'I can do so much more than I thought!'
My whole life, the moment when people realize they have much more potential than they initially thought, I get the chills.
Facilitating more creative ideas than they could imagine
At the start of my career, this motivated me to found an innovation agency where we facilitated people in creating innovative products and services. The teams we worked with invented more creative and worthwhile ideas than they initially could have imagined.
Letting hidden qualities emerge
After several years, I wanted to continue increasing people's potential but specialize in personal and leadership development, the human side of business. I had the pleasure of working at De Baak, a leadership institute in the Netherlands. Every day, working as a trainer and coach, I enjoyed people's amazements about hidden qualities that emerged.
A dream came true, my family could live abroad. First, we enjoyed the wonders of Asia while living and working in Shanghai. After two years, we moved to the US. On this side of the planet, everything was 180 degrees different. We learned a lot about resilience, open-mindedness, and different cultural values.
Fit in or Stand out
Also, being abroad, I noticed a recurring theme in the coaching and training work in these different parts of the world. When we want to increase our potential, we all come to a point when we realize we have been holding back, or have been living according to other people's rules. Experiences in our work-culture, upbringing and society make us change our unique selves, make us fit in. By trying to fit into a 'perfect' mold, we lose unique qualities. We lose the connection to our authenticity, and by losing that, we also subtly lose our passion and happiness.
I am happy that I decided to write a book, Fit in or Stand out - Use your Talent when it matters. The book is about finding your way back to your authenticity, defining your unique Talent, and about developing the courage to lead from within. After the book presentation to 100 interested women, I definitely realized, I can also do more than I thought!
Build inclusive teams
In 2019, we moved back to the Netherlands, and I happily continue to increase people's, teams' and organization's potential. I am passionate about helping leaders build inclusive teams in which an open and proactive mindset thrives. And when I hear 'We can do so much more than we thought!' I still get the happy chills!
Professional Certified Coach by ICF
Brain-based Coaching Program by Neuroleadership Institute (New York) / 2018 - 2019
Pulsar Academy of Transformation and Change / 2007-2010
MSc Innovation Management at Delft University of Technology / 1994-2000
Other: ACT, Deep Democracy (Level I Certification), Theory U, Vipassana Meditation Course, Myers Briggs, System Dynamics, I-Ching book of change, Emergent Space by Chris Robertson.
ALISON SPENS / Director at Nike
"I had the honor of working with Anke recently as she delicately, professionally and deliberately guided me through identifying my unique Talent.
She helped me understand how to leverage this Talent in my professional and personal life.
The methodology Anke uses is efficient and effective, however, most importantly Anke's compassion, genuine warmth, and gentle but deliberate guidance is the backbone of the amazing work she does.
My admiration for Anke and her talent, and appreciation for the opportunity to work with her runs so very deep.