Roland Dürre
Saturday June 30th, 2012

What Annoys Me #29 Once Again the IHK

Yesterday evening, as I return late from the company outing, I look into my post box. And what do I find?

An IHK newspaper (Zeitung).

So far, I only knew the magazine (Magazin) by the same institution that has the same name. It, too, reaches me as undesired high-gloss waste at regular intervals – and sometimes several copies of it (see my artikcle on the last edition).

This time, it is the Wirtschaft 02 |2012. It is about “handing over the enterprise early enough” – and it says so in huge letters right in the middle of the title page. What a truly current topic! To be sure, it is certainly an interesting issue, but, hey, we have been hearing about this old shit for quite some time now from banks and advisors.

And at the bottom of page one, I also have to read:

IHK is sorry to hear how they voted with respect to the third runway.

😉 Well, this makes me angry.

It makes me even more angry that, again, I get a paper in my post-box that I do not want. Basically, I have cancelled almost all subscriptions that meant paper in my house. On my letter-box and newspaper slid, you can find the stickers: “Please No Ads“. But still, the IHK keeps sending me this paper.

And then I see that it is not addressed to me. It is actually for my daughter Sophie. She is a student of mathematics at LMU, so you can bet she is not an “owner of a small firm” (according to the IHK website, the paper is especially designed for representing the interests of and being useful to that group). Neither did she order the newspaper or fill in a subscription form.

That makes me even more angry. We are forced to be IHK members – and the IHK sends newspapers without any added value but with a strong lobbyist tendency to our daughters.

It would be interesting to find out where the IHK found the address of my daughter (with the correct spelling of both first and second names). Since we are talking data security in this country all the time…

Why don’t we organize some sort of opposition to the self-portrayal of a system as totally remote from actual economic needs and as antiquated as the Chamber of Industry and Commerce? Maybe we should no longer finance them?

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Werner Lorbeer
Friday June 29th, 2012

Interest Lament and Historical Facts

“8% interest is too much for the Southern European nations“. – “If the Euro fails, Europe fails“. What pitiful sentences!
Yet the historical truth is so near. Firstly, the ratings of the Southern countries (and of others, too) were certainly wrong. The agencies gave their readers the wrong impression of security and should be admonished for it. But they certainly should not be admonished for now slowly approaching the truth.

As to the market: now, as they took off the blindfold, the players on the market want to get rewarded for the risk they took. Well, to be sure, this is now the only way to wake the political classes from their dreamy fantasies: I do not believe in < self-imposed moderation as Germany propagates it. But considering the moderation effect of interest rates, I would be quite optimistic.

A consequence of this would be that the gentlemen JunkerHollandeMontiundCo would not get interest assistance. But, ladies and gentlemen, feel free to put all your – certainly considerable – wealth into southern state government bonds.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be a mouse and listen? Which government bonds do Roth and Steinbrück buy? Do they really, out of sympathy, only buy those from Greece, Portugal and Spain? And then, when finally the entire mountain collapses, we will dance Sirtaki with Anthony Quinn: “Don’t be sad, dear boss, life is too short”.

In order to show the truth about what nations can stomach and what they actually did stomach in the past, you can look at the figure below. It shows 10 years of government bonds and I took it from Markt-Daten.de.

In the past, many nations successfully coped with higher interest rates, for instance the FRG when we had to finance the re-unification. I remember well the malice at the financial centre of London when they saw our high interest rates – did any of them volunteer to help us finance them? No. All over the financial centre of London they were quite happy with the high German interest rates.

But now let us enjoy the life of this summer, all the Junkers, Roths, Steinbrücks, Trittins and the other good people! This is the end of investment, the end of the film, Anthony Quinn and the duped financier. There is no alternative. Here we have life without old age, without civilization, living now and ignoring tomorrow… how thoroughly nice and absent-minded.

wl
(Translated  by EG)

Roland Dürre

Cabaret Consumer

I am basically quite enthusiastic about cabaret and comedians. When I was 15, I hung on every word Dieter Hildebrandt said at the Lach&Schieß-Gesellschaft on New Year’s Eve. He, Sammy Drechsel, Jörg Hube (who, incidentally, was an actor “as a side-line”) and Gerhard Polt were and still are my idols. I admired Georg Schramm, the Priol, Pelzig and Sigi, Hagen Rether, Pigor, Buchholz, Mrs. Gruber and many more.

