Movement and change brace us daily. How do we respond to this as people and organizations? How does this never-ending journey impact us? We shed light on this topic during Congress ’22, together with 125 quality experts from the country and speakers from the world of professional sport and science.
5 students from the Jenaplanschool in Gorinchem – Amber, Jort, Sep, Jacey, and Connor – opened our annual knowledge event in the Gorinchem Theater Peeriscoop. From their roles as food scientist, ICT engineer, rector magnificus, change manager and sports expert, they shared their vision of the next 70 years as a wink to our journey on the way to Royal Dutch. Because ManualMaster will be 100 years old in 70 years. What will the world look like then? And how will we treat each other at that moment?
The students started off by sharing their thoughts on the possibilities of making our food more sustainable, room-filling television screens, the balance between developments in robotics and environment, and the sport of the future: petrol-free glider racing. The importance of supporting each other during changes was also extensively discussed. This discourse provided sustainable food for thought for the quality experts in the room. For their top performance students earned a prize: a gold medal awarded by no one else than Olympic champion in tennis: Esther Vergeer.
A world upside down
The multiple Olympic gold medalist at the Paralympic Games took the conference attendees through the life-changing events in her life. At a young age Esther Vergeer suffered a spinal cord injury. The disability turned her life upside down and was followed by a long and intense period of recovery and learning to deal with setbacks. She had to redefine her position within the Vergeer household, at school and between friends and family.
Esther instructed the quality experts on how to deal with a far-reaching change processes. She emphasized that with changes in someone’s life, the presence of “a pleasant environment” and “people you trust and can rely on” are extremely important.
People grow through change and movement
Esther: ‘The conditions for accepting change are the need to belong somewhere and to feel valued. When I started to focus on tennis, I discovered a goal to work towards and I dared to take more and more space to work on myself.
And if you want to improve yourself, you must make choices that have consequences. Those who train for Olympic gold miss social events and sometimes say no to friends. This is for the strict training schedules that are necessary to achieve the ultimate goal. Finally, much can be overcome by having a vision and belief in one’s own abilities.”
After the victory over her disability, two other pressing questions arose in Esther’s life: what to do after the end of her sports career and how to deal with the diagnosis of breast cancer? All of It demanded a lot of her resilience and energy again. These changes forced Esther to make new choices, which resulted in her new mission: working towards a better integration of people with disabilities in a world where there is still a lot to be gained.
“Strong mindset, acceptance, setting goals and learning to deal with setbacks will be your best assistants,” says Esther. “It made me mentally stronger and wiser. People grow through change and movement. Remember that you need others in change processes and you can’t be afraid to ask for help.’
Putting the team’s interest first
Former speed skater and Olympic gold winner Mark Tuitert was invited to explain how change and performance a aren’t easy. “In top-level professional sports, everything must be right. That means you must overcome obstacles.” To illustrate how tiny the difference between the winning and 10th place can be Mark, played an audio clip of one and a half seconds marking the timing of over 10 athletes crossing the finish line.
Mark achieved his goals by applying Stoic philosophy. He states that “every obstacle becomes a tool and what prevented you from taking a path now shows you the way” and that “reality can be divided into two categories: what is in our power and what is not.”
In addition to the wisdom of this philosophy, Mark insists that team interests must come first. This is necessary if you want to move forward, change and improve.
“If egos get bigger than the team, the goal becomes unreachable. Team training is therefore extremely important, even when it comes to individual performance. Everyone uses their own strength and helps the group move forward. If you want to change and perform, work a sharp and relaxed mindset disregarding distractions, both professionally and personally. And make sure you enjoy the process itself and not just the result. The result is not a given, but it makes the road there much more pleasant.”
Unprecedented possibilities for the world of quality management
Mirko Vaars of research and prototyping studio Bit demonstrated what Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) has in store for quality management in terms of movement and change. The researcher himself builds our future by prototyping new hardware, software, A.I. and robotics. He showed the conference audience how text, images and illustrations can be generated by an artificial intelligence. “Data can be converted to video, images and 3-D objects. It offers unprecedented opportunities to transfer information.’
Summarizing or bundling files and archives using A.I. expands the possibilities and freedom of movement of quality monitors and reduces the chance of making mistakes. In the future, incidents and risks will no longer be reported and drawn up via forms or reports. A few voice comments can be immediately converted into all the needed recorded information. Mirko foresees that artificial intelligence will be rolled out across all industries and branches. In addition to saving time and money, it provides us with a more sustainable society.
Ro van Doesburg
The congress in closed forum
Poet Ro van Doesburg summarized the numerous movements and changes during the congress in poetic form. “Change Manager Jacey, as far as I’m concerned, hit the jackpot today by noting: make sure you change with people you love around you. That thought should keep resonating”, says Ro. As a poet he put his impressions in the following verse:
Whether light or dark
The change is our mark
Ro concluded his poetic observations with a clear message:
Let me stop talking now
And with wise words of Esther Vergeer
I will remind if you allow
Though her spirit is prominent,
Don’t forget dear people,
Everything starts with a compliment
The importance of movement
Our congress would not be our congress if we could not count on the cooperation of people and organizations who want to move forward with us. And there are quite a few, such as the students of De Kleine Wereld who once again provided a fantastic lunch in collaboration with the Vitamine Kantine, the employees of Theater Peeriscoop, the students of the Jenaplanschool, poet Ro van Doesburg, Bakery Simons, the Stadsspoelier and director David Anchor.
Together with our visitors, you created an unforgettable conference and gave us energy for the next step: moving to Congress 23, further towards Royal.