My Personal Wish for 2017:
Gratitude and Considerateness, both for You and Others.

Many years ago, I already noticed how important it is to be considerate, both towards yourself and other persons, in what you do, but also towards the entire creation. I also started realizing quite some time ago that appreciation is the basis for peace and that appreciating yourself is the first requirement if you want to be able to appreciate other people.

But it took me almost 66 years to discover that the ability to be grateful is probably the most important requirement for a happy life. Today, I am infinitely grateful for all the things I was allowed to experience and learn in my life.

Consequently, it is my personal wish for 2017 that the degree to which I am thankful will and can continue to grow. And that is exactly what I also wish all my friends, and especially the IF blog readers!

So:
For 2017, I wish you loads of beautiful things so that the degree to which you can be thankful will grow at your heart’s desire. And I wish us all the ability to be very grateful!

Health is also a very important commodity. So I also wish you all very much health!
As opposed to this, the small piglet is just supposed to bring a little luck. May the portion of luck that gives us the extra joy always accompany us all!

Best wishes for the start of the New Year and the same for the entire 2017!

Einen guten Rutsch und ein gelingendes Jahr 2017!

RMD

P.S
I use this beautiful picture every year as an illustration of my new year wishes. It was originally designed by my dear friend, the photographer Rolo Zollner. It is listed as “common licence“, which means that you all can use it, provided you tell all your readers where you found it and who designed it.

May it bring as much happiness as possible to as many persons as possible, and in particular to Rolo!

Roland Dürre
Saturday December 24th, 2016

(Deutsch) Frohe Weihnacht

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Roland Dürre
Thursday December 31st, 2015

My Sylvester Wishes are Different!

 

Dear Friends!

Best Wishes for 2016!

 


 

Das Bild ist von Rolo Zollner (http://www.rolozollner.de/). Es steht unter Common Licence, Ihr dürft es mit Quellen-/Autorenangabe frei nutzen.


May this pig bring you lots of luck!

Have a good start!

Enjoy the day!

Let your hair down big time!

Treat yourself to whatever you do not normally treat yourself!

Annoy your neighbours to your heart’s desire!

But love and respect them all regardless!

Enjoy the world and honour creation!

Be free!

Live with gusto!

Do whatever you want to do!
Give thought of yourself, but then also to others!

In six words and two sentences::

Enjoy life!
and
Be totally happy!

And I mean a hundred percent and especially 
every single day and every single night of 2016!


And do not forget:

“Shit on “must”!“

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
Both the picture and motive are from my friend Rolo Zollner. He created it for IF Blog. It is under common licence. Consequently, you may use it if you give the source and author.

Roland Dürre
Wednesday December 31st, 2014

A Good Start and a Successful 2015!

As every year, I wished all IF Blog readers and friends a “Happy New Year” when the year 2009 came to an end. That was exactly five years ago. My article at the time read:

Tonight, we are going to celebrate the turn of the year. We will bid the year 2009 good-bye and start the year 2010. A new decade awaits us. All the evidence points towards the world undergoing massive change in the coming years.

I would wish for the coming year that the imminent changes take place without violence.

May we remain free from war.

May our social values tolerance and freedom be preserved even in the difficult times that lie ahead.

And may we not admit into our part of the world the atrocities of an inhuman concept of society.

As I see it, none of the aforesaid is now outdated and I fear that all these wishes will be even more important for the next five years. Consequently, I am not going to add anything and wish all my IF Blog readers and my many friends and partners in exactly this spirit:

A healthy and successful year 2015!

May the ounce of luck which is so beneficial for all of us accompany you on all your ways.

SilvesterSchweinThe beautiful picture has been arranged by Rolo Zollner! It, too, was part of the 2009 article.

Thank you, Rolo!

RMD

Yesterday, we had our Christmas party. The house was packed and the music was great. Since there was so much turmoil, I did not want to present the entire speech I had prepared. Instead, I only told the audience about how InterFace started in 1984. Here is the speech as I had prepared it:

"Mein Leben nach InterFace ?"

