Martijn van Ooijen


Current curiosity

As a change consultant, I enjoy designing and supervising change interventions together with others. The different stories of people, groups and organizations are central to this for me. I like to contribute to the development of these stories. In this way, all those involved live through the vision and strategy of an organisation and link it to their own story, which leads to a practice in which people work together on the intended result.


My coaching style is inquisitive, friendly and also confronting. In teams where there are few relational tensions I give room for conversation as a supervisor, but in other teams it is sometimes necessary to take up a position and to confront oppressed stories to bring them to the surface. This requires continuous reflection on how to deal with the dilemma of doing nothing and taking up a position.

Over the past 11 years, I have contributed to complex change processes, team and leadership development in various sectors. I often join a board of directors or MT, but also project groups to help with an issue over a longer period of time. A number of examples:

- A large-scale intervention for a large youth care institution in which 250 people together created a new strategic course. We then supervised employees and managers in the organisation who wanted to carry out an experiment linked to the new strategy.

- Supervising an organisational redesign in an environmental service to achieve better cooperation and then an MD trajectory to learn how to work together in the new structure.

- A long-term culture development programme for managers of organisations in the 'earthquake area'. From the 'Vlink' change platform, we carry out interventions such as startup meetings, leadership training, internal organisational development programmes and intervision.

Changing the story

At the moment I am doing PhD research at the Vrije Universiteit under the supervision of Dr. Antonie van Nistelrooij and Prof. Dr. Marcel Veenswijk. My PhD research is about how people in change processes create urgency in stories. I am also the author of the book Imperfecte Adviseur Persoonlijke verhalen over het werk. Both strengthen my narrative view on change issues and deepen my action repertoire as a change facilitator.


I also supervise internal and external advisors in learning processes. Recently I became a core lecturer in the FCE courses on Narrative Change and the course on Imperfect Advisor.


Core principles that I have adopted in my work:

- Autonomy: stimulating self-determination about one's own story.

- Inclusion: including suppressed or underexposed voices

This inspires me



Curious to learn more about Kessels & Smit?

Get in touch with Martijn van Ooijen