Our Insights, Sparks and Inspirations

Meet the Chief Meaning Officer

When Jack Welsh speaks, we listen. So what's the role of a transformational leader?

As a Chief Meaning Officer, leading the transformation,

  1. Let everyone know where you're going, why you're going there, and, what's in it for them to get there with you. Why? Because people hate change…
  2. Break down every little silo and bureaucratic barrier slowing down the change, with the organization.
  3. Embrace the generosity gene in your body, love to see people grow, enjoy people's success, give platforms to people to shine.
  4. Have fun, find ways to win, even in the smallest things, make little victories big victories, make work fun & exciting

At Venture Spirit, we help Chief Meaning Officers achieve their transformation purposes.

Is there 1 change leader?

Have you read the parable of Henry Mintzberg on change & transformation?

The essence? Everyone deeply involved can think constructively about change & transformation. From top executive management across all layers of the organization. Sometimes the best thinking even comes from unexpected sources, from co-workers sparking the seeds of an awesome new process, product, purpose, vision…

Just think for a minute about the best practice business model innovation of IKEA. Instead of selling finished products, it's all about selling furniture unassembled, so that customers can take it home in their cars, saving money for them and the company. This transformed IKEA's business model as well as a larger part of the furniture business. Where did it emerge? With a worker. "Exploration of flat packaging begins when one of the first IKEA co-workers removes the legs of the LÖVET table so that it will fit into a car and avoid damage during transit" (from IKEA.com).

How to enable this? Bottom-up transformation.
The basic concepts? Here you go:
  • Effective organizations are communities of engaged human beings, not collections of passive human resources.
  • Anyone can come up with a great idea for change
  • Communication is open, so that ideas get shared easily
  • Strategies, whether as overall visions or market positions, emerge gradually from grounded learning; they are not immaculately conceived

How to bring this to life? At Venture Spirit we use blended learning, inspiration & gamification techniques to mobilize entire organizations, gradually forming the change & transformation.

Credits to Henry Mintzberg for this inspiring insight.

Brainstorming done right: Venture Spirit's golden rules

  1. Start by setting out an exciting challenge, something you (and the audience) truly care about
  2. Push past biases and prior believes, harness the power of open, simple questions
  3. Don't force people to be creative, here and now for the next 2 hours. Let them internalize the puzzle and creatively contribute asynchronously
  4. Allow hidden talents to also step in, without being overplayed by usual suspects
  5. Allow introverts to also step in, without being overplayed by extraverts
  6. Rule out social loafing, instead stimulate to enrich and build on each other's contributions
  7. Rule out social anxiety about having your ideas judged, through anonymity
  8. Insight over process: as data points are being built, formulate & validate hypotheses
  9. Make it fun, release some dopamine, create and sustain the energy momentum for some weeks
  10. Use competition and collaboration dynamics to trigger passion

Nourishing organizational culture using gamified new ways of working

Without exception, CEOs from the worlds leading companies agree that their single most important responsibility is to shape and reinforce the organization's culture. However, with today's organizational hierarchies and processes, this is a delicate, timeless, sometimes even cumbersome challenge where traditional top-down change methods fall short.

Read more

Venture Spirit ignites the learning organization

Today, given the ever-accelerating pace of (digital) change, businesses and their people need to be more and more agile to constantly adapt and improve the way they operate. It speaks for itself that traditional organizational models, with strongly embedded hierarchies can't cope with this speed, evidently not in terms of implementation, but also not even in terms of fast decision making.

Read more

Gamification myths

Gamification has the power to bring the best out of people, as it plays on instincts towards rewards and competition. It even has the ability to change habits and views in a permanent way. In a business context, gamification engages employees to go beyond their daily working activities and add extra value. Although the concept of gamification already exists for several years, several myths still prevail (gamification doesn't work, gamification is dead,...). Nevertheless, gamification delivers its promise when applied in the right format, the well-shaped business context, shooting for the right goals. That’s why Venture spirit develops its own formats, to maximize bottom-up impact of each transformation project.

Open innovation in Universities

For 7 years, Venture Spirit organized an open call for innovation in Flemish Universities. We challenged students with an innovative idea to work out their concept and write a business plan on the interactive venture game platform. The student entrepreneurs were guided by business school students, and experts from partner organizations. The competition was coronated with a Pitch and Final Event. After Battle of Talents, several of our student entrepreneurs brought their initial idea to life and founded their own company.

