Roland Dürre
Wednesday October 3rd, 2018

BUSINESS Visualisation

THE BOOK by
Botta/Reinold/Schloss

Behind this really harmless title, you will find a truly exciting non-fiction book. I would call it a book for people between six and ninety who want to have more joy and success in life.

The sub-title

A tour guide for curious and visionary persons
already gives an idea about the book being something really special.

Special? Well, I read it and I would call it revolutionary. It is about a trip into a new world I very much love and cherish. It is a world full of creative and appreciative communication and of “living together”. And it leads into a world that will continue to change and grow.

Basically, it is not a book you will read, but more a book you will feel your way through. In an exciting and humorous way, the trip of a young lady whose name is Barbara (Babs) into an agile adventure is described. This trip brings her through the world of modern communication, beginning from listening and understanding and ending in a very rounded way via the creative when the results are documented.

For me, it is quite clear: communication is the basis for all kinds of “social systems”. And communication will work better if we make use of innovative formats (some of them are actually very old). Part of this concept is the use of images and haptic – as part of a new and very sympathetic mental frame.

During my activities, I am often surprised to see how many people simply ignore the “agile change” that takes place around them, or else they are almost overrun by it. The book, which was written as a co-operation project between Botta, Reinold and Schloß, could be a solid introduction to this “new world“ for non-experts. But also the “experienced agilest” will find quite a few innovative ideas.

I can guarantee that this book will remain exciting from the first to the last page. It is not one of those works where the message is clear after the first fifty pages and where said message is then artificially lengthened and repeatedly proven in a boring way. No – you will find something new on every page. It remains full of humour at all times and the joy of reading will never end.

I would wish that the authors were to write more books about more trips, because the wonderful world of modern communication is endless. The book really contains a lot of it – but naturally not all of it. Barbara (the hero an inspiration of the authors in real life) could easily take us with her on many more great trips.

That would be nice. But I already very much recommend the first trip. For entrepreneurs and (project) managers, the book is a must.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Hans Bonfigt
Monday September 24th, 2018

Erfolgreiche Projekte

Wann gelingt ein Softwareprojekt ?

Über “Projektmanager” und ihre Wünsche nach “Resilenz” und “Agilität”
kann man sich trefflich amüsieren. Vorausgesetzt, man ist nicht darauf
angewiesen, daß die bedeutungsschwangere Gruppe selbsternannter “Indivi-
dualisten” (mit Google-Einheitstelephon) irgendwann einmal liefert.

Deutlich schwieriger ist es schon, aufzuzeigen, wie man es besser
machen könnte. Nun hat mich jemand genau danach gefragt, und warum
sollte man nicht einmal die Projekte aus 35 Jahren Berufserfahrung
Revue passieren lassen, die gelungen sind ?

Dabei möchte ich mich unterscheiden von üblichen “Ratgebern”, die unre-
flektiert postulieren, was sie im Herzen bewegt. Ich nehme mir statt-
dessen reale Projekte und bilde Schnittmengen gewisser Merkmale.

1. Der Sinn eines Projektes muß allen Beteiligten klar sein.
Nur so kann die Unternehmensleitung Rückendeckung geben,
nur so erlebt ein Entwickler die Freude an sinnvoller Arbeit,
nur so wird das Endprodukt vom Nutzer angenommen.

2. Ein Projekt muß wirtschaftlich erfolgreich sein.
Vor allem aber: Man muß diesen Erfolg auch transparent machen
können.

3. Die Einfachheit und die Eleganz eines Entwurfs entscheidet !
– Das zu impementierende Verfahren sollte so einfach sein, daß
man es einem Siebenjährigen erklären könnte. Vereinfachen,
vereinfachen, vereinfachen.
– Das, was nicht vereinfacht werden kann, wenigstens sauber
modularisieren !
– Immer nur EINEN Standard für einen bestimmten Schnittstellen-
typ auswählen !
– Lieber die Aufgabenstellung reduzieren als das Team überfordern.
Tatsache ist oft: Erst wenn das Endprodukt unter realen Bedin-
gungen läuft, stellt man fest, was es wirklich leisten kann und
welche Funktionen auch tatsächlich genutzt werden !

