From living in a former monastery to the leading solution for complex ICT landscapes. In this blog, you will read about the genesis of SixBlocks solution. Discover how founder Joost de Wit used his creative inspiration to develop a smart platform that supports larger organisations in particular with the simplification of their digitalisation. This transforms the complex ICT landscape of these organisations into a simple and clear ecosystem in which the customer is central.
Simplicity and creativity: the philosophy behind SixBlocks
It looks like Magic!
Last month, I demonstrated the operation of our SixBlocks platform to a group of people. One of the attendees was Erik, a senior data science specialist. The simplicity with which complex requirements, wishes and changes are solved comes out very clearly in this demo. “It’s like magic…” as Erik points out, “…it’s really un-be-liev-able, how did you ever think of this?”
To most questions, I have ready-made answers almost immediately; for example, by simply showing the answer live in the demo. But this question from Erik is substantially different. I think it’s a very nice question, but also quite a tricky one. That’s why I take some time before responding. In the end, I answer, “Well, just by using my common sense, starting with what I believe in, listening very carefully to all the input from lots of people around me, feeding back my interpretation of it and getting better and better at all this that I do.” The funny thing is that Erik also finds this answer very beautiful and surprising, and he immediately understands what I mean.
The problem at large and smaller organisations
It later occurred to me that it makes sense that Erik’s question was quite difficult for me at first. After all, for me, the “magic” of SixBlocks is very obvious. At least, that’s what I thought, but it’s not that obvious at all. You see, the idea doesn’t just fall out of the sky. There is a fantastically beautiful foundation under it that I built up, without realising it during that period.
Indeed, I myself have a lot of experience at pension organisations. I found (and still find) incomprehensible that almost all these organisations had (and still have) a complex ICT landscape with inflexible systems and a fragmentation of knowledge in the organisation. It triggered me and I started delving more and more into the why, how and what of this incomprehensible situation. This is how I came to the conclusion that the problem of the complex ICT landscape, with all its consequences, does not only apply to pension organisations. It also applies to other financial institutions, government organisations, energy suppliers and in healthcare and the like. The problem is everywhere, in large and also in smaller organisations.
Asking yourself good questions
This is the subject I want and need to do something with; so I decided several years ago. On the contrary, it is great to recognise the challenge in a problem and start working on it. It’s great when you manage to realise a solution to a challenge that adds enormous value. Doing great things with impact; that’s it!
By asking myself beautiful inspiring questions, my own process got underway. Why do organisations keep doing the same thing (= short-term choices) when maintaining their ICT landscape? Is it therefore logical that the complex ICT landscape is not yet changing? What forces are at play in organisations? What can I myself do to do things differently? How could I contribute to simplifying the ICT landscape? What responsibility can I take myself to make a good start? With which concrete small step do I put myself in the right direction? How will other people then move too?
The tilt in my life: living in a former monastery
My own process got a boost when I lived in a former monastery for a year while attending an international programme on a Campus. Lots of cycling, lots of walks, lots of being in nature and writing lots of inspirations in the notepad afterwards; that’s what I did. I sought space, was open to new input, reflected on my assumptions and became increasingly enthusiastic about what I was doing. From day one in that former monastery, my life tilted.
Years of in-depth analysis of the working methods and coherence of all departments at large organisations came together in this former monastery.
In fact, during my time with large corporates, I went through a lot of documents of different products, services, correspondence, processes and security. I noticed that the documents were totally inconsistent, that there was a lot of overlap and contradictions, and that main and secondary issues were mixed up. Not surprisingly, this created a complex ICT landscape with inflexible systems and a fragmentation of knowledge in the organisation.
By filtering the documents for consistency and the essentials that really mattered, at most 15% were left. The remaining documents were accessible and easy to fathom. In that 15%, I discovered beautiful patterns that made the whole thing much simpler. In fact, I saw identical patterns across different organisations. Then, by analysing and connecting these patterns again, I found the common thread. The whole thing suddenly became very simple.
And then SixBlocks was born
My final conclusion was that all patterns can be summarised in a foundation of six blocks: SixBlocks.
The foundation of the six blocks has grown from a nice idea to a very good ecosystem. The first solution direction, a new flexible and transparent software system, has evolved into a connecting integral platform. From there, we promise to transform organisations into a simple and clear ecosystem where employees and customers are central. After all, it is primarily about people; systems and processes follow afterwards.
Durably and extremely simplifying business processes; that is what our smart platform does. With this simplification, we guarantee that organisations can concretely meet changing market and customer needs. Visualising it all in a simple six-block puzzle plus the storytelling around it helps enormously. The puzzle can be grasped concretely and by moving the cubes very simply, you have realised a new solution. It gives a sense of “magic”; this makes people positively hook in. Because everyone gets it and everyone can do it!
An uninhibited open mindset
The principle of SixBlocks solution creates an open mindset to use one’s own common sense, embrace the unknown, be open-minded, be solution-oriented, always see opportunities, hook up the right people, find solutions and get the job done together.
With this open mindset, the problem of organisations’ complex ICT landscape can also be approached, of course. The funny thing is that there are also quite a few people who indicate that they cannot believe that this complex problem can be solved. And this is precisely why I know: this is where I have to proceed with an open mind. Now I can really add value, distinguish myself and come up with a solution.
With that in mind, I go for walks and cycling etcetera; enjoying nature is wonderful. And when I am at home I write down my inspirations that come up naturally. Exactly as described in the article “Access into your own creative inspiration and create more than you ever expected!”.
Together you will get further
In addition to growing the solution, new people and organisations have joined. This applies to different areas of focus that were then connected. For instance, we connected organisations and people in the areas of market approach, creating job happiness among employees and the platform’s high-tech technology.
Working with people who also have an open mindset and who also give their creativity space is particularly inspiring. In this way, we harness each other’s source of inspiration and together we create more than any individual ever expected. This makes us all very happy and joyful. Wonderful!
SixBlocks as an inspiration to others
Last week, I saw Erik again and we chatted a bit. He came back to the demo and specifically to my answer to his question on how I ever came up with SixBlocks. It has inspired him to get started on some pretty cool ideas he believes in in government. And I am sure we will meet again soon to do something together, Erik indicated.
I can enjoy moments like this so much; wonderful!
As a SixBlocks solution, we ourselves harness our own creative inspiration every day and create more than we ever expected. If you want to know more about that or want to share your own creative inspiration, feel free to contact me. In that case, mail your question to firstname.lastname@example.org.