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Management Development Boer & Croon: you get to write your own story

Boer & Croon recruits the most talented people in the Netherlands and prepares them to operate in the Premier League. We have an obligation to ourselves and our clients to do this. Working at the highest level also means constantly brushing up on knowledge and skills. True top managers keep on studying and learning from each other's experiences. Curiosity is a key characteristic of our people. Boer & Croon's Management Development Programme fits in perfectly with this. We spoke with Lidia Drost (Director HR & Talent Management), Sterre de Geus (Young Executive) and Tycho ten Brink (Manager).

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What does the programme entail?

Lidia: We have devised the Krauthammer Hero's Journey, a three-year leadership programme aimed at developing talent. Our people have a permanent pool of trainers who monitor their progress. Each participant has their own set of challenges and goals, but the training sessions are done in groups. This way, the talent are able to mirror each other and learn from each other. Our assignments are demanding and you get thrown in at the deep end. We believe that we have the most talented people in the Netherlands at work here, and we try to help them to unleash that talent that they have inside them.

Sterre: During training, intervision and coaching sessions, we are challenged and pushed to get the most out of ourselves. The programme is structured in such a way that fits in well with the assignments that we undertake. We can often put new insights and tools into practice the very next day.

"We believe that we have the most talented people in the Netherlands at work here, and we try to help them to unleash that talent that they have inside them."

Lidia Drost

What makes the programme so different from a traineeship? Lidia: At Boer & Croon, you are assigned as a Young Executive to various roles and positions across a variety of companies and sectors. You enter a totally new environment each and every time.

Why did you name it Hero's Journey? Lidia: Because we are all in the process of making our own story. It is a journey that you embark on where you meet other people, but above all, yourself. You stumble and get up again and develop skills such as leadership, entrepreneurship and project management. By the end of the programme, an individual will have been at the helm of her or his own development for three years. As a consequence, that individual has both hard and soft skills and has also developed her or his own authentic way to lead successfully. Tycho: Everyone experiences this journey in a different way. What is consistent is that you are confronted with yourself. Who am I as a professional, but also as a person? How do I want to be perceived by colleagues and clients? Why should a client turn to me? What is your personal brand? Sterre: During the training sessions, a lot of attention is paid to interpersonal and communication skills. Like: how do I motivate someone else? How do I deal with conflicts? And how do I support decision making processes? For me, one important insight is the value of asking the right questions. This enables me to offer clients valuable insights, which I can follow up with a proposal or a recommendation. We learn a great deal about project management. That helps me to properly launch and phase assignments and to select the right methodologies. This way, I can step into a new client's office with confidence.

"Everyone experiences this journey in a different way." What is consistent is that you are confronted with yourself."

Tycho ten Brink

Sterre and Tycho, what do you consider to be the added value of the Management Development programme? Tycho: The ability to quickly progress to roles that require more experience and larger projects. You start by learning management skills and then you learn a lot of substantive aspects during the assignments, which soon enables you to be employable in a wide range of roles. It is often the other way round at other (large corporate) companies. Often, you first deal with the content and work on your leadership skills at a later stage. In Boer & Croon's Management Development programme, you start by building up your management skills, and thanks to the challenging and diverse assignments, you learn a great deal, which makes you employable in a wide range of roles. Sterre: I was able to develop myself pretty quickly. I also appreciated the fact that I went through the programme with a set group of eleven people. We got to know each other really well and were able to challenge each other in our own development. What's more, friendships have also been established. And another thing: it helps you discover which professional direction suits you best. The coaches at Boer & Croon also help you with this.

"I was able to develop myself pretty quickly. I also appreciated the fact that I went through the programme with a set group of eleven people. We got to know each other really well and were able to challenge each other in our own development. What's more, friendships have also formed."

Sterre de Geus