Roland Dürre
Sunday September 30th, 2012

brand eins in October

On Wednesday, it had already arrived – the new brand eins. And again, it had to wait until the weekend. My “Post-China-Travel-Stress” …

On the brand eins website, I find the title page of the October issue in the colours grey, green, blue – and a dull beige. Now wasn’t I lucky? Because my brand eins is the “Green Version“ –and green is my favourite colour!

This time, the parcel inside a cellophane wrapping is particularly thick. On top of the October brand eins, I also find 92 pages of a brochure with the title:


Well done! It looks interesting and contains a lot of numbers. It was published and financed by the Initiative Neue Soziale Marktwirtschaft (INSM) and revised by the brand eins Knowledge Department. The INSM is an independent federation consisting of representatives from politics, economy and science without party affiliation – whatever that might mean. It is financed by the employers of the metal and electrical industry, which means that it is some kind of lobbyism.

But so what. The brochure is an interesting collection of numbers and statistics. And, as we all know, you can only trust statistics if you yourself forged them.

The title of the magazine, however, sounds rather attractive to me:

Wanted: Wisecrack

I instantly feel addressed. After all, I, too, am – very much as I regret it myself – often some kind of wisecrack. Sometimes, I get annoyed with myself for it. Yet I have to live with it, because by now, I can probably no longer change. “Focal Point: Experts” also rings a bell with me. Isn’t there more than one topic on which I feel I can act the self-appointed “expert“?

Inside, as always, the first thing to read is the editorial by Frau Fischer:
Drilling deeply and seeing far    
is the title. That sounds nice – I, too, would always like to do that. In fact, I seldom manage – but perhaps others are better at it than I am.

And here they are, the often truly unique articles on all kinds of topics and sectors: experiences and discoveries, experts, financial politics, money (laundering), health, power, media, enterprises and knowledge. There is also something for IT experts – what more could I desire?

In a nutshell – it is again a magazine absolutely worth reading. So here I am once again singing the praise of the “brand eins experts”! I will continue with my reading tonight – with a fresh litre of Oktoberfest beer in front of me.


(Translated by EG)

It is sensational: On Saturday, September, 8th, Rupert Lay was again a guest of the Ronneburger Kreis. He spoke on his favorite subject:


Unfortunately, I could not be there, because I had to fly to China and attend the wedding of my oldest son. Otherwise, I would certainly have been there.

Fortunately, however, the Ronneburger Kreis made a recording of the presentation! So – here is a huge “thank you” to the Ronneburger Kreis and, of course, above all, to my old teacher and friend Rupert for having agreed to have the camera in front of his nose all the time.

The location of the event was the Frankfurt Hotel Rödelheimer Hof and the starting time was 3 p.m.

Rupert Lay was born in 1929 at Drolshagen and joined the Jesuit order after graduation from high school. He studied philosophy, psychology, theoretical physics and theology, later also economics. After his habilitation, he taught philosophy and philosophy of science at the St. Georgen order college. He worked as a priest, psycho-therapist and gave seminars for managers. He wrote many books. Now he has been living several years at the Frankfurt Seniorenstift.

For me, he is the German Nestor when it comes to “Ethics in Management”.

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Friday September 28th, 2012

The Oldest Firms …

A good friend of mine sent me the following scan of an SZ graphics. The source is Hoppenstedt and Henokiens.

To me, the list looks rather interesting. They are among the German “Top 10″ when it comes to the oldest enterprises, with the exception of breweries. Seeing this, you could easily conclude that an enterprise can only exist extremely long if they produce and/or offer a sensible and really continuously sought-after product.

So here is what the entrepreneur can learn from this:

First and foremost, you have to determine your own personal success criteria, along with those for your enterprise. If “longevity” is a central issue, then the entrepreneur should, first and foremost, see to it that his enterprise offers a product to the market that will always be in demand.

And as I see it, this is all but easy. So here comes the negative (and on purpose cynical) conclusion: since most enterprises throw things onto the market that basically nobody needs and that will – in a constantly changing world – quickly be nothing but ballast, it does not make sense for most enterprises to think in terms of sustainability and longevity.