Consequently, I always enjoyed and frequented cabaret performances of all kinds, giving myself quite a few exciting evenings in the process.

A short time ago, matters changed. After having attended the Vienna PM Camp (#pmcamp12vie), I immediately went to see Vince Ebert (Holger Ebert), directly going there from Munich railway station after four hours on the train. And basically, the cabaret performance by “Vince” was exactly as I always enjoy them.

(At least during the first half), It was a hell of a call for freedom. It was humorous, eloquent, very critical, profoundly intelligent on the high level of a scientist. A courageous program which, basically, voiced what my heart desired. The punch-lines, too, were great. For instance when he drew a rather misshapen head onto the flipchart and then asked if there was anybody among the audience who was courageous enough to write the title “Mohammed“ underneath. Of course, nobody volunteered. We were all too scared.

To be sure, there were also some platitudes – and some of the punch-lines were predictable. But with such a long program, you cannot really avoid it, can you? And besides, I certainly can stomach a coarse joke once in a while.

Consequently, the reason why I did not feel I could enjoy the program and left at the half-time break had nothing to do with the program. Also, I did not really know why I wanted to leave by all accounts. Because, basically, the program promised to be good enough to look forward to the second half. But there was no way I wanted to stay. And I had to think long and hard to find out why that had been so.

And then the scales fell from my eyes. I was fed up with sitting in a hall as a consumer and having others tell me things. Even if more or less all that is being said is rather to my liking. Although it was quite humorous and there was lots of laughter.

The contrast to the PM Camp (which is a very interactive Barcamp) was just too much. I had been allowed to listen whenever I wished to. And to say something whenever I wished to. Now I simply was no longer in the mood to do what the market criers told me to do. Even if I rather liked what they said. I no longer want to just sit there passively and listen. I want to be active. The time for becoming a producer, instead of just a consumer, has finally arrived for me.

That was also when I realized why I no longer like watching TV. The only way I can still tolerate a TV that is switched on is as background noise. Also, I realize this is why I no longer feel very much like going to watch a movie in the cinema. If at all, I only go to watch a movie if it has been specially recommended to me and if I am in the company of a bunch of good friends.

I am “zero motivated“ to get entertainment served on a silver plate!

And I get the impression that more and more people – especially young people – feel the same about it as I do.
The only type of entertainment consumption that still fascinates me is the theatre. It is where people passionately play for me. A good production is an entity as a piece of art. And the dialectics inherent in a good piece enlivens both my consuming and my production-eager soul.

Consequently, I very much recommend the Volkstheater and the Kammerspiele to all those living in Munich who feel as I do.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Thursday June 28th, 2012

What I Heard on the Radio

Incidentally, I like listening to Bayern2 – and not exclusively to radioWelt, either. This morning, they again had some remarkable news and information.

First, I heard about a political breakthrough (politischen Durchbruch):

The conciliation committee actually did it! Federal and state authorities are now in agreement about pressing operations for carbon dioxide (CO2) generated when fossil raw material is made into electricity.

It seems like they mutually agreed as follows: the storage spaces will become smaller and each state can veto the building of this kind of storage.

Now isn’t that an interesting agreement? I find it rather symptomatic for our policy. The only thing such an agreement might cause is the shared opinion of all citizens that this sort of policy does not deserve the name policy.

To me, a solution that is objectively better looks quite simple. Why not just prevent that carbon dioxide is generated? We have the necessary technology. The money, too, seems available in heaps. The only thing that is missing is the political desire and the realization by experts.

After all, it makes no sense at all for us to transport the world’s best coal from Australia to Germany in order to then win electricity from a (very small) part of the energy potential of coal. Neither does it make sense to me that we here mine and burn the probably worst-quality coal of the world in Germany in order to then filter out the poisonous components such as sulphur – not knowing where to dispose of it. And then we want to pressure-store it somewhere underground right here?