4. Prototypen bauen !
Viel wichtiger: Wenn sie funktionieren, gnadenlos löschen und
neu beginnen !

5. Tote Pferde nicht weiterreiten !
So gut wie jede Entwicklung kommt an den Punkt, wo sich Fehler
in der Konzeption zeigen. Gnadenlos zurückbauen.

6. Keine Demokratie und vor allem KEINE KOMPROMISSE !
In der Sache nachgeben mit Rücksicht auf persönliche Empfindlich-
keiten (Na gut, Meike, Du kannst Dein Modul auch in JAVA schrei-
ben …) erzeugt eine sprudelnde Quelle von Problemen.
EINER leitet das Projekt, genau wie auch nur EINER ein Auto fah-
ren kann. Das ist das Erfolgsrezept der Seefahrt.

7. Mitarbeiter respektieren !
Auch vermeintlich “einfache Codierarbeit” ist erstaunlich nicht-
trivial. Der Architekt sollte den Maurer mit Respekt behandeln
und umgekehrt.
Aber niemals sollte ein Architekt mauern oder ein Maurer planen.

8. Kommunikation standardisieren.
Keine Dokumente und Codefragmente
hin- und herschicken. Kein kompromittierendes “WhatsApp” oder
“Twitter”. Schon gar keine “Google-Accounts” !
Wir müssen Kundendaten treuhänderisch behandeln.
Klare, eindeutige Begriffe verwenden !
Die Fachtermini des Kunden verwenden !

9. Anzahl der Mitarbeiter
benötigte Externen und benötigte
Zukaufprodukte reduzieren !

10. Die Werkzeuge müssen sich der Idee unterordnen und nicht umgekehrt.
Haskell, Lisp oder “Clojure” machen noch keinen genialen Entwurf.

11. Die Chemie im Team muß stimmen !
Die “menschliche” Komponente ist zu 70 Prozent entscheidend für einen Projekterfolg.

12. Keine “Gnadenhäppchen” für die Mitarbeiter
in Form von “kostenloser Maté” und “Kickerautomat im Flur”. Das ist keine Wertschät-
zung auf Augenhöhe. ORDENTLICH ZAHLEN ! Das garantiert souveräne Mitarbeiter.

Abgesehen davon: Arbeit kann und soll durch sich selbst schön sein und
muß nicht mit albernen Spielereien “aufgepeppt” werden. Was dabei heraus-
kommt, kann jeder sehen, der ein aktuelles “Windows” öffnet.

-hb

Roland Dürre
Saturday September 15th, 2018

Manifesto of Life

Currently, you get manifests like mushrooms sprouting from the soil, for example the Manifesto of New Work (Manifest zur neuen Arbeit) as a Microsoft (!) denomination on #newwork.

Inspired by #PMCampBER and beautiful discussions in the last few days, I now came up with a manifesto of life. Naturally, the agile manifesto (this time you get the link to the English version), stood in as a model.
Here is how my proposal for a manifesto of life:

 


 

Manifesto for Life

We are looking for values that make it possible to live in joy and with courage
and we try to live said values in our own lives and when in contact with others.
Looking for these attitude of mind, we learned to appreciate:

  • Self-responsibility and self-organisation beat being controlled by others and immaturity!
  • Values and positions (mind-set) beat morals and dogmata!
  • Love and peace beat hatred and war!
  • Freedom and abstinence beat suppression and extravagance!
  • Trust and transparency beat distrust and secrecy!

Signed by


Now all we need is a few equally minded people who wish to sign!?
(recommendations for improvements welcome)

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
A short time ago, Dr. Marcus Raitner came up with 10 google theses for “good leadership” (10 Thesen von Google für “Gute Führung). They might be a good basis for a “leadership manifesto”.

Roland Dürre
Wednesday September 12th, 2018

Culture Engineering. Terminology. Methods, Tools

Wearing my new Hanseatic hat after my return from #PMCampBER in the Grosshesselohe forest restaurant.

