Roland DürreFriday May 17th, 2013
Roland DürreWednesday May 8th, 2013
Invitation & Agenda
With the guidance of Wolf Nkole Helzle (Social Media Art Artist), our fourth technological IF Forum will be about
EXPERIENCE, COMPETENCE, CULTURE, QUALITY and KNOWLEDGE.
To the left on the picture, you can see Wolf Nkole Helzle. He is a famous social media artist living in Baden Württemberg. Wolf will accompany us through this year of IF Forums!
To trigger your memory:
We started our technological IF Forum in 2010 with finding out how “agile development” can be useful for us. During the next two years, we discussed “new leadership” (2011) and “project coaching” (2012).
So far, our IF Forums have been very special events, both for our guests and ourselves. We want it to be the same this time over. This year, it is all about the craftsmanship of a “white collar worker”.
We will start on June, 13th, at 13:00 hours with our workshop “Craftsmanship”. The location is our office building at Unterhaching and, for a change, we will start in the afternoon. The presentations will begin at 14:00 hours.
We will gladly welcome our guests from 13.00 hours on, because that is when we will visit art with Wolf Nkole Helzle in a very craftsman-like and interactive way.
from 13:00 hours: our guests arrive … Welcome Wolf Helzle will take pictures!
14:00 hours: Roland Dürre / Wolfgang Menauer (both of InterFace AG)
Up What is craftsmanship?
14:30 hours: Judith Lell & Kristin Block (wissenswerk):
The Cornerstones of a Knowledge (Sharing)
Culture Leadership as a craft
15:15 hours: Bernhard Findeiss (InterFace AG):
No Competence without Learning and Practice!
Developing software is a craft
15:45 hours: Dr. Elmar Juergens (CQSE GmbH)
The “Feedback Method”
Delivering quality is also craftsmanship
16:30 hours: Bernd Fiedler (Datac):
Master and Apprentice
No craft without experience
17:00 hours: Reinhard Büttner (SWM)
Knowledge – Giving and Receiving – Why so Much is Lost!
Sharing knowledge is a craft
17:45 hours: all of us
Sharing, giving and receiving – and winning?
18:30 Happy Hour
“Craftsmanship” by Wolf Helzle
Art & Pleasure
I personally know all the speakers quite well. Appreciating their competence, I also know that they all have the very special ability to convey their knowledge in a charming and exciting manner. Here is a list of speakers:
Judith Lell and Kristin Block founded wissenswerk together.
Bernhard Findeiss is an employee of the InterFace AG. Among other things, he is very active in the field of Open Source and at Socrates.
Dr. Elmar Juergens is the founder and shareholder of CQSE GmbH.
Bernd Fiedler is on the board of directors at Datac. Moreover, he lectures regularly and is the pragmatic mastermind of knowledge management.
Reinhard Büttner is workforce director at the Stadtwerken München, where he built up a functioning model of “knowledge management”.
As early as now, I would like to thank our speakers very much for agreeing to speak. And I know that, thanks to them, our fourth IF Forum will again be a very special afternoon!
And we look forward to welcoming our guests! As always, you can register for the technological IF Forum via E-Mail.
(Translated by EG)
Roland DürreSunday May 5th, 2013
On time for the first day of the Month of Delight, the May “brand eins” edition was delivered. But it took until Saturday, when I sat in the train EC 391 back from the PC camp 2013 (tag not only in twitter: #pmcamp13str) until I was first able to take a closer look at it. After all, life is hard for a PM.
Incidentally, after what I experienced in Stuttgart, I now see PM as an abbreviation for “People Manager”. This is definitely a better term for the job that was still called project manager a short time ago.
And to me, this “brand eins” seems as dignified as my thoughts. It looks totally golden. Along with a multi-coloured, ellipse-like line design. At first sight, I almost could have taken it for a “Haute Couture” magazine. Or at least for a magazine that represents the upper-class high society life style.
But be not afraid: the title alone makes it “cool”:
Seize the Day!
The sub-title is:
Why SHARING and SWAPPING will promote business.
