Table of Contents

The following pages contain a selection of articles written by management consultant Paul van Essche for various publications over the past several years. All articles are shown in précis form, please email info@vanessche.com for full versions.

A Change Management Strategy – Notes on an “End-State” approach for implementing significant improvement in business processes.

How to Overcome Fear and Drive Creative Organizational Change – Comments on the Harvard Business Review article by Brad Power.

Guidelines to Creating a Business Case – Ideas and approaches or ensuring the credibility and therefore success of business cases.

The International Labor Organization – Notes on implementing extreme change in a 100-year old bureaucracy that works to end discrimination in the workplace.

Geneva, Switzerland: An Introduction – Thoughts on Geneva as a home and workplace gained over the course of a quarter century.

The History of the French Language – A little research from a latecomer to this extraordinary language.

Management Consultants Coach Organizations on Process Improvements – Improving business processes requires a educational as well as procedural approach.

Clarifying the CEO’s mission – Notes on what it takes to be an effective CEO based on observations from a dozen larger and mid-sized well-known companies.

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Paul van Essche: A Change Management Strategy

Paul van Essche is the founder of van Essche & Associates He has worked in both the private and public sectors and holds considerable expertise in such areas as risk and change management.

Probably the most important phase of an effective change management strategy is implementation. Integrating new processes with existing processes is vital to the success of any change management effort. One way to do this is by “beginning at the end”.

Beginning at the end means articulating in detail the end result of successful change at the outset of the project. Keeping this clear goal in the forefront of everyone’s mind from the start helps maintain direction throughout the process. While not a guarantee of success in itself, it reduces resistance to change and helps ensure the realization of a beneficial result.

Please email info@vanessche.com for the full article.

Please also visit: Company website www.vanessche.com, personal website www.paulvanessche.com, life-sciences practice www.neolifetech.com, development non-profit www.sikhule.com and art website www.mauricevanessche.org.

How to Overcome Fear and Drive Creative Organizational Change – According to the HBR

Businesses seldom fail to implement improvements because of a lack of knowledge about what needs to be changed. Instead, according to an essay by Brad Power in the Harvard Business Review, organizations remain stuck in unproductive habits because of an underlying fear that affects every level of the organization.

That fear is essentially the result of a survival instinct that kicks in any time people find themselves presented with a new situation or environment. If this fear can be mitigated, however, the process of change is more likely to move forward successfully. The article recommended three ways to encourage people to embrace change in an organization or business.

  • First, the more people participate in planning the improvements, the more they will accept them.
  • Second, embrace failure. Employees should know that creative failure leads to improvements. In addition, they should be encouraged to suggest changes and improvements without fear of losing their jobs.
  • Third, corporations should look for self-starters who share the mission. Getting the right people on board will help the company thrive in the long run because they start out committed to achieving common goals.

About the Author: Over the course of more than 25 years, Paul van Essche has provided management consulting services to a range of public- and private-sector ventures, including Nestle, Citibank, and the World Health Organization.

Please email info@vanessche.com for the full critique of the HBR paper.

Guidelines to Developing a Credible and Successful Business Case By Paul Van Essche

A business case outlines the reasons for starting a company, initiating changes in an existing organization, or investing funds or resources in projects or initiatives. Such endeavors require clear objectives, compelling ideas for achieving them, and explanations about why these accomplishments would benefit the organization or stakeholders over the long term. Each of these factors performs and important function in the establishment of a business case.

Companies gain optimal advantage by creating business cases that incorporate unambiguous details that foster rapid but well-considered decisions and prompt, well-considered action. They also benefit from the use of language that can be understood by all parties involved in judging the plan and putting its components into effect. While the overall plan might include any number of elements, an executive summary proves useful for reviewing and synopsizing the material and processes included in the business case.

Another important feature of a credible business case is to have it prepared by, or at least vetted by, a specialist firm that is entirely independent of any partners, markets, technologies or other elements on which the business case depends. Not only does this external check ensure critical realism, but it is also attractive to potential investors, who will be looking for objective evidence of a proposal’s market viability before committing to funding the project.

Please email info@vanessche.com for the full article.

And: if you are looking for a professional critical assessment of your business plan, consider contacting Van Essche & Associates. An independent management consulting firm serving a wide array of verticals, Van Essche & Associates employs a talented staff with deep experience evaluating and developing business cases for multi-million dollar projects, change initiatives, spin-off businesses, and start-ups. For more information on the firm or to learn how to set up your appointment, please visit www.vanessche.com.

About the Author: Paul Van Essche leverages more than 30 years of experience in management and engineering in his leadership role at his eponymous consulting firm, Van Essche & Associates.