Let me give you a short report on the PM Camp Berlin session on Culture Engineering before I will write about the “contradictions” in social systems. It was one of many exciting sessions I participated in at the anti-conference #PMCampBER.

The topic was “Culture Engineering” – as a method and tool that helps to influence, change and control the culture in a social system that has an economic goal, i.e., in an enterprise.

The person who had initiated the session himself had felt suspicious about the term “Culture Engineering”. His “feeling uncomfortable” was due to his scepticism about question if a culture can actually be actively influenced with an “engineering-approach“. He feared that such a concept could or would easily end in manipulation with negative or at least unpredictable results.

One session participant said that there is a successful “Culture Engineering“ stream of studies in Leipzig and that the graduates of this school are actually quite sought after by the human resources departments of companies, especially huge companies. I find this rather exciting, which means that we are in the middle of the world of culture engineering and human resource (HR).

As far as titles are concerned, I constantly get visiting cards with job titles such as engineer, officer, manager or president on them. And I must admit that, of all these titles, the one I like best is the engineer who, for instance, is in charge of a project. But “German-English“ is modern, so I am getting into it. Now we have the CEO, CTO and CIO  and, more and more often, also the CHRO (HR as an abbreviation for human resources). That is where you will find the innovation manager and the culture engineer. In general, I am quite suspicious of officers and managers, and the same is true for presidents and vice presidents.

In our session, the first thing we approached was terminology. Someone proposed that maybe we could say “culture gardening”, instead of “culture engineering”. I found this rather appealing. But then I thought that, in analogy to “garden cultivation”, the task could be called “cultural cultivation”.

Then we discussed the definition of entrepreneurial culture. We found the answer (from entrepreneurial theory):

Entrepreneurial culture is the memory of an enterprise.

😉 Honi soit qui mal y pense, but, for me, this is immediately associated with “memory manipulation”.


When I looked up the term in Wikipedia, I discovered a Wikipedia call on copyright.

I support this call with all my heart and consequently I publish it here.
However, I am not sure that it will suffice if you contact your representative in the European Parliament. You will probably have to do more than that.

Yet this is a good example for controlled change in values and rules. And the motives are very capitalist.


Back to Culture Engineering. As with many buzzwords, I find the term a little ridiculous. The same is true for a culture engineer or innovation manager at HR.

I certainly believe that you should be aware of and actively live the culture of an enterprise, just like that of all other social systems. And it is also quite legitimate to use modern technology and methods. But it is a something that must happen between the leaders and all the others. Leadership as defined in Google (see the article article by Dr. Marcus Raitner).

However, culture cultivation will only be a success if as many people as possible participate in the cultivation process – and I mean with a lot of attention and actively.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Monday September 10th, 2018

PMCamp Berlin – Experiences, Adventures, Contemplation.


The first day #PMCampBER 7/9/2018

Between September, 6, and September, 8, the sixth PM-Camp Berlin took place (PM-Camp Berlin). As always, it was an exceptional event. One of the reasons why it was excellent is the extraordinary quality of the organizational team and Ralf Eicher, another reason, naturally, are the more than 100 great people who took part.

As we all know, the train trip from Munich to Berlin is a mere “jump“ these days, which means it was no problem for me to go there. Since I am one of the PM Camp founders, I went to Berlin for more than just nostalgic reasons. I also wanted to retrieve my knowledge and learn new things. And, above all, I wanted to exchange ideas with nice people and simply share my experiences. As always, it was a total success. The two days were particularly nice because I met so many old friends.

And I returned with many new considerations and various insights. I also learned about tools and methods that had been unknown to me before. Let me share some of it here.

Again, I was part of LSP (Lego serios play). Julian Kea (known as @kiLearning in Twittter) showed us that, in a team with modern methods, you can actually do such as thing as Story making. Besides, I heard about tools such as the Mentimeter. With this tool, you can represent the mentality found in a creative community (that is ”the cultural standard of a social system or community“, also known as mind set) as a tag cloud in no time. This is really quite convenient.

