ABDTOPConsult: Innovation Leadership in Practice


This case illustrates the various abilities required in order for a leader in a public leadership context to guide and stimulate their team(s) to come up with new and creative solutions. In this context, an initiative led by the protagonist, Hans van der Vlist, concerncs a policy proposal regarding moving towards more sustainable food systems in The Netherlands. This case looks at ABDTOPConsult, a small advisory group of experienced senior civil servants within the central government, who can be deployed quickly to address complex issues. More specifically, the case looks at how Hans van der Vlist, the director of ABDTOPConsult and the protagonist for this case, leads his secretariat and workgroup through The Netherlands. Generally, consultancy firms are approached in order to provide professional feedback to an individual or an organization based on their expertise. Moreover, through the case students are challenged to think about how policy proposals can be developed and realized through innovation leadership.

Citation Note

Based on field research

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1. Be able to understand the concept of innovation leadership and when it is an effective leadership style with different contexts2. Create a deeper understanding of consultancy within a public policy context3. Stimulate students to think of possible methods with which innovative thinking can be fostered4. Highlight the importance of sustainable developments on a governmental policy level