The International Labour Organization—Working to End Discrimination in the International Workplace

With a motto of “promoting jobs, protecting people,” the International Labour Organization (ILO) advocates globally for the rights of workers. Paul van Essche, an executive who has helped several international organizations through his consulting efforts, worked with the ILO on two endeavors. The first centered on supporting an eBusiness initiative, while the second, larger project involved creating a new strategy for the organization’s information systems. In the latter case, Paul van Essche successfully directed the effort to replace legacy information systems with a modern ERP platform, and re-engineer processes and procedures for greater efficiency. In these two instances, Paul worked for the high-profile company Cambridge Technology Partners, and then as an independent consultant, respectively.

Part of the International Labour Organization’s focus is helping those who are treated differently in the workplace based on race or gender. Executives of this association believe that equal opportunity for every worker is a theme central to the topic of social justice. By hugely improving managerial processes and systems, and enabling a new class of decision support, the work that Paul van Essche and his teams performed at ILO has enabled the organization to pursue these and other goals far more effectively.

Please email info@vanessche.com for the full article.

Geneva, Switzerland: An Introduction

For twenty-three years, Paul van Essche worked out of Geneva, Switzerland, in a number of different roles that gave him great appreciation for the city, and its important international context. Amongst other managerial positions, Paul van Essche served for seven years at the headquarters of the world’s largest inspection and testing firm, SGS, and then worked as Associate Director of Consulting in the area for Cambridge Technology Partners. He later became an independent consultant, founding and owning his own business until moving to New York in 2008.

Geneva is a flagship of several different international organizations, including several agencies of The United Nations, the World Health Organization, the International Labour Office, and the International Red Cross. The city, which is the third largest in Switzerland, rests on the shores of the largest Alpine lake in Europe, known as Lake Geneva to most but formally named Lac Léman. Those who visit the city remember it for its urban, multi-national vibe that boasts luxurious resorts, specialty restaurants, and large variety of outdoor and lakeside activities.

Ranked as one of the 10 most expensive cities in the world, Geneva’s success has been to become hugely welcoming and cosmopolitan in culture, while still retaining the essence of Swiss hospitality, organization and efficiency.

Please email info@vanessche.com for the full article.

The Fascinating History of the French Language By Paul van Essche

The history of the French language, like that of many others, is a story of conquering and being conquered, interspersed with occasional flashes of brilliance and twists of fate.

In pre-Roman times, the territory now known as France was inhabited by Celtic-speaking Gauls in the north, Iberians in the southwest, a few Greek colonies in the southeast, and a spattering of other tribes besides. Although French today is considered a Latin, or Romance, language, it has retained heavy influence from its Gaulish roots, and about 200 Celtic-based words are still in common use today.

Phonologically, modern French is also well connected to these origins. Latin was rendered mandatory by the Roman conquest of Gaul, and was adopted by urban aristocrats and traders, while unwritten traditional languages held out in rural areas a while longer. Over the following few hundred years, and in particular during the 9th century, Germanic and Nordic tribes invaded from the northeast, bringing their own terms and jargon to the mix. The next major milestone was the integration of the Duchy of Normandy into the Kingdom of France, which brought Anglo-Norman words, also with strong Nordic roots. Slowly the language pot continued to be stirred, helped by France’s increasing pan-European, Middle Eastern, and North African trade. Arabic words crept in through Moor-influenced medieval Latin, Spanish, and Italian, and today, several French words related to spices and other luxuries of the time, as well as mathematics, have Arabic roots.

In 1539, King Francis I introduced “Modern French” as the official language of business, science, and law, formally replacing Latin. Less than 100 years later, the Académie Française was created as the official and supreme guardian of the language, a role it executes actively and sometimes chauvinistically to this day. Such visionary gestures, along with France’s economic and cultural success, saw French adopted as the international, and especially diplomatic, lingua franca. By the end of the 19th century, no one could pass for educated without speaking French, from the American far West to the eastern steppes of Russia.

In the latter part of the second millennium, French colonization in Africa, the Far East, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific led to colourful variations and versions of French. Many crept back to the mother country, and in some cases, into the ledgers of the Académie. But despite the ever-expanding richesse of the language, the debate is now open as to whether French is expanding or retreating globally; projections predict both, but it is undeniable that English has taken over as the global common denominator, and that Mandarin Chinese is spoken by more human beings on Earth than any other language. But if the pride of the French people and the elegance of their tongue have anything to do with it, the medium of Voltaire, Balzac, and Sartre will continue to evolve and be appreciated for millennia to come.

About Paul van Essche: Born in South Africa and currently living in Brooklyn, New York, Paul van Essche holds dual nationality in his home country and Switzerland. A business consultant and executive adviser, van Essche is fluent in English and French. Learn more about him at http://www.vanessche.com.

Please email info@vanessche.com for the full article.