Installing meaningful dialogue on performance




In hardly 6 years Teamleader will have evolved from local Belgian start-up to a challenging European player on CRM, invoicing and projectmanagement services. So evidently scaling and preparing its organization for this massive growth is a non-stop challenge.

After one year on the premises, our local bean Ive proudly looked back: “Of course Teamleader is hyper-focused on its business targets and monitors them closely on a teamlevel. But we also want people to have a deep understanding of and clear vision on all the hard and soft aspects of their role. Numbers and targets alone don’t create engagement, you need a deep connection with the true value that your role produces. And I think we managed to crack that code!”


Raising autonomy, stimulating ownership, creating entrepreneurial attitude. Such a cultural shift starts with the right mindset and a totally different kind of dialogue. So Beanmachine set the scene: we tossed away all classical job descriptions and replaced them by individual business model canvasses (based on the popular Business Model Canvas by Strategyzer). Every role at Teamleader had to feel like a micro-business on its own. These business models would allow team managers not only to elaborate with their team members on all aspects of the job but also to stimulate their people to feel ownership and be entrepreneurial. Team members would perceive their job as a business to run, so not just executing tasks and assignments but really creating value for their customers.


Dialogue started emerging in every corner of the organization. Wow! We still have a vivid picture of team leads sitting together with their team members, discussing in depth all aspects of a role. From defining customers and value propositions through stakeholders and relations to key activities and results. You could literally see how people at Teamleader truly got aligned and connected. Talking about raising engagement!

But management of course had their specific role to play too. An amazing amount of qualitative data on how people looked at the Teamleader business, had to be collected. Sometimes divergent to the actual company strategy, pointing out certain aspects of the strategy needed more (re)explaining. But some differences turned out to be quite valuable new business ideas and so management decided to keep them and even adapt the strategy!

During this mutual process of aligning almost organically new degrees of autonomy between individuals, teams and management got installed.

Just in case you were wondering, it actually only took 3 steps (and loads of coffee) to create these personal Business Model canvasses.

Step 1: Clarifying role and expectations

The HR officers at Teamleader prepared basic role-specific canvasses based on existing knowledge.  For every role a value proposition was described including the activities that create value and of course describing the customers and key partners for that specific role.

Step 2: Personal role tailoring

This step is about getting on the same page. We handed over a canvas to every individual team member asking him or her to tailor it, based on their own personal view. Without any restrictions. We asked the team leader to do the same.

Step 3: Key Performance Indicators

During a meeting or over coffee both parties discussed, talked and crafted a validated view on the role. The team lead guarded the company vision and team alignment while the individual team member was free to focus on his personal view and ambitions.


True success only comes with clear expectations. On top feedback is crucial when it comes to alignment and growth within a company. At Teamleader expectations towards a team member now start with a (entrepreneurial) dialogue between team manager and member. In fact, despite the ambitious timeframes in this ever growing organization, talking has become a significant part of its performance management. Talking to bring clarity. Talking to keep each other aligned. Talking to add value.

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