In reverse, that means:

Maximize your profit in the here and now! Suck the enterprise dry as long as you possibly can.

And that is exactly how it is often done. Vivat the throw-away mentality (not just for enterprises).


(Translated by EG)


For comparisons, just click on the image.

Klaus Hnilica
Thursday September 27th, 2012

The Stranger’s Piercing Song

Carl and Gerlinde (XXVII)

”What a heavenly, mild late summer’s day“, this was already the fifth time Carl said it to Gerlinde, regardless of the fact that he was already perspiring like a farm horse and had a distinct feeling that this stupid fold in his sock would, again, give him a painful blister near the ball of his right toe.

Yet he kept hiking spiritedly, never lamenting. After all, he knew how much his Gerlinde appreciated these brisk winter hikes on a Saturday afternoon.

There was nothing she would not do in order to remain in shape!

Carl certainly did not want to look inferior, did he? Consequently, the stabs he gave the poor asphalt path – which, however, kept winding through the jungle-like mixed forest without any sense of pain – with his “Nordic Walking“ sticks were just as merciless. Uprooted spruces, pines that had been turned around by the storm and birches that had suffered serious cuts piled up on top of each other in the small forest between the robust beech trees. Freshly planted alders, protected against damage caused by game animals with hideous plastic tubes, hid bashfully behind a man-high wall of fern…

No, this forest definitely did not encourage you to collect mushrooms, thought Carl as he kept perspiring while poking these strange sticks around. In fact, he already regretted having parted with his last paper napkin after handing it to a friendly gentleman in a jogging suit whose nose had dripped and who had asked for it in his despair.

To be sure, the liberating moan of the poorly shaved man had given him a short moment of the wonderful feeling: you did a good deed! But then his own nose became jealous. All of a sudden, as if on command, it started sniffing and would certainly have forced an unappetizing slime trail upon him, had not Gerlinde at the last second prevented the drying-up of this geyser-like fountain with her tissue emergency package. …

The elderly couple, however, would probably not have been threatened by Carl’s sniffy slime trail, because they came from the opposite direction with quite some speed! Both of them were small, their hair remarkably white. The gentleman had an extremely red face, while she looked tiny and petite – but still had a rather wiry step.

Considerably farther back, a dark-haired man in a grey, caftan-like outfit suddenly appeared on his bike. He was apparently in a very good mood and singing to himself something in a loud and shrill voice in an unintelligible language …

When he passed the elderly couple, they turned towards the singing fellow and the elderly gentleman, too, said something. But the singing “Turk” – that is what he looked to be with all his mob of black hair – simply continued pedalling on his noisy bike. He never took notice of anything happening in his environment. Carl and Gerlinde, too, were subjected to his passing them with a thunderous voice!

”This is outrageous – all these strangers“!, the red-faced gentleman was quite upset when he called this to Carl and Gerlinde as they reached the same level with him  “they look to scare you, but when you give them a friendly time of day, they never even bother to thank you!“

”He never even looked at us – just kept blaring into the forest and terrifying the birds“, the man called towards his wife, who nodded her agreement.

”Mind you, if you take it literally, they are actually guests in this country“, he said in the direction of Carl, who now stood still and nodded his assent.

“You would think people can at least return the good day when someone older gives it to them, wouldn’t you“?

”Well, I am sure he would have said hallo if he had not been so immersed in his song – he did not look like a “non-greeting grump“ to me”, Carl consolingly said to the excited man whose face muscles were now quite active.

”No, no – he certainly heard it when my husband said hello“, the small athletic lady with the agreeably wrinkled face suddenly said, “because my husband spoke really in a loud voice. But this is what it is like today: there is no more respect left for us elderly persons, in particular not from strangers…“

”Today, everything rots and degenerates!“, the red-faced man enthusiastically cut his wife short. And since he had so unexpectedly found sympathetic listeners in Carl and Gerlinde, it seemed that quite a few things he had kept inside suddenly surfaced.

