Carl and Gerlinde (XXXI)

On Friday of all evenings, Gerlinde and Hannelore undertook to get Carl into the theatre, there to watch Schiller’s ’Maria Stuart’!#

ZBimg071Mary Stuart herself could hardly have been worse off: because Carl was not only forced to sit in a narrow torture chair with nightmarishly little room for his legs between the two education-hungry theatre enthusiasts, but, on top of it, was also exposed to a noisy herd of students for whom he was supposedly a deterrent detoxification example in the same way as people were pilloried in the middle ages. Naturally, the quick brains of those young students had immediately noticed what Gerlinde and Hannelore only had the courage to tell Carl in homeopathic doses: that the infernal height of his pains would be two-and-a-half-hours of ’Pils deprivation’!

Those incompetent theatre production people actually had not only – against all union regulations – denied Mary Stuart all and any kind of breaks on her painful way towards the guillotine, but the audience had to suffer likewise! And in doing so, they had guaranteed Carl’s deprivation destiny in one go.…

And on a Friday night on top of it all! After an ever so tiring week of ruthless price negotiations at TRIGA with their Vietnamese sub-contractor in men’s underwear and ladies’ panties at the end of which Carl had no other wish left than three bottles of Pils, his sofa and a stupefying TV series for making sure he could start his pre-evening nap…

Small wonder that Carl, when he finally had received the whispered confirmation from Gerlinde on his left and Hannelore on his right that, indeed, the theatre producers had scheduled a ’break-free’ outrageousness, out of sheer protest fell into some kind of ’sleeping rigour’ which culminated in him sleeping through the entire first act of the Schiller drama without even in the slightest being concerned about the disastrous psychological effect such behaviour could have on all the young persons …

In fact, even the terrible background music between the individual scenes did not make the slightest impression on him – music which consisted of a scratching noise made by ’chalk on dry blackboard’ enhanced to the level of insanity which not only gave the entire audience pain down their entire backs and up again, but also caused tinnitus to all hearing aid users… Unfortunately, with its persistence, this ghosttrain-like soundscape eventually had some effect on Carl: his slumber became increasingly more unsettled than at home in front of the TV set. The consequence was that he was disturbed in a rather unkind way several times by what happened on stage! This was particularly true for the huge, squeaky black wall they kept moving hither and thither! What a grotesque idea of the producers!

Presumably, they did this with an anticipatory eye towards thinning the number of persons on stage, as Carl murmured half-asleep. Maybe they aimed at crushing elderly actors to death between the stage border and the ’moving wall’ – or at least to maim them, as it seemed to happen to this person Mortimer. He, however, seemed to stick to his life with toughness, regardless of all the cork-screw-like calisthenics with which he kept escaping the ’moving wall’  …

Apparently, poor Mary Stuart was not as lucky: even after her first appearance, her upper body was considerably squeezed into a forward-bent position! It certainly must have been painful… Queen Elizabeth alone had been spared. Upright and with serenity, she strutted over the stage; apparently, the deathly ’moving wall’ was impotent against her armour-like crinoline!

Carl found it particularly annoying that, on this Friday evening of all performances, all the actors were suddenly eager to be heard and understood by the audience!  Because, as opposed to former habit, they no longer said their lines while turning their back to the audience and speaking to the back of the stage where nobody could hear them. Instead, they rumbled their Schiller texts like machine pistol fusillades into the audience with such noise that they followed Carl right into his sleep …

Queen Elizabeth alone showed pity: she obstinately whispered in the direction of the stage light. Of course, she did not do that because of consideration for Carl’s slumbers but because of her bilious-green made-up face. She probably had hoped to remain undiscovered? Well, this was a miscalculation that had serious consequences, because Mortimer quickly saw her between the moving walls in her pink crinoline and immediately attacked her with a few nicely rhyming impertinences. Regardless of her whispering and crinoline, he ruthlessly gripped between her legs without any scruples!

Well, that was outrageous, as Carl – in contrast to Gerlinde and Hannelore – found during one of his few wakeful moments. In fact, this was a scandalous disgrace! After all, there were quite a few young people sitting in the front rows who on watching this scene giggled nervously! The guy sitting diagonally in front of him practically leered at the girl sitting next to him in a particularly shameless manner!

