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Corporate antropologie

corporate anthropologist

Cultural anthropologist (MA, 2002)

Leiden University

Master thesis and fieldwork in Chile (2001) 

'The (in)accessibility of primary health care within neoliberal reforms.' 

Corporate anthropologist (since 2008)

Specialties: organizational culture, social safety, change, co-creation and development of true leadership.

Brand strategist & consultant (2006-2020)

Specialties: Positioning, Transformation,  
acquisitions & mergers, target group research. 

about me

My name is Sanne Witkamp (1976), cultural anthropologist and boardroom consultant. After working for many years in various freelance positions in sales, marketing and policy, I founded my consultancy agency in 2010. Since then, I gained vast experience in different fields of business. I worked for many companies as a business and positioning strategist and guided dozens of (large) organizations through change. 

Many times, the organizational culture became the starting point of a new strategy. I have been working as an anthropological team and organization advisor for almost 15 years now. To me, human behavior is always inspiring. 

corporate anthropology

Anthropologists look 'differently' at groups and their dynamics. We are trained in participatory observation and ethnographic research. We see patterns, movements, power structures and underlying storylines (traditions and legacy) as parts of the group's DNA. Every group makes its own 'tapestry' - a living network of all connections. And if you take a good look at it, you can observe what lives in its undercurrent. 

 

As a corporate anthropologist, I have many years of experience in guiding organizations through change. Change in the products and the brand experience. Change in teams and working methods. Change in culture following acquisitions and mergers. Change through innovation. Change through success and growth.  

 

Change is often feared - it can be both exciting and complex. It takes us through different phases towards a new reality. A new reality that you can shape together. Insight and understanding are required in order to keep groups on the move. Vision is required in order to give the group a clear view of its destination. Good and inspired leadership is necessary to keep people motivated towards change. Trust is essential for growth. 

 

Guiding change from an anthropological perspective is of enormous value to all companies. Combining 'universal insights' into human behavior with a sound business strategy makes change sustainable and workable. ​​

I help teams and organizations with: 

  • Initiating and guiding changes through creating and holding space.

  • Organizing a soft landing in the undercurrent of groups and using the wisdom that lives there. 

  • Restoring connections and increasing security (cultural healing and holding space). 

  • Getting the truth out in the open.  

  • Learning to deal with the different perspectives that individuals bring to groups. 

  • Regarding resistance and sabotage as 'different perspectives' and making good use of them during transitions. 

  • Facilitating essential dialogues and honest conversations.

  • Finding and shaping direction in order to create a fundament for change.

  • Anthropological team guidance and interventions.

  • Qualitative research of company culture - to learn what is really going on and to develop helpful interventions 

Organisatiecultuur

ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE 

Culture research
Board room consulting
Interventions for teams & groups
coach and guide in leadership
​anthropological research

Need a qualitative analysis of the organizational culture? Want to really get a picture of the current state of affairs from the 'inside'?  I will take a deep dive into the existing culture, structures and patterns. I conduct interviews with various employees and do fieldwork. After the first analysis, I can determine what is needed to achieve the desired situation. 

I will offer insights that match with the background, the current situation, the problems, sore points, obstacles and your specific questions. I will put these into perspective, so that you can really move forward again. I am happy to help you with deploying successful interventions that resonate with the group and contribute to your goals.

vision, decide & lead

 

To (be able to) do things differently or to change, new insights and perspectives are necessary. Inspiration and motivation are needed to lead differently and to remain at the center of leadership yourself. Connecting and inspiring leadership in the midst of chaos and (forced change) is incredibly difficult. Or challenging. It requires strong empathy, but also decisiveness, credibility and authenticity.

 

Creating a vision that is supported by the collective is a challenge in itself. Taking the troops and yourself (and other leaders) on this journey requires personal leadership and strategic insight. I help you to focus on a vision that matches the rhythm of the market, culture and its people. The long-term approach requires personal and collective development of leadership. Decision making can prove to be a stumbling block for many - dead ends are a real energy drain. I can help you make tough decisions - even and especially when they are tough and difficult. Culture change and good examples always start at the top: with the leaders. 

anthropological TEAM coaching

Changes are stressful. Always. It makes people insecure, nervous and gives an indefinable feeling. But changes are a given. Especially businesses have to keep innovating and move forward. In order to do this, you have to be able to trust each other. Otherwise, you get stuck. 

Recognizing and acknowledging the unrest that results from continuous (small or large) changes is an important step. If you jointly pay attention to the fact that everyone is doing their best, but the circumstances are often far from optimal, you can help each other.

In times of unrest, turmoil or a standstill, people's first reflex is to retreat to their own respective 'islands'. Collaboration requires trust - and sometimes a difficult, painful dialogue is required in order to get rid of wandering ghosts and old baggage. Another possible solution is a connecting journey, during which the people involved delve into personal motivations and shared team values. 

guide for leaders and changemakers

Leading in an authentic and connecting manner requires continuous development. A good leader needs to continually provide safe spaces for the group and instigate open dialogues, while remaining firmly at the center of it all. With respect to these matters, I can help you with:

  • Discovering and developing your own vision on leadership. 

  • Recognizing social patterns in groups so you can work with them. 

  • Following your intuition - growing your self-confidence.

  • Standing up and staying in your own 'center' - the foundation of your personal leadership. ​

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