In a croaking voice, he declared that all you had to do was look around you in the forest and you could see yourself how everything looked beyond decent description! Everything was topsy-turvy! Tattered tree upon tattered tree! And in between, all these abominable roots from the upturned trees! It was all absolutely disgusting! Terrible! Awful, he said to his permanently nodding wife; in former times, such a thing did not exist. The German forests used to be spick and span and empty. After the war, the people had gratefully carried home every piece of driftwood they could find and used it for firewood. But today, nobody cared about anything…

“Sad times, indeed“, his wife sorrowfully commented.

“Well, but – maybe today not everything is quite as bad as you may think at the moment …“ Carl cautiously ventured to say one last time.

Absolutely! It is not bad, it is a lot, lot worse, said the gentleman! It is simply abominable how matters stand today: immigrants and criminals all over the place, lies and fraud and murder and homicide wherever you looked. The rotting forest fit perfectly with the entire picture. “Yes, it really all fits very well“, said the concerned man several times and his wife also said it all fits very well…

“But, of course, you are not like that“, the old man spontaneously said to Carl and Gerlinde, “you say hello in a friendly manner and also listen when someone talks to you; this is, of course, totally different…“

“Well, but then, you are of a very different type from these immigrants …“, the disappointed red-face finally said appreciatively, before disappearing with curses and a shaking head, taking his wife along.

But even before Carl and Gerlinde had regained their former rhythm properly and commenced to continue with their harmonious stick-prodding along the forest path, the snotty-nosed wearer of the jogging suit for whom Carl had sacrificed his last paper-tissue came along again. Since, however, Carl had re-discovered half a packet of tissues in one of his millions of jacket pockets during their talk with the elderly couple, he once again turned to the suffering gentleman. But the sportive “snot-nose” immediately cut him short, asking him if he wanted his tissue back. Of course, Carl laughed and said no, instead rescuing the man once more.

And then they went home with quick steps: Carl badly needed a restroom and also felt a terrible burning inside – he was certainly going to drop dead unless he got a beer within the next ten minutes, so he said to his confused Gerlinde.

Consequently, they now really got into it and covered the last leg, even inside the town, amongst intense Nordic-stick activity on the pedestrians‘ path. With quick steps, Carl and Gerlinde also passed the front lawn of ’Solar–Konrad’. Herr Konrad, who was busily sweeping birch foliage, greeted them from afar and Gerlinde even added an ’aren’t we busy at all times, Herr Konrad’ to her compliments, while Carl made a point of looking the other way with an air of constipation…

“Now what was that supposed to mean …?“, Gerlinde asked after a few more steps.

“I am no longer on speaking terms with Konrad“!

“And why is that so?“

“Because this idiot always lets his d…ed dog run freely in the garden, where it terrifies me no end with its aggressive barking every time I walk past …“

“But it is not very nice of you to ignore him on account of this…“

“I do not mind – this is something he cannot do to me “!

“Did you ever talk to him about it“?

“No – he will certainly have to know himself what is good manners and what is not …“

“Well – it seems we have discovered the true ’non-greeting grump’ here, haven’t we“, Gerlinde signed as she opened the front door, suddenly feeling quite chilly…


(Translated by EG)

mehr »

Here are my tweets of last week on
Blogging and Twittering, Wisdoms and Rules:

121004 You should not lard bacon – not to forget, twitterers and bloggers. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

121005 Gamblers and racing horses will not last long – something twitterers and bloggers should remember? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

121006 You will learn spinning by spinning – the same as with twittering and blogging! #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

121007 Ridicule is the sheet lightning of defamation – also true for blogging and twittering? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

121008 Ridicule and damage will go together well – maybe you should be careful when twittering and blogging? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

121009 Ridicule and damage are each other’s evil company – not a strategy for twitterers and bloggers. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

121010 Mockers also only eat bread – that is what some twitterers and bloggers believe. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

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

(Translated by EG)

I took the proverbs from Alle deutsche Sprichwörter.

On October, 22nd, two ladies I hold in very high esteem will give a central presentation on the information event of the Munich IHK “Die Wissensbilanz”. Consequently, I, too, will attend.

