Germany

In May 2008, the business magazine brand eins publishes a documentary on Kessels & Smit. The article triggers a large number of reactions. Several new contacts emerge between Kessels & Smit consultants from the Netherlands and professional colleagues in Germany. Together, we start to work on our ideas and approaches in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Consequently, in May 2011 Arne Gillert and Marcus Splitt found Kessels & Smit in Germany as an independent entity. Since his Ph.D. work can no longer be combined with a leading role in the company, Marcus Splitt rests his direct involvement in early 2013.

Kessels & Smit consultants in Germany work on the following topics:

  • Organisational change processes. We shape change processes that have impact on people’s actions. In our opinion, action is the key to any change. If what people do does not evolve, nothing has changed.
  • Playful Organisation. We believe that the conventional ways of organising work are often discouraging rather than stimulating for knowledge productivity, innovation, and creativity. Our concept of the playful organisation offers an alternative perspective on the organisation of work. We take people as our starting point – no matter which generation they belong to. And we ensure that these people do more than just carry out a task alongside each other – by truly working together, they create performance beyond expectations.
  • Leadership Development. Our work with leaders is always personal. We do not believe that leadership can be expressed in a model. Models should be support for development, not an aim in themselves. Our leadership development programs get personal – because we address leaders in their whole personality and character.
    At the same time, leadership questions are always based in the specific reality of participants. We do not take leaders out of their work context into a hotel thus creating our own transfer-problem. Rather, we intervene directly into the work reality of participants. We overcome the distinction between working and learning, and create true learning environments at work.
  • Safety through Culture. Practice has shown that technical measures on the one hand, and rules and procedures on the other hand, increase safety at the workplace significantly. Most organisations with a higher risk for accidents have implemented both. Creating more safety typically can only come by creating more safety-conscious behaviour of all involved. We have developed innovative concepts to get safety between the ears and the noses – that is, into the mind-set of people involved, and into their social system which influences how they act.
  • Redesigning the Learning Architecture in Organisations. We believe in the integration of learning into everyday work. Traditional forms, like training, are only a small fraction of the effective possibilities to shape learning in organisations. We create a new learning-architecture from the base. Our measurement stick is if the chosen intervention changes the actions of participants sustainably into the desired direction. We design learning that is aesthetic, pervasive, curiosity-raising – and, most of all, that is happening in the daily practice of the learner. In this way, we have contributed to outcome improvement in a larger number of organisations.


The common denominator in all these themes is our actor-centric approach. All of our interventions are geared towards constructive, and effective actions of people. To analyse the existing starting points in the organisation, we use a variety of perspectives: systemic, constructivist, learning, playing, culture-based, psychological, group-dynamic, value-based. We base our work on the idea of knowledge productivity – those factors that enable organisations to continually improve and radically innovate.

Most of all, we are creators. We create moments, atmosphere and true contact. We bring about calmness and restlessness. We create experiences and aesthetics. We break through patterns and heal. We show directions. And we lend you a hand with the hard work. We always link what we do with the aims of your organisation and thus create relevant and sustainable results.