Johan Cruijff is always right… (also about ICT and marketing!)

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Johan Cruijff is always right… (also about ICT and marketing!)

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In my work, I am committed to the professionalization of IT staff on a daily basis. The importance of up-to-date knowledge about matters such as security, big data and cloud computing is very important. If there is a leak in the security of an organization, it can lead to major damage, both financially and to the image of a company.

But as an IT professional, you not only harm your employer, but you also slash yourself if you don't keep up. If you want to be employable now and in a few years' time, you have to keep your knowledge up-to-date by reading, practicing, watching videos, obtaining certifications, consulting colleagues, and so on.

If you see a player sprinting, he left too late

That's logical, Johan Cruijff would say. The great master also said: “If you see a player sprinting, he left too late.” As always, Cruijff had seen it right. Also in IT it is not about an incidental course or training, but about continuous knowledge development.

With additional training once every few months you fall behind. Working with a learning attitude in a learning company ensures that you are continuously available and do not have to sprint to keep up with others.

This is also evident from the benchmark study ‘Competing on IT knowledge' that we conducted on this subject. The main insights that emerged from this are:

  • 29% of Dutch companies no longer see a future in three years' time if they do not invest in IT knowledge development;
  • Successful companies put more effort into continuous learning;
  • 95% see IT knowledge development as a continuous process and as an investment (and not as a cost item);
  • Unfortunately only 7% support this with tools.

[Download de gratis ‘Benchmark ‘Concurreren op IT-kennis’]

But… of course this does not only apply to football players and IT people. As a marketing professional, I also have to make sure that I keep developing myself, because the world around us is changing rapidly and more and more knowledge and craftsmanship is needed to stay ahead.


Recently, I have been working hard on the Senior Marketing Professional (SMP) certification, an internationally recognized quality mark from NIMA. This SMP certification shows that I keep up with my profession and that I find it important to continuously work on my development. In order to maintain the certification, in addition to working as a marketing professional, I also have to realize at least 30 so-called PE hours every year, where PE stands for permanent education (ie lifelong / continuous learning).

That's not even that much (and therefore doable), but it is a nice incentive to ask myself at least every week how I make sure that my knowledge remains up to date.

How do you make sure you keep up? Let me know!

John de Beijer, NIMA SMP


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