“?? My life after InterFace??”

2014 is/was my last year as managing director of InterFace AG. Consequently, this here is the last time I am speaking to this audience.

I enjoy looking back over all the InterFace years – that includes the last year. Regardless of the fact that it was probably not the easiest year in our history.
It all started in the early 1980ies. Wolf Geldmacher and I had found each other and were planning to establish an enterprise in 1983. After a lengthy preparation phase, we finally started in April 1984.

It was the “InterFace connection company with limited liability for communication software and data processing”.

We knew that the success of the enterprise depended on three factors:

“Creating Usefulness”

Our products and services should be something the market needs.

“Satisfying Needs”

The people in the enterprise should work with courage and joy.

“Meaning”

All parties concerned must be able to give meaning to their work.

More than thirty years ago, we started in the UNIX environment with the development of the text system HIT-CLOU! And it was really on the mark! Everybody in the enterprise followed our star. This was the only way for us to work a huge miracle with our small team. The way up was fast and steep. At this time, I would like to welcome especially the colleagues of the first hours.

After Wolf quit, we continued following our star. It was not easy. Stars sometimes disappear behind clouds or a mountain. Once in a while, you enter a forest and have to continue without seeing the sky. Or the straight path is blocked and you have to go a detour.

As the decades went by, the InterFace grew. People came and went. Tasks and business models changed. The environment also had a huge impact on the enterprise. The InterFace as a(n eco-)social system is shaped by humans. Wherever humans interact, you get “the human touch”. Also, systems have a tendency towards developing their own lives. It was not always easy, but we always brought the “system InterFace” back on track.

Almost exactly 15 years after the InterFace was founded, we already had a similar situation. That was fifteen years ago. It seems like we get a crisis every fifteen years and have to overcome said crisis. Consequently, my wish would be that the next crisis will not come before another fifteen years have gone by . It seems that neither the lives of humans nor the lives of enterprises can function totally without crises.

A few years ago, the InterFace steered off-course. It was only a little bit and almost unnoticeable. Then a little more. Against the wishes of the managing directors. We were like the employee in his office working with concentration and not noticing that it gets dark outside. And who then, all of a sudden, notices that he has to switch on the light.

This is how our ship, slowly and bit by bit, drifted into an undesired direction. The reasons were not really easy to make out. In retrospective, you can find quite a few different explanations, none of which I now wish to expand on.

We were no longer capable of action, among the directors and in their immediate vicinity, discontent grew. Discordance made us unable to act, which might actually have ended quite dangerously for the enterprise. This is how, this summer, the board of directors was broken up. The board of supervisors had to step in and we all know the consequences.

Now, we are steering back on course. This is important for all the people working for the enterprise – and, of course, also for the enterprise itself. Personally, I love the InterFace if it is an enterprise more or less meeting the following requirements.

  • All the people working there can fill their place with courage and joy.
  • It offers a fear-free space and promotes the flourishing of life.
  • It remains simple with respect to its structures and avoids over-regulation.
  • There is a culture of togetherness at eye-level.
  • The teams cooperate in a mutual understanding of success.
  • Every employee can give meaning to his or her work.
  • Self-organization is a daily principle.
  • No hierarchical tree overshadows the organization as such.
  • It is primarily concerned with satisfying the needs of the customers and employees, rather than its own affairs.
  • It finds the right compromise between “bureaucracy” and “holy-cracy” (of the two, I would rather have too much “holy-cracy” than too much “bureaucracy”).
  • Common sense is always paramount.
  • The leading persons see themselves in the role of providers of a service, rather than sun-Gods and knights.
  • Mental concepts and mind-sets are as they should be.
  • It works in the sense of welfare economy (as demanded by the Bavarian constitution).
  • The individual panels of the enterprise work for the enterprise (rather than being used for personal purposes).
  • It serves the people, rather than itself.