Handing on knowledge, for instance along the process chain, between teams, locations or when new employees replace old ones, is one of the daily challenges of enterprises specializing in brain work. The practically-oriented technological forum “Moving Knowledge, Moving Enterprises“ is about how to manage this task with the aid of defined knowledge-transfer processes and methodological know-how. It is also about determining how the organizations will benefit when all is said and done.

Kristin Block and Judith Lell, managing directors of wissenswerk and experts when it comes to knowledge transfer, will introduce their practical experience and Best Practices. Additionally, they will moderate an open exchange of ideas with and among the participants.

All interested persons are cordially invited.

Here are the data:

Event: “Die Wissensbilanz”, Information Event of the Munich IHK    
Date: October, 22nd, 14:00 – 17:30
Location: Munich
No entrance fee

For more details, click here: Einladungs-Flyer (680).

I would be delighted to see some familiar faces!

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Tuesday September 25th, 2012

Technological IF Forum on September, 25th, 2012

In a little more than a week, we will have the next IF Forum!

On September, 25, there will be another and very special IF Forum at our Unterhaching office building. This is the third “Technological IF Forum” after 2010 (AGILE) and 2011 (LEADERSHIP). It is about

Project Coaching

And the question:

What makes us strong as project managers in general and as managers of an enterprise in particular?

I look forward to five exciting presentations and, in particular, to two “Fishbowls” on the topic. Our big InterFace AG conference room at the seminar zone of the Unterhaching office building will certainly be quite crowded.

Still, there are a few vacancies. In addition, you can watch the presentations live on the internet if your time permits it! We will start broadcasting shortly after 2 p.m.

Here is the URL for the broadcast:


And for all those who cannot manage: we will record the presentations professionally and then publish the videos on the internet. For watching, go to my Youtube “Channel” (RolandDuerre) or the InterFace AG channel (InterFaceAG).


(Translated by EG)

Let me also do some advertising for an extraordinary event  initiated by our guest speakers and yours truly. You should come and join us!

Roland Dürre
Sunday September 23rd, 2012

Looking Back on My Trip To China

I am currently sitting at Peking airport waiting for LH 723 to Muc – and I am mentally re-viewing our Chinese journey. We had two intense weeks during which we accumulated great and impressive adventures in four installments.

Part 1 – Peking

During the first four days, we acclimatized to China and learned a little about Peking. Our hotel was the Sheraton “The Big Wall”.

We saw the “Place of Heavenly Freedom”, the “Forbidden City” and the imperial “Summer Palace”. And, of course, we set particular store on the “Chinese Wall”, where we hiked a special route with many, many metres of altitude. And, of course, we also had to “experience Peking” and “Chinese Life”. The first hotpot. The night market, the fake shops. All the hustle and bustle. Chinese constriction.

We often hiked and also took the metro several times. But still, in all my life I never went anywhere near as often by taxi in sum as I did during this one stay in Peking. In addition, we also rode (bike) rickshaw and at one time enjoyed a nice pedal boat outing on the summer palace lake.

Part 2 – Yanghsou

After a rather lengthy flight with China Air, we arrived at Builin. We went on to Yangshou by taxi. Our accommodation there was in the Yangshou Mountain Resort – it is a small vacation hotel directly on the river Li. This part of the trip was meant as a recuperation time after Peking and for the coming wedding.

The highlights of this stay were the two river trips. We glided on the Yulong in a motor boat and on the river Li in a small rafter. We experienced a monumental light show and often strolled through the ”night life“ of the tourist place Yangshou.

Several tourist attractions were within biking distance from our hotel. We climbed the Moon Mountain and other local specialties (big stone, big tree…).  And, as always, we went to plenty of places by taxi.…

Part 3 – Wuhan

We flew Eastern Airlines from Builin to Wulan, where we stayed at the “Howard Johnson”, directly on the Jangtsekiang. After having recuperated near the nice river Li, now the time for the “wedding” had come: we acclimatized to Wulan, meet the future in-laws of my son and gave them their presents.