And when Elizabeth – still whispering – added shame to disgrace by actually putting her own hand between her legs, the entire affair turned extra embarrassing! The two very young girls sitting to the left in front of him delicately looked to the ground! Carl was quite glad that, in this embarrassing situation, the orthogonally kneeling Mary Stuart was able to get upright for a moment and shoot Queen Elizabeth a punishing glare…

Some of the young students became restless! They needed a cigarette! Just like Carl needed his Pils!  But now, horny Elizabeth never wavered! Even the black wall was suddenly meaningless: fearlessly, Elizabeth stood there in her crinoline, totally green face, abandoned by all and would certainly at this moment have liked to get her face painted red if that had helped her at all, or yellow, or blue or in pink polka-dots  …

Just not black! This colour seemed to have vanished from her: perhaps this was due to the threatening wall, which, after all, had enough black, thought Carl who was now wide awake, since the cooled Pils was quasi already flowing towards his uvulae… He was sure over his glass of Pils that he was also going to remember the current female politician this lonely Elizabeth reminded him of – as he said half-whispering to Hannelore when at long last the lights were turned on …

Naturally, after this cultural torture, the Pils at the ’Fundus’ was salvation not only for Carl! The pub was full to bursting and everybody indulged in the most expensive culinary delicacies offered by the restaurants with wine and water that suggested they had been starving endlessly. Schiller and his verses were totally forgotten! Along with Mary Stuart and the evil Queen Elizabeth! Even Hannelore and Gerlinde were exclusively occupied giggling about the scurrilous couples at the neighbouring tables – and Carl already enjoyed his third glass of undisturbed beer. In fact, he was even wondering if it would not be a good idea to bow before Friedrich Schiller by ordering a huge portion of those delicious ’Schillerlocken’?

(Translated by EG)

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

130606 Whatever you do, keep in mind how it might end – through twitterers and bloggers.#Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

130607 What wants to become a thorn will sharpen itself early – is that also true for twitterers and bloggers? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

130608 If something wants to get crooked, it will start bending early – also true for bloggers and twitterers! #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

130609 If you brew something, you should also be able to drink it – also if you are a blogger or twitterer! #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

130610 What you haven’t yet become, you can still become – perhaps even a twitterer and blogger? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

130611 If one can do it, the others can talk about it – also when twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

130612 What happens to someone mirrors what he is worth – not to forget when twittering and blogging. #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.

Roland Dürre
Wednesday May 29th, 2013

Speaker on Craftsmanship: Bernd Fiedler at the IF Forum

I already introduced Kristin BlockBernhard Findeiss and Dr. Elmar Jürgens as speakers of our CRAFTSMANSHIP workshop on June, 13th, 2013, starting at 1 p.m. in our Unterhaching office building.

berndzeigt-300x200Today, I would like to introduce Bernd Fiedler. He will tell us about a central “Craftsmanship” topic:

“Master and Apprentice”  
experience, technology, culture, tradition, “school”…

The relationship between master and apprentice is probably as old as the human race. Reports from Antiquity tell us how masters handed on more than just technologies and experience to their apprentices. In fact, they were the keepers of culture and teachers of meaning. In particular, they also hand on values such as “pride in a job well done”.

Finding new ways to solve problems and handing this knowledge on to third parties is one of the elemental factors that makes humans humans. It is how traditions are born that can then develop and become “schools”. This is how guilds were created in the middle ages and artists’ schools like the ones run by Michelangelo, Tizian or Rafael in the Renaissance. People were extremely proud to have belonged there.

Today, we have schools with special glamour such as Oxford, Harvard and the Sorbonne, in Germany the TUM. In view of these brilliant names, the great value of our “dual system of professional education” is, unfortunately, easily forgotten. Mind you, this is regardless of the fact that said dual system is held in high esteem and considered an ideal (one that is hard to reach) in other countries.