The 'X' model of employee engagement: Maximum Satisfaction meets Maximum Contribution

Employee Engagement can be a vague term. In this model, BlessingWhite details a specific and compelling model for articulating what Employee Engagement is - and what it means to the individual and the organization they work for.


Culture eats strategy for breakfast

Building on Peter Drucker's insight, we believe that through the right culture, every organization can win by eating and delivering the business strategy. The right culture for us means: intrapreneurial, empowered, highly aligned, dynamic, and pragmatic. What's more, strategy and culture are fundamentally linked. `Where to strategically grow and win` means also looking at `who are we`, `who can we become`, `where are we unique`. So for us winning means defining and delivering the capabilities-driven strategy. It's all in getting the question right first, then building the winning spirit by mobilizing the people, exactly accelerating the business strategy, implicitly building the culture, and finally synthesizing the insights and decisions, celebrating the wins.
That's why we combine consulting and gamified scalable web platforms to support our clients.

Putting the Power of Play to work

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. So, how do you start embedding gamification in your organization? How can you fit it into a running transformation programme? It’s all about finding an answer to five key questions.

Read more

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.

Thomas Edison

Transforming R&D-business collaboration to improve short & mid-term growth

How do you re-allocate your R&D budgets and resources, while changing the way of working with company-wide buy-in, to reveal a committed revenue upside of multiple millions of euros in one to three years, in a matter of months? A global family-owned automotive company challenged its R&D teams to revise, elaborate and re-prioritize their existing development portfolio via a collaborative gamified transformation project.

Read more

Motivation is when your dreams put on work clothes.

Benjamin Franklin

Venture Spirit improves IDEO’s 6 vectors that drive innovation

Venture Spirit’s gamified way of driving innovation with its customers works on all 6 basic vectors that link to an organization’s ability to innovate, adapt, respond to change:

  • Purpose: by aligning the organization on its broader vision, strategy, goal
  • Experimentation: by allowing people to take initiative, try, fail, redo in a risk-free environment
  • Collaboration: by stimulating teamwork and interaction cross-functionally
  • Empowerment: by inversing the power balance, you are in control of your own initiative
  • Looking out: by seamlessly integrating insights from industry and customer interviews
  • Execution: by de-risking gradually and iteratively the initiatives


Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.

Tom Robbins


It is not technology! It’s how one looks at and applies technology. It’s creating the right mindset in the organization to embrace the change. It’s enabling the right (agile, nimble, effective, constructive, pragmatic, dynamic) skillset of the people. Gamification allows to do this in a energizing, fun way...


How can gamification drive business transformation?

Every company willing to transform itself, gets to a stage where the entire process looks good on paper, slides, or in frameworks. But how do you push beyond that paper wall? And how do you generate people buy-in and engagement at the same time?

Read more

Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.

Erich Seligmann Fromm

Venture Spirit in Forbes

How Venture Spirit uses gamification to unlock employees' innovation potential? Marc E. Babej, journalist at Forbes, interviewed Venture Spirit co-founder Dominique about the pitfalls of managing innovation in a corporate environment – and how gamification can help companies do more and better.


Venture Spirit in “De Tijd” (Belgian economic newspaper)

Our founders Stefan and Dominique in the Belgian Newspaper on Venture Spirit: “We bring Silicon Valley to the workplace”.


Venture Spirit at work

Facilitating decision making, means managing up and managing down. Clear explanation of insights and decisions is primordial. Our principal at work at a management conference in Berlin, with TOP-70 of one of our automotive customers.

Discovery is seeing what everybody else has seen, and thinking what nobody else has thought.

Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

Technopolis: Pitch & Play

Technopolis (an interactive centre for science and technology) is looking for a new, innovative exhibitions, co-created with Flemish schools, and a little help from Venture Spirit’s gamified approaches. Stephane Berghmans, CEO of Technopolis, stresses the importance of involving their audience, and especially children, to get into contact with new technologies and to become inspired to learn more. (article in Dutch)


The best way to get a good idea is to get a lot of ideas

Linus Pauling
Venture Spirit @ Manufacturing Alliance for Productivity & Innovation (MAPI) - Testimonial on gamification for new digital development opportunities

Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.

Michael Jordan

Digital Transformation – a good definition

Everyone talks about it, but expressing sharply & on the spot what it is (and what it is not) is sometimes quite hard. We use a good definition from MIT Sloan

Digital transformation is using the power of technology and new ways of working to accelerate business growth

Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.

Mike Singletary