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The context within which professional service providers operate is changing. They are increasingly required to look further down the line than their direct clients and their clients’ clients: service providers must anticipate market developments and the pace at which changes occur within this context. Their knowledge has to be continually updated and proactively translated into the services provided. A static service package no longer suffices in many cases.

THE NEED FOR TRANSITION AT GITP GITP recognised the need for transition. The agency, which leads the Dutch Human Resources market, saw its margins shrinking. The service that once earned it such success – the assessment – came under increasing competition and the solution proved not to be a case of broadening the service portfolio at every turn. Making the transition proved a challenge for the organisation. GITP reached an impasse internally; with its roots deeply anchored in the knowledge of the psychology applied and the success booked, GITP had become an institute within which innovation faced serious barriers.

STRATEGIC DISCUSSION However, in order to maintain a position of market leadership and to stay ahead of any further margin erosion, a new point of focus was needed. An intensive strategic discussion took place with the Boston Consultancy Group and Total Identity. The former concentrated on a fact-finding mission, Total Identity launched out-of-the-box thinking and directed its efforts on the organisation of passion. This process prompted a decision to return to the agency’s original core business: the assessment and development of people. A corporate story was drafted in the form of short theatre piece presented by actor Rense Royaards on the occasion of a company-wide strategy day. There was little understanding for strategy within the organisation, which prompted management to join forces in a bid to make the necessary transition a successful reality.


And now? You walk here You sit here today You’re still hard working and driven Passion for the job Time for your customers But far removed from the start Perhaps a touch too product-driven Sometimes you have little eye for market demands Too little sensitivity towards the spirit of the times You go in search of familiar themes Subject matter that lives in the world around you You’re up for a challenge Your own reality Adapting to the reality of your world Seeking association Really knowing what’s on the go From: ‘Understanding people’, theatre piece by Rense Royaards (GITP/Total Identity, 2005).

Stills from the corporate story presented by Rense Royaards



In the new strategy, the portfolio must include a formula: the assessment and development formula. Innovation can be achieved on this premise. In the first place, the emphasis is more on the individual. This means that instead of the organisation within which the people operate, the people themselves are the focus. Their broad need for assessment and development is separate from the organisation within which they work. To a far greater extent than before, the individuals themselves manage their careers. GITP supervises this individual process by specifying times for the individual to be assessed and developed within the context of his/her phase of performance – both professionally and personally, within the organisation and society at large.

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In addition, aside from the scientific ‘inner world’, the societal ‘outer world’ is making an entrance within GITP. Insights are no longer solely the domain of the job and/or the professionals. Signals stemming from social developments, the knowledge base upon which they rest and taking appropriate action through initiating internal and external training and development paths, place assessment and development within an entirely new framework.

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wetenschappelijke raad







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research & development van producten en diensten


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beoordelen en ontwikkelen

GITP’s strategy translated into 3D according to ‘Tetraeder’


ESTABLISHING TIES In order to literally place oneself in this social context and then create concrete added value, strong ties are needed with society. At present, these are being explored and established in many different ways. A key factor here is the cooperative relationship initiated by Total Identity with the ‘Volkskrant’ daily paper. From its position of being a specialist in the assessment and development of people, GITP provides a substantive contribution towards positions publicised through ‘Volkskrant Banen’, a paper for well-educated professionals. Consideration has also been given to cooperating with ‘De Baak’, a management centre run by employers’ association VNO-NCW.

INTERNAL = EXTERNAL Knowledge comes inside from outside and goes outside from inside in an ongoing process of reciprocity. The debate continues everywhere: within GITP and with the external environment. Internal and external – two sides of the same coin. This makes the communications strategy crystal clear: GITP and its context have pretty much become one and the situation in fact only needs to be facilitated. With a sound corporate publishing strategy including reports of the debate, research results and the translation of knowledge into services expressed through highly diverse resources and channels. The website, ezines, films, publications, reports, pod-casts, advertisements, free publicity and a magazine provide a vehicle of communication showing that GITP understands people based on current affairs and real knowledge.

