Organisation - May 24, 2010

AFSG and Rikilt not fulfilling potential

'It turned out to be rather a dull document', says Ruud Huirne, interim director of the AFSG, summing up the key points of the strategic plan. Huirne opened the information and consultation session on the strategic plan at the AFSG and Rikilt last Friday.

Huirne's analysis was undeniably correct. But, he explained, this was because the good things were left out because they are going fine. Nonetheless, board chairman Aalt Dijkuizen wasted no time in mentioning a cause for concern. He felt that the links were poor between the knowledge chains on food and good security and on food and health, and that the inter-departmental collaboration left a lot to be desired. 'We are not fulfilling the potential; there is plenty of room for improvement. They are managing this much better elsewhere', was how Dijkhuizen tried to get more response from the floor.
'The conditions for good collaboration are not adequately created from above', was the view of a DLO staff member. 'That kind of collaboration has to be supported and facilitated by the organization.' Moreover, one of the reasons why collaboration is too expensive is that the costs of an extra staff member are not full covered.
Work space
Another point on which things could be more efficiently run, according to Tijs Breunink of the Executive Board, is the use of buildings and facilities. In practice, this would mean a shift towards the new working style: More flexitime, flexible workstations and more working from home would free up more space. But in spite of the savings, by no means everyone is keen on new working styles. 'I don't like it if my staff work at home', said one of the professors. 'It is limiting, because our strength lies in the team'.