During the period of time in which Jens Frederik Bastrup was the manager of Skanderborg Forsyning, the company experienced a huge development. It was not intended to be a traditional utility company. The company was responsible for the main task – to delivery drinking water of a high quality and to handle waste water in a responsible way – but the purpose of the company was also to explore the possibilities, develop and live up to the many requirements of the surroundings.
Under the management of Jens Frederik Bastrup from 2009 to 2020, the utility company has brought innovation into the business. He changed the company’s operation focus into something new and value-adding, e.g. through the involvement of the citizens in co-creation and in cooperation with the municipality in its capacity as owner and authority.
Jens Frederik Bastrup
“Suddenly, we were not only the company you would think of when there was a problem. We were a company which created value. Our role as utility company changed into a value-adding focus,” explains Jens Frederik Bastrup who was engaged as manager of Silkeborg Forsyning at the beginning of 2020.
It is not wrong to say that Michael N. Wilkens has helped us facilitate this change. Several times, he has helped the board of directors and the organisation to develop in an innovative direction. In addition, PinPointers has been in play in connection with processes with partners and colleagues in the water industry.
To create a foundation of business thinking and innovation, he was invited into the organisation together with the works committee, the management group and employees to introduce them to Business Model Canvas as well as a number of the best tools within business innovation. He ran processes which resulted in initiatives that were put into play, e.g. sale of services to private waterworks.
“Everybody was very pleased with the tools and the fact that after the workshop we had specific plans ready for execution,” says Jens Frederik Bastrup.
Later on, Michael N. Wilkens helped prepare the company's second strategy. He ran a process together with the board of directors and the management group. This resulted in an ambition which was formulated jointly containing four must win battles for Skanderborg Forsyning and strategic goals/KPIs. The four must win battles for the company were:
Based on the above, key employees and managers participated in two workshops in the organization which turned the four must win battles into action. Finally, he made sure to help the organization to specify it in concrete action plans so everybody knew which direction to take.
When Jens Frederik Bastrup presented the idea about a strategy process to his board of directors, he was met by cautious questions. Some had bad experiences from previously and feared that it would merely turn into “nonsense and savour of words” rather than an actual profitable process.
“Because I had met Michael before, I could promise them that this process would lead to specific actions. We will be challenged and we will become part of the process. When it is completed, I know that we will have a tangible product which we can measure up to. We have formulated an ambition. We have formulated some concrete must win battles, some specific initiatives and some specific goals so that we know when we get there,” he says.
Subsequently, the board of directors all concurred that it had actually been a good process –exactly because they had a useful output.
Jens Frederik Bastrup is very satisfied with the strategy and innovation processes which PinPointers facilitated when he was the manager of Skanderborg Forsyning.
The processes helped Jens Frederik Bastrup to transform the exciting ideas into tangible projects with a clear strategic aim.
“Michael made it possible to work with strategy without turning it into something high-flying which you look at and polish every fourth or tenth year. You avoid having to discuss words such as ‘vision’ and ‘mission’ and all which is just toasts and words,” tells Jens Frederik Bastrup. “No, this has shortened the distance between understanding the direction in which we are heading and execution. At the same time, it actually ensures an ownership and commitment among the players you have involved. Finally, it has also facilitated my strategic changes and my change management - definitely.
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