From physical facilities to engaging meeting places

CASE Danish Foundation for Culture & Sports Facilities

the Challenge

To develop a new strategy for The Danish Foundation for Culture and Sports Facilities (LOA), that shifted its focus from being a fund to a developer of engaging meeting places.

the Outcome

The result of the collaboration is a strategy that not only communicates effectively, but also maintains a strong focus on changing behaviour and work culture – strategy and cultural change working hand in hand.

It was during a coaching session with Jens that Esben Danielsen, CEO at The Danish Foundation for Culture and Sports Facilities (LOA), first recognised the need for a new strategy. Jens was tasked with designing and facilitating the strategy process, which had to involve both the employees as well as a number of external stakeholders.

The assignment also required carrying out a number of analyses, before formulating and communicating the final strategy.

The primary challenge was to shift LOA’s focus from being a fund that applicants could seek funds from, to being a developing and co-creation knowledge center. The secondary challenge was to develop more engaging meeting places. Finally, LOA wanted applicants to link their applications to socially relevant issues that also support one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Esben Danielsen, CEO of The Danish Foundation for Culture and Sports Facilities.

“I work with Jens on two levels – both in terms of coaching in relation to my job as CEO and specifically on strategy development and related communications. These are two rather different things, but they really match well in our cooperation. It is a pleasure to work with Jens, who keeps the work concrete, factual and down-to-earth. We do not change the whole world in one day, but we still make strong, long-sighted and tough decisions that have a great impact on my managerial work. Jens is open about his own doubts, mistakes and difficult realizations, which I find directly helpful. We do not seek quick fixes, nor examine issues from a distance above, but instead we dive into dilemmas and paradoxes and the compromises that are required to solve them. And you cannot hide when working with Jens. There are no detours or shortcuts – we always focus on the root cause. Jens is a disciplined collector and keeps the documentation of the process close at hand, which means that I can return to it along the way, show it to my employees, or easily deliver and update and overview to the board.” 

(Photo credit: Esben Zøllner Olesen)

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Jens G. Friis

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