Of course, this is exactly how I feel. Once again, they hit on my favourite topics! And it gets even better: Frau Fischer gives her editorial the simple heading:
A New Dimension!
( The exclamation mark is from me)
She actually admits in the editorial:
“that she found all the fuss they used to make about sharing economy rather annoying.…”
And then she continues to say:
“The Sharing Economy might well be a fashionable concept – but the development behind it has a rather huge dimension”.
Well, I am delighted. Isn’t this fantastic news? And it gets even better – in the closing line of her editorial, she even calls the predictions made at the turning of the millennia by Jeremy Rifkin “a hopeful utopia“. Which is again something that confirms my own personal opinion.
Consequently, I undertake a “small research trip” into the inner pages of the magazine. And I notice that it is about quite a few sectors and continents. It includes many multi-facetted and diverse articles.
There is “looking for oneself” (on Siemens, page 22), “ownership will become virtual” (small IT story, page 92), “the bank in the palm of your hand” (a future without banks, page 96) and much more. And in particular, the entire focal point – absolutely magnificent in my opinion!
I will not tell you more – instead, I recommend that you, too, go on a trip equipped with the May “brand eins” copy.
(Translated by EG)
Roland DürreSaturday April 13th, 2013
Why do we always talk about “managing” and “managers”, instead of supporters and shapers?!
Why do we believe a project has a beginning and an end?!
Who says goals are static?!
These, along with the following theses, are among the questions I would wish to ask and discuss during one of the future PM-Camps. After all, said PM Camps are coming up in the months of May and June in Stuttgart, Vienna and Bad Homburg.
Time and again, we talk and think in terms of projects. Both in enterprises and in life. And we witness how projects fail. One after the other. More and more of them. There is hardly any project these days that actually renders the desired result in “time & budget”. And even if, by some accident, you seem to have come up with the desired result, it turns out said result does not solve the original problem.
What is even worse:
Many enterprises invest their entire dynamics in a number of projects. The criteria for choosing their projects are rather strange. More often than not, the protagonists who yell the loudest will win. Frequently, they even compete against each other, probably foul-mouthing each other, along with each other’s project.
Most of these projects will later fail. It is often predictable and the damage is quite huge. And what is worse – everybody knows this is not how matters can ever work out well. But that is ignored. To be sure, the pressure on the parties concerned is increased, but eventually, the shattered glassware will be brushed under the carpet. Because, after all, you are harming yourself if you admit failure with your own project.
And it often seems like a miracle if these enterprises actually continue to thrive, regardless of their many failed projects.
So what do we learn from this? Projects do not play a role any more. They are irrelevant when it comes to the evolutionary/innovative development of enterprises. Instead, enterprises are moved by their own dynamics. It might be good or bad, but it can hardly be influenced by projects any longer.
Enterprises will go their own way, sometimes up, sometimes down. But, mostly, they are not influenced or impressed by projects someone has announced or by an armada of manager(ial type)s. To be sure, they pretend to actually sit at the steering wheel, but when all is said and done, their influence on the development of the enterprise is negligible.
The future of institutions and enterprises will not be shaped by projects. The survival or downfall of enterprises will be caused by other, often not rationally explainable powers – and those powers might sometimes actually appear magical.
Because “thinking mechanistically” will no longer work. Deducing something from facts, then planning and determinedly executing something can be done less and less often. That is how we used to learn it in management in former times: gather information, then evaluate and decide. It seems, or maybe it is, a concept of the past.
It probably never worked anyway. It was all an illusion of ours. A world, seemingly without growth limits, made this illusion possible.
We live in the era of co-operation, co-working, co-creation, col-laboration and com-munication. We talk and live Teams and Communities. We mention humans and social systems. And, as it happens, they will not function with classical project concepts. However, this is not threatening. Instead, it is a chance! How else are we supposed to find our way back from the over-complicated distractedness that confuses us all over the place and get back to the simple things in life?
The old misery starts as early as the terminology. Why do we always talk about the “project manager”? Why do we talk quality manager, knowledge manager and future manager? Why do we always start with phrases such as “directing a project” and the like?
