Edwin van den Berg, CEO Van Wijnen

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     Edwin van den Berg 
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    This case represents to me the classic example of the “stick-or-carrot dilemma”. Although everyone will have their own preference, typically there is no right or wrong in either approach. Analyzing this case, it seems that Laura has demonstrated that she has been successful at winning bids (and apparently shaping winning teams) and that in principle she applies a healthy continuous improvement rigor. Yet, hit-rates are poor, there has been a lack of follow-up on certain improvement ideas, team morale is weakening and Laura herself is under pressure and disappointed. In such a case, I don’t find it really helpful to “brutally”/one-dimensionally apply the stick method. Laura doesn’t need a wake-up call and do more than she is already doing. Obviously, the reality and concerns should be put on the table to set the scene, however one should then move forward to address the underlying causes of the potential problem, such as how to make sure that improvement ideas are acted upon and how to boost team moral. They should then agree on a clear (SMART) action plan to move forward. The delivery on this plan will be key in assessing Laura’s capability to manage her team effectively. Edwin van den Berg, CEO Van Wijnen, the Netherlands

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