The Rhythm of Team Purpose

By Theresa Sigillito Hollema

"When you're surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible."              

Howard Schultz, Chairman & CEO Starbucks

Drumbeat, rhythm, spirit - Imagine the drumbeat of purpose, the rhythm of why your team exists, the spirit of the purpose expressed in the actions of the team members. Drumbeat, rhythm, spirit…beat ... beat… beat…

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The Future is Now: Educating the Next Generation of Urban Scientists

By Henk de Jong

The Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) is a unique public-private research center that uses New York City as its laboratory and classroom to help cities around the world become more productive, livable, equitable, and resilient. As an executive-in-residence at NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), I have the opportunity to advise and collaborate with an impressive group of talented young professionals eager to use their interdisciplinary expertise to make a difference in cities.

The expansive expertise of the class is being put to use in the real world applications of their studies. They are currently working in teams on five real-world, real-time application of their coursework, closely aligned with new political goals of the administration.

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True Global Leaders get out of their Comfort Zone

By: Nita Korsten

Recently I attended a greatly inspiring talk at Baruch College in New York City. Ian Cook, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Colgate-Palmolive, disclosed how the company does its business globally. He is a highly genuine, driven and convincing leader who needs potential global leaders to understand what they should do to succeed in the global corporate world:

“Get out of your comfort zone and live and work in cultures other than your own!”

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Bill De Blasio: NYC’s Activist-in-Chief

By Julia Root and Henk de Jong

We are three months into the new mayoral administration for New York City. It is well established that Mayor De Blasio offers a new progressive vision for NYC. How will his radical agenda impact more long-term goals for the city? We have assembled the 12 Game-Changer Strategies of De Blasio.


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    Developing Your Intercultural Competency. Communicating in a Global Marketplace

    Have you ever found that despite speaking in a shared language such as English, some things get lost in translation? Do you walk away from a meeting wondering, “I’m not sure how that went – did I say something wrong?” Or does your international team have subtle frustrations that keep coming up? 

    In an illuminating workshop led by Nita Korsten, we will talk about cultural competence in a global workplace, a critical issue for international managers.

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    Steps to get your Leadership Team ready for Further Internationalization

    By Theresa Sigillito Hollema and Nita Korsten

    One of our international clients recently aligned with a strategy of globalization of the supply chain and standardization of their processes with the goal of improved customer satisfaction and cost savings due to efficiencies.  This seemed logical and reasonable, until looking deeply at a very decentralized, country driven organization.  How would this transformation towards a more interconnected organization happen and was the leadership team ready to become international?


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    Art To Be Inspired By Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn

    By Henk de Jong

    During a cold December day in 2013, I visited the Kings County Hospital’s Behavioral Health Center in Brooklyn. I was a member of a small Dutch cultural delegation that was hoping to place artists in residence at the hospital. There is a plan to replicate an inventive Dutch artist’s residency, called The Fifth Season, where artists live and work on the grounds of a mental health hospital. They derive inspiration from the tensions between open and closed, everyday and strange, well and not well.

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    Ten Reality Checks On 'The New American City'

    by Henk de Jong

    Drexel University and the City of Philadelphia were hosts to the CityAge Conference on 'The New American City' on November 13 and 14, 2013. The participants of the conference came from a variety of backgrounds. Two-thirds of the participants were from Philadelphia and the others from elsewhere in the US as well as from Canadian cities. The design of the conference was thoughtful, with a wide variety of themes covered. There were experts and practitioners on economic policy, urban design, architecture, transport, energy, infrastructure, community involvement, big data, culture, education, anchor institutes, the renaissance of urban industry and resiliency. Crust Young's principal, Henk de Jong, participated and chaired the panel on the resiliency of The New American City.

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    Ambitious Government Change Effort City of Utrecht Offers Leadership Insights

    Julia Root, October 2013

    In November 2012, Henk de Jong, principal at Crust Young and visiting fellow at the Research Center for Leadership in Action, chaired a committee to conduct an organizational development audit of the City of Utrecht in the Netherlands. In November 2013 the committee will undertake a second evaluation.