THE FIREPLACE The fireplace, where Indians told their tales. The closer to the fire, the better the stories. The fireplace. A visionary debate. A lively exchange between Society, Profession, Practice and Knowledge. The fireplace. An initiative of GITP International BV. Several times a year, GITP organises a fireplace session addressing an important theme. Multiculturalism and dejuvenation (population ageing) are here to stay. We expect job opportunities to decline and are busy relocating our businesses to countries where employees can be found. And we’re opening up our borders. Pessimistic economists are already referring to the ‘snoozing’ Dutch economy and ‘an economic zone of the dead’. The optimists on the other hand, see courage and action. Creativity and innovation will rescue the Netherlands. And politics… Yes, politics. We no longer trust the government. Uncertainty rules, unrest, discontentment. We’d rather get things done outside of the government’s grasp, and are busy forming networks with their own rules and cultures. The date: 20 April 2006. Outside the news is all about Nedcar, the ageing population dominates the newspaper columns, there are fears about a flood of employees from Eastern Europe, and columnists call for the abolition of employment contracts. Inside the Zeister Hotel in Kerckebosch, the fireplace glows and a select group discusses the organisation of the future. What’s going to happen in five to ten years time? What do we have to do to stay ahead of events? Source: ‘Strive for clarity in terms of your identity’, a fireplace report (GITP, 2006).


Multi-media presentation of fireplace: publication, pod-cast, e-mail, DVD and CD


Print concept advertising




The insights garnered by GITP through maintaining ties with clients, knowledge and society are shared actively with the outside world. In terms of content through publications and articles, but marketing communications are also clearly opinion forming. Based on statements, GITP adopts a firm position in relation to topical themes. The advertisements – as well as other marketing communications resources such as product folders – feature striking images and the GITP brand stamped below. As such, they have a distinct character in a literal and figurative sense. Directed at the individual, irrespective of his/her own acknowledgement of this.

INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS: THE SOFT FORMULA For the most part, the added value of communication arises from the primary process (see also ‘Communication arising from the primary process’ text box). The GITP professional seeks, explores and discovers, arrives at insights and ideas based on daily operations, his/her experiences with the individual and within the social context. This process cannot be interrupted by parameters formulated by the communications department. It is also important not to facilitate the professionals too much to prevent them from becoming too reactive. In order to stimulate them, a choice has been made for a communications structure that provides a complete form but no content (an empty intranet, empty templates, the option of sending an internal e-zine, etc.). While this ‘soft formula’ facilitates decentralised, informal and individual communication, it does not frustrate the professional.


COMMUNICATION ARISING FROM THE PRIMARY PROCESS Instead of relating to the primary process of the organisation, the communication stems from it. The organisation finds itself facing the challenge of translating the impulses and signals arising through interaction with its surrounding environment into competencies and in line with this to communicate by making these competencies, individual intelligence, reality and ambitions transparent. This demands a professional attitude on the part of the individual employees who operate in the market on a daily basis and in fact form part of it. They are given the task of developing an antenna for what transpires or could be expected to transpire. The signals are not always that clear and they will really have to know the market in order to be sensitive to them, interpret them properly and subsequently translate them into the potential impact they may have on the organisation or the opportunities they may present. Source: ‘The expressive organisation. Working with identity’, Hans P Brandt, Barbara Brian, Jeroen Duijvestijn and Peter Verburgt (Total Identity/SMO, 2005).


Individual complexity must go hand in hand with a strongly univocal whole. The freedom of the individual embraces a necessity for univocal, centralised communication – communication that manifests the essence. For this reason, GITP now employs a single brand without extensions in the form of establishments or service offerings. GITP, with ‘assessment and development’ as descriptor. But the logo is more than just a brand; in all its simplicity it is also a statement. The statement of an organisation that

is aware of the increasing media orientation of our times and one that plays the role of a pioneer within that context. Within the logo there is always an icon that visualises a medium featuring a message (a book tip, a TV program, a theatre piece, etc.). In terms of its form, the logo resembles something of a stamp, perhaps a trademark.

ONGOING INNOVATION By placing itself within its context in all its forms, GITP has set course in a new direction that will force the organisation to maintain a spirit of ongoing innovation. And that’s certainly worthy of a market leader.


TOTAL IDENTITY Challenging ambition Amsterdam P.O. Box 12480 1100 AL Amsterdam Pedro de Medinalaan 9 1086 XK Amsterdam Phone +31 (0)20 750 95 00 Fax +31 (0)20 750 95 01 The Hague P.O. Box 221 2501 CE The Hague Mauritskade 1 2514 HC The Hague Phone +31 (0) 70 311 05 30 Fax +31 (0) 70 311 05 31


GITP. People without borders  

The context within which professional service providers operate is changing. They are increasingly required to look further down the line th...

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