Roland Dürre
Saturday September 28th, 2013

Still Wanted: Sponsor for PM Camp!

Three years ago, we had the first PM Camp in Dornbirn. It was initially intended for DACH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland). Many people liked it so much that this year more PM Camps have taken place in Vienna, Stuttgart, Bad Homburg (Rhein-Main) and Berlin.

However, this great development motivated some of the sponsors to support local Bar Camps close to their own home, rather than the far-off one on the lake Bodensee. Well, this is certainly an understandable development. Yet now its consequence is that we are still looking for some sponsors to support our Dornbirn PM Camp. After all, we want to maintain the high standards of this perhaps best-frequented PM Camp of all.

PM-CampHere is the invitation for potential sponsors by the Dornbirn organization team:

As all other PM Camps, the one in Dornbirn is also a non-profit event. The entry fees are kept low on purpose (99 Euros plus added value tax for two days including all meals). They do not cover the actual costs of the event.

Consequently, we need sponsors who share the PM Camp vision and are prepared to contribute. As a sponsor, you will leave no doubts about your own innovative and future-oriented position. You can introduce your own topics during the open space sessions and gain many new impulses. Last not least, you can meet interesting people, either as potential future customers or employees.

Be part of the PM Camp movement which started three years ago in Dornbirn and now has been extended to also reach to Vienna, Berlin, Stuttgart and Bad Homburg! Show your potential employees and customers that you are prepared to leave the antiquated paths of established conferences and to think in new terms of project management. You can actively support the most important and (in-)famous anti-conference on project management in the German-speaking area!

For details of our sponsoring arrangement, click here. Do not wait too long, because sponsor opportunities, too, are limited.

Incidentally, sponsors do not pay a very high sum. I look forward to your questions!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Friday September 27th, 2013

brand eins in October

brandeinsOKT13Three days ago, it arrived again on schedule: the current brand eins edition. Today, since this is the end of the week, I have a little time and take a closer look at it.

The focal issue of the October edition is: Normal. On the title page, they printed in huge letters:
Everybody is Normal.
Except You.
(smaller and in red).

Before opening the magazine, I let this make its own impression on my mind. After all, I learned from the brand eins September edition that you have to be careful with title pages.
I remember my own childhood. In fact, that was a time when I envied some other people for being “normal” while considering myself not normal at all …

That reminds me of my friend and teacher Rupert Lay. A short while ago he gave a beautiful presentation – despite being already quite elderly – about the different worlds of other persons. One of his statements was:

Every human being has his or her own world. It is and has to be totally different from yours.

He also said that you have to be able to deal with the fact that people around you are different from you. And he formulated the sentence:

“Tolerance means accepting that someone else is different from you, love means wanting your partner to be different from you.”

For me, this is a monumental sentence. However, it will be hard to accept that others are different if you cannot accept that you yourself are different. Which will probably not be possible if you consider yourself “abnormal”.

I believe “considering ourselves abnormal” stems from us well-meaning people admiring the worlds of many other persons. At the same time, we sometimes consider our own world shabby, because, after all, we are very familiar with it. And I think this is probably a huge mistake. Because our own world, too, is something wonderful.

But enough of a preamble. I take a closer look at the inside of the magazine. And I find quite a few things that make me depressed. For instance the total marketization of our worlds. Look at the enterprises, your work, your health and medicine, your retirement provision, it is the same almost everywhere. In our individual sphere, decisions are also more and more dominated by economic considerations, for instance when it comes to planning families and children, as well as your private concept of life in general.

Apparently, the reason for this marketization is that all social systems try to optimize to their advantage. Every process is designed to be useful above all or even exclusively for the system. Customers, employees, participants, users, parties concerned and all sorts of victims are ignored. Mind you, this is regardless of the fact that optimization for the system to the exclusion of all else is basically also detrimental to the system itself.

And I found the occasional confirmation for these two theses – that this marketization actually happens in our society, but also for the fact that, in the end, it is more detrimental than beneficial for all of us (including the systems for which it was designed) – in the “brand eins” October edition. While reading this brand eins, I also re-discovered that this development is the consequence of a reduced concept of humanity – not just in terms of entrepreneurial thinking –, thus leading directly to this success (failure).

But why don’t you read and discover it yourself?

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Klaus Hnilica
Thursday September 26th, 2013

Men in Distress – or: The Eroticism to be Found in Housework

Carl and Gerlinde (XXXIV)
”You have been at the hairdresser’s, haven’t you?”, Gerlinde said with surprise as she lifted her glass of Pinot Noir and saluted Carl wholeheartedly; an inexplicable spell of extreme appetite forced her to add another slice of pumpernickel with delicious Italian Mortadella to her meal even before she had completely swallowed the first bite…

ZFimg089”Well- so – did – you – two – days – ago…”, Carl just managed to squeeze out of his vocal ducts before he felt like he was going to die from a nasty bout of coughing: he was actually choking on something!