    The committee’s mandate is to evaluate the midway progress of a major organizational change effort begun in 2010 by the mayor and aldermen to improve the financial health of the municipal government while making it leaner, more agile and customer oriented. The change initiative was partially a direct effect of the European financial crisis, which began in 2009 and forced cuts to many government programs and services across the Netherlands.

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    Three Lessons for Leading through Trauma and Healing

    by Henk de Jong

    The International City Managers Association hosts an annual conference with keynote speeches from great leaders and authors and many inspiring workshops organized by city managers for city managers. Some public sector consultants and academic researchers may assist.

    I was invited to join a September 2013 panel on ‘Leading trough Trauma and Healing’. The invitation stemmed from my role in managing a horrific major international child abuse case during my tenure in Amsterdam. Co-panelists Trey Cocking, Norton Bonaparte and Bill Mathis had worked in very challenging and dramatic situations as well. I will explain our cases and formulate lessons learned.


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    Target sued for cultural insensitivity: Your company could be at risk too!

    This July, Target, the second-largest discount retailer in the United States, came into the news in a very unfortunate way. Three former employees sued Target claiming they suffered crude harassment, discrimination and retaliation at work, and that Target's management training is culturally offensive. One of Target’s distribution warehouses in Woodland, California had apparently provided its managers with a document titled, “Organization Effectiveness, Employee and Labor Relations Multi-Cultural Tips”. Publicly shared as a result of the lawsuit, the completely misdirected ‘tips’ were actually full of stereotypes regarding workers of Hispanic descent. 

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    Leadership Roles for Local Peace and Global Justice

    by Henk de Jong

    The International Leadership Association and Leiden Leadership Center organized a two day conference on May 16 and 17, 2013 on ‘Leadership Roles for Local Peace and Global Justice’ in The Hague. The conference addressed leadership questions in relation to peace and justice, bringing together different perspectives from many sectors and nations.

    ​I found two key-note speeches particularly interesting...

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    CY & The Global Metropolis Event

    Last year NYU's President John Sexton gave a key note speech at CityAge's Toronto Conference. Sexton went back to the founding of NYU as a university based in the heart of the city, opposed to the Ivy League universities that were out in the distant and forested locations at that time. He elaborated on the importance of the city for the university and vice versa. NYU has stayed connected with the fabric of the city throughout the centuries and is currently executing an aggressive urban growth strategy. The strategy not only entails a much debated expansion in Chelsea but also involves integrating global campuses around the world. Sexton, a great narrator, shared his dialogue with Michael Bloomberg about the mayor's strategy of expanding FIRE, which stands for Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate sectors. Sexton thought FIRE was not enough, he added ICE to it, what stands for Intellect, Culture and Education. The two seemed to like this idea...

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    The Creation of Leadership: A Transatlantic Study of the Impact of Leadership Development on Mid-career Professionals

    On February 11, 2013, a small group of colleagues, public administration students and professionals gathered together at the invitation of NYU Wagner’s Research Center for Leadership in Action to offer feedback for an idea I have been exploring.

    Can leadership be created? 

    I am embarking on a small study that looks at whether mid-career professionals perceive that leadership training in its various forms has made an impact on their work. Given my Dutch public sector background and current residency here in New York City, the study will include a comparison between the effect of leadership development programs on mid-career leaders in the City of Amsterdam and Dutch National Government and the City of New York.

    The driving questions include:  How does each individual perceive the value of the experience, education, training and/or coaching that they have received to develop their careers? How much of their success do they attribute to formal training? What role do their employers play in the creation of their leadership, and are they actively invited by their managers to develop and practice leadership competencies?

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    NYC sets the Pace for Open Data Innovation for Municipalities across the US

    March 7, 2013 marked one year since the New York City Council passed landmark legislation that requires all New York City agencies to publish their quantitative data sets online in a machine-readable format. Agencies had until this day, one year after the Open Data bill was signed in 2012, to consolidate already publicly available data on one site. The have until the end of 2018 to finish publishing all publicly available data online.

    In the midst of the open data movement sweeping municipal governments, New York City was among the first to formalize open data sharing in law. The tide of available information is not just being harnessed in the name of open and transparent government but is also being used to spur the civic engagement of young tech entrepreneurs. The limits of how of all this newly available information will be used in the hands of app developers, coders, urban planners, cartographers, or artists, is hard to imagine.

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