The sessions on the following topics gave me a huge number of impulses:

  • “culture engineering“ as a science that strives towards finding methods that can change the entrepreneurial culture.
  • What exactly is meant with “coaching“ and “agile coaching, and the question
  • whether or not it makes sense for a medium-sized enterprise to position itself “against  right-wing populism”.

My experiences were so fundamental that I want to – and probably will – relate them in the IF blog.
Generally speaking, I once again realized to what a huge extent we are all responsible for our own actions. How it is important that we do not allow our rationality to suppress everything else. And during peer2peer conversations and rounds of different sizes, I also saw how many people, also as a community, can have a wonderful “mindset“ – which makes me look forward to the future.

However, I also noticed that most people have a basic conviction that I need to contradict. They assume that, in many dimensions of our life, we have a speed-up process and an increase in complexity that forces us to be prepared to accept change and innovation at all times. And the hope is that we will be better equipped to do this if we increase the agility in our lives.

Here is how that sounds:

“We have to become more agile in order to be better equipped to deal with complexity and acceleration and develop more resiliency and anti-fragility.“

Mind you, there is no doubt at all in my mind that some (or better: many) things both in our private and business lives will improve. But I am not at all sure that in our private and professional lives everything will really become more complex in the future. My experience (analysis) does not support such a statement, but my analysis should definitely be just as much under scrutiny as the following sentence:

“There is a lot of nonsense in all kinds of social systems – often bordering on mania!“

I will write a few articles on “the contradiction between processes and common sense” and “the contradiction between trust and secrecy” to illustrate this.

And I truly believe that an agile mindset – combined with a few shared values – can help considerably. The agile manifesto describes four huge contradictions and proposes positions that should be given priority (it is always the arguments on the left side that should have priority over those on the right side). I discussed this with many people and the majority of them saw it as I see it. Here is my link to the German version of the agile manifesto although I like the English version better.

Back to #PMCampBER. Yes, it was great. Many thanks to all the participants, and, of course, especially to the orga team.

I am inspired and look forward to writing about “contradictions” as a fundamental problem of the culture in social systems. I also believe this might be a good topic for a future PM Camp session – wherever it takes place.

RMD
((Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Sunday June 25th, 2017

#AktMobCmp – July, 13, 2017

I propose a #AktMobCmp meeting for the evening of July, 13th, 2017.

Here are some ideas in preparation!

POSSIBLE TOPICS

For me, the following topics/theses are of interest.


Why do people still drive cars? Does it offer any advantages? Or is it just a huge case of self-delusion? Because we are being manipulated and fall victim to lobbyism?

A few days ago, I rode my bike around the lake Starnberger See. It took me a few hours. First, I went from Neubiberg to Starnberg by S-Bahn train. Then we rode our bikes around the lake and took the S-Bahn train back from Starnberg. It was a wonderful summer day, everything just beautiful. But near the lake, all the cars were hell. All the parking spaces were taken, nothing could be done about it. And there was no end of stress – among the car drivers.

I am fairly mobile. Especially in Munich. But also in Germany, Europe and occasionally even in this world. And I can always manage without using a car. Doing without a car as a mobility tool has only advantages. When all is said and done, you feel a lot better without a car!

Here is one question that might be worth answering:
What requirements must be met for a car journey to make sense, i.e. for it to offer considerable advantages over alternative mobility?


Why do people still dare to go places by car? In the process, they accept horrendous collateral damage, either without thinking or because they are arrogantly egomaniacal, not only in the social sector, both inflicted on third parties and on themselves?

Or:
Would the following metaphor fit? Driving a car is on the same level as smoking in public buildings, and not only if it happens in the city? Whenever I ride my bike, all those cars pollute my lungs, just like the smokers used to when they sat at the dinner table across from me.

When sitting behind the wheel of a car, we consciously take the risk that we might probably injure or kill other people. It still happens far too often.
When we drive a car, we produce pollutants that harm other people. People who do not want any involvement with cars at all.
Cars are noisy, which significantly reduces the quality of life where we live, both in cities and villages.

