DOW Chemicals

'A strong example of change management with design expertise.'

Who: Dow Chemicals combines chemistry, biology and physics to create its innovative products. Dow Terneuzen, with 16 plants, is Dow’s second largest production site worldwide. Terneuzen is the focal point for supporting Dow services in Europe, Middle East, Africa and India.

Duration: April 2022 – July 2023

Scope: 1800+ stakeholders

Key activities: Change Management

The assignment

Bring vibrancy and functionality back to DOW’s headquarters after the Corona pandemic. The headquarters had been delivered brand new in 2019 and equipped with all modern facilities. From coffee bar to gym to luxury meeting spaces. But during corona, the vibrancy disappeared. The head office was no longer buzzing. It was up to the team of Puur and Partners and Maike to bring everyone along to ‘the new way of working’, without changing anything about the physical working environment.

“Managing the change was central to this assignment. Creating support among all layers of the organisation, all with their own ‘Why’ and their own ‘What’s in it for me’. 1800 employees had to move from fixed workplaces to 1050 bookable flexiplaces in so-called ‘neighbourhoods’. We moved in employees from two other office buildings. 

We had to ensure more connection within and between the teams, provide inspiration, encourage sustainable use of the building and keep every stakeholder informed throughout the process.

With the addition of the new co-users, the Diamond Center is now the home base for the complete chain of businesses, End-to-end.”

Puur and Partners was in charge of the entire project management. At the same time as the transition to the new way of working, the Puur and Partners team had to manage the logistical flows associated with relocating employees, supervise internal adjustments and take care of completion at the old location. “Together with a very structured internal project team we managed to provide every team with the space they need to perform at their best.”

The progress

“For over a year, I worked here about 16 hours a week. A tough travel time from Sittard, where I live. But it was worth it. The assignment was immediately clear. DOW wants to be a good employer and guide the transformation right from the start. So that the ‘renewed’ workplace is a positive change for everyone, despite employees having to say goodbye to their permanent workplace. During this assignment, I was change manager first and design professional second.”

“A project like this stands or falls with communication. That’s why we started with a communication plan in which we especially laid out the ‘why’. To get everyone on board, from senior management to end users, you need a watertight story. Then it is important that the message reaches the right people in the right way. 25 ambassadors within the organisation helped with this. Passionate employees who already had change management experience or like to positively influence colleagues. They shared our progress with their supporters and collected wishes and ideas from them. They were important in keeping all noses in the same direction.”

The result

“The building is alive and vibrant again as it was originally intended. This assignment was right up my street, even though it was much more about change management than design. I really want everyone to feel heard and within this project I was given the time to listen and constantly check that everyone was still comfortable. It was a big puzzle to give each team space, in connection with teams they work with a lot, but without changing the structure of the building. We succeeded. All the pieces of the puzzle fit together.”


Curious about current and completed projects? Over the past few years, I rolled up my sleeves in many different places. In my portfolio, you can see the projects I was involved in. Projects I look back on with pride and a big smile.