Roland Dürre
Sunday June 29th, 2014

Making all the Difference – PM Camp versus Conference

rhein_main-pm-campThis weekend, we had another PM Camp. It was the third one this year. The Rhein-Main PM Camp 2014 took place in Bad Homburg. And judging by what I read on twitter (#PMcampRM), it was another great PM Camp. After all, each one is individual, but they are all special.

And while I celebrated “30-years-InterFace” at Unterhaching with many guests, something very special was created in Bad Homburg quasi as a by-product: a team around Falk Schmid, who is also a member of the organizational team for PM Camp RM, managed to develop an experimental video under the supervision of Torsten Koerting in less than 100 minutes. The video is supposed to help explain the PM Camp idea.

Watch and enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/v/S1XGY_BEkcw?fs=1&vq=hd720

It took only one hour to make the video! Wow! One could easily imagine some video for totally different purposes, for instance in enterprises. Lots of ideas come to mind…
So, come and register for the first Munich PM Camp #pmcampmuc.
And even better: why don’t you organize your own PM Camp in your hometown?

RMD
(Translated by EG)

On the future of enterprises

The feedback on the technological IF Forum on June, 27th, 2014 at the Unterhaching Sportpark was wonderful. Many thanks to all who where there. I already look forward to watching the video recordings of all the presentations.

Here are the lecture notes for the presentation I held after the event.

The IF Forum was about:

“Self-organisation as a formative model for enterprises in the 21st century”

sudburyOn one of his first days as our new (!) colleague in the board gave me the Sudbury-Book – a gesture I found both courageous and really great.

The book is about liberal schools. It is a very radical plea for liberal education. Compared to “Sudbury”, the good old “Summerhill” model we all appreciated so very much during our youth is truly authoritarian.

Incidentally, I believe a little more “Sudbury” would be good advice, and not just for our schools. It would also help our enterprises. Mind you, I am not just talking so-called “brain workers”.

Why?

Once upon a time, we had an “industrial revolution”. Many workers were needed in the factories. However, there were no skilled workers on the human market. To make up for it, there was a huge surplus of unskilled persons, some of whom had grown up on farms. Farms, in particular, were places where – due to new technology – masses of employees were made redundant. They had all worked in a rural environment. They were simple people, not used to time-oriented discipline and without any experience with technological work.

The first conveyor-belt production of Ford’s T Model is a nice example of this industrialization 2.0, which followed after the extended use of the steam engine as a power machine (industrialization 1.0). Suddenly, time and the clock became relevant factors. The “caste of engineers” took over production control and ruled over the unskilled labour. “Modern Times” as in Charlie Chaplin had begun.

In the 21st century, we have a totally different image of humans and the world – at least in our society:
”War is over!“
”Future is female!“
”We want freedom and peace!“
…
“because we no longer believe in a life after death!“
And the science of management, too, underwent change. For example, Hans Ulrich of the Hochschule St. Gallen founded the “Management Model” in the early 1980ies and wrote an article titled:


”Eight theses on the change in management“.

They are:


To accept the unpredictability of the future as a normal state of affairs;

To extend your personal borderline of thinking;

To let yourself be governed by “both”, instead of “either-or”;
To think multi-dimensionally;
To understand self-organization and self-control as formative models;
To consider management as a meaningful function;
To focus on what is really important; 

To make use of group dynamics.
To me, this looks clear and rational.

Basically, with this list, Hans Ulrich said everything that needed to be said in the early 1980ies. But it seems that some “managers” have not heard any of it to this day.

25 years after the essay by Hans Ulrich, I met Simon Grand, who is also from St. Gallen. I cooperated with him during several workshops. And I learned from him that, when all is said and done, the one thing that makes a manager a good manager is that he knows a little more often than others which decision is good and which is bad for his enterprise. And this is how the good manager makes the right decision a little more often than your average person! According to other research done by the Hochschule St. Gallen, the ratio of wrong decisions is gigantically huge.

