The Cherry Model, €29,95
Anneke Keller & Tim Meeuwissen
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The gap between digital companies and companies that still need to make this change has widened in recent years. Bridging this gap is hard and needs persistence.
Anneke Keller, previously CTO at Wehkamp and Head of Software Engineering at Coolblue and Jumbo, has led several digital transformations. She helped scale tech teams and technology to be able to accommodate growth (TomTom, Coolblue and Jumbo), single brand to multi-brand (Wehkamp), and modernise the technical architecture (all of the above).
These experiences taught Anneke that technology teams, entire companies even, need a certain rhythm to adapt to change. A certain method that you can follow as a leader to support your team in growing to innovation. Anneke and Tims book "The Cherry Model" is about this method and gives plenty of examples from their experiences. Both successful and less successful, all with the intention for others to learn from it.
The book is expected in August 2023.
"I am good at concepts, Anneke is good at finishing things. That made us a good team"
Anneke Keller, Anneke.com
Tim Meeuwissen, Linkedin.com/in/tim-meeuwissen
Design & cover illustrations:
Tessa Schlechtriem, Skizzie.nl
Marieke Oosterom-Hoppenbrouwers, Lemonscontent.nl
KeKe46, Sleeuwijk, The Netherlands
Printed in the Netherlands by Pumbo.nl
Copyright © by KeKe46, Sleeuwijk NL
It is a rainy September day and at ten in the morning our board meeting has started. Things go as usual. Everyone is present: our CEO and my colleagues from Marketing, Logistics, HR, Finance and Sales.
We discuss the commercial results of our successful e-commerce company and the new opportunities we foresee in the coming months. My colleagues are very enthusiastic about the campaign they want to do around Christmas. Operationally it all seems possible and our marketing team has enough time to make it happen. The only thing needed is a new functionality added to our web shop, in the check-out to be precise. They are all looking at me; what do I think?
I hate this! I am responsible for IT at our company and I immediately know there is no way my team can make this work. I have to say no again. My team is fully booked for the coming weeks because Christmas is expected to be a super busy period and I am worried our platform won’t be able to handle the load in its current state, so I asked them to make performance improvements to avoid issues. My team is on schedule, but it is a tight one.
I try to explain the situation to my not-so-technical colleagues the best I can. They understand and accept that I have a better overview on these matters but nevertheless the response is, ‘IT is always the problem’. I knew this reaction would come.
“IT is often evaluated based on hard skills. Time to market, the resilience of architecture, the amount of coding languages you master, how many years of experience the tech department has. These aspects form the pit of the cherry. They are important, but none of them bring innovation. Soft skills do. Innovation grows when people learn from each other, work together and challenge each other. Soft skills are the cherry’s nutritious, sweet flesh that brings all the birds to the yard.”
I have created the Cherry Model based on 25 years of experience as innovation leader. Every tech organisation – entire companies even – have a rhythm for growth and change. After a summery phase of seemingly endless innovation inevitably follows a harsh season of stagnation and cutbacks. How can you as a leader predict and recognise these different phases and use them to support and create an innovative organisation?
In The Cherry Model me and my former colleague and technology guru Tim Meeuwissen guide you through the seasons of innovation sharing their stories, lively anecdotes and helpful tips and tricks.
I have worked as CTO and IT leader at Wehkamp, Jumbo, Coolblue, TomTom and KPN. I own a food forest where I grow fruit and vegetables for and with my neighbours.
Tim Meeuwissen has a career in transforming organisations to create software that scales and lasts, and currently works at Jumbo. Tim is a tinkerer and a hobby farmer who keeps chickens, bees and a small flock of sheep.
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When you like to use the drawings to explain The Cherry Model, feel free to use them. You can find them here
. Please remember to reference our book.