These are all issues thriving through the relationship between master and apprentice. Here, the knowledge transfer consisting of the four classic phases: internalization, externalization, combination and socialization takes place.

berndzeichnet-300x200The first great challenge is to become aware of the knowledge. And I do not only mean the knowledge communicated through words but also all the sub-consciously gained knowledge and competence you got through listening, your own experience and most private and intimate exercise. Both of them develop through an endlessly long, continuous and never-ending process of improvement also based on trial and error.

A true master will have spent his entire life seeking perfection. Consequently, his implicit knowledge is a true treasure of experience. Today, we mostly see this phenomenon in artists. In many industrial professions, and by now also among “knowledge providers”, however, it gets more and more limited by standardized procedures.

Among other things, this presentation will be about the following topics:

Different types of knowledge transfer • what we learned from history • support through visualization • powerpoint • graphics • mindmaps • maps

And we will ask and try to answer questions like:

  • What conclusions can we draw for ourselves?
  •  Can we improve the way we teach complex topics?
  • How can we better support the teaching of important experience?
  •  …

About the speaker:

Since 1999, Bernd Fiedler has been investigating various functions with knowledge management. He is the author of several publications. His last one was „Von der Mindmap zum Prezi – Neue Wege der Visualisierung im Wissensmanagement“. He is a certified Business Warehouse counsellor and a member of the Gesellschaft für Wissensmanagement (GfWM), where he is in charge of the regional group of  Munich.

As  associate lecturer (Lehrbeauftragter) for knowledge management, he teaches at Hochschule Augsburg. He is also all the time busy as a speaker on various converences (for instance KitKon, DNUG, Wissenstagung, BitKom). Professionally, he is project leader for intranets and employee portals.

Early in 2012, he became member of the board of directors at  datac – Kommunikationssysteme GmbH – where is is responsible for knowledge, quality and personal management.

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Saturday May 25th, 2013

What Annoys Me #30 Apple and Taxes

I am no longer very much in favour of Apple. Mind you, this is not because of tax optimization. Rather, it is because they move more and more in the proprietary world, using their technological and economic power in an unethical way. The concern changed. How much openness did we have in one of those OS in former times? And today?

However, what really annoys me is how the “Welt” now berates Apple, just because they kept a few billion dollars from the US Federal Tax Office. They did it simply by declaring some of their profits – totally lawfully – in other countries outside the USA, for instance in Ireland. Well, it was less expensive there, wasn’t it? So they transferred some of the billions they kept from the US Federal Tax Office into other countries because it cost less there. And in doing so, they saved a few billion dollars, too.

This was a bad thing for the US economy, but it was rather nice for the economy in countries like Ireland. And it was good for Apple, because now they can invest some of the money they saved. And it was also good for the shareholders of Apple, because now they can get more dividends.

So what is so bad about it?

We have a free economy. We think globally and we live through a global sharing of labour. Consequently, the huge enterprises, too, operate globally. If they stick by the rules and laws in business – and I mean in the way those rules and laws were written and are intended – then this is fine. To be sure, it might be nice to write values such as “fair” and “upright” into a concern’s statutes, but it is not really helpful, is it?

Because in order for it to be helpful, we would need a categorical imperative, instead of rules. Which is something we (perhaps unfortunately) do not have in business.

And since we actually do have countries with different laws and business is world-wide, the manager in charge actually has the right, if not perhaps even the obligation, to actually take advantage of it – as long as it happens inside the legal boundaries.

And then the “Welt” has no business pointing the finger at them and abusing them. No. If anything, they should point their fingers right back towards themselves. And perhaps change the rules. But I have no idea if that would improve matters.

(Translated by EG)

They decided it on the UE summit: the banking confidentiality has to be abolished all over Europe. By the end of the year! (ARD)
And they justify it with something that, to me, looks like a “very new but basically very old insight”: the huge concerns decentralized their profits (totally legally) in order to reduce their tax debt. The forerunners were the bad guys at Apple and Google, but of course, the enterprises living off the copyright also jumped the bandwagon. This is no surprise, because, after all, they have special experience with using complicated rules and laws as suits them best. And everybody is currently extremely upset about the evil tax-evading enterprises.