We spent a day rehearsing the ceremony and the next day was totally dedicated to the event itself. In between, there was a boat trip on the “long river” at night.

Besides, we enjoyed a wonderful visit of the Wuhan museum and a historic musical event that was just as beautiful, a hiking trip around both a small and a large lake and a boat trip.  We climbed a mountain (again many steps) with a pagoda on top and were lucky enough to listen to another very beautiful concert on historical instruments.

;-( And, of course, again, there were many taxi trips.

Part 4 – “Road Movie” back to Peking via Hangzhou and Shanghai

After the wedding, there was one day left for “good-byes”. Then, the late-night flight of Xianmen Airlines took us to Hangzhou. At two o’clock in the morning (due to a significant flight delay), we were brought to the “Four Points” (another Sheraton hotel).

We had “public bikes“ for our wonderful tea field inspection and the tour around the lake. In the evening, we changed hotels, ending up at the ” Sheration Wetland Park Resort”. And on the next day, we visited Wetland Park with its museum. Again, there was a lengthy boat trip with many short intervals and diverse hiking tours.

Finally, we went to Shanghai by train, where we stayed at the Le Royal Méridien Shanghai right in the city centre. So the conclusion of our trip happened in a suite on the 52th floor.

On that Saturday, we let our hair hang down in Shanghai. It was another intense day with many impressions. In the evening, at 9.16 p.m., we boarded the night train to Peking-South. On the train, we celebrated the Haching soccer victory. The train took less than 12 hours for the 1,300 kilometres to Peking. Mind you, this is the slow alternative. The fast train covers the entire distance in five hours.  And then we went to the airport (again by taxi – a little more than an hour) – and fifteen minutes later, it was boarding time…


It was great. We had very warm, even sup-tropical days. All the hotels very excellent. We always ate Chinese, with the exception of once: Korean. With few exceptions, we found both the proper meals and the snacks quite delicious. Mostly, the internet and mail connections were fine, whereas the VPN client (for FB, twitter and google+) hardly ever worked.

On the whole, it was a strenuous, but still very enjoyable and leisurely journey.

Here is my recommendation: Imitate us!

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre

A Different China (III)

While you are eating, everything is permitted. Except touching the food. If you have to touch it, you are well advised to first slip plastic gloves over your hands.

Handkerchiefs will be brought to your table in classy wrappings. After your meal, the table will look like a battlefield. All waste is simply left where it falls. And since in China, many dishes are served ”complete“, for instance the chicken with its head and claws or the entire fish, you can easily imagine what is left after the meal.

Alcohol is also one of those topics. They have the well-loved (and dangerous) “Chinese Wine”. Except it is not wine. It is high-strength schnapps. It is drunk out of not really small glasses and contributes mightily.

I have seldom again and again met people as drunk as here in China in a German business hotel (except maybe at Oktoberfest time). The (sober) Chinese, for instance in the lift, however, always react quite tactfully: they look at each other in a humorous, rather than worried or anxious, way and unobtrusively smile about the alcohol victims.

What I do not like very much is the smog. Almost all the time, it spreads inversely over the cities and also the surrounding countryside. And if you see all those gigantic skyscrapers, streets, railway stations and industrial buildings, you can easily imagine how this country thirsts for electric energy.

In China, a considerable part of the electric energy is produced with coal, probably mostly brown coal. I heard that currently a new big coal power station starts producing for the electric network each day. If you also take all those cars and trucks into consideration, you will no longer be surprised at me telling you that I only ever once saw the sun in its usual splendour in China.

All places are overflowing with people. Life happens in public. They sit, eat, talk, play, do gymnastics. In parks or pedestrians‘ zones, the people dance in small groups to the music they brought in their miniature audio devices, or else in larger groups to the music provided by all those loudspeakers.

And people often stand at attention in China. All kinds of groups, both military and civilian, frequently stand at attention for saluting. It might be the night shift of a restaurant when they are sworn to their duties or the service persons in a museum.

