Justa de Graaff connects people and ICT within digital transformation

Improven has appointed Justa de Graaff as Director. With the experienced consultant, the finance, risk and IT specialist is further expanding its digital transformation services.

Those who have experience with digital transformations know that they are about much more than technology: success stands or falls with the inclusion of people. Based on this realisation Improven Justa de Graaff brought on board.

"As important as ICT is, digital transformation is first and foremost a business transformation and requires people-focused leaders," says Justa. "I am a connector who leads an organisation through change. In doing so, I focus on the intersection of digital and people."

She explains that a digital transformation often has a major impact on corporate culture. "Things suddenly go differently from what people are used to. This regularly creates persistent sentiments. Transformation is therefore mainly a leadership challenge: keeping the hard desire in line with the sensitive shop floor."

In meeting this challenge, Justa "works from a positive and people-centred approach with a goal-oriented agenda, measurable progress and energetic working methods," she says. "I train employees to do that which brings the greatest value: enabling each other to be the best you can be. I ensure that vulnerability becomes strength. Together, we go from challenge to enthusiasm."

Over the past 15-plus years, Justa gained considerable experience in this, especially in corporates and semi-government. After completing her master in Business Administration, she joined Deloitte at the end of 2005. First, she worked for several years within the Strategy Finance and Operations service line, before making the internal switch to Organisation & Change. From then on, she focused entirely on change management.

In 2012, she moved to ProRail, where she worked as Senior Projec Manager and Lean Manager. After a year at Dura Vermeer, she started working as an independent consultant in 2018. As such, she worked for three years within a large digital transformation programme for Royal Schiphol Group, in roles as Program Improvement Manager, Program Lead Business Transformation and Project Manager Digital Finance.

The power of connection

During this programme, she also came into contact with Improven. "I worked closely with one of the partners, Ramon van den Heuvel, and other Improven consultants. This way, I got to know Improven better and became more and more enthusiastic."

Improven also liked the collaboration very much. And in view of the increasing importance of digital transformation, the agency was keen to strengthen its services in that area with Justa's people-focused change power. As Director, she has been putting her extensive knowledge and experience to work for the agency's clients since this month.

"What was decisive for me was the 'power of connection'," Justa says of her decision to join. "Improven represents the right balance between the challenge to perform, trust and personal attention and development."

"In addition, I share Improven's core values: inspired, together and creative," she indicates. "At Improven, I can build in freedom and openness together with enterprising and knowledgeable colleagues to ambitiously develop myself and the organisation."

The team and the individual

In doing so, Justa draws not only on her experience as a change manager, but also on her top athlete mentality: before starting at Deloitte, she played handball in the premier league for many years.

"Top sport is my level," she says about it. "As a former top athlete, I know the strength of the team and the value of the individual. I am the booster who keeps heads cool and hearts warm. The playmaker who knows the way to the goal."

"It energises me to share the game with a team at the strategic-operational level," she continues. "I believe that in your strengths, you add the most value to the whole. My strength lies in programme management in digital transformation within corporates and semi-government. That is my playing field. That is where I come into my own."