  • Was this not something that has been happening ever since 1950, and probably even before? The big German DAX concerns, too, reduced their taxes by dexterously taking advantage of the law. And we all knew it, didn’t we?
  • Isn’t it the legal obligation of managers in joint stock companies to avoid all (also tax-caused) damage to the enterprise given into their custody?
  • The reason for these kinds of optimizations is that different countries have different taxation regulations and rules. Consequently, the logical solution would be to come up with an identical world-wide taxation. But one world-wide government is an idea that gives me even more pause than the EU. To be sure, a nice united world sounds beautifully utopian, but the power of such a system sounds equally fear-inspiring.
  • Incidentally, it is said the Ireland actually benefited hugely from Apple’s behaviour. If Europe had identical taxation in all countries, Ireland, too, would have come up empty-handed.

It is absurd, isn’t it? We talk “data security” but as soon as something as private as your bank account is concerned, the end suddenly justifies the means. And in no time, data security is gone.

I am absolutely in favour of transparency. But: you can only have “transparent citizens” in combination with a “transparent state”. Because transparency is something that always needs symmetry, especially if the power is distributed as unevenly as between citizens and the state. After all, the citizens delegated all their rights to their sovereign, the state.

However, we have a long way to go until we get a “transparent state”. Personally, I have no problem disclosing all my personal data. Even my bank account data. But that is something you can only expect if the transparency is symmetrical.

I still fear the omnipotence of the state more than that of the concerns… After all, it is easier to defend myself against those than against the state – for instance by simply not consuming what they want me to consume.

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Thursday May 23rd, 2013

The Evil Tax Evaders …

These days, exposing tax evaders is a particularly fashionable thing to do. And in unison, all the media, the government, the trade units and other social groups – and of course your normal citizen, as well – call the offense something extremely despicable.

I often get the impression that at this particular moment in history tax evasion is judged to be the one most evil of crimes.

Those are the moments when I remember Bert Brecht and his Dreigroschenoper. In the last scene, the messenger of the King comes and turns the destiny of the convicted person through the King’s amnesty. After Mackie Messer, absurdly, has been elevated to become nobility, the choir gives the advice to the audience to

“not punish evil too much!”

I think this rule should also be applied for tax evaders. To be sure, they should have to pay the money they gained through fraud back to the state. Including interest of interest. But persons who have otherwise served the community rather well have probably not deserved to be called criminals.

Here are two (simplified) calculations on the tax situation in Germany.

Part one: Enterprises and Shareholder.

In Germany, an enterprise still pays a third part of its profit in taxes (business and income taxes) in case of a payoff. So if the payoff is 40,000 Euros, the enterprise will have to have made a profit of more than 60,000 Euros. The rest of the money remains with the state ≈ 20,000 EUROS.

If the shareholder gets 40,000 Euros, he will again have to pay tax on that money. One fourth. He gets 30,000 €

The rest remains with the state = 10,000 EUROS.f

If the shareholder uses this money to buy a BMW, he has to pay added value tax:

19 %.

The state gets another approximately 1/6 EURO ≈ 5,000 €.

An employee earning “good money” has to pay taxes and social fees to the tune of around half of his income. As I see it, the borderline is very fluctuating. For instance, taxes and old age insurance fees both serve the purpose of guaranteeing that you are provided for in old age.

If the “employee earning good money” spends his well-taxed money, he will again have to pay value added tax (19 % or 7 %).

If he employs someone else, he will again have to pay “income tax” and social security fees.

Part two:

If he makes an investment with the money he has paid taxes for, he will again have to pay tax on capital for what interest he gets. Regardless of the fact that mostly the interest is lower than the (nominal) currency devaluation

Still there is an otherwise perhaps quite reasonable party that wants to increase the tax for “those who earn much” quite significantly. And they want it without a dynamic upper limit following the inflation rate for “normal earners”! Which means that the “normal earners” can easily become “those who earn much” and then will really have to pay a lot.

Does all this really make sense? How easily could you start thinking nasty thoughts…


(Translated by EG)

P.S.Dear certified accountants, feel free to take a closer look at the numbers I mentioned. Maybe they are not correct. I just wrote them down to the best of my knowledge.

