Ways of Working:
Joke Oosters from Trust for Business
With Fosbury & Sons’ motto being: ‘make a life, not just a living’, it’s no wonder that Joke Oosters, the founder of Trust for Business, feels perfectly at home here as a resident member.
Joke radiates calm and openness when we find her at work behind her laptop. She’s doing what she loves, as she does every day: helping businesses large and small to reconnect to their core purpose in life, to become more agile, to handle pressure, and build durability. We talk to her about gaining awareness and becoming whole, both in work and in life.
FoS: For those who don’t know Trust for Business yet, what is it exactly that you do?
“Everything that has to do with working sustainably. This can be in the ecological sense, but mostly I approach it from a relational perspective. It seems people can only work sustainably if they work with purpose, if they can connect to others and if they find meaning in what they do. The goal is to contribute to society, to do what makes your heart sing.”
FoS: When and how did you come up with this idea?
“I founded Trust for Business three years ago. When I started as a family therapist at 18 years old, I was part of a group of private practices. What I didn’t realize, then, was that I was already a part of a self-regulating organization, one of the pillars of my practice today. We had a shared purpose and a great deal of autonomy, which we, in turn tried to encourage in our patients. Most of our clients were upper middle class, often working in corporations. They were keen to have me apply some ideas of family therapy to the companies they worked in. and even though some had prejudices about it, the fact is that running a household is not that much different to running a business. I have spent the last 10 years developing these techniques of how to become aware of (work) culture in a human environment.”
FoS: How have companies and the people in them reacted to your techniques?
“I think that more and more companies are starting to understand that the old structures don’t work anymore and that jobs as we know them do not always bring positive contributions. The organizations that do recognize this find their way to me. Whether they are ready for a self-regulatory business structure instead of a top-down one often depends on their size. Then, what matters is for employees to regain trust in their employers. What company leaders need for that is authenticity and get closer to their teams.”
FoS: What is there to gain?
“From my coaching, people become aware of who they are and what their added value can be. It energizes me to help people discover that! We’re living in an area of the world where there are no life-threatening situations, really. So there’s no need to have our fight-or-flight response on at all times, our reptilian brain can take a break. It’s time to connect people, to create engagement between people. Simply put, make the world a better place.”