It was a huge mistake to assume that every project has a beginning and an end. In fact, that was the very definition of a project. They also stated that a project always has a well-defined goal! And that detailed planning, including exact milestones, is possible. Except: change is not a soccer game that lasts 90 minutes and then the referee will announce the end with his whistle. And inflexible goals will collapse with change.
Formerly, the dynamics and unpredictability of the future was denied or at least underestimated and suppressed. It was embedded in a mechanistical concept of the world. Humans were considered resources that had to work perfectly in a Tayloristically organized division of work. In a predictable future, unwanted factors would allegedly be avoided or at least realistically calculated!
Those times are over. It no longer works that way. If you have huge projects, it is quite apparent. But most of the medium-range and small projects, too, run behind planning. They never get finished and eventually there comes a day when they are silently buried.
In the tradition of Taylorism, there is a strange specializing. Exceptional persons will be made project leaders. More and more, their main job gets to camouflage or explain why the project failed.
Mind you, they have no chance at all. Because this approach of an “outward skeleton” for living development is the wrong approach. Everyone on the team must be a project leader? Just like everyone on the team must deliver and understand quality.
The sum total must be that a task is taken responsibility for, because an entire team works for a common goal. But said goal is not something static that is reached. Instead, it develops dynamically and moves and our future actions will be based on it. Basically, it is the normal state of affairs that a goal is a “moving target”. And we can never reach it, because it permanently changes itself.
Let us look left and right. Let your competence and your common sense prevail.
Cooperation cannot be controlled. It must be lived. And all those many project managers should contribute with their special knowledge and participate in life while disposing of this task. Then we would no longer have PM’s (project managers). Instead, we would have PS’s (project supporters). And under such PS responsibility, all other “co-workers” would gladly joint forces.
And one would hope that with this kind of change in terminology, the understanding of some project managers, too, might change.
(Translated by EG)
Roland DürreWednesday April 10th, 2013
When I go to the pub, it occasionally happens that I actually cannot really believe what I am seeing – or rather, smelling: there is no cigarette smoke hanging in the air. At least not in Bavaria. Basically, it is inconceivable what it used to be like.
Then I exit the pub and what am I confronted with? Fumes, smoke and noise on the street. But this time, it is not the smokers – it is the car drivers. As soon as I leave the idyll of the recent Neubiberg airport and reach Rosenheimer Landstrasse, it is like a culture shock. I am leaving a silent world of fresh air and drown in noise and evil smells.
Going south, I find it hard to cross the street. No matter if there is a pedestrians’ traffic light or not: I have to wait quite long before the stream of traffic thins and I can pass to the opposite side of the street. And even if the pedestrians’ light turns to green, I have to wait until the last car speeds through on its own red light.
Is that really inevitable? Do we, as the “Crown of Creation” really need these noisy and smelly vehicles weighing several times what we weigh? They rob us of time and exercise and make us lazy! They are designed to go at speeds and move in a manner that does not make the slightest sense, either.
I learned that you can really live “car-free” and not suffer any negative consequences. Basically, it is the same as everywhere in real life: all you have to do is really want it and then go ahead and do it. You have to become autonomous and liberate yourself from being controlled by third parties who tell you what to do and what to buy thus manipulating you towards becoming a trained animal, which, incidentally, you do not really want to be.
And maybe a quiet world with the normal noises of life is some kind of common property, just like fresh air? Maybe we should not continue to plaster our soil with cement in order to make mobile waste possible? And maybe it is not our right to ruin our environment because we are thoughtless and want everything as convenient as possible? And maybe we should not destroy what gives us life and impede the lives of other persons, just because we feel omnipotent?
And then I think: perhaps there will be a day in the near future when car drivers are just as well-loved as smokers are today when they blow their fume over the spaghetti at the Italian restaurant …
(Translated by EG)
Roland DürreMonday April 8th, 2013
This time around, it was already April by the time the April- “brand eins” found its way to me. Incidentally, I had already received an email telling me it was under way a few days earlier. Consequently, I was truly curious.
“What Can We Do For You?” is written on the title page – and the focal point is:
“The Future of Activity”.