There was a second report by radioWelt this morning that also made me thoughtful. According to the Cologne verdict, the religious circumcision (Beschneidung) of boys (both Jewish and Islamic) are a violation of the law and therefore subject to prosecution for assault. Circumcision, even if religiously motivated, violates the physical well-being and the right of self-determination of children (who, after all, are also humans).

And, of course, the Central Council of Jews are not the only ones who were outraged by this verdict. Representatives of other and Christian religions were just as annoyed. For example, the German Conference of Catholic Bishops voiced its strong criticism of the verdict by the Cologne Central Civil Court on the circumcision of boys for religious reasons. According to them, the decision is “extremely strange, because it does not at all take into consideration that parents have a constitutional right to educating their offspring and to free choice of religious persuasion”, said Heinrich Mussinghoff, chairman of the sub-committee for religious relations between Christians and Jews (source: Spiegel)

”Let everyone get to heaven in his own way“ („Jeder soll nach seiner Façon selig werden“) said Frederik II. of Prussia as early as around 1750. And this is, after all, something we all feel comfortable with, don’t we? It would make me quite happy to see that the same rule is also applied to other affairs, instead of being unnecessarily forced to act in certain ways. But does this also mean that we are at liberty to mutilate other persons however we wish to – even if said other persons are our own children?

But then, there is also a new taboo/rule: “You must not violate other people’s religious feelings!” That annoys me! In my opinion, if you are actively involved in a religion, you also have to accept that sometimes your feelings will be subjected to offense. After all, since you know you own heavenly truth, you are already one up on all the other poor creatures living in this world, aren’t you?

Nobody is interested in whether or not my feelings are offended if children in Germany are mutilated for religious reasons.
And as soon as the child is grown up, he can feel free to get circumcised. Because if an adult person wants to mutilate himself, for instance by a tattoo or piercing, then I accept it – no matter why he does it.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Here are my tweets of last week on:


blogging and twittering, wisdoms and rules:

120712 As gentle as a dove, while as stupid as a goose – that is something I do not appreciate with bloggers and twitterers. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

120713 A sweet temper will not be something you regret – what a nice rule, not just for twitterers and bloggers? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

120714 Pigs will be pigs and always remain pigs – also true for twitterers and bloggers? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

120715 Damage will cause new damage – also true for twittering and blogging! #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

120716 Harm will make you prudent, but not rich – so be careful, twitterers and bloggers. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

120717 Being ashamed will prevent dishonesty – also true for twitterers and bloggers. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

120718 Evil deeds will not be balanced by evil words – not to forget, twitterers and bloggers! #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

There is a new tweet each day. See twitter.com and “follow” RolandDuerre!


Enjoy!

RMD

(Translated by EG)

P.S.

I took the proverbs from Alle deutsche Sprichwörter.

Roland Dürre
Wednesday June 27th, 2012

A Ticket from the Police

It happened yesterday – no matter how important I consider life balance: once in a while it happens that I am a little pressed for time.

An appointment with a friend at 12 o’clock. I have to leave by 1 p.m. – and I am a little late. So I have to call him, just so everybody knows what is up. There is a good place, no traffic, I see everything far ahead. So I ride my bike a little slower, get my cell-phone and make the call. After 18 seconds, everything is said. I can continue with a little more speed.

Three hundred metres on, a BMW stops me – police. Three policemen driving a BMW. The one riding shotgun opens his door and gets out. I give him a questioning look. I am not aware of having done anything wrong. I was riding on the right side of the road, everything should be well.

“Sir, you are the person we want to speak to”, says he. He does not give his name. I say: “With pleasure”. After all, I rather like the Unterhaching police force. “So what can I do for you today?“ – “Sir, you used your cell-phone while riding your bike!”

Oh yes, now I remember. Indeed, just back there, I made a short call. As we all know, this is forbidden while you are riding your bike. And I did not pay special attention to whether or not police was near. What a pity. After all, I was in a hurry, wasn’t I?

