Who is Ottention | Ivo Otten


Ivo Otten

My name is Ivo Otten and I specialize in happiness at work. Because organizations that do well with regard to employee happiness, perform better and are more pleasant to work in. As change manager - mainly in the non-profit sector - I have led reorganizations and mergers and I have  introduced new ways of working and I have completed an organizational transformation (including culture change).

My focus

We spend a great deal of our time interacting in and with organisations - as employee, supplier, customer, guest, student, patient, volunteer. In practice, collaboration in organisations is sometimes quite difficult. Usually this happens unknowingly and unintentionally, but the end result remains a drain of energy. 

This is because we fly on auto pilot of the classical management thinking of top-down and planning & control. Result: misunderstanding, increased workload and workstress, friction, managers that do not listen, employees that do not do as they are told, colleagues who are not aligned, the bureaucracy that is more important than the client, overflowing e-mail boxes, too many and too long meetings, ... the list goes on. And the worst thing is: we have gotten so used to this that we think it is all part of the game. Meanwhile, more than 10% of the Dutch working population are suffering from burn-out symptoms. 

This can and must change. We need to have a fresh look at what it means to organise and we need to start again with organising in a purposeful manner - organising with attention ... Attention for people, the purpose of the organisation, attention for a healthy culture, structure and empowerment. We can do this for example to start focussing more on talents of employees rather than on their shortcomings. Or to look for what is already working - despite the challenges and setbacks - and to amplify that ("find the bright spot").

Based on research by scientists in the positive psychology, appreciative inquiry and learnings from the recent management literature, I have developed an approach that will support this transition towards a more purposeful way of organising. Elements of this approach can be implemented as stand alone modules, but these can also be combined into an integrated and taylor-made state-of-the-art change management approach.

If you want to know more about happiness at work, click here. If you want to know more about my approach, click here.

My background

I started my professional life in consultancy (structure, governance, steering instruments, but also training and coaching). After that I worked for over twelve years in the sector of development cooperation and INGOs, which I enjoyed very much. The last eight years of my professional life in development cooperation, I worked as a change manager. 

I enjoyed managing the necessary changes in a project oriented manner, but what I enjoyed even more is the design and implementation of organisation-wide interventions. Examples of these are: the design and hosting of an annual learning day, the kick-off of the new organisation structure and culture, culture development sessions, scenarioplanning, learning sessions with departments and development sessions with management.

After I lead and facilitated two rounds of budget cuts, a successful strategic reorientation with a change program (more income from a greater diversity of income sources), intensifying collaboration with sister organisations and a merger with sister organisations in 18 countries, I decided to dedicate my passion for the profession of change management as a self employed change manager. 

I have experience with both the hard / formal side (systems, procedures, reorganisation, structure) as well as the soft / informal side (culture, attitudes, beliefs, behaviour) of organisations and organisational change.



Noordsingel 214

3032 BM Rotterdam

The Netherlands

+31 6 48 19 80 99

Chamber of Commerce nr.: 69726264