It immediately reminds me of the old proverb:
No matter how small your business,
it will always give you plenty of work!
I gained this wisdom by listening to my old card-playing buddy Alois Wolferstetter, who is a cunning and wise banker. Being the son and grandson of a baker, he had started his career by learning the craft of bakery. Due to a flour allergy, however, he had to change and went on to work for the “Sparkasse”. This made him a bank director of the traditional kind.
He knew the ups and downs of banking quite well, so I learned a lot from him. Among other things, he said:
Money does not disappear into thin air;
someone else owns it after you lost it!
The two Wolferstetter wisdoms will also hold in the future! Regardless of my firm belief that everything will change in commerce. What I mean to say is that the now classic forms like department store, discounter, supermarket chain, etc. will soon be at the end of their ropes with their concepts and culture.
At the same time, however, there will not be anything fundamentally new. The appeal for humans to “wish to have something” will simply be generated in another way. When all is said and done, everything will be the same as before.
In commerce, there will be other business models than those we are used to. The internet will play an important role, but I doubt that it will really be where the truly “marge determining” business is done. So far, I just do not yet dare to predict what “new commerce” will look like. I presume it will be filled with emotions and a spirit of adventure.
But perhaps the “brand eins” people know more? So here we go:
In the editorial by Frau Fischer, I already find the first evidence of change. The customer is now more emancipated and more powerful. More often than not, the employees pay the price. And finally, the customer is the one who decides. …
So what is left to say? Basically, only to tell you which articles I liked best:
Delicious: the prologue with the focal point on commerce on page 29
(source: Das Leben des Brian)
Philosophical: “Old Acquaintances” starting on page 50.
Sympathetic: “Thrifty Country Burned Down” starting on page 64
Interesting: “Commerce in Numbers” on page 79
Absurd: “Apples and Pears” starting on page 81
Exciting: “Broken Relationships” starting on page 98
… and much more.
Again, it is worth reading!
(Translated by EG)
Roland DürreSaturday March 16th, 2013
Just a small anecdote.
Two weeks ago, I attended a meeting in Sylt. During the meeting, one of my teeth got damaged. A huge part of my tooth just broke away as I was eating my lunch on Friday. The entire afternoon, I had a strange feeling inside my mouth. But it turned out a blessing in disguise: a dentist living right next to my hotel was on emergency duty and I got an appointment for 5.30 p.m. on the same day.
The dentist was a very nice person – and I also got the impression that he was quite competent. He took a close look at my tooth and took provisional care of it in quite a nice way. And he provided me with a letter for my home dentist. His advice was for me to go and see my dentist as soon as possible, because the provisional solution should be replaced by a permanent tooth crown.
That is exactly what I did. On returning home, I lost no time before calling my dentist and making an appointment. I also had the letter to be taken along. Except that, on the day I had said appointment with my dentist around noon, I had been going to the office in the morning because I had several meetings – and, of course, I forgot the letter at home. But my intention had been to drive directly from the office to the dentist.
So what to do now? To be sure, I could have asked someone at home for help. But how to get the letter to me or to the dentist with the least possible expenditure? It was all quite complicated. Well, I was a little desperate and truly annoyed with myself for having forgotten to take the letter with me.
Until, after quite a bit of consideration, I came up with an ingenious idea:
After all, a letter is also just “content”!
Consequently, I called home and asked them to, please, open the letter, scan the content and then send it to the dentist via email.
And then there was the next idea: why making it more complicated by scanning and sending – after all, we also have a fax machine, don’t we?
So that is what we used.
(Translated by EG)
The picture ist out of Wikipedia – see Sylt. Producer is AndreasPraefcke.
Roland DürreWednesday March 13th, 2013
I often travel and meet many people. Hardly ever, I fly through the air, but I enjoy wireless world-wide communication via “air”. This is especially true when I go places by public transportation, when I sit in rooms, at universities or enterprises, in coffee shops or restaurants, at institutions or associations, or wherever.
