The Netherlands

In 1977 Joseph Kessels and Cora Smit start working together as educational consultants. Under the name of ‘Kessels & Smit’, they develop innovative approaches for improving the effectiveness of training and learning programmes. For example by approaching the design process both from a systematic and a relational angle (involving stakeholders), and by reducing the gap between work and training, and other forms of learning. By publishing widely on their work and by establishing a course in HRD and Educational Consultancy under the wings of the Foundation for Corporate Education (FCE), they provide a significant contribution to the HRD field in the Netherlands.


In 1996, they link up with Profound, an educational consultancy firm founded by Paul Keursten. This fusion of companies marks the start of ‘Kessels & Smit, The Learning Company’. Over the years, the small 6-person firm expands to become a network of about 30 consultants and 6 support staff in the Netherlands.


The focus of the consultancy projects evolves along the way. As well as educational and HRD issues, the consultants now also work on more strategic issues concerning the arrangement and management of organisations (leadership, knowledge productivity, workplace learning) and societal topics (sustainability, social learning).


The homebase is an office at the Maliebaan in Utrecht. Consultants also work from their homes across the country.