A short time ago, I tried to come to terms with the meaning of the words collateral damage (Kollateralnutzen). In Wikipedia, you will find it defined as fringe damage or accompanying damage, which is accepted even if not predictable. I would have defined it as secondary damage.

So far, Wikipedia does not give you any explanation for “collateral benefit”. I am sure this will soon be remedied. In google, you can find the term collateral benefit at the top of (today’s) list as fun opposite of »collateral damage«.

Isn’t it sad: whenever something “evil” happens, you have collateral damage, but there is no “collateral benefit” accompanying “good” things happening. At least not in Wikipedia. Incidentally, I am quite sure that all these things have been written about in philosophy. Except – in our omniscient internet, which certainly has a huge influence and educational value for us, the “collateral benefit” as fringe, accompanying or secondary benefit is not yet known. The philosophers really should do a better job.

I will just claim that a “good” manager will create mostly collateral benefit for (not just) his enterprise. His behaviour is “constructive”. Just like a “bad” manager will create collateral damage – which means he is “destructive”.
And you can see that the classic management doctrine reaches its limits in the times of “Generation Y”.

🙂 Surprise, surprise: all of a sudden you realize that good decisions cannot be made just by rationally deducing from collected facts. Instead, intuition of experience is quite important. And you notice that it can even be proved scientifically.

Consequently, what we get is a set of questions which do not just apply for creative intellectual jobs:

Is Taylorism still constructive?

Maybe regionalization should again be put before globalization?

Have we finally understood that the future cannot be predicted?

How do we cope with this truth?

Do we accept that

  • planning things gets harder and harder, that we have to prudently learn as we try to find our way through these complex worlds and that human beings are more important than efficiency? – #agile in the sense of the “Agile Manifesto”,
  • there will (or has to) come a time of participating and sharing – #open,
  • we will have to go back to doing things the simple way and to always do better – #lean?

Will we manage to contribute with our own talents and competence as each individual situation requires?

Are we courageous enough for civil courage and constructive disobedience?

Maybe we should go back to giving intuition again a relevant role when it comes to making decisions?

Is efficiency still the prior goal? Or is it more about resiliency, the ability to adapt?

Should we not – first and foremost – try to adopt a constructive mind-set. After all, it is immensely important for what we decide and what we do.

Do we really still need persons to tell us what to do?

Why is nobody confident that we will learn together and then do the right thing? In the sense of the Common Interest.

We will not solve tomorrow’s problems by using yesterday’s solutions and we must limit the power of all kinds of hierarchical systems. This is the only chance we have to live (and survive) in freedom through shared and collaborative behaviour based on ratio and to shape the future in the interest of man and our creation.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Friday June 27th, 2014

30 Years of InterFace AG (Jubilee Speech)

Here is my welcome speech for the guests of the 30-Years-of-InterFace celebration. A report with pictures and more will follow later.

Hi. Today we are around 350 people who want to celebrate a great party. Thank you for being here with us!

We celebrate more than thirty years that went by between the founding of InterFace Connection in 1984 and now. Those were good years – just like most of the years in my life!

To start with, I will tell you about the founding – a process that took a little more than one year (1983/1984).

  • In those days, the sky was the limit, especially for computer scientists.
  • There seemed to be no limits.
  • The foundation process was tough and long.
  • After all, we wanted to write a particularly thorough business plan.
  • When we were fed up with “founding”, we just started.
  • And that was a good idea!

Wolf and I also had some shared theses.

  • We are not like other firms – agile, lean, open – regardless of the fact that, in those days, the meaning of the words was not even known.
  • Human beings are not resources.
  • All we will do is: invent new technology – things like mainframes and Cobol were nothing we even imagined.
  • Unix is the future – that is still true today.
  • Quality is everything.
  • The easiest way to make money is producing.
  • Promotion is something we do not need (because we are so good).
  • Be careful when it comes to growth, because you have to cope with it.

Here is what I am particularly happy about in my life.

