Patrick shows us how to future proof a business 🌈


How to future proof your business

Do you have to hit rock bottom to redesign your business or can you be proactive?

Madeleine recently interviewed Patrick van der Pijl, (author of “How to design a Better Business“) on why it is important to consider using unorthodox design principals to prepare for the future.

M: Why it is so important companies consider using design principles and criteria to future proof their business?  

P: Design principles take you away from the comfortable, predictable, safe and effortless linear way of doing business. Sticking to how you have always done business in today’s world, unfortunately, can lead to certain death.

However, when companies apply design and co-creation principals, they go out, talk to staff, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders to create the future, hence creating sustainable businesses.

A prerequisite however to designing that new business, is the company has to see the need to change. Unfortunately, many companies only embrace a new business model when they are bleeding and truly in pain.
SME’s are particularly vulnerable to this. They do not have vast resources nor do they usually get a lot of help from outside their companies and consequently hold on to old business models too long.

When these entrepreneurs are not interested in using tools like the business model canvas, or they don’t have a clear vision or strategy, it becomes mission impossible to convince them to take action.  They don’t recognise that in order to be successful they need to change.

“SME’ s” that want to change can use design principles to make a huge shift.

An example of this is the SME who has been making cylinders for locks and keys for over 50 years who realised they were on the brink of extinction as everything was going digital.
They had no online presence and the business was not profitable. They saw the need to change but had no idea how. A toolbox to redesign the business model, as well as process support in such a case is invaluable.
Surprisingly, are those who see the need to change yet consciously decide NOT to change, happy with the remaining limited lifetime of their business.
Curious to see how you can further future proof your business? click on the links below to order your own copy of the book or visit his website in order to learn more about his business.

Order Patrick’s book 
Nederlands versie
English version

Patrick shows us how to future proof a business 🌈

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Posted by on March 17, 2017 in Business

Open your mind to others to empower

Empowerment is a journey that unfolds as you begin to work more inclusively with others in your business. I wish to suggest two points for your consideration. Firstly, people empowerment is driven by thinking differently about people and, secondly, empowerment comes from relaxing some boundaries so that how you operate, the “real you”, is made strategically visible.

In this sense, empowerment requires a way of thinking that sees the people we live and work with as walking, sleeping, dreaming sources of incredible potential – natural treasures to be unearthed. They have depth and talent not fully known to either you or them. And therein lies a wonderful mystery; in knowing them and in working with them, you are a powerful catalyst. And their growth, in turn, triggers something equal and positive in you. Delight. Innovation. Discovery. Hope. World changing.

An incredible way for entrepreneurs to empower others is through inclusivity. To use an equestrian analogy, it is to stretch your hand and help someone mount the stallion you are already on. Then on your outride, contextualize the scenery and let them witness your reflexes and decisions while you cover familiar and uncharted terrain on the journeytoward achieving specific objectives. Inevitably, vary your trot and finally reach your destination to share the victory of achieving a challenging task. On the journey, remain open to dialogue – for clarifications and questions – but caution against the belief that one-size-fits-all, bearing in mind that absolute answers are often sought when people are learning something completely new and are out of their comfort zones. The idea is to co-learn as fresh perspectives are gained and new scenarios not previously considered are explored. In short, you are being real and you are creating a non-judgmental learning environment where knowledge, skill and creativity can prosper.

During empowerment employees should be safe to risk, be flexible, be curious and invent. In turn, this intensifies into new spirals of learning and co-learning, which can benefit your business tremendously.

Madeleine van der Steege,

Sneak preview – (Part 2) Marie’s Story“ I had one prayer. It was an early morning on my way to my work as HIV-Aids Lay Counselor Coordinator. The hill in front of me was very steep, and summer time in the Cape is not made for hard walking. From deep within me came the prayer “I want to grow and develop more”. It was an ache inside me that I had ever since I left school. It was a hunger to know more, and to be more than just another Coloured woman with a fractured past, an unfinished education and only legs for transport. The beginning of the answer to that prayer happened unexpectedly…”

Enroll and join us at our life changing workshops and please “like” us Facebook to stay up to date or send and email to

Open your mind to others to empower


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Our company name is Synquity. Synquity = Synergy + Equity. It refers to the splendour and beauty of being in sync with yourself and others at work or home. Synquity is about unlocking that synergy.

Perhaps like you, we want people to love, our work to matter and to take care of our planet. It’s important to us that our team enjoys making a difference in organizations and the people in them. We treasure the fact that we are only human and have faith in people’s (and our) capacity and desire to do things better at work.

We want to thank everyone who has been or is part of our ongoing learning.

We enjoy learning from each other and also from you, as well as the mountain of good books and web exchanges that we choose to devour. We want to look back on our contribution to you and your organization with no regrets. Knowing we added meaningful value in a unique way and had fun doing it.

What is it about Synquity

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Posted by on September 30, 2012 in Uncategorized


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