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ABOUT LUDO KEUNEN

Approach  

 

What I have learned so far as an organizational development consultant in a variety of national and international assignments, is that people are more than happy to take action themselves if they feel respected and touched in a personal way. I enjoy the passionate search for what is really needed to make organizations or teams stronger in what they have to do in this world. From my background in clinical psychology and business economics, I am fascinated to design new journeys that are in line with a jointly desired future.

 

In terms of approach, I mostly believe in an eclectic approach in which I can combine different 'schools' of thought (transition management, process facilitation, systems thinking, appreciative inquiry…), always with a fundamental focus on starting from existing qualities or strengths. As a CIGO staff member, I learned to focus on developing the 'appreciative eye' , in organizational transitions  I search for the 'common purpose' that gives direction and energy - in team development I want to know whether there is a tangible connection between the perceived contributions of individual team members and the overall team objective. Finally, in individual coaching trajectories, new oxygen is often created moving from 'what should happen' to 'what wants to happen'. Clients tell me I succeed in getting difficult messages on the table in a playful but to-the-point fashion and that I often help shift persistent patterns in an acceptable way. My greatest satisfaction is allowing people to meet their best self and at the same time inviting them to explore new horizons.

 

Background

 

In my career I started out by teaching organizational psychology and group dynamics at Hasselt University. After tasting the enjoyment of making a difference in a variety of business contexts, I accepted the opportunity to try my luck at Bekaert-Stanwick, a Belgian consultancy firm. During a PhD program at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, I was infected with the virus of Appreciative Inquiry, a change management approach based on proven strengths instead of the traditional deficit thinking. Years later, the contact with Prof. Bill Pasmore led to an expat assignment in New York City at the  Delta Consulting Group, where I practiced the facilitation of large-scale strategic change processes and I got the itch for the international arena.  

 

Back in Belgium, I received an offer from PricewarehouseCoopers, which put my career completely on the international track and a few years later - at the age of 40 -  also gave me the confidence to start a consulting firm myself. To my surprise, I continued to be active in large international projects and also did numerous assignments in the Middle East. A fascinating observation in these diverse contexts and cross-cultural environments is an underlying similarity in terms of human values and dynamics. I saw that people really like to work together... if there is a basis of recognition and respect,  if employees are allowed to be who they are, when mutual acknowledgement creates a supportive and safe homebase where difficult matters can also be discussed. It makes all the difference if time is made for a number of basic questions that correspond to everyone's 'origin': 'what am I doing here?' and 'what am I valued for?'.  

Running a company and making the mission work is therefore mostly about people. While a good strategy is absolutely necessary and a stable beacon for action, it does not guarantee success. After all, the drive to realize the strategic actions depends on the 'connecting power', the human factor. I like to compare this human factor with the number π: a fixed value (3.141592...), and at the same time infinitely variable...  

 

PI (π) became the abbreviation of People Intent. With People Intent I challenge organizations and their leaders to learn to use this versatility of the human factor as a strength. This is a road without a one-size-fits-all map. Human dynamics determine the way. It is a blessing to have the opportunity to surf this wave of human capability and natural power.  

In being open in the moment, I think there is a connection with the artist and architect Gaudí. Always looking for purity and authenticity, working with playful and original shapes. I like to be challenged by Gaudì to leave the beaten track in my work, to opt for unusual working methods that invite you to leave the fixed frameworks for thinking or acting. But like in architecture, there needs to be a solid foundation of trust and safety, so that exciting steps can be taken with complete peace of mind. I enjoy using playful metaphors or rituals to facilitate connection, deepening and anchoring, so that the resulting change is tangible and sustainable.

Curious how I can make a difference for you? 

Fiets handvatten

'Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving'.

 

- Albert Einstein -

 
People Intent Ingredients
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  • focus on what works well

  • energy as a guiding factor

  • enable substantial  transitions  in feasible steps

Solution-focused

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  • Design follows function/need

  • Humble inquiry drives the process 

  • Human dynamics have their own (psycho-)logic 

 Organic process 

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  • tailor-made combination of different approaches

  • multiple stakeholder perspectives

  • first understand, then change

  Eclectic  

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  • No human impact without human touch 

  • Ratio and humor combined

  • Practicing with polarities opens up new possibilities

 Playful with impact