Jeroen Dicker and Margriet Rouhof:

“We are all connected to our strategy.”

In a remote location, tucked away in the nature-rich Veluwe region in the eastern part of the Netherlands, lives Jeroen Dicker, our new Head of Business Development. Ever since the coronavirus situation started, he has swapped his desk at TenneT Arnhem for the kitchen table in his converted farmhouse. This is where he put the finishing touches to the Work stream Strategy, which is part of the Transforming TenneT programme. Now the time has come for him to hand over his work to Margriet Rouhof, Head of Strategy as of 1 July.

Energy transition challenges

Looking back on the past year, Jeroen says: “We found that our working methods and the strategic direction no longer suited the challenges that TenneT faces as part of the energy transition. And so, we locked heads with eleven senior managers and the Executive Board to come up with a different approach. Our talks ultimately produced four important pillars, which became the basis for our new strategy.”

“The four pillars are geared towards our employees, TenneT’s financial health, the energy transition, and, of course, our most important duty: security of supply.”

Bringing the strategy to life

Jeroen Dicker stresses that we have now reached a point where the strategy has to be brought to life: “Strategy is of everyone and for everyone. The thing now is for every single employee to start contributing to it. We developed the strategy last year, but seeing as the new organisational structure has only just been finalised, we can only now actually start working with the strategy based on our new structure.” And that is precisely what Margriet Rouhof and her new team will be doing.

A unified action list

“I really look forward to this challenge,” says Margriet Rouhof. “Everyone at TenneT knows me mainly from my work in the Corporate Social Responsibility domain. In my new role, I will be combining strategy, innovation, and CSR, because these are closely interconnected subjects.”

We will soon be working based on a single cross-departmental action list. This is both very interesting and a major challenge. Not only in terms of the actual work, but also for me as a manager. I see it as my responsibility to make sure that our new principles - Ownership, Connection, and Courage - are reflected in everything I do. In fact, this is my promise to every single colleague here at TenneT.” The new Head of Strategy is ready to, together with all of us, make the next step: “Sure, it won’t happen automatically. We are going to need each other to further embed the strategy into our organisation. It’s not something I can do on my own, I really consider it a joint task. Because we are ultimately all connected to our strategy.”

Make strategy work

In the words of management expert Peter Drucker, “a strategy that is not monitored is no more than wishful thinking.” We therefore, after reviewing and refining TenneT’s strategy, launched the ‘Make strategy work’ project. The idea behind this project is to monitor our progress in achieving the strategic goals, based on 14 KPIs that we have designed specifically, three for each strategic pillar and two overarching ones. From now on, this set of KPIs and the associated goals are an integrated part of our performance planning. “We are now in the process of asking the units involved for the status of each KPI and details of relevant developments within the strategic pillar, which we will use as input for the integrated performance report,” explains Jeroen Geers, who heads up the ‘Make strategy work’ project. “In the next phase, we will be developing lower-level operational KPIs that are aligned with the top-level KPIs and that can be used to steer the units and for the upcoming performance planning process.”

Axel Kießling

Initiative Owner Flex-initiatief

“The increase in renewables in the energy system and falling use of fossil fuels are making flexibility an increasingly important factor in our energy system. There are different angles, but which ones are the most promising? In order to make sure that TenneT continues to invest in the most promising flexibility projects and does not overlook any important matters, we launched our Flex initiative in April 2019. The most important success factor continues to be the diverse and interdisciplinary team with members from both countries. The exchange between German and Dutch colleagues was and continues to be highly constructive, as everyone on the team actively takes part, shares knowledge, and makes the most of his or her skills. It has already produced results that have been presented to the Executive Board and the Future Design Committee.”

Froukje de Vries

Initiative Owner Diversiteitsinitiatief

“We believe that promoting diversity and building an inclusive culture will boost TenneT's performance. Challenge yourself and ask yourself this: when was the last time a new idea from a colleague helped you find a better solution to your problem? Our success of 2020 is a newly appointed Senior Leadership Team that is over 30% female, has a good international balance, and brings on board six new senior leaders for an outside-in perspective. Also, eight refugees joined TenneT on a temporary basis last summer. And finally, we have been training recruiters to ensure fair and unprejudiced recruitment and selection practices. We are proud of these advances! Let's energise our workforce.”