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Setting out and giving direction: the motto of Apollo, the leadership and organizational development program of and for Arkin.

Arkin has been one of the largest mental health institutions in the Netherlands for many years and has a very broad and varied expertise.
Arkin offers good care for all clients, based on social responsibility.

From a social responsibility prospective Arkin offers qualified care for all clients. This certainly applies for the most vulnerable clients and for clients who need the expertise of several different Arkin specialisms. It is specifically in the specialized care for these complex clients that Arkin's multidisciplinary services is most beneficial. Arkin is home to 12 specialist 'brands', including Jellinek and Mentrum.

Arkin has asked AVOP to develop and implement, in close collaboration with Arkin, a leadership- and organizational development program.

The question posed was as follows;
as Arkin leaders and managers, how do we manage our employees in such a way that we give them room for professional and personal development (in a pleasant working climate), while at the same time adequately handling the (experienced) dynamics with quality requirements, finances and external pressure ?

The motto for that leadership and organizational development program is Determining Direction and Giving Space. This is the story of how Apollo was born: a program with a duration of 15 months, in which 132 managers and 27 directors took part in 10 modules. Goals of Apollo include: increasing management- and business skills; meet managers across the brands and Arkin-wide learning; solving problems within the own brand, strengthening dual management where relevant; improve employee satisfaction; creating connections between layers of management, but also between brands and central staff services.

Main issues in Apollo's method and dilemmas :

• Managing (alleged) conflicts of interests:
o Content & quality versus money
o Arkin interests versus own brand interests
o Employer interests versus employee interests
o Long term versus short term
o Line versus staff-organization

• Always keeping in mind:
o the 3 roles: manager, strategist, leader
o The 3 perspectives: me, the issue at hand, the other
o And the 3 body parts: brain, heart and hands.

It was an exciting and inspiring program, Apollo. Intense and intensive, and as things go in life, they don't always go smoothly or without a struggle. However, with an average score of 4.15 on a 5-point scale over 10 modules, we can say that it has brought a lot to the participants of Apollo. Something we increasingly noticed during the course of the program is that both the awareness of one's own position as a manager and a sense of responsibility as a leader has increased. We also noticed that the Arkin-wide interconnection has increased enormously.

Anny Hartstra


I experience AVOP as an organizational development agency and this leadership program is also shaped in that same perspective. Among other things, this is a reason why collaboration between AVOP and Arkin is necessary and conditional: what are the themes of the organization, and how can the leadership program contribute to the further development of Arkin. Anny Hartstra, HR director Arkin

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