Fugro is a global market leader in geological surveys for the energy and construction sectors and marine industries. Fleet Services maintains the specialized survey vessels for the organization and is also responsible for the health and safety of the personnel on board. We interviewed Remko Kloos, Fleet Services Global Director, about the cooperation with and the added value of InContext.
‘Path to Profitable Growth’
After many years of growth, in the early 2020s, the corona crisis struck, affecting our ability to deploy ships and support staff. The decline in turnover heralded a strategic reorientation in which Remko saw opportunities for improving the effectiveness of decision-making in the organization.
Smarter and better
Fleet Services had a huge ambition to embed this change in the best way possible. Remko: “Decisions were always taken in the upper echelons of the organization, but that limited our ability to act and maneuver. This inhibits our functionality and performance in this business, as our people must have a certain amount of freedom to do their work well and to act quickly. I wanted to secure this change in a good way, without it being at the expense of the business, that was paramount.”
Fugro had already worked successfully with InContext and the step to the next level of cooperation was quick and easy to make. The assignment we gave InContext was to shape, together with management and employees, the concept of self-directed teams, and then to support its implementation, including the coaching of both the self-directed teams and management.
“InContext had to take a very proactive role in order for us to keep the business moving forward in a complex and challenging environment and to keep our eyes firmly focused on that goal.”
Freedom, progress and synergy
Remko realizes that he didn’t give InContext an easy assignment: “Our business had to be able to keep going continuously in a complex and challenging environment. For us to focus on that, it was important for InContext to work proactively and independently. And that also required tremendous flexibility because the teams’ first priority was always going to be the business.”
“This was already working towards self-managing teams and it was very powerful and valuable as a first step in the strategy.”
Transition started immediately
A start was made with a clearly expressed vision and the development of a strategy to introduce decision making to lower levels of the organization, enabling teams to operate more effectively. These were in line with Fugro’s values – customer focus, excellent execution, teamwork and good citizenship – creating a mix of ‘thinking’ and ‘doing’.
The trajectory was shaped by individual discussions and team sessions in which everyone could and was encouraged, to contribute. Remko: “In fact, this was already working towards self-managing teams and it was very powerful and valuable as a first step in the strategy. As the client, I particularly wanted to secure the lines of communication, progress and involvement.”
Keeping the business working on a continuous footing brought enormous challenges for InContext. After the start of the corona crisis in 2020, the market started to pick up again, providing great opportunities for Fleet Services and also, at the same time, the possibility to put the strategy into practice. This also put pressure on the time available for further development, elaboration and embedding. However, InContext wouldn’t be InContext if no clever solutions were found for this. Some team members can’t travel? Then we will arrange for hybrid sessions. Is the team in a busy period with a lot of hectic activity? Then we’ll arrange short(er) moments in small teams. Are the changes pushed a bit into the background by all the work activity? Then together we’ll develop effective communication tools to keep the focus.
“InContext created a safe environment in which, with great respect for people, pain points and the need for change could also be exposed. That balance was essential.”
Remko Kloos looks back on the process with great pride and satisfaction. We have a solid strategy, the business is running well and employees have been able to actively contribute ideas. Remko: “I am proud of the way in we’ve involved employees and the way in which MT members now lead their teams. InContext has played an important role in this. We got to know each other better and a safe environment was created for everyone in which pain points and the need for change were also exposed with a great deal of respect for people. I found that balance immensely valuable.”
Huge step forward
The results are now unmistakable at the end of the collaboration. Remko: “I have a close-knit management team in which people work with heart and soul, know each other, trust each other and build on each other.” And how does that manifest itself in practice? “I see that colleagues seek each other out more easily, ask for help, listen better and also dare to ask for feedback.”
“InContext has improved things more than I could have imagined.”
Remko looks back with great pleasure on the cooperation with InContext in which there was an eye for progress and results, but also taking the circumstances into consideration so skillfully. “InContext always involved me at precisely the right moment so that I could make the necessary adjustments in time or that we could brain-storm together about a good next step.” adds Remko. “I expect a partner to take responsibility and involve me when necessary. InContext has always done that and in doing so has also made the process better than I had thought possible beforehand. I look back on the collaboration with great pleasure and look forward to the finalizing sessions in the near future.”
Photo credits: Chris Parker / Fugro Aust Marin