The policeman tells me: “I would like to give you an official warning”. I say: „OK! I accept! But, please, let us be quick about it, I am in a hurry“. He tells me the official warning is necessary. Far too many bikers have had fatal accidents lately. Well, I do not understand the logical argument in this sentence.

But yet, I say: “Yes, I understand”. After all, I am in a hurry. You really often read about accidents where bikers are fatally injured. They rather shock me. Yet, so far I never read about a biker being injured because he had a short telephone conversation on his bike.

The policeman also tells me that you cannot break with one hand. Well, this is certainly nonsense. At the slow speed I was going, my right hand for the rear break would easily have sufficed to bring my Utopia Roadster to an immediate standstill. But since I am in a hurry, I only nod.

Now the policeman wants to see my passport. I get it out and hand it to him. Then he asks me. “What is the postal code of Hohenbrunn”. That makes me a little thoughtful. Why does he ask this question? Is this a catch question? Does he want to test me? Or maybe he wants to fob me? Since I am in a hurry, I tell him the five digits.

He disappears in his car. I have to wait almost 10 minutes. Then I get an official warning. With an air of generosity, the policeman says: “If you pay up within the next 10 days, everything will be fine”. I nod. He almost apologizes. I tell him that his behaviour was absolutely flawless and continue on my way. After all, I am in a hurry.

Was this really necessary? Who benefits by it? Will I change my behaviour? Of course, I will pay up without complaining. If you violate the law, you have to accept the consequences. Besides, 25 Euros do not really hurt me, do they? Then I remember that there are, indeed, people for whom 25 Euro are really painful. Well – who said life was fair.

As I continue on my way, I see numerous drivers sitting in their cars and holding their cell phones to their ears while driving. Some of them even smoke while talking on the telephone and driving. During the 15 kilometres to my destination at Dachauer Str., I also meet many bikers who drive on the wrong side of the road. Some of them hold a cell phone to their ear. One of them even rides his bike free-hand on the wrong side of the road while holding his phone.

Epikie Yes, life is definitely not fair.

But is this really necessary? Is it really the duty of a policeman to educate us? Like our parents used to try? They, too, failed.
In my book the police in general and policemen in particular have a positive connotation. Regardless, I feel I have to train myself for developing an automatism in some situations in order not to “get caught”. Just to save money and time. Because I feel I know what is right and wrong and will actually stick by my rules.

Incidentally, this behavioural pattern is called Epikie (Aristotle). It means you “act as a sensible legislation would demand from you“.

Yesterday was definitely my unfortunate day. In the afternoon, I left my cell-phone with one of my customers. At least, this prevented me from getting caught with the phone at my ear on my way home. And when I went to play soccer at night, I discovered I had packed two shoes for the right foot…

But still, yesterday was a wonderful day!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Tuesday June 26th, 2012

Good Old NATO

I cancelled all subscriptions that used to burden me with all this paper (including marketing high-gloss paper), such as the SZ, a boulevard newspaper, the Spiegel, the Sunday FAZ. And now I feel truly liberated and happy with my decision.

Now I get all my information through the internet (with PAD, Kindle and notebook), as well as the radio. Whenever it is reasonably possible, I listen to my favourite station Bayern 2, (for instance) the program radioWelt. Here, I find all I need: well selected information, plenty of background knowledge and excellent interviews. They really get their interview partners to disclose what they know.

For example, this morning I found the conversation with Karl-Heinz Kamp, who used to work at the Rome NATO Defense College, very interesting. He was asked how the NATO was going to position itself after the shooting of a Turkish military jet by a Syrian antiaircraft missile.

Following a Turkish request, an important NATO meeting where the conflict between Turkey and Syria will be discussed is going to take place this morning. Even as a small child, I always perceived the NATO as an iron and martial alliance. Its mission was to defend the “Freedom of the Western Countries” and it drew its legitimation from the threat of communism – in particular from the Warsaw Pact threat.

Later, they declared the collective defense case for fighting terrorism. To be sure, I never understood how you can fight terrorism through the NATO, but I probably just lack technological competence… Then again, this interview again made me wonder.