But at least he managed to regain enough control to prevent the Hungarian Salami that swam on top of the Riesling in his mouth from being spread all over the freshly laid table.

And yet: while removing the worst consequences of the ’Meat-Wine-Chaos’ with Gerlinde’s help, he still kept gasping for air and continually coughing in a soft staccato voice; his reddened eyes were spilling over with tears. …

”In fact, I am surprised that you noticed about me having been at the hairdresser’s at all”, Gerlinde sneered with an air of sympathy when Carl could again be spoken to; after all this excitement, she emptied her half-full glass in one go.

”Naturally – this is the kind of thing I will always notice…”, Carl croaked with a husky voice.

”In that case, wouldn’t it be nice if you made some kind of comment once in a while?“

”Why would I do that – after all, you know you always look beautiful to me …“!

”Hm – if you had taken a short look at the new ’Image of the Lady’ during your stay at the hairdresser’s, you would now know how important small positive comments are in a partnership, my dear Carl!“

”This might well be so”, Carl said while yet once again trying to clear his throat by coughing, “but to make up for it, I know the problems Jogi Löw has with Mats Hummels and also that Schweini has not reached a proper understanding with Guardiola …“

”Apropos, Schweini – did you also read the “swiney” filth in the “Star”? Gerlinde interrupted him.

”No – but I am sure you are instantly going to tell me all about it – you ladies are always interested in this kind of thing”, Carl sneered at her, before at long last again taking a cautious sip from his Riesling after having overcome his almost-death by asphyxiation.

”Well – I am really do not know how to say it, but according to “Star”, the most adventurous accidents seem to happen in London after the eroticism trilogy ’Fifty Shades of Grey’ …“

”I have no idea, Gerlinde – all I know is that Poldi suffered an injury at Arsenal London“,  Carl smugly replied – now again in possession of his full voice, and then he re-filled Gerlinde’s empty glass with that silky Pinot Noir which already showed some effect on Gerlinde’s eyes, because she giggled and said: ”I believe the accidents in London have nothing to do with arsenal or anal. Believe me, the fire fighters have totally different problems to solve, and I mean really embarrassing problems. …“

”What do you mean – embarrassing?“

”All those unleashed chained people in the nude apparently not only do not know how to retrieve the keys to their handcuffs after having chained themselves in the nude, but they also have to be liberated from all kinds of household devices they got entangled with in the most embarrassing way …“

”Household devices?”

”Yes – toasters, vacuum cleaners and similar practical appliances – and, of course, again it is the males who have to be freed, dear Carl…  …“

”What, they have to be released from toasters? I am not going to believe this!“

”But yes, Carl – according to “Star”, you can read it all in the London fire fighter report.…“

”Oh my God“, Carl moaned – before finally emptying his long-ago started glass of Riesling, wiping his tear-stained eyes several times with a paper towel and saying: “this makes me wonder why we at TRIGA rack our brains each season in order to come up with a new and even more sexy underwear collection if, according to ’Fifty Shades of Grey’ not only handcuffs and riding rods, but also common household appliances get the people horny? Toasters and vacuum cleaners, no less? There must be something wrong in the state of Denmark, don’t you think Gerlinde?“

”This is certainly a good question, Carl… “ Gerlinde said with fluttering eyelids and uplifted shoulders, “but then, maybe something is wrong with the two of us? Perhaps you and I are so dulled that we are no longer capable of enough fantasy to even imagine these kinds of things?“

”Gerlinde, now I think you are definitely going too far …“

”Why is that? Hannelore already read all three volumes of the trilogy …“

“And Kurt“?

“Is also only interested in the damaged ankle joints of this Grötze or Grütze…”

“Götze – Mario Götze, my dear Gerlinde… after all, the ankle joints of this ’God-like’ player are worth more than 30 million euros!“

“Carl, I must say you are definitively not quite that precious – even if I am already a little tipsy! But at least you could increase your only minimally less monetary value quickly by getting another one of these delicious bottles of Pinot Noir from our cellar. How would you feel about that?”

“But only if you promise to never put handcuffs on me – let alone in the nude – “ Carl insisted. He underlined this demand by sending another cold glass of Riesling through his now restored throat.
”Promised”, Gerlinde piped.

