Business case - business transformation journey

Innovita provides business transformation from a creative mindset.

What is our strategy and how do we realize a transformation journey, you can read it here

Transformation path: toward a single housing company

Faced with the proliferation of social housing companies, the Flemish government decided that from January 1, 2023, only one housing actor may operate in each municipality. This decision resulted in a reshuffling of the operating area of numerous social housing companies and rental offices. Therefore, it was decided in Veurne to proceed with the merger of:

Innovita was asked to support this path to a single housing company in terms of personnel and organization. Because of our long experience in all steps of such a trajectory, the choice fell on us. From January to April 2022, a steering committee with representatives from both organizations and InnoVita worked on this transformation trajectory. We did this in four steps:

  1. defining a mission statement
  2. the outline of a target organization
  3. the preparation of a staffing plan
  4. the provision of the new organization

with communication to all employees between steps 3 and 4.

A mission statement for the new housing society

Taking into account the existing activities and strategy, InnoVita proposed a mission, vision, strategy and values. During two meetings, the Steering Committee discussed and refined these texts.

The new mission captures in one sentence the new housing company's raison d'être, how it helps customers and what it stands for. The redefinition was necessary because RSVKs only rent while WIJZ builds, sells and rents.   

The new vision describes what the new housing company is going for, i.e., its ambition. For this, we took the recently formulated ambitions of both organizations.

Then, from this vision, a strategy determined, so these are the high-level objectives that must be achieved to realize the vision. We formulated these strategic objectives around 4 themes: Organization - Services - Housing - Stakeholders.

Finally, we defined five basicvalues against which from now on every choice, action, decision and initiative will be measured. It is intended that these values will be further concretized into behavioral indicators, in consultation with the employees.

Toward a target organization

InnoVita proposed a target organization, which represents the ideal structure on a well-defined date. This target organizational chart is a guide that allows to make the right staffing decisions at all times. Its purpose is to arrive at an organization that contributes to:

- the realization of the strategy of the new housing society

- the creation of a group feeling, separate from the 2 former organizations.

We opted for a flat organizational form based on "work processes and functions."

  • project development, engineering, client management, social service (core business)
  • internal management (support),

The target organizational chart shows the functions and reporting lines for each activity. We also prepared a list of activities to be outsourced.

The target date was January 1, 2023, the date by which, according to decree legislation, the new housing company must be operational. This timing provides sufficient time, not only to tilt toward the new organization legally and organizationally, but also for all employees to grow into contributing for the new housing company rather than for their current employer.

The strategic workforce plan

Once the desired organization was drawn out, we proceeded to calculate the necessary staff capacity (expressed in the number of headcounts and FTE per organizational unit). We did this in 3 steps:

1. mapping the supply of personnel on 01.01.2022

2. mapping the supply of personnel on 01.01.2023

3. determine the demand for personnel on 01.01.2023 = the planned personnel capacity. This is based on a number of assumptions related to strategy, the volume of current activities, the number of residential entities to be acquired or transferred to other residential companies, and anticipated project developments.

This exercise made it immediately clear:

  • That an upsizing from a thirty to a forty staff was necessary
  • Where exactly in the organization the deficits and excesses were located.

The quantitative staffing plan was then supplemented by a qualitative component, namely the job descriptions. Each position was described in terms of purpose, responsibilities and duties, interactions and required qualifications.


During a meeting of the full staff of the 2 current organizations, the management explained the three first steps already taken. This was the opportunity to inform all staff in detail about the elaborated mission-vision-strategy-values, the new organizational structure and the calculated staff capacity. Questions that people had about this process were also answered. Finally, the next step was announced: how everyone would have their place in the new structure. Job descriptions were also communicated.

The stipulation

The final step of the process was to abolish the outlined organizational structure. We invited all current employees to a career interview. This was a unique opportunity to capture and take into account each person's interest, expectations and concerns: ' what are the opportunities, what do you fear, what are your strengths, development needs, limitations, etc ?'

InnoVita developed a guideline and a checklist for these interviews and conducted them together with management. In addition to obtaining information about the aspirations, potential and development needs of employees, we noted statements about the functioning of the two current organizations and formalized the employability of some in the medium and long term.

The information we got from the career interviews with the employees allowed us, during a appointments workshop, putting the right woman/man in the right place. Immediately it also became clear which positions remained vacant so that the necessary recruitment actions could be scheduled.

Finally, we organized a feedback discussion. This was to provide individual and motivated feedback to each person on their appointment. This, along with the career interviews, was greatly appreciated by all employees. It was experienced as additional motivation for successful cooperation in the new organizational structure.

A new future

At the beginning of April, all the building blocks of the new housing company had been laid and we were ready to tilt into the new structure. This makes Woonmaatschappij Ijzer & Zee and the RSVKs Veurne-Diksmuide and Westkust the first in Flanders to complete this job! 

InnoVita is only too proud to have collaborated on this exciting project, during which we especially enjoyed the established trust And the professional fun!

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Source: Fokus (Knack)