Just like my travels and meetings promote “networking”, so I wish to be linked to the rest of the world through networks. Consequently, I always find it rather nice to find a WLAN I can actually access. Since I seem to be a demanding network user, I am not content with UTMS & CO. Personally, I do not have any experience with LTE (Long Term Evolution), because I do not own an LTE –capable device.
But I already looked over the shoulder of people who used LTE. The speed was really amazing. I got the impression that the LTE will, again, trigger a small revolution – after which the mobile world will be even more on the way up than it already is.
Who knows: perhaps soon we will only have LTE and all the many WLAN networks will be removed. That would, again, be progress in the direction of “less waste” if we no longer need all those parallel WLANs many places have.
But we are not yet at that stage. For me, using LTE would mean that I have, yet again, to buy new technology. Well, I prefer to wait a little. When travelling, I use various devices (Smartphone, Pad, Notebooks with Stick). None of them is capable of LTE, and still I am quite content using them. But since I do not wish to buy everything new now, I will wait for a truly new generation of hardware – one which, of course, will be capable of using LTE.
Consequently, I am often on the lookout for free WLANs. And as we all know, WLANs are almost everywhere. For me, however, they are not accessible. I often have a two-digit number of networks showing on my display, but they are all password-protected. Only if I am an invited guest at modern enterprises, institutions, hotels or other locations, I usually have no problem. Because especially “good” companies with a reasonable and modern (entrepreneurial) culture also have WLAN with which they can easily offer their guests access to the internet. It is basically part of their definition of hospitality.
The Telekom and older enterprises, such as the railway in its lounges in some trains – unfortunately only on few of their routes – are doing quite a good job with their internet supply. But there are numerous institutions and enterprises where it is still hard or even impossible to access WLAN. More often than not, these companies are huge and a little complex. Whenever I see this, I am surprised and hope that we may soon get area-wide LTE.
When accessing WLAN as a guest, I am overjoyed if the password is still valid after my last visit. In that case, I get immediate access to the internet. As a guest, I also find it nice if the WLAN password is written on a note and clearly visible for guests somewhere in the guest rooms.
I am just as happy not having to use a password for WLAN access and instead having to fill in a start screen where they want me to put my cross at the question: will you promise to adhere to the business conditions? I am more than willing to do both: put my cross there and adhere to the business conditions. Basically, I believe the latter alternative is the more reasonable way of doing it, because open networks help us to reduce the gigantic waste caused by all those many parallel WLANs all over the world. Isn’t it also about time for “shared economics”?
I would therefore here and now like to explicitly thank all these excellent hosts.
But now I am switching roles. Now I am no longer the guest but the host.
At home, I yielded to the fears of the rest of my family and encoded our WLAN. Mind you, all probabilities of real risk scenarios for our physical well-being and property is many, many times higher than the risk that someone might do damage to us through open WLAN.
Since, however, everything is possible und you want to protect against really everything, we bowed to the public super ego and set a password before our WLAN. But it remained the same ever since we first installed said WLAN. And the “modern segment” of our many guests is happy about this. To be sure, they forgot our password a long time ago, but their devices remember. Consequently, they are instantly back in the network when visiting us and hopefully feel at home.
At the enterprise, this seems to be more difficult. We have the explicit intent of adhering to the law. We therefore take the topics security and data protection just as seriously as quite a few other things our legislation came up with. Even if, more often than not, this does not make life any easier for us.
Consequently, we provide our guests with their own open WLAN called IF-OPEN at InterFace AG, both in the Unterhaching headquarter building and our branch offices. To be sure, said open WLAN is also password protected. But we chose a “promotionally effective” password. It alludes to the capital “F” in “InterFace” and indicates that we are already almost 30 years old.
We give our guests the password in order to make sure they feel at home in our building. In the common rooms, such as the seminar zone and meeting room, a note is pinned to the wall. Our IF-Open is also something I and several other employees like to use, since it gives you direct and proxy-free internet access.
A short time ago, someone raised the question: should we change our guest network password? And if, at what regular intervals should we change it?
If it were up to me, once in fifty years would be enough.
