With her ‘Fryske roots’, Ankje is a down-to-earth bridge-builder who speaks the language of both the director and the shop floor. She is involved with Allied Forces as a systemic advisor, process facilitator, and coach. According to Ankje, everything hinges on attention to people, leadership, and collaboration.
In search of adventure, Ankje began as a non-commissioned officer in the Army. Just a year and a half later, she was deployed as a leader to Albania during the Kosovo war. “There, I learned two crucial lessons. The first was recognizing the value of our work: providing fundamental assistance to people in dire need. Since then, I’ve sought that significance in all my work. The second lesson: I realized how task-oriented my training had been and felt there was a lack of attention to the human side: How do you interact with one another? I wanted to address that.”
At the Defense department, Ankje subsequently gained extensive experience in HRM, organizational studies (MSc.), cultural change, and social innovation. Ankje always looks at the bigger picture and bridges gaps to other realms. This approach led her to build a network outside the Defense department, which is how she came into contact with Allied Forces, for instance.
“In organizations, I often see a focus on the business side, a top-down approach, and symptom management. A question that preoccupies me is: What’s really going on here? I assist in unraveling patterns, connecting the underlying currents with the surface, and collaboratively seeking sustainable solutions. From a systemic perspective, I link the individual and group levels to the organizational context. These parts are inextricably linked.”
Regarding her work with Allied Forces, she says, “I contribute to a healthy, safe, and vital working environment. An environment where it’s pleasant to work and where people, drawing from their talents, contribute the most to organizational goals. We spend a significant portion of our lives working. From personal experience, I know how vital it is to find happiness in your job. To do what you excel at and what energizes you.”
In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and sports. Ankje devotes a lot of time to friends and family, loves listening to music, attends concerts, and focuses on her personal and professional development.