'NN focuses on people, exactly as I do'

Alex Verdoorn -
Business Process Manager, father and world citizen

Back to the Netherlands

‘I’ve got to know lots of different cultures in my life. I’ve travelled a lot, including for work and I’m a father in a multicultural family. My wife is German and we’ve brought our two children up to be trilingual: Dutch, German and English.’

'Before I joined NN, we were living in Singapore, where I had an executive role at a large American telecoms company. After the project in Singapore came to an end, I was given the opportunity to work for the company in America. But my family and I decided to return to the Netherlands. I was ready for something new and wanted to live closer to my family. Once we got back to the Netherlands, I started looking in earnest for a new job.’

‘Apart from the importance of financial security for my family, I also needed a new challenge. This was also precisely what attracted me to NN. NN is a large organisation where you can learn a lot in an international environment. The interview was pleasant and open for both sides. My honesty about what I was looking for in a role and drive to start work straight away were appreciated and I was offered the job. I’ve been with NN for three-and-a-half years now. I started off in the Cash Management Team and now I’m a Business Process Manager in the Finance Server Centre. My experience abroad has been really useful in this role.’

Motivating people to change processes

'In my role I help teams and individuals to improve difficult processes. We do this by first of all looking at the existing process. We then outline what the ideal process would look like, without limitations. After that, we implement the improvements, with a dose of realism, to get as close as possible to the ideal picture. An important aspect of my work is contact with people. If you want to change processes, you need to take people with you. Change is always difficult and some people are better at dealing with it than others. My job is to listen to the different opinions and to motivate people to implement the changes. I use my experience as a manager in Singapore, along with the knowledge I’ve gained in my dealings with other cultures. I get on well with people and am open to other ways of thinking and doing things. Nothing is strange to me. I’ve learnt from other cultures by comparing their habits and customs with my own. I’m alert and critical. For example, if I hear somebody speaking Dutch when international colleagues are present, I say something. I know from experience how important it is not to exclude people and try and set a good example.’

Focus on people

'For me, the glass is always half full: I look for opportunities, not obstacles. I get a huge kick out of getting people on board and making improvements in a difficult process. NN focuses on people, exactly as I do. I realised this when shortly after starting at NN my mother died. NN gave me all the time I needed to organise everything and to process my grief. It was genuinely heart-warning how this was handled. It immediately have me a sense of engagement with and loyalty to NN and my colleagues.’


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