'A satisfying course, with useful theory and practical tools' - World Horti Center

“A satisfying course, with useful theory and practical tools"

Arnold Rouws (Rouws Floriculture Consultancy BV) learned a lot from the course Innovation Management Horticulture

The academic course Innovation Management in Horticulture has proven to be popular. The course, spread over 7 evening classes and offered by World Horti Center and Erasmus University, covers the theory and practice of innovation in horticulture. Preparations for the fourth and fifth editions are now in full swing. We spoke to former participant Arnold Rouws of Rouws Floriculture Consultancy BV about his experience with the academic course at World Horti Center.

Arnold has been working in floriculture for more than 3 decades. “For the last 5 years I was commercial director of Intergreen USA and I lived in Miami for 5 years,” says Arnold. “I now run my own consultancy agency, with which I advise ornamental growers in North America and South America about managing innovation product ranges. I also provide assistance in cultivation technology with advice on automation and robotisation.”

“I’m always on the lookout for ways to learn new things”

“That’s why I think World Horti Center is such a great initiative,” says Arnold. “It provides the very image and functionality that we in the Dutch greenhouse horticultural sector need. I follow World Horti Center on LinkedIn and via newsletters, which is how I found out about the academic course. Since I’m always on the lookout for ways to learn new things, it was perfect for me.”

“The course was a very satisfying experience,” Arnold continues. “It offered some real quality time, and not just because of all the new things we learned. I enjoyed the hours it took place, the location, the fact it started with dinner, and the composition of the group. Head teacher Jan van den Ende is a really great guy with an interesting book to his name, and the other teachers were well prepared too.”

“Innovation management goes beyond a company’s walls”

“On the one hand, it’s very welcome to learn some theory that you can fall back on, but the practical side of the course is also very useful. Fellow students shared their experiences, and we worked on daily issues in the sector, although I would have liked more presentations of practical examples in floriculture."

Arnold has taken away a number of new tools from the course. “Sometimes, I'm so full of new ideas, that I have to control myself. Channelling this energy and focussing on an issue has been a very useful tool for me. It’s about what you take on, and what you leave for later. This helps me select the innovation path better. I also learned that innovation management goes beyond a company’s walls, and that it’s a good idea to look to the outside world, and maybe bring in a partner or external expert.”

“I do hope that World Horti Center continues with the Innovation Management Course,” concludes Arnold. “I’d really like to challenge the organisation to expand the modules. Including Marketing and Social Media would be a great idea. Thanks to the method, the fellow students and the location, it was a very useful and gratifying experience all in all. I certainly learned a lot.”

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