Menno van Dijk

Professional Title: Co-founder and Partner

Industry: Higher Education

Currently with: THNK School of Creative Leadership

Previously with: McKinsey & Company

THNK Connection: Co-founder and Partner


I was born in the Netherlands to a father who worked at Philips in innovation (he still has patents on the CD player!) and a mother who taught me the value of education. I studied Physics in State University Leiden and later got my MBA at INSEAD.


From there I went to McKinsey & Company, where I spent more than 20 years—most recently as a tenured Director. I lived abroad in Australia and then in South Africa, when McKinsey opened an office after the end of apartheid. I worked with clients in sectors ranging from mining to technology to media, and in countries such as India, China, Australia, South Africa, and throughout Europe and the United States. My area of expertise was business strategy, innovation and growth. I had the opportunity to launch McKinsey’s first business in a joint venture with Nielsen. And I was a board member of New Venture, NEMO, and other organizations in the space of social impact, entrepreneurship, innovation, and learning.


For me, at THNK, the opportunity to interact with a high-caliber of creative thinkers and support their entrepreneurial adventures makes every day an inspiration. The quality, diversity and dedication of the THNK team is a real privilege. Together, we will grow THNK to a global community of creative leaders that collaborate to solve large social challenges, and partner with organizations across many sectors to turn those solutions into sustainable and high-impact enterprises.

Blogs by Menno

Linear to Complex

Here are some sound pieces of advice: the more you know about a system, the better you are at predicting its behavior. If you want a large outcome, then put a large amount ...

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Building a Community

To go beyond our current understanding of a community, we needed to research religious groups, guilds, pioneer groups, families, the mafia, political parties, cults, online communities, alumni groups, movements, and tribes throughout history.

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Resilience and Vitality

Available on We bridge theory and practice on organizing imagination and innovation by extracting key implications and offering new insights to innovation practitioners. This article builds on Exploring HRM Meta-Features that Foster Employees’ ...

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The Netherlands: Scale-Up Nation

This article was originally published by the Dutch Financial Times Outlook Magazine, online available here.


Startups are an important source of innovation. From these new enterprises, scale-ups – fast-growing startups – realize the majority ...
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Scale-up: The Experience Game

Over the past six months, THNK partnered with Deloitte Fast Ventures to conduct research on scale-ups, by using a database with over 400.000 startups from more than 24 countries. We are proud to have taken part ...

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How We Got to Now – a message from Menno

Dear all,


I just read this beautiful book How We Got To Now – Six Innovations That Made The Modern World, by Steven Johnson. In the book, Johnson explores the history of innovation over centuries, tracing the development ...

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Creative leadership: slaying the four-headed Hydra

How do leaders and start-up entrepreneurs deal with the multi-headed Hydra of long hours, external pressures, opportunities, and responsibilities for others? THNK Co-Founder Menno van Dijk shares some heartfelt insights from his own experience ...

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What Icarus teaches us about innovation leadership & risk taking

The story of Icarus presents an interesting perspective on innovation leadership and taking risk.


Icarus and his father Daedalus are being held captive by King Minos on the island of Crete. Daedalus builds wings ...

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Book launch: Scaling – Small Smart Moves for Outsized Results

Scaling Small Smart Moves for Outsized Results by Mark Turrell & Menno van Dijk


How did ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ become the fastest-selling book of all time? Why did it take just a single day to ...
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Can your company innovate?

Whether or not your company can innovate is going to be the big determinant of corporate success. Five essential characteristics determine if your organization has what it takes to innovate on an ongoing ...
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Articles by Menno

Horses for Courses

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