”Good. Then I will now be on my totally unleashed way to the dark cellar”, Carl grinned

”But before that, you must promise that you will never, under any circumstances, ever try anything funny with my household appliances. Swear it, Carl …“ Gerlinde babbled. Then she pushed her soiled plate with the cutlery far from her in a huge gesture and cautiously laid her now heavy head onto the table …

”I promise…“, Carl loudly and rather contentedly intoned. He was visibly happy about his vocal chords again being intact.

But since it was quite obvious that Gerlinde by no could no longer be reached through words, Carl thought to himself as he was on his way to the cellar that the ancient ones most certainly must have had their good reasons why they were always careful to leave kitchen work and housecleaning exclusively to the …!

After all, they wanted their libidinal young men to go to war un-maimed.  …

Not so today: the poor men not only have to do all sorts of female jobs, but are also attacked by toasters and vacuum cleaners …

Hard times have come, Carl murmured into the mouldy cellar – but on the next morning, he definitively had no explanation why he lay in bed totally dressed in trousers and pullover – and the sleeping Gerlinde was chained to him with pink handcuffs.

KH

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

131003 If you bend justice too much, it will break – also true for twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

131004 If you want to clean the stairs, you have to start at the top – also true for twittering and blogging? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

131005 Where there is no opportunity, you must create it – also true when blogging and twittering. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

131006 If you cannot see anything, you will easily bump into each other – also true for blogging and twittering. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

131007 If you are going to rummage, you want to start at the top – also true for twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

131008 If you ring the bell with the dollar, all doors will be wide open – also true for twittering and blogging? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

131009 You cannot draw a lot of beer from an almost empty bucket – also true for twittering and blogging. #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.

Now I just rode my bike through Germany for three days coming from Switzerland. I stayed overnight with a friend and twice in a hotel. First with Wolf in Rorschach, then in two normal tourist hotels in Oberstaufen and Füssen.

And every evening on arriving at the hotel, I had to fill in a form at the check-in: last name, first name, date of birth, home address, date of birth and first name of my wife.

However, I did not have to do it when I stayed with my friend. So why was that? After all, I spent the night in Rorschach, didn’t I? Don’t you have to fill in a form if you have private accommodation? And can anybody tell me why not? Why we only have to do this in a hotel? After all, the chance of me being a potential danger to the state will not change if I stay in a hotel.

Incidentally, whenever I offer people to stay overnight with us – and I often have guests who stay overnight – I do not let them fill in a form, either. Neither do I register them anywhere. I wonder if, being a law-abiding citizen, I should do it?

Since I often travel, I often have to fill in these forms. It is unnecessary work. I used to believe that the data are all in my passport. As well as on many of my small plastic cards in these small chips. Consequently, you should think people can read them from there, can’t they? At least this would be a way to avoid having to take up a biro and soiling paper. After all, I already know my date of birth and my home address, so I need not practice writing them.

Incidentally, all of this seems quite useless to me. Basically, all the world knows at all times where I was and where I am. Consequently, having to fill in all those forms is just bureaucratic harassment.

Of course, filling in forms is particularly absurd if I look at my smartphone in the morning. It talks back to me, telling me each morning where exactly I am, what the weather is like outside, and much more. And there are many more applications which always know exactly where I am at what time.

Regardless, I will probably have to fill in the form in the future just as always. Totally useless. Like so many other things in our world.

🙂 Well, basically, it is not something I get really annoyed with. It is just stupid.

So what? I will just continue to fill in forms.…

RMD
(Translated by EG)

One Last Time:

A Picture Says More than a Thousand Words.

This time around, you can look at three (almost wordless) pictures of today’s trip from Füssen to Bad Tölz (more than a hundred kilometres, but with disappointingly few metres of altitude).

2013BadTölz

Is it possible to have a nicer bike trip than this?

2013BadTölz1

Looking left.

2013BadTölzNachvorne

The three days we spent riding our bikes through the Allgäu were true happiness for us. And since you should always finish when everything is just perfect, we took the BOB from Bad Tölz to Holzkirchen today at 6 p.m. and then went on riding our bikes to Unterhaching. To be perfectly honest: it was not just because everything was so perfect, but also because the weather forecast for tomorrow is less than promising. Besides, I have a little problem to solve at the enterprise.

But as soon as circumstances will permit it again, we will go back to Bad Tölz – from whence we will continue our trip to the Königssee. After all, we already did half the way from the Bodensee to the Königsee.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Tuesday September 24th, 2013


From Oberstaufen to Füssen

or yet again

A Picture Says More Than A Thousand Words.

So here are some more pictures (almost without words) of today’s bike trip from Oberstaufen to Füssen (almost 80 kilometres, this time including some “nasty” metres of altitude).

2013Füssen7

Start early in the morning.

2013füssen5

Fog over the lake.

2013Füssen4

Airplanes on the sky.

