Michael de Bont


Connecting development of people to ambitions of organizations

As a learning- and change consultant I work with people in organizations, from the Board of Directors to middle management, around organizational change and leadership development. My experience is in different types of organizations, from financial service to health care, from government to retail, in the Netherlands and internationally. I often operate in the role of consultant, facilitator and (team)coach. They also ask me often to step in as an interim (program)manager.


My style is investigative, stimulating and at times like holding a mirror. I can be direct but also investigate in an open and inquisitive way. I often take my position consciously, to be able to excite and deepen from that position. I trust my instinct when there are issues that everybody feels but nobody addresses. I make them addressable and quickly come to the core of the problems. I combine attention for and interaction between people with a curiosity for work processes, structure and figures.

It is my fascination to connect the development of people to the ambitions of organizations. Change in ambition and strategy often demands different behavior of employees. If these changes come "from upper management", this often causes resistance. Changes are just not fun. Top management often leaves the capacities of employees unused when it comes to co-creating and executing changes. While changing together is much more attractive: different interests and perspectives come afloat early and the employees take responsibility for the change. When people can change themselves in consultation with their own desires and from their own strength, it provides energy. However, when this means to give up their believes, principles or deeply rooted patterns, this is not easy. Connecting the ambitions of the organization to the development of the employees, asks for a carefully planned interplay, with on the one hand clear directions and boundaries coming from top management and on the other hand space, safety and the willingness to learn, both individually as well as together. Interventions in the work processes or the structure of the organization should also be tuned in as well. Looking for congruence in the interventions that lead to change, to me, is a fascinating process of co-creation. 

Before I joined Kessels & Smit, I worked for Change- and Consultancy firm named Pentascope. I was a consultant as well as member of the MT. Before that I was a managing partner with Faktor Management & Learning Consultants. I have also worked and lived in Africa, Latin America and Asia and I was a university teacher for the Wageningen University.


Curious to learn more about Kessels & Smit?

Get in touch with Michael de Bont