I learned that there are articles 4 and 5. Article 4 will probably be the one Turkey is referring to. But this article has no effect at all. Even article 5 of the NATO Pact – describing the collective defence case – does not really mean a lot. All it means is that, if one of the pact countries is attacked, all other pact countries shall consider themselves attacked.

Any reaction to such an attack would then be the own affair of each individual country, dependent on the issue at hand. No country is forced to automatically help the attacked partner. First, you would have to find a “coalition of the willing” who want to fight with military weapons.

To say it in a nutshell – it does not seem like the NATO is actually a true alliance. It seems to me that Herr Kamp knows what he is talking about. Yet to me, his language sounded like an attempt at justifying something that basically cannot work.

Well, that is something that, again, makes me thoughtful. Probably the NATO is also one of those institutions where we should be politically courageous enough for reforms.

Perhaps you can listen to the interview on the internet at some other time?  Maybe you want to listen more closely.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Sunday June 24th, 2012

PM Camp and Guidelines

If you do not know PM Camp, just search for #pmcamp! For the latest IF Blog article on #pmcamp click here.

The first PM Camp 2011 at Dornbirn resulted in a “movement”. At irregular intervals, I now write IF Blog reports on PM Camps. I also support #pmcamp as best I can.

*

This March, the “Core PM Camp Team”, again, worked on a vision. We would like to have many good PM Camps in D-A-CH, and later, perhaps, even world-wide. It was a very constructive meeting. In a concise and yet very thorough way, we decided upon our values, task and mission.

The meeting itself was just as fascinating as both the PM Camp 11 at Dornbirn (#pmcamp11) and the PM Camp 12 at Vienna (#pmcamp12vie) had been.

Today, I am telling you about the guidelines we agreed to want to live up to:

“Humans are not resources!”
(This is all about humans, not resources)

”Treat others as you want to be treated by them!“
(Golden Rule)

“Let your own life unfold and help others to make their life unfold in as many dimensions as possible!”
(Biophilie)

“Future is female!”
(Women and men co-operate)

Well – so what can I say? I rather like all four of the guidelines!

So much the more I am happy about having met a friend in Zurich last week. He, too, wants to initiate a PM Camp in Switzerland. Perhaps in or around Zurich. Potential candidates for a location are Winterthur and St. Gallen. Consequently, I already look forward to #pmcamp2013ch (or something similar).

And next autumn, we also want to start something at InterFace. This year is still too early for a PM Camp in Munich. But preparatory to #pmcamp13muc, I will try to organize an event late in 2012:

“PM Camp meets Munich“

How about a motto like: “Best of PM Camp”. We can organize it all along with a technological IF Forum for our friends and partners.

And who knows – maybe I will actually find a few supporters for the Munich PM Camp 2013? What a nice idea!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Saturday June 23rd, 2012

Mail from Ulf Posé

Ulf Posé sent me another one of his articles!

udp

°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°

Hallo Roland,

Please find attached my current managerSeminare column.

Enjoy

Greetings – Ulf

°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°

It is about management. Some very simple and just quite wise ideas

As usual, it is well worth reading.

Thank you, Ulf!

Enjoy!

RMD

Here the post:

Moral misunderstanding: plausible, practical, good.

Managerial methods are terribly plausible. If they are also new and easy to understand, so much the better. Mind you, methods are basically one thing: fashionable. It is perfectly acceptable, because fashion will give us new viewpoints, motivate questions being asked about what we always did, promote a new business model. Besides, they enliven managerial day-to-day affairs. But fashions are often also annoying, for instance when they block energy without purpose, follow upon each other in short succession, and yet are advertised as the only true message.

Over the last few decades, this has been true for many management fashions, for instance balanced score card, business re-engineering or the shareholder value concept. Neuro-linguistic programming, short NLP, was particularly triumphant. The underlying idea is that humans function according to the stimulus-response mechanism and can be re-modelled. New reactions are to be programmed through analysing your own behaviour and through special communication techniques.

In scientific psychology, NLP is not acknowledged. Its theoretical foundation is said to be un-scientific, an analysis involving 315 studies over 35 years clearly shows that its tools are not effective. Regardless, the fashion still enjoys huge support. It is one of the secrets of management methods why they adapt psychological findings so frequently, even if said findings have been proved to be faulty or unusable. But why would this constitute an ethical problem?