  • The time at Siemens (where I learned a lot of technology).
  • The time at Softlab (where I started learning something beyond technology).
  • The start at InterFace, again, directed my life towards a new dimension.
  • We only ever had one crisis – and we overcame it.
  • That there were so many friends and comrades-in-arms (many of which have come here today).
  • That Wolf and I are still the best of friends.

Here is what I personally am grateful for:

  • Through InterFace, I met so many people who gave me so much.
  • Barbara was always by my side.
  • Basically, I managed to combine family, children and job quite well.
  • I was allowed to live many years in good health and peace.
  • Many friends of mine have come here today.

One of them is Hans-Strack Zimmermann. I am truly indebted to him as my mentor, supporter and friend. He will now also speak to you.

Well, that was it.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Thursday June 26th, 2014

Tweets on Twittering and Blogging #225

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

140703 Time will disclose and discover everything – also true for twittering and blogging! #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140704 There is a time to talk, a time for silence and a time for quitting – something you will also get when twittering and blogging? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140705 Scattered fire will not burn very long – also true for twittering and blogging! #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140706 It is not enough to aim, you also have to score – this is also true for blogging and twittering. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140707 Anger will strangle the fool – also if he is a blogger or twitterer? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140708 Anger will confuse you – not to forget when twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140709 Anger and money are what disconcerts the world – you want to be careful when 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.

Roland Dürre
Wednesday June 25th, 2014

Two More Days – And I Forgot About the Dresscode!

Ref.: Thirty Years of InterFace AG Party

InterFace_Icon_30Jahre_01-94
Unfortunately, like with any other project, I also made some mistakes when planning our party. One of those mistakes is that I forgot to mention and publicly announce the “dress code”. Mind you, there are only two more days until the party! What a shocking discovery!

This poor performance of mine already gave rise to some gossip in the “InterFace Kitchen”: “Men have to wear shorts” or “sportive/elegant” or even “solemn/ ceremonial”. However, all those rumours are wrong!

In the hope that it is never too late, I am now quickly making up for my omission and publishing the “official dress code” of the 30-years-of-Interface party:

We want a colourful party we can all enjoy! Nobody should suffer because of what she or he is wearing. And one of the results of our party will be a special photographic work of art by the successful media-artist Wolf. N. Helzle. Consequently, the party will also be a photo and video party.

In other words:

There are two rules to the dress code:

1. Everyone should wear what he or she feels most comfortable wearing!

2. Diversity and originality are welcome!

Everything is permitted and you can feel free to be beyond what is generally considered suitable (except if you wish to violate the moral code of conduct, but in our circles nobody would think of doing that, anyway).

In other words: if you feel like masquerading, then this is what you can do. People wearing their dinner jacket, business costumes or suits with satin ties are just as welcome as those wearing Bavarian or other Traditional Costumes. Both genders are permitted to show skin (shorts and skirts, midriff-bearing tops are beautiful) and their tattoos. We also look forward to shrill football costumes – even if your colours represent a team that has not passed the qualification round -, as much as to the IF logo discreetly painted on your cheek.

Summary:

There is no dress code. Except that you should feel really comfortable. However, if someone wishes to wear something special for the special occasion, I will be very happy. In that case, I would ask you to do what you wanted to do with courage and joy.
The organizational team is looking forward to a wonderful party with all our visitors.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.

Well, I have not yet decided what to wear: my Italian satin suit, the shorts with the beer t-shirt, the SpVG sports costume … ?

Roland Dürre
Friday June 20th, 2014

You Have to Make Your Own Miracles Happen.

You Have to Make Your Own Miracles Happen.
Or:

You can do differently!

Buch

I spent years following her on twitter – Sina Trinkwalder alias @manomama. And in all the time, I was positively impressed by what she did. Not just because she comes from Augsburg – which is my native town.

A short time ago, a friend of mine gave me her book to read. And I was fascinated. There are quite a few good reasons for said fascination.

Firstly, I discovered that we have many things in common. Be it the attitude towards life in general or the best school for your children: everything sounded very familiar to me.

