Jeroen Soeterbroek

Why the classic desk pitch no longer works for digital projects.


Not enough time

The general director of a large multinational enters the presentation room in a hurry. Busy dealing with the latest emails to arrive on his iPhone. “Sorry to be late! I’m busy and only have 40 minutes for your presentation because I got to take a call afterwards. We are in the middle of a huge acquisition!”.

We begin our presentation feeling rather tense. Forty minutes is much too short for what we have to say and we have far too many slides for that space of time. Nevertheless, we start and race through our story. During the presentation, we notice that the director is not really paying attention. Feeling annoyed, we find ourselves outside the headquarters again at 5 past 12. It felt like we wasted our time. And our client’s as well...



It seemed like an important moment for me. As a bureau, I no longer wanted to be working on a pitch for weeks at a time based on assumptions and a detailed briefing for which the input from the client remained limited to answering questions and a stringent RFP document. We wanted to move toward a situation where we would work in a team with the client on fathoming the problem from the get-go and collaborate to get ground-breaking results.

It turned out to be the starting shot of what we now call the ConnextLAB. An independent component of our eco-system of companies, each with its own specialisation. We rented separate space in Rotterdam with views of the Meuse. A space with its own identity and isolated for the rest of the company. A space that breathes focus on innovation. A fine space to spend an entire week in your sneakers. Away from the headquarters for a spell, the client finds himself in the space equipped with the latest technological gadgets such as a 360-degree meeting owl for capturing everything on film and an innovative setup for conducting user testing with end-users from all over the world. And the inevitable iPhone mandatorily set to mute...


Google Design Sprint

The Google Design Sprint method turned out to be the best fit for our plans. The structure of this method gives the client a handle and provides us with the possibility to work with the client on getting to the core of the issue in just five days. We validate the tools and solution on day five with real end-users, meaning that we avoid wasting time and energy in elaborating a solution or product that the target group will not be interested in at the end of the day.

The result of this step was simply amazing, we can safely say. We understand our client’s business better and the client has had fun learning how to implement digital transformation at his organisation up to three times faster. And all of this achieved without expensive outlays or never-ending RFP procedures! We currently do 40 Design Sprints each year with fantastic clients including government ministries, Postillion Hotels, Airbus and Lamb Weston Meijer. All working on the interface of innovation, organisation and technology. Our clients are pleasantly surprised by the speed and impact that they observe.

And … not to be ignored: our work has really become a lot more enjoyable.


My phone goes off while I’m on the train. It is the director of a renowned organisation in the travel sector. He sees possibilities for resolving a serious problem at his organisation by turning to digital transformation, but he has no idea how to approach this....

digital transformation implemented at your organisation up to 3 times faster

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