14 Cruijffianish sayings about SixBlocks

Door: Joost de Wit
Archive | Highlighted
Gepubliceerd: 04-01-2022

On December the 6th 1981, it’s been a long time ago and most people reading this were not even born yet. But I remember exactly where I was, in Amsterdam at the Ajax-Haarlem football match. It was Johan Cruijff’s first match in his second period for Ajax after his adventures in Spain and America. De Meer, Ajax’s old stadium, was full. It was Johan Cruijff who opened the score in the first half with a masterly curving ball and Ajax won 4-1. From that moment on, I became more and more interested in Johan Cruijff as a person. This inspiration resulted in 14 Cruijffianish sayings about SixBlocks.



Johan Cruijff

Of course, I already knew Johan Cruijff from the black-and-white tv-images in his Ajax days at the end of the 60s / beginning of the 70s, his Barcelona period and certainly from the World Cup in 1974. But from December the 6th 1981 I got a really inspiring feeling. PSV was on top when Johan Cruijff returned to Ajax halfway through the 1981-1982 season. It was fantastic to see. Cruijff sprinkled passes with his outside foot, accelerated when he accelerated, let the team play better football, constantly gave instructions, made sure the fitness of the whole team was remarkable and, above all, scored beautiful goals; suddenly it was all there. Ajax became champions that season.



Sold out

The atmosphere in the stands was great. At the time, Ajax only had an average of 11,000 spectators per home match. The great thing was that Johan Cruijff made sure De Meer was filled with 30,000 spectators at every match. Even better was the fact that Johan Cruijff had stipulated in his contract that he would receive half of the receipts for every spectator who came over the 11,000 mark, on top of his regular salary. In those days, tickets cost about 15 to 20 Dutch guilders on average. So calculate what Cruijff earned extra per match. Not bad for a one and a half hour match, especially in those days.


Revenue model

It is just one example of how Johan Cruijff thought: “Your stadium is now one third full. Okay, then I’ll come and play football with you so that we both benefit.”



Cruijff always thought in win-win situations. “Do you want to sell the puma brand? Okay, then you can publish some few photos of me on puma football shoes and pay a fee for that.” He did the same before that with matches and ceremonies around Ajax, Barcelona and the Dutch national team etc. Even then, I found and still find it fascinating.



Johan Cruijff was much more than just a football player. After his active football career, he became a trainer and later again he started the Johan Cruyff Foundation to get children to exercise and the Johan Cruyff Institute for former sportsmen.

And what about his inimitable statements which, if you sat down for a moment, were so incredibly logical. Everyone knows them, for example ‘every advantage has its disadvantage’, ‘playing football is simple, but playing simple football is difficult’, ‘I have never seen a bag of money make a goal’ and ‘if nothing happens, something has to happen before something happens. So you have to make something happen and that is logical’.

The striking thing about Cruijffianish sayings is that all the sayings are inspiring, they always have a positive and constructive character. Secondly, they are timeless, they are really relevant at any moment in the past, present and future. Thirdly, it is striking that Cruijffianish sayings are very easy to apply uniformly to any area of interest, sometimes as the statement itself is, and sometimes by replacing one or a few words. For example: ‘working together is simple, but working simple together is difficult’.



In this article, only a limited number of reasons have been listed that demonstrate the uniqueness of Johan Cruijff and his added value to the world. The use of your own capacities, the rebelliousness, the statements and the vision etcetera of Johan Cruijff still inspire me, well after his death on March 24th 2016, to believe in my own added value. This is only created if I take responsibility for everything I do, that’s logical!



From Cruijff to SixBlocks

Again, using your own abilities, being rebellious, the statements and vision etc. of Johan Cruijff still inspire me today. The Business Rules Canvas and Engine platform of SixBlocks also came about in a rebellious way. A solution had to be found for the complex ICT landscapes, inflexible systems and fragmented knowledge. Earlier, I described our mission and vision in relation to this challenge in the article “The road to an inspiring mission and vision“.



With a vision that things could be much simpler and that integrating the whole in a meta-model was the success factor, we set to work. By using our capabilities, common sense, listening to everyone and connecting the separate islands in the right way, we were able to realise the solution in the Business Rules Canvas and Engine platform. Also read the article “The Business Rules Canvas, how it started at Watersley and the Brightlands Campus

Sometimes I wonder what Johan Cruijff would think of it. I can only imagine that he would say something like: ‘gosh, you really have a wonderful and good idea, go ahead, find the right people around you, get better and better at it, help others and never give up’. Something like that.


SixBlocks Cruijffianish

Then I visualise for myself which Cruijffianish sayings would fit with the SixBlocks Business Model Canvas and Engine platform.


It is inspiring to do so and the ideas follow each other in rapid succession. The following 14 statements about the Business Rules Canvas and Engine platform could easily be from Johan Cruijff:

 1 – If you have a good floor plan, the memos and the details of the business rules will always fit

 2 – A floor plan that is maximum 5 wide and 5 deep is what everybody should aim for

 3 – If you get the most important things on the canvas right, then the rest falls into the category of ‘colouring the pictures’

 4 – Take responsibility for your canvas and everyone wants to be on it

 5 – In many organisations, there are people who create ‘fog’, with the Business Rules Canvas and Engine platform, this ‘fog’ clears from day one

 6 – ‘Painting’ on the Business Rules Canvas has a meditative effect; you find peace, space, inspiration and (self-)confidence

 7 – If you get stuck on the details in the business rules, have someone else adjust one memo on the canvas

 8 – The Business Rules Canvas lets a team model all their business processes, with the ‘M’ of Magic

 9 – The key to the canvas consists of the right Arithmetic rules, so give the key to everyone you trust

10 – The magic is created by the sum of the rough sketch of the floor plan + the contours on the canvas + the details in the business rules

11 – If the rough sketch of the floor plan + the outlines on the canvas + the details in the business rules create the magic, then make sure you solve the sum correctly for and by your clients

12 – On the canvas, mistakes are exactly the same as corrections; they are situations in which to take the next step

13 – A team where everyone on the canvas uses his/her common sense creates surprising innovations that excite everyone

14 – Surprise yourself with the Business Rules Canvas and Engine platform and create more than you can, and certainly more than you think you can


Inspiring, timeless and uniformly applicable

All Cruijffianish sayings about SixBlocks are inspiring, they encourage positivity and building confidence. Secondly, the Cruijffianish sayings about SixBlocks are also timeless, of course. This will definitely be proven by the fact that the statements will still be relevant in 10 years, or any other timeframe.  Actually, they were yesterday, and all the time before that.

Finally, the Cruijffianish sayings about SixBlocks are uniformly applicable. You can test this yourself by adapting one or a few words per statement. For example, apply the Cruijffianish sayings about SixBlocks number 4 for a teacher: ‘Take responsibility for your teaching and all pupils want to be there’. Well, that’s logical!



Want more inspiration? Read the article “What do Bob Ross and the Business Rules Canvas have in common?” for an explanation of the magic of the Business Rules Canvas.

If you are interested in joining our inspiring vision of which Johan Cruijff would be proud, please contact me.




This article is written by:

Arvind Jagesser
Chief Executive Officer (Milvum)
Joost de Wit
Architect in combining human creativity and AI for sustainable business transformation.