To begin with, the very guru-attitude used by many management methods for making their findings known to the public is questionable: “I know what is best for you. Do what I tell you and you will be a success”. These kinds of orders are behaviour-oriented, which means they are basically nothing other than training with the purpose of changing your behaviour by decree.

What we, however, need is an activity-oriented approach. This approach should investigate the basic beliefs of humans and change their behaviour due to their own enlightenment. It is also a question of responsibility. Actual orders for all kinds of situations will delegate the manager’s responsibility to having to abide by the regulation. But what is ethically necessary is more in the way of general imperatives serving as guidelines for your own behaviour, yet still demanding responsibility from the leader.

Another problem is the concept of humanity underlying many methods. They have often originated with psychology, where the procedures have been developed for sick people. If you adapt the same methods for healthy people, you are showing a basic attitude that is amoral, if not evil. Your employee is not psychologically sick, and neither should he be treated as such. For psychologically sick people, a manager would be the wrong therapist, anyway.

Another ethical problem with management models and tools is their apparent plausibility – which camouflages structural deficiencies. For instance, to this day you can read about the Maslow pyramid of need in all the books about motivation. Your motivation will be listed in five ascending levels. A need on a higher level will only be fulfilled after you have reached the step before. This is pure nonsense: if my girl-friend leaves me (level three: social needs), I might well compensate this by buying a beautiful watch (level four: luxury needs) – according to the model, this is not possible. As early as 1980, Maslow himself said that this pyramid is probably a wrong concept. Although it might well sound plausible.

So what can the ethical manager do? The answer is: do his own thinking. We must stop preaching commonplace salvation and instead begin weighing subjective discoveries and knowledge against each other in order to find enlightenment. Our method should be that of a philosopher. With respect to modern managerial methods, a philosopher would ask two questions only: “Why is this so?”, and “How do you know?”. From an ethical point of view, these two questions are quite sufficient.

Ulf Posé (Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Friday June 22nd, 2012

My Favourite Birthday Present –Nothing.

Two of my most cherished colleagues – Eileen and Yvonne – presented this poem to me (and in doing so, they gave me: Nothing – in both meanings of the word – just like I had asked everybody to)

The Birthday Present

Dear Roland, you must be aware
that in our eyes t’was only fair,
to try and give you something nice,
although you told us more than twice:


You know I wish for nothing more,
I am quite happy to the core.

We thought quite hard, through day and night,
until we had it: “Nothing” ‘s right!
A bottle full of “Nothing” was
the perfect present for the boss!

***

I quickly ran into the town
to buy some “Nothing” for our clown.
Yet it turned out, it is quite hard
with people acting truly smart.

They try to  sell what you desire,
but – “Nothing” is what you require!

The salesman finds you look quite normal,
but asking “Nothing” is not formal,
So in the eyes of all the folks
I must have seemed a crank that walks.

Yet I remained quite quick and sure
said: “Nothing”, plain and simply pure.
With empty bag I went my way
along the shelves to make my day,

until the owner gave advice:
The shelf with “Nothing” has a price,
but on the bottom, hidden low,
there might be “Nothing” – so I know.

I took both “Nothing” and to my heels
you can’t imagine how it feels,
to have found “Nothing” after all!
I paid for “Nothing” at the Mall.
So now you see what I went through,
since “Nothing” was just right for you!

***

Now is the time to end this talk,
with “Nothing” from our hands you walk,
so “Nothing” is what we all see
and “Nothing” will be all your glee.

Yet „Nothing“, when you are quite hot
will show that „Nothing“ has a lot
to answer for if you are driving.
So, if on “Nothing“ you are thriving,
you should drive neither bike nor car,
for “Nothing“ will not get you far.
Well, here is our bottle for you.

Dear Roland, we wish you a Happy Birthday and Many Returns.

Cheers!

Of course, I was thrilled. Many, many thanks to Eileen and Yvonne!

RMD

P.S.
The bottle was filled with delicious wheat beer – and had a special label …