Cars give those sitting in it and especially the driver a whole lot of distress.
Going by car robs the people the opportunity to exercise and thus makes them obese.
Here is a tweet I read that is probably not all that hilarious: perhaps you should, before getting rid of them outside, first transmit the exhaust fumes of a car into the car.

At this point, I do not have a “moralizing” discussion in mind. Instead, I want a very basic and constructive judgement of values.


Pedelecs (e-bikes) are a stroke of genius!

The combination of body and machine
For rational and efficient mobility and logistics, e-machines are perfect.
Especially with lower speeds and for slim mobility, electric vehicles offer an excellent alternative.

Maybe we could make 90% of our intra-city individual and logistically necessary mobility a lot better, cheaper, healthier, nicer and more efficient by using e-bikes and other suitable electric vehicles (scooters, trucks, large taxis as part of public transportation,… )?

(I am well aware of the fact that electric mobility – e.g. the e-car – is not a solution individually. The very damage done to the environment and CO2 output that the production of a single huge battery – such as for a Tesla or even for an e-UP – creates shows that this will not be a solution for fast and long-range communication).

Is it possible that our massive switch from riding a bicycle to driving a car in post-war Germany was caused by all those many and strenuous inclines? And that, since the invention of the e-bike, the bad weather is the last remaining argument against riding bikes? And that it is actually quite easy to solve this problem (since it is part of being human)?

And is “high-power mobility” – being able to quickly cover medium and long distances – basically not about “shared economy” but about “shared mobility”? And has shared mobility not been invented a long time ago, although there is definitely room for improvement?


Here are the format and the method I suggest for our next meeting:
How about a practical exercise in building vexillae? All these topics can be discussed and processed using the technology of building vexillae. The ars construendi vexilla is a dialectic method for coming to reasonable agreements (rational consensus) in groups. And that is something you can – or better: must – realize in an agile way and at eye-level!

How do you feel about it? What would you prefer? Which topic, which method. Do you have better ideas and/or additional recommendations? Should I organize the planned meeting and invite people?

If so, I would organize a room for July, 13th in the Munich area, write a program and publish the time and program in Meet-Up and on the AktMobCmp-homepage .

Or should we just leave it be, because it does not make sense, anyway? And because there is not the slightest chance for a better life without air pollution and noise? Because the car lobby governs the world?

Then I would cancel the meeting and perhaps also terminate AktMobCmp.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Donated by Visual BrainDump (Christian Botta & Daniel Reinold). Click on the picture to enlarge.

Roland Dürre
Sunday March 5th, 2017

Additional Note on AGILE

AGILE on the MS EUROPA 🙂

I already gave you a long IF-Blog report about my presentation at the FAV (Forum agile Verwaltung) at the Hochschule der Medien in Stuttgart on February, 10th.

In this presentation, I tried to point out how “agile” has always been normal if considered a “life-ruling value” that – due to the industrial revolution and technological progress – has only been pushed to the background during the last two centuries. But now, it returns in full force.

I left the military complex out of my presentation. It seemed to me that in the military world the dogma of precise planning and strict hierarchies is particularly dominant. But that, too, is not the case. Especially those involved in the military do and have to think in an agile way. One of the instances where this became obvious were the military successes of “agile and networking teams” (for instance the Vietcong) against the forces of super powers that were far superior technologically and in numbers.

But let me first cite Graf von Moltke (about strategy 1871):


»… No operational plan will ever look further than the first meeting with the enemy with any amount of certainty. Only the layman thinks he sees an idea that has been thought through in all its details until its well-predicted end in advance when looking at an entire campaign. You have to think ahead, but you cannot plan ahead.«


Colonel general Kurt von  Hammerstein-Equord, also a famous military strategist, recommends when addressing his officers:


“Liberate yourself from working on the particulars. You will want a few not so wise persons to do that. But take a lot of time to think things through 
and to get a very clear picture in your own mind. See to it that all your ideas are realized. That is the only chance for you to really lead.“


And he continues by saying:


“I distinguish between four types of officers: prudent, industrious, stupid and lazy. Mostly, these characteristics come in pairs: One sort is prudent and industrious, They must become General Staff. 
The others are stupid and lazy; they are 90% in all armies And best used for routine tasks. Someone who is prudent and lazy will qualify for the highest 
leadership positions, because he has both the clarity and nerves for difficult decisions. You want to avoid those who are stupid and industrious, 
you cannot give them responsibility, because they will always do enormous damage.“


That, too, sounds like absolutely agile leadership to me!