When on an outing, older people follow their leader beautifully in rows of two, if the group is large even in rows of four. Mind you, we are talking a precision that no German Kindergarten could nowadays manage.

At all times, everything seems to be moving. It is like a huge, non-stop human flow that seems to be drowning in the big chaos.

Well, that is it on my impressions. I could write a lot more about specialties, but I decided to let this suffice.

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Saturday September 22nd, 2012

A Different China (II)

This is the view from our Shanghai hotel (52 F)

🙂 I am now staying at the Shanghai Le Royal Méridien Shanghai in 789 Nanjing Road East. We have a wonderful suite of rooms. This is probably the most beautiful hotel of our entire trip. So here is another view from our hotel suite, where the windows are the whole length to the floor.

Some way or other, the adventures of the last two weeks are more than I seem to be able to grasp. If in the 1960ies, when Mao reigned, or during the China of the Cultural Revolution, someone had told me how China will function today – and how in many respects it even has surpassed the USA – I would have called him crazy.

Still, my road movie continues. After having arrived in Shanghai today, we will go and see a bit of the city tomorrow. In the evening, we will take the night train to Peking shortly before 10 p.m. From there, we will go back to Munich on Sunday.

So here are some more of the things that I particularly noticed in China during my stay:

View of Shanghai from right side of our suite in the Le Méridian.

Initially, I was surprised about how all of a sudden the banging started. We kept hearing it again and again, especially in the big and better districts of Chinese cities. Then I noticed it is nothing to worry about. It is only private firework displays. You get them at all times: in the morning, at noon, in the evening and even at midnight.

Of course, fireworks are forbidden during the year. But then, a firework is good for celebrating all kinds of special occasions – the arrival of new babies, birthdays, anniversaries, even the death of a family member. And, naturally, both the neighbours and the police will turn a blind eye.

I also found the noises we heard in the hotel at night quite remarkable – they had a volume that would be unimaginable in Germany. But that, too, annoys nobody. The same is true for the helicopter flying close to the hotel at night.

It seems that in China prohibitions in general are not taken very seriously. Of course, in the best hotels there is always a poster stuck to the walls of the lift that says ”no smoking“. Regardless, you will see a passenger with a lit cigarette in his or her hand at an average of every third way up or down.
You will also feel it on the streets. Every available metre of space is contested.

During our last trip from the Sheraton Wetland Park Resort in Hangzhou to the railway station, I memorized the data. To be sure, I was not able to count the number of times our vehicle changed lanes.  One of those agile taxi drivers will change lanes fifty times in one kilometer. Neither was I able to count the instances of speeding or violation of other traffic rules.

I am sure the nap during each red traffic light phase (in China they can take surprisingly long) was not according to the rules, either. To me, it seemed that the driver had already had a long day.

But I remember the facts from the taximeter. We rode a little less than 13 kilometres, which took a little less than 55 minutes. Almost 30 minutes of this time, the taxi was idle. That is what you have to expect in China. First, they speed, and then all the time you gained is lost in the traffic jam.

The train to Shanghai was also quite fast. On the speedometer, it often says around 300. And then we arrive and what happens: we have to wait in the taxi queue for almost as long as the entire way from Hangzhou to Shanghai had taken.

But let us get back to the traffic rules and regulations. They do not take traffic lights very seriously. If they make a turn at a crossroads with traffic light, they run right through the pedestrians who want to cross. The motto is: “save yourself if you can“. Instead of a right of way, you have “first come (and better nerves), first serve“. If you are in a car, you will meet cars from the opposite direction on all lanes. Then the big wheelbarrow someone is pushing will fight its own way through the middle of all these cars on a street which is, for instance, forbidden for cyclists.

It is similar with the waste. You will find signs telling you not to litter all over the place. And industrious employees are constantly collecting the waste with their shovels and brooms. And wherever you look there are people who take pains providing the scenery with waste, be it on foot or from their car windows.

Now I will call this a day, because I want to be rested and fit tomorrow. Still, there are more specialties I have to tell you about. However, there is one thing I already know: bidding China farewell will hurt!

(Translated by EG)