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

130530 As soon as three know a secret, thirty will know it – through twitterers and bloggers. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

130531 As one makes his bed, so he must lie – destiny of all twitterers and bloggers? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

130601 There is no time like the present – also true for bloggers and twitterers! #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

130602 Do not seek what you cannot have – also when blogging and twittering! #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

130603 If something is too heavy for you, leave it lying – is that also true for the twitterer and blogger? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

130604 If you have to do something, enjoy doing it – also when twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

130605 If you wish to do something, do not postpone it – not to forget when twittering and blogging. #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 .

Roland Dürre
Wednesday May 22nd, 2013

PM – A New Definition!

Project ≠ Project.

Project Management ≠ Project Management.

In his PM-Blog, Stefan Hagen published an article  with this headline. For me, it is something like a “revolutionary milestone” when considering (project) management.

Using enlightened statements, Stefan dismisses quite a few dogmata of project management from the last century (millennium).

I was fascinated by his article. Consequently, I lost no time and immediately wrote a comment in However, I would like to use this opportunity to give you a summary of my comments, although with (significant) changes.

Let me start by citing from Stefan’s article:

“We pretend that there is such a thing as a clear definition of “project” or “project management”. This is an absurdity”.

That is not the only sentence where Stefan hits the nail on the head. In his article, Stefan asks a lot of good questions – and gives some answers, too. It is all so clear and self-explanatory that you start wondering why so many managers still stick with the old dogmata.

To me, the answer seems obvious: dogmata, even if they are antiquated, have a huge “advantage”:

They make life easier for us humans, especially if we are talking complex or paradox situations.Based on dogmata, you can basically do without thinking yourself. Instead, you can decide according to a given “pattern”. The human being who in a situation of decision is often extremely lonely will find something to hold onto and thus reduce his natural (and healthy) uncertainty.

Dogmata also take pressure off our conscience. Even if everything goes wrong, we can say we “did everything right”. After all, we acted exactly like we had been taught, didn’t we? Everything we did was according to the respective standards we have been, after all, successfully certified for. Which means that we are not to blame for the failure and/or detrimental effects of the project…

The way we have been frequently trained to act according to dogmata protects us and makes life easier. Responsibility is delegated to an authority that is perhaps a plausible book or rules and accepted as superior. Basically, it comes “from above” and we trust it will be correct. More often than not, you are even forced to act as you do by an anonymous system, which does not leave you any leeway.

In view of this, you cannot be surprised if doctrines and dogmata are highly cherished by humans. Except they should not go so far as to start questioning dogmata. Because that would mean they often will no longer believe in the world and that means the party is over. So maybe it is a good idea not to start thinking…


Dogmata are almost always inflexible and antiquated. They do not do justice to the dynamic and, after all, very complex real life, along with the needs of people in social communities. And mostly the same is true for decisions and behaviour based on these dogmata.

For “correct” decisions, and “good” behaviour of humans, the requirement is that they have enjoyed a good education, are equipped with the right amount of experience in life, a high degree of autonomy along with civil courage, the willingness to take responsibility and common sense.

That is exactly what Stefan demands in his definition of project management!

However, autonomous, self-responsible and “good” behaviour will not just fall out of the clouds. Neither in (project) management, nor in real life.

For me, this means that the biggest challenge of all for us humans is to be (become) willing and capable of living our lives in self-responsibility. And this should happen in an ethically responsible way following values shared by all humans like, for instance the Golden Rule or the UN Charta.

And just like this is true for life in general, it is also true for our “sub-lives” in roles such as project manager, leader, entrepreneur, partner, pater familias, official functionary, politician – well, basically wherever we live together socially in communities.

(Translated by EG)

In this article, I took pains to not give in to the temptation of using dogmata of the Catholic Church as examples.…

IF Blog is one of the few Munich blogs written mostly both in German and English.  We and I have to thank Evelyn (EG) for this, because she is the one who translates all of my and many of the team’s articles into English at high speed. She does it because she delights in our friendship and because she rather likes the English language.