Another reason is that this book contains many things which simply happen to be as described. No matter if we are talking banks or politics, (almost) all the experiences the author writes down in her book are similar to my own experiences.

Also, it feels good to read her radically abandoning many excuses, references to inherent necessities and collective constructs why such and such has to be like this and unfortunately cannot be helped.

The best about this book is its honesty. As the reader, I perceived every experience described as absolutely authentic and believable.

And what is even better: the book is as exciting as a who-done-it – and once in a while it actually gives you goose-flesh. Which is something really extraordinary for such a radical “business book”.

In a nutshell: it is a book which truly fascinated me and for which I would wish that as many persons as possible read it.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Carl and Gerlinde (XXXVI)
”This music is extra-terrestrial – you absolutely have to fall down on your knees!”, Gerlinde was so enthusiastic about the music all she could do was stammer while she carefully made her way through the last row of benches towards the exit behind Carl, since ’Don Giovanni’ was now taking a break! From all over the place, Carl noticed nothing but approval for Mozart’s music and the excellent singing by its interpreters. Marvellous! Fantastic! Overwhelming!
Zdon giovanni img115

Dissolving in enthusiasm, Hannelore, too, glided towards Gerlinde in the foyer, embraced her emphatically and leaned into Carl like Don Giovanni had been leaning into the fidgety Zerlina! 

Even the normally bone-dry Kurt nodded his approval, although, naturally, this production by Christof Loy could not hold a candle to the wonderfully processed orchestration at the Salzburg Festival; in those days, the eyes, too, had something to feast on, was his meaningful comment. Carl nodded his approval, but refrained from mentioning that he had nodded off twice while all this terrible fuss was made about Don Giovanni’s three women.

Well, now all those Mozart-enthusiastic opera people surged towards the spacy lounge in the best of moods: determinedly, they all headed in the direction of the tables they had booked, where an abundance of salmon snacks, Quiche Lorraines and Salty Pretzels were squeezed in between even more wine, water, beer and champagne.

Carl would have been more or less happy surrounded by his friends if not suddenly this unknown red-head of ’table number twelve’ had looked at their circle of eight in such a provocative way. In fact, this not unattractive, buxom lady in her mid-forties even had protectively swung her arm around another chair she had already pushed tightly towards herself as a precaution.
”Excuse me, Madam, but I wonder if you made a mistake about this table?” Carl asked with muted charm after the lady and he himself had been inspecting each other silently for quite a while.

”What gave you the idea?”, the strange lady robustly replied.

”Well, because my circle of friends here has made a reservation for exactly this table for the interval!“
”What do you mean ’we made a reservation’? Who do you think you are? Are you telling me you want to send me on my way like a disobedient child?“

”Actually, can’t you see that our order is sitting right here on the table and that the table has been laid for us?“
”You know, this is quite brazen: I am sitting behind a vacant table minding my own business and keeping a chair for my press partner, and you come along and foul-mouth me!“

”I am not foul-mouthing you. All I am doing is telling you that this table has been reserved for us and that now not all of us will be able to sit because you are occupying two seats. And it seems to me that you have no right to do so, because I cannot see an order of yours on the table!“

”Who do you think you are? Do you think just because I am a woman you can treat me in this manner? Where are you from?”, the lady was now yelling quite loudly at the circle of friends around Carl.

”If you vacate the chair next to yours and let me sit down, I will gladly tell you where I am from! Now is that an offer?“

”This is outrageous! You are getting more and more intolerable!”. Carl nodded his agreement and said: “yes – that is exactly why I am going to take the vacant chair next to you and sit on it, since it is mine, anyway.…“

”Where are you coming from? This is definitely not something you can do, this chair has to remain free for the press!“ – “But nobody from the press is here, or am I blind?”. Jovially, Carl tried to let himself sink down on the vacant chair…

”No! No! No – you cannot do this – leave this place!”, the lady now again used a voice which would have done justice to any solo soprano.

”Of course, I can do this and you will be surprised at the speed with which I can do it … “ a grinning Carl replied while again making a new attempt at sitting down.