Let me try to explain: a stable, reliable and, above all, easily remembered password for a WLAN which is intended and referred to as open and still protected by a password is a true blessing. If you change it often, this will cause some – if only little, but constantly recurring – extra work for many people. Just because (probably only in theory) there might be someone in or near our building who “pinches” our internet access and even “abuses” it.
I have no idea how realistic this kind of fear is. However, in my estimation, it is rather negligible, considering what “real” risks we might have to face (breaking and entering, theft, …) .
But a few years from now, we will have area-wide LTE, anyway. By then, you will no longer need WLANs and all these considerations will be obsolete
(Translated by EG)
Roland DürreFriday March 1st, 2013
A short time ago, I met a famous artist. I want to start an important project with him next year. He is the same age as I am and in my opinion, he is a true genius.
We got along very well. Consequently, I felt I could not keep quiet about my opinion of his being a genius. And then he told me something:
Every genius needs his or her specific place and time.
And I think this is very important. I think this sentence is not only true for a genius, but also for all of us – whatever we do.
How many really successful salespersons do I know? In a certain segment or with certain customers, they were the kings of contracts per se. They created unbelievable turnover and earned gigantic sums as provision. Then they changed jobs or had to change jobs – and all of a sudden, there was no more success.
Only too often, I made the same experience with managers and entrepreneurs. Their rise was like a comet. They were hugely celebrated. But then change came and they had to kiss success good-bye. And only few of them ever came back.
Success is something you may and should be happy about. But you should not be boastful of your achievements. Because in order to be a success in life, you always also have to have some luck and choose the right moment. Without the right environment, nothing goes. And, basically, the environment is constituted by other persons. Because mostly you are nothing by yourself.
(Translated by EG)
For all articles of my Entrepreneur’s Diary, click here: Drehscheibe!
Roland DürreSaturday February 23rd, 2013
In the IuK (information and communication technology) sector, we constantly have “a chase after a new craze”. Now, for some time, it has been the Cloud. And although nobody wants to hear about it anymore, it is still something many people are truly afraid of. And, of course, as so often, it is again all about data security.
The official advice given by experts and data security specialists is you should always look for the “home country” Cloud. In this instance, however, the term “home country” does not necessarily mean “German Cloud”. It means “European”. In my personal opinion, the difference is not really important.
If I no longer consider myself all that important, then it is totally irrelevant where my data are stored and who can see them. And probably no huge damage will be done if they disappear. Besides, they actually cannot ever really disappear, can they?
In an ideal and transparent world, it would be unimportant to “protect data”, anyway. But we all know the world is not such an ideal place. And if you have a critical mind, you can always have a situation where you should be afraid of the powers that be. Also meaning governmental systems that are not precisely scrupulous when it comes to human rights. Some have secret state organisations monitoring your beliefs and systematically spying on people. They call themselves protective or serving or gave themselves abbreviations mostly consisting of three letters.
If you want to protect yourself from these, you should keep your data far away from the powers that be. And then you should also store your data in a very remote Cloud. This would actually be a very “foreign” Cloud. But this will not help you either.
Because the aforementioned organisations, protected by their own governments, will always find ways to extract your data from the security prisons you locked them into. Or – even easier for the powers that be – they just use and support global criminals. Just think of the “tax CD” unearthed in Switzerland, a country that used to be ever so foreign when it came to finances.
No – what has always been true is now probably more so than ever: what you acquired illegally will not thrive well! It is better to take advantage of fewer opportunities, remain transparent and not allow secrets. And if there are secrets that might be detrimental to your own person, then you should never, ever write them down. Neither on paper, nor electronically.
Consequently, we should not be all that concerned about personal data protection, data security and the Cloud. Instead, we should use civil courage, constructive disobedience and responsibility to fight against everything that might violate our rule of law and our basic rights.
And we should practice and demand the kind of behaviour that gets the world back on a sustainable course in the biological sense. And then we should continue to think about many social deficits and irregularities and deal with them. Which is something we need the internet for – including the Cloud. Because it has become the nervous system of our planet and of this global world – and we will not solve the complex challenges we face without it.
All these things will probably be a lot more important for our future and the future of our children than the fear about data. …
(Translated by EG)