Kees Tillema - Out of the Groove

The beneficial effects of rough treatment in organizations


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This is an uncomfortable management book

The book deprives managers of the opportunity to hide behind all kinds of slick methods, techniques, and step-by-step plan for organizational development. Methods that oppose the things that this book embraces: disorder, unpredictability, hassle, and instability.

Twelve keys to antifragile organizing

How can organizations and leaders develop when they use the unexpected, the unplanned, and volatility of everyday? How can they use antifragile organizing? This book answers that question, using twelve keys, inspired by Nassim Taleb, the founder of the antifragile thinking.

Business Administrator Kees Tillema helps organizations and leaders to get out of the groove. With this, he aims breaking through the repetitive, non-functioning ways of thinking and acting. He makes the reader think with provocative and groundbreaking ideas to develop and change organizations. What if we say goodbye to all permanent employment contracts? What if we stop setting measurable goals? What if we create our own best competitor?

Who should read Out of the Groove?

The book deliberately lacks the prudence of a scientific approach. This is the definitive work on this topic, it is the start, written for readers that wish to accelerate their imagination and take creative risks next.

Published in May 2021 | Paperback | 192 pages | ca. 55,000 words
Dutch edition published by Boom Publishers Amsterdam

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Dr. Kees Tillema studied Economy and Business Administration and has always been interested in Psychology and Psychotherapy. He has over twenty years of experience as an organizational advisor, mainly as CEO of Zuiderlicht (Southern Lights) Management Advisors. He creates new blends of intellectual and scientific insights with creative and unorthodox approaches from psychology and sociology in his consultancy and books.

Besides his work as entrepreneur and organizational advisor, Kees Tillema lectures Management Accounting and Control at the University of Groningen, and wrote the book From Numbers to Values, which was shortlisted for Management Book of the Year in 2014. He is a classical musician and a full-contact karate instructor.


‘This book is a manifest, both easy to read and uncomfortable. Much will make you raise your eyebrows, but much of the book is written from the heart. It is a book that gets you out of the groove.’
René ten Bos, philosopher and author

‘The central question in this book is not “How can organizations absorb unexpected events better?”, but “How can organizations grow stronger from unexpected events?” The answer is in the title, get out of the groove. Or use antifragile organization, saying goodbye at the right moment to the patterns that once were useful, but are now standing in the way of vitality and grow. It is a remarkable book. In the worst-case scenario, this publication is but a mere rippling in the consultancy water, but in the best case it will be awarded Book of the Year.’
Bert Peene, teacher at IMAGO Group, Via Vinci Academy, and C-Lion

‘A highly original book. Kees Tillema makes the work by Nassim Taleb more practical and suitable for a larger audience, but it keeps its uncomfortable message. The book is well-written and deserves to be proclaimed ‘The Small Taleb’. It really makes you think and doesn’t take the easy way out, have the courage to read it!’
Peter de Roode, advisor, trainer, and author

‘An uncomfortably good book. Some rougher treatment with loving intentions could be beneficial in most organizations. But who dares?’
Martin van Staveren, organizational advisor and author on risk management

‘A great confrontational book that grabs your attention. Tillema has succeeded in presenting the theories of two less accessible thinkers in an open manner. I urge you to start working with getting out of the groove, the book is a hit.’
Nico de Jong, senior advisor at the Ministry for Public Health, Well-Being, and Sports



PART 1, Twelve keys for antifragile organizing
Skin in the game
Small, independent units
Local decision-making
Small mistakes vs. big mistakes
Intelligent tinkering
Via negativa
Mild stress
Working with ground rules
Positive asymmetry
Preference for volatility

PART 2, Seven problems from an antifragile perspective
1: Agility and flexibility
2: Loyalty, involvement, and responsibility
3: Mutual trust
4: Control and regulation
5: Sustainable employability
6: Intern entrepreneurship
7: Strategy

PART 3, Your soul in the game

Finally: getting your hands dirty

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