2013FüssenBarbie

Barbara on the edge of the road.

2013Füssen2

It is a long way!

2013FüssenBahn

We might have had it easier …

2013Füssen1

But, again, it was wonderful.

RMD
P.S:
I took all the pictures. Just as we passed all those places, I took them on S5 – and naturally, NO editing at all.

Here is a Little Anecdote from a Manager’s Daily Routine:

I am sitting here and reading an excellent job application. It is truly excellent. And it makes me absolutely happy.

At the bottom of the letter, I read under “personal strengths”:

Very capable of dealing with difficult situations.

That gives me pause.

Why?

Because this is not what I want. I want colleagues with courage. I want colleagues who have the energy to develop joy and carry others along with their enthusiasm. I want people who invest time and energy for the enterprise to a healthy extent. I want colleagues who can and must also at times be emotional and sensitive, and who can say “NO” where necessary. I want employees who love and like themselves. Because that is the only way they will also be able to love and like others.

But I do not want persons who are capable of “dealing with difficult situations”. They are something to bury with the management mothballs: throw them in and close the lid.
But be not afraid – I know what the applicant meant with “capable of dealing with difficult situations”.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Monday September 23rd, 2013

From Rorschach/Goldau to Oberstaufen …

or

A Picture Says More Than A Thousand Words.

Consequently, here are just a few pictures (without words) showing today’s bike trip from Rorschach on the lake Bodensee to Oberstaufen (a little more than 80 kilometres with many “nice” metres of altitude).

2013Oberstaufen1

It was beautiful.

2013Oberstaufen2

It was more beautiful.

2013Oberstaufen3

It was most beautiful..

2013Oberstaufen4

It was really great.

2013Oberstaufen5

It was really great with Barbara!

2013oberstaufen6

I loved tthe wonderful day.

RMD
(Translated by EG and RMD)

By now, the Berlin PM Camp is also already a thing of one week in the past. I had designed a session about “Ethics/Morals & Management Today”.

You already read the first part of my presentation “Morals versus Ethics” (LINK). So here is part 2 as an attempt at formulating an “idea-typical” image of the modern manager.

What are the characteristics and qualities a person should have if he or she wants to take an extraordinary degree of responsibility for a social system such as an enterprise, along with making important decisions and initiating consequential behaviour? Because, for me, that is the definition of managers, leaders, entrepreneurs, or whatever you wish to call them.

In order to structure the entire presentation, I have formed three clusters:

Operatively – Strategically – Normatively.

  • Operatively

    In this category, I would wish to list the “normal” qualities a manager should or even must have today. Basically, we are talking about a good technological and business competence, a capability to listen attentively, a mastering of active communication, both in writing and speaking. But it also means that you should be able to present yourself as an intelligent, quick-witted and confident person, basically being able to negotiate and equipped with good instincts. In other words: you should have a suitable degree of extroversion and flexibility. Also, a halfway decent upbringing and a good measure of the law-abiding disposition seem important to me.    
All these qualities are certainly useful. I will not go so far as to judge which of those are really necessary. But I am sure none of the mentioned criteria are sufficient.
  • Strategically

    This is where I see the leadership quality. The expectations get higher: terms such as “inner freedom”, “empathy”, the ability to handle conflict situations and living up to your own high standards come to mind. A healthy identification with the values and cultures of the enterprise seem very important to me. Also, I would wish to see a good portion of humility before the task. And in particular, a leader should understand the difference between morals and ethics (see part one of my presentation), along with being able to behave in an “ethically responsible” way.
  • Normatively

    Here comes another rather challenging issue. We are asking for “entrepreneurial qualities”! It is all about moving “beyond randomness” and into “responsibility”. You have to be able to discuss the values of the enterprise and the culture (in a very powerful world which constituted itself quasi automatically) in a constructive and critical way. You have to be willing to accept “change”. In order to do this, you will need primary virtues such as “civil courage” and “constructive disobedience”.

During one of my presentations on leadership, we had a discussion about “charisma”. Is “charisma” a necessary requirement for leadership? As I see it, charisma is a misunderstanding. Because it is not a person who is charismatic; instead, their behaviour is perceived as charismatic.

But let us return to my image. To be sure, it is a rather random model. Besides, you can easily imagine other requirements to add, or structure it differently. The division into three parts is also something you might wish to extend or modify. And as always, my model is also one of those where you should not think in terms of “black-and-white”.

Of course, I cannot imagine any person blessed with all the qualities I described. For us common humans, this is also rather a relief. But perhaps my image can help if you want to walk along the lines of the triangle or even move into it and ask “where am I?”. Also, you might ask where you are headed and what you can do in order to get there.

RMD
(Translated by EG)