”That is out of the question. You cannot take this chair, it is for my partner of the press”, now the lady’s shrill yells filled the entire foyer, making the people sitting around the neighbouring tables frown. Simultaneously, she jerkily took hold of the vacant seat and embraced its back in such a way that Carl seriously feared she might squeeze her mysterious press partner to death on said chair during the short remainder of the interval – provided said partner was going to turn up at all!

In the meantime, Hannelore had taken hold of the person in charge of reservations. He, too, tried to tell the tough lady that she had no right to occupy those two seats, since she could neither show her reservation, nor was she consuming anything. No, she was correct – was what the brave read-head still kept insisting on! A lady behind the counter had clearly shown her to this table. Besides, she could not understand why all the world was treating her as the enemy, just because she wanted a moment to sit down and relax during the interval of this wonderful opera! For her, this was an unspeakable thing to happen – such as had never happened in her life.…

Totally unexpectedly, an inconspicuous middle-aged gentleman suddenly appeared. He signalled the intensely argumentative read-head, whose entire face had now turned purple:

”Ilse, what are you, again, doing here, having an argument with strangers! Don’t you know we have ’table number eight’? – It is always the same with you. You are a truly impossible cow!”, the gentleman hissed. Unfortunately, that was the moment when the first bell sounded, which announced the approaching end of the interval. Carl regretted this, because the absolutely fitting characterization of the lady got a little lost in the sudden hustle.

Ilse, however, had understood the clear announcement. She jumped from her chair and gave Carl a deathly glance: “Well, I hope it makes you happy to know that you and your nice friends here forced me to remain at this unspeakable table during the entire interval because of your bad manners? This is absolutely outrageous. Tell me: where are you from? I never knew such ruthlessness shown to a lady! It is absolutely unbelievable what riffraff even the opera attracts these days!”. With these last words, she pushed Gerlinde, who had become a little outraged herself, out of her way and hurried to meet her annoyed press partner – who immediately continued abusing her…

Carl, on the other hand, hardly had time left to drink his beer! However, he was in quite a good mood when he also consumed Gerlinde’s salmon snack: after all, this tough, read-headed nightmare suddenly gave the opera evening a rather spectacularly exciting turn! Even Mozart himself with his love-sick Donna Elvira and crazy Dona Anna could not have shown more clearly how far from logical rationality all females kept upsetting the world! Incidentally, this was a fact which he, Carl, had been preaching year in year out, but Gerlinde never agreed! Even now, all she did was mutely shake her head, before she angrily ran towards her seat with Hannelore. Hopefully, said seat was still vacant, and not occupied by the read-headed monster? If so – Carl would certainly not have gone to sleep during the second act.…

KH
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Thursday June 19th, 2014

Tweets on Twittering and Blogging #224


Here are my tweets of last week on

Blogging and Twittering, Wisdoms and Rules:

140626 Time will bring knowledge – also when twittering and blogging! #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140627 Time will bring you roses, but also thorns – also true when you are twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140628 Time gives birth to truth – also when twittering and blogging? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140629 Time will give and take all – also when you are blogging and twittering? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140630 Time is a great healer – also true if you are a blogger and twitterer! #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140701 Time is the best advisor – not to forget when twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

140702 Time will calm anger – 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 gefunden.

Roland Dürre
Wednesday June 18th, 2014

By Burning Oil, We Gain Time to Burn More Oil.

Basically, I am writing this to make you thoughtful. Aren’t we a truly strange people?

We crave prosperity and leisure time. In order to get this, we sacrifice many important things in our lives. Our time, our health, our family, our social life. We want to be successful when it comes to the big game. Consequently, we accept a degree of blind achievement which – in our more and more complex society and economy – almost increases geometrically. And we are prepared to subject ourselves to a maximum of stress.

This is how – also through ruthless exploitation of technology – we manage a level of personal wealth which has never before been possible. Mind you, it happens at the cost of an ever-increasing polarization between persons and worlds.

