This AMA coaching blog is a page where I will regularly post information, tips, stories and things to think about. Let your mind run free on this page, I hope that it’s content will inspire you.



Posted on: 25-01-2012 by: Joke Kok

Steve Jobs’ quote from his Stanford University commencement address: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”

Persist or let go?

Posted on: 10-12-2011 by: Joke Kok

When to persist and when to let go? To answer this question it is important to look at the influenceability of things. Steven R Covey speaks of the circle of concern and the circle of influence (see image). In the outer circle are all things that cannot influence or change, such as happenings in the world, our upbringing, origin and the past. Worrying does not change these situations and therefore you could let go of them. In the inner circle lies everything that we can influence and change, including your own reaction on (non) influenceable things. A simple yet good model to put your concern and actions in perspective.

Change management

Posted on: 30-11-2011 by: Joke Kok

The ability to change determines the success of an organization. According to Dr. Ben Tiggelaar, independent researcher, writer and trainer, leading behavioral change is the key factor in change management. People overestimate the ability to change one’s own behavior. How difficult is it to stop smoking? Therefore managers should have more knowledge on the forgotten specialism: change psychology. What happens in our head when we change, how does our brain operate when we learn or do new things, which external elements influence our brain? These insights can be valuable change management tools for a manager.

Time to think

Posted on: 28-10-2011 by: Joke Kok

Do you take time to think? We are often so occupied with our daily tasks that we just keep going an do not take the time for reflection or open thinking. Yet 15 minutes of open thinking time can bring us a lot, like perspective, inspiration, connection, new insights, ideas, solutions… So find that moment of silence and add some time to think to your schedule.

Talent development

Posted on: 17-06-2011 by: Joke Kok

“Everyone has talent, but having talent does not quite cut it, character is at least as important for your talent development”. According to Lidewey van der Sluis, professor Strategic Talent Management at the Nyenrode Business University and founder/director of the powerhouse Competing for Talent, there are 4 elements that define someone’s talent profile: Character, Skills, Knowledge and Context. Illustrated by the following onion model:

  • the core is Character, your motives, personality and ego
  • the middle shell is Skills, your abilities and behaviour
  • the outer shell is Knowledge, your expertise and track record
  • around the onion/individual lies Context, your environment determines whether you are a talent, i.e. whether you can show the talent that you have

The more you approach the core of this model, the less you can change a person. “Developing personality characteristics is possible, but takes a lot of time and effort. The natural talent is more and more acknowledged as basic material for motivation, ambition, competence and performance.”, acccording to Lidewey van der Sluis.

The moT

Opportunity thinking

Posted on: 23-05-2011 by: Joke Kok

Do you think in obstacles and fears or in opportunities and possibilities? Obstacle thinking restrains, blocks and takes away the vision on opportunities. Consequently, steps for improvement, growth and innovation are missed. Take a different approach and start thinking in opportunities and possibilities. The next step is then ‘opportunity doing’, really grabbing the chance.

Be unfaithful!

Posted on: 14-02-2011 by: Joke Kok

Inspiring book by Rob Adams, strategic innovator/author. It’s called “Be unfaithful!” (Ga vreemd!, Dutch) and is about distinguishing your company from it’s competitors by out-of-the-branche innovation. An example of this is the creation of the roll-on deodorant based on the imitation of the ballpoint system. Original angle for strategic brainstorms.

Leadership (towards starting professionals)

Posted on: 14-02-2011 by: Joke Kok

Quote by Jaap Boonstra, professor organisational dynamics & strategy consultant, during online discussions on the topic of his book “Leiders in cultuurverandering” (Leaders in culture change): “….I wish for every starting professional to have a good leader who is a mentor, displays exemplary behaviour, is reliable, offers space, gives trust, shares inspirations, challenges to book result, gives support during difficult moments. Bad leaders create fear. In cultures of fear learning is difficult….”

The power of networking

Posted on: 03-01-2011 by: Joke Kok

Networking is important. Obama networked very successfully during his campaign by, through internet, mobilising an enormous amount of people who did face to face promotion for him. In a research of Boer & Croon 92 % of the 118 companies interviewed said that network management is essential for the future success of your company. They raise efficiency, flexibility, quality and innovation through networking with their clients and suppliers. Networking works for organisational development, strategic alliances, knowledge, sales/marketing, recruitment, finding a job and social contact. Yet many state not to network (optimally).

Some networking tips:

  • networking is two-way, it is giving and taking
  • bring quality and diversity in your network, search for mentors and supporters
  • always have your pitch, and the one of your organisation, ready for use
  • use a variety of means, face to face contact, social media, referrals by others, events etc.
  • be sincere, people may forget what you said, but not how you made them feel

The new way of working

Posted on: 24-12-2010 by: Joke Kok

The trend “new way of working” stands for flexible working. Employees having more freedom to decide on their working hours, duration and location and employers having a flexible approach towards staff and available means.

Some facts:

  • 35 % of the workers work flexibly
  • 85 % of the Dutch think it is a good idea to give people the option to work flexibly
  • 82 % of the Dutch think that employers should put in more effort to make this possible
  • 61 % of the professionals become happier in the new way of working
  • advantages: less use of child care facilities, shorter traffic jams, higher amount of workhours, broader labour market/participation, less stress, more satisfaction, loyalty and flexibility, up to 8 % rise in productivity
  • disadvantages: less face to face contact, less control, office in some situations more efficient, less (technical) facilities, lower seperation work and private life
  • conditions: clear agreements, good reachableness

source: research TNS NIPO

Harvest your ideas

Posted on: 28-11-2010 by: Joke Kok

Where and when do you get most of your best ideas? Everyone has his/her preferred situation in which creativity and ideas spontaneously arise. Some get them at night when it’s quiet, others during a hike in the storm of during a traffic jam. Use these thoughts and facilitate yourself at that moment. Arrange a note pad next to your bed, in you windbreaker or a voice recorder in your car. This parking of ideas brings you peace of mind and space for the things that you intended to do (sleep, relax, drive your car). It makes sure that you don’t have to search for the ideas when they are difficult to find, but that you already have them and that they are of good quality.

7 habits

Posted on: 22-10-2010 by: Joke Kok

An inspiring book for everyone who wants to be more effective and feel better in work and life is “The 7 habits of highly effective people” by Steven R. Covey, American author. This book is highly suitable for and appreciated by managers or others who wish to grow in this area. The 7 habits are:
1. be proactive
2. begin with the end in mind
3. put first things first
4. think win/win
5. seek first to understand…then to be understood
6. synergize
7. sharpen the saw
During the step by step putting into practice of these habits, you go through 3 levels: from dependency to independency to interdependency. A nicely written book with many recognisable examples. Meanwhile Covey has written a sequel book with the title “The 8th habit: from effectiveness to greatness”. The 8th habit is “find your voice and inspire others to find theirs..”