Here’s what I’ve learned from Jos de Blok from Buurtzorg

Earlier I wrote why we are moving towards a self managed organisation. But we realise we are not there yet. And we love to be inspired by the best examples possible.

A couple of weeks ago I co-organised a so called Leadership Bootcamp for current and future leaders of Incentro. Each of these bootcamps enable mental and physical growth by providing a balanced program. Theme of this edition was Self Management related to Incentro. Keynote speaker was Jos de Blok from Buurtzorg. In my opinion the best example of a self managed organisation and a personal bucket list item to meet him. Jos de Blok was indeed inspiring and I like to share with you the six main eye-openers.


6 eye-openers Jos de Blok taught me

1. Start with the evolutionary purpose

For incentro, our mission is: digital happiness. We believe that happy incentronauts (colleagues of incentro) deliver excellent results. A clear mission, but not yet a purpose.

2. Simplify everything

Even within Incentro, where we keep our overhead at minimum, things are sometimes complex. We have a principle of cel division, if an office grows bigger than 60 employees we split up in 2 offices. We have 7 offices in the Netherlands and all of them have different service offerings.

3. The “needing” principle

So in short: Every time you are in doubt, ask yourself the question: “is this really needed?”

If we are honest, within Incentro we still tend to plan a meeting because it sounds a good thing to do. But is it? We do not ask ourselves the question if it’s needed. And that is only a simple example.

4. From management to coaching

Ex managers tend to get back in their old role as manager, just because they are used to (comfort zone). It’s up to the teams and coaches to make sure the added value is in coaching and sharing knowledge over the teams.

5. One question to rule them all!

“What can we do to enable you to provide the best possible healthcare?”

Exactly the right question to empower the employees to get the best out themselves. And learn from it, to know how you can facilitate them.

Within Incentro we use Moodforce as a tool to measure our own happiness score and feedback to make it even better. This specific question is never asked. So we will add it right away.

6. Guidelines as best practices

We don’t have the years of experience as Buurtzorg and it’s self managed teams. But we do have experience in successful propositions, so we are able to draft the guidelines (best practices) and get the experience along the way.


Wow, so much inspiration and such a sober man is Jos de Blok. Via this route I want to thank him again.

I’m also very interested in your experience. Which of the above eye openers are you already using (or not) and why?

Prototyping.work

Prototyping Work

Edwin is Chief Prototyping Officer and founder of Prototyping.work. A collaborative platform full of practices, guides and tips to reinvent the way we work. Edwin‘s mission is: Unleashing Potential Energy!

Edwin van der Geest

Written by

Edwin is the founder of Edition, an organization design agency. Edition's mission is unleashing potential energy in individuals, teams, and organizations.

Prototyping Work

Edwin is Chief Prototyping Officer and founder of Prototyping.work. A collaborative platform full of practices, guides and tips to reinvent the way we work. Edwin‘s mission is: Unleashing Potential Energy!

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