However, the reason we are so well off is not that we are such industrious and ingenious people. In fact, we are so rich because we burn oil and coal ruthlessly with our technology. And because, in a global world, we can let others do the production rather cheaply (and often without considering those other’s interests).

Our constant success forces us to continually remain active. Consequently, our time gets more and more limited. And what do we do with our remaining leisure time? We tour the global world. Or else we kill time using our luxury machines. And we take pains to always use up plenty of oil.

In a nutshell:


We burn fossil energy in order to gain time for burning more fossil energy.

And in the process, we lose ourselves. How absurd!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Sunday June 15th, 2014

PM Camp, Munich and InterFace AG

In the internal InterFace AG Social Media System, one highly appreciated colleague of mine asked why there is not more about the PM Camp in Munich available at InterFace AG. And why, so far, so few persons have registered. Here is what I replied.

Thank you for your note about the PM-Camp 2014 in Munich – #pmcamp14muc – between July, 24th and 26th at LMU, which starts on Thursday evening. So far, I had little time for writing a lot about the PM Camp – also due to the rather time-consuming preparations now under way because of our “30ieth anniversary party”. This will, however, change with the end of June.

Participants:

There is no need to be worried about the Munich PM Camp. The organizational team are seven extremely well connected persons (Barbara Bucksch, Helene Neugebauer (who I cooperate with very closely at PM Camp Munich), Jolanta Czagin, Melania Melitopoulos, Martin Aigner, Michael Cramer and Sacha Storz). They will definitely manage to make it a great PM Camp, especially in the IT Capitol Munich. Currently, the marketing is just getting under way. As soon as our “30-Year-Anniversary-Party” is over – if not earlier – I will also get more active supporting the campaign. On our party, I also want to do some promotion work for the Munich PM Camp.

For the PM Camp, however, we actually look for persons who wish to “actively participate”. Which means that the active part begins as early as finding information about the PM Camp. Consequently, we do not wish to persuade anybody to attend. The best approach would be for participants to find us because they have been looking for this kind of modern “anti-conference” in barcamp format for project managers, all kinds of managers, entrepreneurs or persons who wish to shape the future actively and in a positive way.

Sponsors:

Naturally, both among those in the PM Camp core team – the normative level – and the PM Camp strategic level (this is where the regional organisational team representatives meet), there are some who view sponsoring rather critically. The same is true for the organizational teams themselves (the operative level). Sponsor money helps to make the event less expensive and offer more to the attendants (catering, party). However, PM Camp is an independent “grass root movement” and does not wish to make a profit. With this in mind, we are always extremely careful when it comes to sponsors, because PM Camp must not be damaged by the interest of any third party. Also, PM Camp cannot and does not wish to fulfil the requirements of “normal” sponsors (“What is in it for me?”). This means that a sponsor who “shanghai-s” PM Camp is not something we desire. InterFace, for instance, only sponsors if there is a special reason or if the PM Camp cannot take place otherwise.

About the individual PM Camps:

This year, we have only had two PM Camps so far: in Zurich and in Stuttgart. Both in Zurich and Stuttgart, we (the InterFace AG) were present. Thanks to our Stuttgart branch office, we were rather well represented there. The next PM Camp is in Berlin between June, 20th and 22nd. Incidentally, it is the only one scheduled for a Saturday and Sunday. Normally, Fridays and Saturdays are the main days. But the freelancers living in Berlin cannot/do not want to afford the lack of income on a weekday. I particularly look forward to Berlin. After Berlin, there will be the Rhein-Main PM Camp in Bad Homburg, which coincides with our “30-year-party”. At the July Camp in Munich, I definitely plan to attend. Later this year, we also plan another one in Dornbirn and other places. Dornbirn was where everything started in November 2011. Consequently, Dornbirn as a PM Camp for DACH is the very special baby of Stefan (Dr. Stefan Hagen) and yours truly.

Additional note:

After my tenure as managing director of InterFace AG ends on December, 31st, 2014, I plan to get even more active promoting the PM Camp movement.

RMD
(Translated by EG)