In general, you can say about the military sector:

Decisions and work should always happen on the lowest possible hierarchical level

In other words:
Delegate! Let others decide and work!

Formerly, they called this the Subsidiarity Principle (Subsidiaritäts-Prinzip) in management. It was extremely important, but it seems to have been forgotten by now.

Note:
After this digression into the military world, I wish to point out yet again that, more than ever, I am convinced that war is nonsense and peace is an absolute necessity. In the last fifty years – perhaps with the exception of a few small blue-helmet UNO activities – there was not a single armed conflict that improved matters in the least. As a rule, the situation was worse after the war than before.

The only case I know (which I actually witnessed) where bloodshed was prevented was probably the NATO intervention in Yugoslavia. That was a lucky case that can be seen more like an exception from the rule. And it caused the disintegration of Yugoslavia, which certainly nobody had initially declared their political goal.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
Parts of the ideas and cited sentences in this article are thanks to the inspiration the presentation of Frank Rebers on the Westerland Bike Management Camp in Westerland (Sylt) in February 2017 gave me.

Roland Dürre
Friday March 3rd, 2017

Work Space. Fun Space.

On Ash Wednesday, Nils Hilze and yours truly were invited to a business lunch at Munich LinkedIn in the Sendlinger Str. 12. Nils is , I am (in Twitter).

We had a “blind date” with @LinkedInDACH (gh). Here is how it happened: I had told Nils about a meeting at LinkedIn. He found it exciting and twittered that he, too, would like to make the LinkeIn experience – and lo and behold – we were invited. We did not need too much persuasion, we came quite willingly.

View from LinkedIn down to the interior courtyard of the former SZ publishing house on Sendlinger Str. 12. We are on the white level.

Our visit started with a tour through the LinkedIn offices. They are beautifully situated in the heart of Munich. We were able to both inspect and try out the facilities. Nils tested the hammock and I was allowed to play with stones.

We were totally fascinated. There are many quiet areas in the beautiful and big offices, even the attention given to details of the furnishing makes it very attractive, and yet everything was also totally practice-oriented. The truly lavish choice of things for the employees to do and explore create a sense of style and class.

I started thinking: around thirty years ago, I was also in these offices. In those days, the offices still held the rotation printing machines of the then so powerful SZ. It is a historic place that makes you aware of the change of time. Technologies disappear and are replaced by others. Innovation is really creative destruction.

Nils enjoys life at LinkedIn to the brim.

Our hostess told us that all LinkedIn offices around the world are uniquely equipped (and yet they give you a huge sense of belonging together). They try to consider the local and historical specialties of the place when designing the offices at all locations.

Consequently, I could now relate many great details about the LinkedIn office. But the nice atmosphere I felt everywhere is a lot more important. Whenever entering a new company building, I always try to simply stand still and let the environment have its effect on me. And this is how I get a first impression that mostly is not too much off the mark

And in this particular building, I got the impression that all the employees were really rather happy. Thinking back to my own start into work-life, I would really have appreciated being able to start in such an enterprise. But mind you, I am not really in a position to complain – it was not at all bad at Siemens Koppstrasse. It was a lot better than in many offices I saw since then.

I noticed an interesting similarity. Due to my activities, I also occasionally stay at simple “coworking spaces“ such as ImpactHub at Gotzinger Platz. There, too, the start-ups have lots of fun when they work. And, of course, there is a huge difference between the LinkedIn offices and those at ImpactHub. Where in one firm you see upper-class furniture and electronically height-controlled desks, you have beer-garden tables and benches that will be folded up whenever more space is needed in the other. One company offers elaborately designed reclining cabins, the other simple wooden plank compartments.

And I always enjoy playing with the rocks from the Bavarian Alps.

