Dear mepper,

“Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night, with no lights, while looking out the back window”. However, the future is embedded in the present.

One of my most important tasks as a CEO is to ensure that mep remains competitive 5 or even 10 years from today. Then visualising how our future may develop is not a meaningless game; it’s a vital necessity. We need to understand today, how mep is likely to be challenged when tomorrow the competitive landscape around us changes. And change, it will.

To compose a business plan for 2015, we have decided to start 20Elevator with a dialogue between all layers of the funnel; from jobper to shareholder. Using the art of dialogue, we have made a kickstart to achieve a new business model for mise en place in the near future: on the move 2015.

  • In the beginning of January in Chateau Presseux, Sprimont, we have created the first mindmaps (using the book ‘business model generation’) and formulated over 40 ‘best ideas’ with a large group of stakeholders. Besides that, we got to experience how Willem and Martijn de Liefde shared their stories about African Leadership with us. We have taken some important decisions in Sprimont and have taken a good look at the way we work within mise en place. Ubuntu, I am because we are!
  • During the horecava in Amsterdam, the 20 most important CEO’s of Dutch hotels spent two hours contemplating about the guest in 2015, which resulted in a very interesting dialogue.
  • Two weeks later, the 30 largest party caterers of Europe took time during the EPCAS conference to discuss what their ordering customers would look like in 2015.
  • In February, we had a meeting in Marrakech with the advisory council of mise en place. Using storytelling, we have planned out the scenario for 2015 with 4 characters; 1. The Caterer, 2. The hotel manager, 3. The jobper, 4. The Young Professional.
  • During the IMPW, we organized a Kgotla with 160 loyal PLIO’s, PL’s, PM’s, OM’s and VM’s / top meppers. We came to several decisions, thought about things we would want to get rid of and things we should improve.
  • In the same month, I started my Kgotla Inspiration Tour and visited Aachen, Gent, Dusseldorf and Antwerp to personally share the Kgotla principles with the teams of those offices. I will look back on 2011 with gratitude, knowing that I have experienced a lot of energy, fun and experience at all 40 offices of mise en place. In the meantime we are creating a facebook page ‘Kgotla Inspiration Tour’, to make sure that the dialogue will continue. We are also preparing KIN, ‘Kgotla Inspiration News’.

On the move 2015 starts with the story of a jobper and a client, and how we see that story evolve (by now, all shareholders have been able to give their opinion about this). In the coming 4 years we will use several trainings, Kgotla’s and external platforms to add value to this story and to watch it unfold. In the summer of 2011, the EPCAS members will meet in Portugal and spend another 2 hours working on their vision of the market in 2015. My expectation is that in 2012, the year of the jobper, we can get to more concrete ideas and plans. In 2013, the year of the client, we will be able to present our business plan during the opening of our new international head office somewhere in Maastricht. The final step in the dialogue within the funnel will also be taken this year. The 360 degrees feedback, the ‘grey council’, will be installed in all offices so we can effectively start the dialogue with our jobpers.

To all that have contributed over the past three months, thank you very much! After the time of braining, the time of action has begun! On the move: 2015.

Kind regards,