Flemish Patient Platform
Health & Wellbeing
Philippe Vandenbroeck

More effective patient participation


The Vlaams Patienten Platform (Flemish Patient Platform; VPP) has been in existence for 20 years and has become a key player in the Flemish and national healthcare landscape. This increasing recognition requires new strategic choices, which take important contextual developments in the healthcare sector into account. shiftN was asked to oversee this ‘VPP 2030’ reflection.

However, this requirement was hampered by a need among the board, management team and employees to structurally resolve a number of pressing internal tensions. The company had outgrown the pioneering phase and was looking for an organisational model which suited the new situation.


We have tackled this assignment in phases.

(1) A diagnosis of the challenges and underlying dynamics, visualised in a systems map which created a shared insight among the board, management and employees.

(2) A recovery phase, during which the internal organisation was thoroughly reviewed and subsequently upgraded to a healthier work system, based on natural hierarchy and distributed leadership.

(3) A strategic phase, during which shiftN assisted employees with conducting an extensive external survey. Various different future scenarios were explored based on those results, which eventually led to a new strategic plan.


The process has resulted in significantly less stress for the management team and the organisation as a whole, but has also brought about a mind shift in the way of working. The most striking changes are the redistribution of responsibilities and decision-making powers, as well as the implementation of a simple, yet effective consultation structure.

Photo by Sharon Pittaway on Unsplash