But in both offices, the principle is the same: they want their employees to enjoy their work and be well looked after. Both are huge offices with lots of room, also for moving around. Occasionally, you will even see an employee rolling around on his scooter.

And the smell is the same in both office buildings: #newwork. The division of the office space takes different work situations into account. You have space for solitude and space for communication, small and big team offices, everything is a part of the whole. Food and soft drinks are offered as a standard service, everybody can help himself.

At ImpactHub, you get the coffee in a simple thermos and the shortcake or the cheese sandwich along with it for little money; at LinkedIn, they have the huge espresso machine that delivers excellent coffee. And you do not only get shortcakes but also excellent and very diverse food. And if it is fairly priced at ImpactHub, it is, naturally, free at LinkedIn.

Incidentally, I did find a downside (both at LinkedIn and ImpactHub). Due to the great location in the middle of the city, those who come by bicycle have a problem at LinkedIn: where to park their bike? But, knowing that LinkedIn is a modern enterprise, I am sure they will soon solve this problem, too.

At ImpactHub, due to the location, you basically assume you cannot have this problem. But no! They have an evil neighbour living on the opposite side of the street. Along his totally derelict property wall, he fights – totally irrationally – against parked bicycles. Even my bike was already in danger of being towed away.

However, modern persons like being mobile with their bikes … and they want to know that their means of mobility is safe while they work.

There is one thing I know – I already look forward to my next date at LinkedIn. And I also always enjoy visiting the ImpactHub.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Friday February 24th, 2017

APHORISMS: CEO or COORDINATOR, MANAGER or COACH …

 

Many thanks to Christian&Daniel (© Visual-Braindump)

I love the agile manifesto. It always says that A has priority over B.
Here is an example:
“Individuals and interactions have priority over processes and tools“
In other words:
Perhaps the values on the right side (B) are useful, but those on the left side (A) are more important.

I will now apply this diction to my “favourite terms” and formulate the opposite (as a trigger for discussion).

  • Co-ordinate the decentralized things beats central execution
    (–> The CEO – Central Executive Officer becomes company coordinator)
  • Coaching beats Managing
    (–> Abolish hierarchies, replace managers by coaches)
  • Agile beats inflexible
    (–> follow common sense, instead of a plan)
  • Competence beats power
    (–> the future is no longer determined by a hierarchy)
  • Lean beats waste
    (–> less bureaucracy, administration and departments)
  • Common good economy beats Shareholder Value
    (–> Customers and employees are stakeholders and more important than shareholders)
  • Self-organization beats command structures
    (–> Teams, rather than the manager caste, determine how to do the job),
  • Open beats secret
    (–> free communication instead of systemic)
  • “Entrepreneurial Clarity“ beats “strategic ideologies“
    (–> traceability)
  • Social beats asocial
    (–> an end to privatizing profit and socializing loss)
  • Digital & electric beats mechanical & analogue
    (–> new work concept)
  • Informal communication beats systemic reports
    (–> knowledge is liberated and shared)
  • “Shared economy“ beats “individual property “
    (–> #newlife, “property is a burden“)
  • “Business must serve the people” beats “humans serve business“
    (–> #newwork)
  • ….

At school, I learned that everything that ends with “ism” should be handled with care. Consequently, I am glad that I never came across the word agilism. Yet I can easily imagine that some enterprises I know behave in a way that might be correctly described by the term.

I would simply say “change is the goal”.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Wednesday February 15th, 2017

Entrepreneur’s Diary #119 – Your Personnel Records

Ard Leferink for buurtzorg in Stuttgart at #fav17 (agile)..

Last week, on the Forum Agile Administration #fav17 in Stuttgart, Ard Leferink of buurtzorg was the Key Note speaker.

On the evening before, he had told me that buurtzorg has no HR-Department (human resource), just like they have no marketing department, no sales department, and, naturally, also no CRM System (Customer Relationship Management).

Well, I actually know a few companies that have no human resource department. As a general rule, however, those are small enterprises with a number of employees that does not exceed the two-digit scope. In the Netherlands alone, more than 10,000 people work for buurtzorg. Well, I guess that can be considered a little bigger, can’t it?