All I can do is say thank you very much, Evelyn!

But Evelyn – among other hobbies – has a second and very special field of interest. One she practices with enthusiasm and a high degree of professionalism. Along with her son, she sings in various choirs. And now the two of them became members of a very special choir, the

arcis vocalisten

under Thomas Gropper.


Since the picture has been taken before they joined, you cannot yet find our Evelyn and her son Martin on it.

At the end of June, the arcis vocalisten will be heard singing a new and very special project. After George Frederik Händel’s most famous oratorio has often been sung in the shortened or German versions and/or accompanied with modern instruments, the  arcis vocalisten are now giving a concert singing the  complete, unabridged, English original version accompanied with historic instruments played by L’arpa festante!

On Saturday, June, 29th, the first concert will be at the Christuspavillion of Kloster Volkenroda in Thüringen, where the Jesus-Bruderschaft Volkenroda organized the event.

One day later, on Sunday, June, 30th, at 19.00 hours, it is the “home game” for the choir. That is when we can enjoy the music at the Himmelfahrtskirche in München-Sendling (Kidlerstr.).

The soloists are Hanna Herfurtner – Soprano, Franz Schlecht – Basso, Robert Sellier – Tenor and Andreas Pehl – Altus. The conductor is Thomas Gropper, who will also provide you with a 30-minute introduction to the work at 18.00 hours in the church.

In his MESSIAH, Händel creates a three-part sheet of pictures on the figure of the Redeemer, the annunciation of his birth, the Christmas Story, the Passion and the Resurrection. The delicate and passionate choirs are the backbone of the concert.

So now you know what you have to do: look in your calendar if you have time to go and then order tickets!

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Monday May 20th, 2013

#barcamp&#pmcamp: Why I Go There!

 Great events will cast their shadows before:

This year, there will be at least four more PM camps.

After the magnificent meeting at Stuttgart #pmcamp13str of   May, 3rd/4th, 2013 , we will meet again in Vienna for the #pmcamp13vie on  June, 21st/22nd, 2013, in Bad Homburg for the #pmcampRM on  27th through 29th, 2013, in Berlin for the #pmcamp13ber on September, 13th through 15th, 2013 and, as the year comes to an end for the “mother of all PM camps” #pmcamp13 in Dornbirn on  November, 14th through 16th, 2013.

Here is the definition:
PM-Camp is nothing other than a Barcamp, where project managers, entrepreneurs, leaders, students and similarly minded people meet.

This is the reason why I am going to start a small IF blog series on barcamps in general and PM camp in particular.

Today you will read part 1:

Why I Go There!

I was born in 1950. My generation had a nice time to live in. In our Central European home, we experienced luxury as the human race did never before in its history. We were allowed to grow up in a free society. Suppression and force were at least reduced to a tolerable degree. For most of us, education was affordable. And, above all: there was no active war fought on our soil!

To be sure – not all was well. The consumption terror born during the time of the economic miracle was negative. We, too, fell victim to it. The only unnatural threat for our lives was on the streets, where motorized traffic caused many victims, injuries and deaths (in our circles, as well). Perversely, however, we accepted those as logical consequence of our so-called new freedom.

When all is said and done, I and my central European generation probably lived in a time when we were better off than humans had been at any other time. At least that is how I perceive it. I wish to express my gratitude for this and hand as much of my experience and knowledge as possible on to many people.

At the same time, my generation did more damage to this planet than any other generation before us. As I see it, we may not have done it intentionally, but we have certainly been most careless. Because the knowledge we have today (see Club of Rome and others) was already available.  Well, there is a lot we would have to make up for, but we will not succeed. For me, this means a duty to also write about the mistakes we made. After all, you can also learn from mistakes.

Consequently, I particularly enjoy doing presentations for young people. Currently, however, the best way to hand on experience and at the same time work on your constructs are barcamps.

This is why I like going to barcamps whenever my time permits it. And I particularly enjoy the PM Camp.

(Translated  by EG)

I intend to continue in my series with topics such as
What are my experiences on a PM Camp!
What is my contribution at a PM Camp!