­perspective” Three years ago Robert Kooijman (30) started working for Rabobank Nederland as content manager, with responsibility for the functional management of the bank’s intranet. For the past 18 months he has headed Rabobank’s web management continuity team. He is in charge of 22 employees. “At Rabobank my sphere of expertise encompasses the vital area of internal virtual communication and information provision throughout the organization. I occasionally do project activities but my main responsibilities are developing the vision, strategy and

robert kooijman: «i use the insights into change manage­ ment i gained at nyenrode to help my people deal with the necessary changes»

issue 2, fall 2011 • nyenrode now


value education

my personal leadership qualities and enabled me to get the most out of myself as a manager. It’s definitely helped me see my poten­ tial, given me fresh insights into my own capabilities and helped me to hone them. I’m certain the program has added value to the way I do my job, mainly in heightening my awareness. It included seemingly unre­ lated elements like tai chi and fencing, but the synergies between these activities and being a manager allowed me to see leadership

from a whole new perspective. In a truly inspirational way, it showed me how to apply my leadership skills to the benefit of my team. That awareness, together with a degree of self-management guidance, forces you to acknowledge the values, convictions, threats and other aspects that drive you personally. You can then translate them into the manner in which you lead your team. For example, my depart­ ment is currently playing a key role in realizing our Intranet 2014 ambitions, which involves large-scale changes. I am now able to use the insights into change management I gained at Nyenrode to help my people deal with the necessary changes and effectively guide the process to a successful conclusion.”

donata van der blom “i want to look beyond my daily ­working environment” Donata van der Blom (36) works at the Rabobank branch office in Noordwijk on the Dutch coast. She has been involved with the bank for 14 years, first on a freelance basis and then as an employee. For the last three years she has worked in Noordwijk, initially as risk management manager and currently as manager of business relations.

d o n ata va n d e r b lo m : « t h e m b a w i l l b e a n i m p o r ta n t s t e p p i n g s to n e to a dva n c e my career and further my p e r s o n a l d e v e lo p m e n t »

“I head a 17-strong department of account managers who serve the needs of businesses in the service and agricultural sectors. In ­January 2013 I’ll graduate from Nyenrode’s Executive MBA in Food and Finance. I decided to do the program for a variety of reasons. Firstly, I think it’s important to have a good balance between theory and practice. Secondly, an MBA will be an important stepping stone to advance my career and further my personal development. And thirdly, it will of course benefit my team and my employer. I find it important to look beyond my daily working environment. The MBA is broadening my theoretical scope and the wealth of experience and knowledge of my fellow students enriches my own. This diver­ sity of backgrounds is very important. The MBA has substantial added value for my work at Rabobank. For example, we’re about to embark on the MBA’s sustainability module, and at work I’ll need to help define Rabobank’s 2012 Year Plan, an important spearhead of which is corporate social responsi­ bility. Applying what I’ve learned will help me give body to our Year Plan and anchor it in practical objectives. At Rabobank we’ve felt the consequences of the recent economic crises. The MBA is useful here too. Earlier this year, the risk and finance module familiarized me with measures outlined in Basel III, the new global regulatory standard on bank capital adequacy and liquidity. This has given me a huge advantage over other colleagues and good ideas about how our commercial departments can deal with the situations we face. The MBA is enriching my world by exposing me to more and different ideas than I come across at my local branch office. It’s proving very practical in helping me carry out my day-to-day responsibilities.” John Widen is a freelance journalist and a regular contributor to Nyenrode NOW.


nyenrode now • issue 2, fall 2011

campus close-up

Valuing the estate the question what the estate is worth can be answered in a single word: invaluable. by gert immerzeel


hat is the value of the Nyenrode estate for the business university? It’s a question that has been asked before. Usually, the discussion is about the cost of running the estate. It certainly is a lot easier to add up the costs than to put a price on the immaterial ­contribution of the estate to the university. One thing is certain: the university and the estate are inextric­ ably linked. It’s a bond whose value can be explained in words – not in numbers. If you add up the market value of all the trees on the estate, it remains to be seen whether the total would exceed the money spent on it. You may as well ask how much your liver is worth. For you it’s a priceless organ, but a butcher probably wouldn’t give more than two euros for it. The estate starts to assert its value the moment you arrive there, whether it’s for the first or the hundredth time. Entering through the  monumental archway, you see the deer park and its graceful inhabitants in front of you, the imposing castle to your right, and an avenue of 200-year-old oak trees to your left. A professor, student, staff member or guest taking a stroll around the park may be surprised by a bright blue flash: it’s a kingfisher crossing their path and alighting on a branch a little further down, then perhaps catching a small fish in a pond in a single flowing

movement. Witnessing something like that is special. Yet it’s something that at Nyenrode can happen to anyone, any day. The value of such an experience cannot be expressed in euros or dollars. Even without surprise encounters the estate offers an inspiring environment, perhaps for a professor discussing a thorny issue with a colleague while walking through the park, or for a student who needs to collect his thoughts before an important test. For anyone, in fact, who wants to take a break during a busy day. The Nyenrode estate has an other-worldly atmosphere, a touch of class and style that’s interwoven with its architecture, landscaped gardens and rich history. Though not everyone will be equally aware of this, it does affect everyone treading our lanes to some extent. It’s what Rector Magnificus Maurits van Rooijen was talking about in his New Year address when he said: “When you arrive at Nyenrode, something happens to you.” While the estate affects people in different ways, its value is indisputable, both for its intrinsic qualities and as a pleasant location for the activities which together constitute the university. It is, after all, quite a different feeling to read, talk or study in a rose garden than to do so on an industrial estate. Gert Immerzeel is estate manager at Nyenrode. issue 2, fall 2011 • nyenrode now


Profile for Nyenrode Business Universiteit

Nyenrode NOW  

Magazine for the Nyenrode community, edition fall 2011

Nyenrode NOW  

Magazine for the Nyenrode community, edition fall 2011

Profile for nyenrode