Yesterday, I discussed this with an entrepreneur I am good friends with. He immediately replied by asking: “So what do they do with their personnel records?“  To which my reply was the question: “What do you need personnel records for?“

I actually believed – and have believed for some time – that in an enterprise that is agile and based on trust, personnel records are as unnecessary as a personnel department, not so speak of a “director personnel”. For the administrative processes (paying the salaries, …), a list of employees with very little information would absolutely suffice. Everything else is unnecessary “overhead”.

But before I give you reasons for my opinion, I will describe for you all the things a personnel record consists of.

  • As a general rule, the personnel record is started when an employee is hired. That is old knowledge as it has been handed down over the centuries.
  • When a new employee is hired, a master data list is made. It contains all the data about the employee necessary for realizing the working procedure, such as his/her birthday, sex, social security and retirement number, religious belief, etc. The work contract is added and sometimes the (successful) application letter with the CV and diverse diploma (school, education, academic grade). And, of course, the protocols of one or more job interviews is filed here as well.
  • Then the personnel record is updated all the time by adding:
    • All extensions of the work contract;
    • All goal-oriented agreements;
    • Organisational changes,
    • Gratifications and social support (costs  for child-care);
    • All documentation pertaining continuing education;    
(the many “private educational measures” that, for instance, a software developer is doing all the time are not part of this);
    • Documentation of sickness and health insurance;    
In Germany, all employees who have been sick for more than three work-days have to bring a doctor’s testimony. To me, this looks like a method for creating work and money for doctors – I never knew a doctor who did not write such a testimony when asked by the patient,
    • Special events (change of marital status…) and activities (presentation, …) will also be written down.
    • Protocols of yearly evaluation interviews and all other relevant discussions;
    • Interim job references;
    • All “disciplinary” things such as misbehaviour and/or written warnings;
    • In former times, positive letters were also kept in the personnel record. For instance if a colleague received a special tax-free payment because of a jubilee (company employee) or the birth of a child. However, now that these are no longer tax-free, there is less motivation for the employers to pay any special gratifications.
    • Today, less agreeable data are also part of the personnel record. They suggest a strange concept of humanity. Because humans, too, are now considered a measured object. For instance, we find the results of strange tests (Score-Cards as results, for example, of the Reiss-Methode), as well as “psychological” reports about the employee’s personality and numbers that indicate his performance for the enterprise. I do not know if this is legal, but I know it is done.

(In some companies, they have agreements that state what may be added to the personnel records and what may not be therein. And the works committee controls in regular intervals).

If someone has been an employee for many years, then this report folder can become quite extensive. It might weigh a few kilograms. If you have a hundred employees, you need quite a bit of storage space. That is why you have to have a digital HR application. And, incidentally, you will also get quite some problems with “privacy protection“.

Because, by definition, IT systems are not secure. To be sure, the drawers with the personnel files in locked rooms were not very secure, either. I actually remember some creative employees who managed to get the keys. And I also remember a personnel file lying around on the desk of a “boss” overnight. But in those days that was not a problem.
In IT, you have to introduce processes that define who can read what under what conditions. It has to be documented. And again, you have one of those coffin nails that will do damage to an agile and slim enterprise and give you yet a little more bureaucracy and administration.

In other words – everything you do not really need is something you better avoid!

Incidentally, the dialogue with my friend continued. His reply to my question why you need personnel records was (after some hesitation):
“For writing references?“
Indeed. As we all know, in Germany the employer has to write a reference for an employee when he leaves (or whenever he wishes one). That reminded me of when and how I used to write letters of reference. Here is what I did:
First and foremost, I asked the employee to write down everything he did for the company and mark which of those things were important to him. Then I took this input and added my own knowledge and estimation, before finishing with one of those famous phrases taken from a book that lists all the relevant phraseology.

But I only ever took a look at the personnel folder when I needed a birthday for wishing someone many happy returns.

RMD
P.S.
For more articles of my entrepreneurial diary, click here: Drehscheibe!