I know quite a few enterprises on the IT market and consequently, it seems to me that we are not doing too poorly, indeed – even if, at times, we show some weakness or other. This is only possible because we trust each other. Trust, however, will not come through seeking the counsel of an attorney or through writing contracts. It happens through “honest behaviour”, “trust-based cooperation” and “open communication”. Trust is the best weapon against concepts of the enemy and stupid allegations.

InterFace, too, will find its enemies where you will find “internal politics”, “bureaucracy” and “dogmata”. Matters will be particularly dreary when the shared interest is violated for individual interests. It does not matter if this happens voluntarily or just frivolously. All these escapades are something I clearly counter with the outcry: NO!

This is my good-bye to the InterFace board of directors. YOU remain and you are the enterprise! You can shape the future. Will you, please, see to it that we remain the successful “champions in connection”? If you do that, I will gladly remain close to the enterprise and support you from the distance of a supervisory board member with all my strength.

And, please, for those (few) among you who have not yet understood what this is all about: remember that you do not want to bite the hand that feeds you.

My interests in the board of supervisors will be:

  • To support a constructive mental concept.
  • To see to it that the “customer” remains the focus of attention.
  • To make it possible for all our colleagues to have a meaningful life and work.
  • To utilize my network for the future of the InterFace AG.
  • Being a share-holder, I will demand sustainable business practices.

In the future, the IF needs less “institution & constitution”. Instead, we need more intuition, common sense and a clear commitment of all parties concerned to a modern, agile, slim and transparent entrepreneurial culture. On these factors, you get a clear outcry from me: GO!

The board of directors now consists of the following persons: Dr. Christof Stierlen, Maximilian Buchberger and Paul Schuster. I totally trust these three colleagues. My wishes for them is that they may have right touch as often as possible and for us all this certain amount of luck you always have good use for in life.

Above all, I now wish you all – dear colleagues, dear families, dear friends and dear guests – and the InterFace only the best. And now I wish us all a nice party, a Happy Christmas and a successful New Year 2015.


🙂 Well – such is life. I organized 31 Christmas parties for IF and gave 31 speeches – and now it is all over!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Wednesday November 5th, 2014

Festive Advent Concert

So here I am again, advertising the wonderful sound of the Arcis-Vocalisten choir. Let me cite:

arcisBeyond all the pre-Christmas turbulence and hectic, Evelyn (EG) and the Arcis-Vocalisten München under Professor Thomas Gropper, who are well-known for their expressiveness and creative power, this year again invite you all to come and experience a musical event. You will witness how the contemplative advent charm and the pleasant anticipation directed towards Christmas awakens.

The range is from traditional tunes and works by baroque composers such as Michael Praetorius, from chorals of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and festive choir pieces from Handel’s “Messiah” to trips into romanticism as in the “Gloria” of the mass for eight voices in E flat major by Josef Gabriel Rheinberger.

With their advent concert, the Arcis-Vocalisten present a selection of impressive works all of which have established their reputation as “classical” advent and Christmas vocal music with just cause. The music reflects the formative emotions and the charm of this very special time of the year from hopeful and trusting expectation to joy about the Christmas miracle.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

At the 30-years of InterFace jubilee party, Gerhard Saeltzer was one of the guests of honour. Being the surprise guest from Dresden, he had prepared a wonderful speech. As the party progressed to become a rather excessive and noisy affair, there was, unfortunately, no opportunity to give this speech its due place. The first part of the speech describes a rather impressive chapter of East-German/West-German history. InterFace and yours truly were lucky enough to witness some of this history first-hand during the very early stages.

It is truly nice that you all exist!

Dear Roland Dürre, dear InterFace folks, dear guests!

Today, we meet to celebrate the thirtieth birthday of InterFace. Many thanks for the invitation, which I gladly accepted. I immediately decided to come here with my wife.

It is truly nice that you all exist and that we all found each other here today!
Let us remember some events of 24 years ago. It was the time of the German Re-Unification. What exciting and upsetting times those were! And how frustrating they were in East Germany! For instance, Germans from Bavaria came to visit us Saxonians – and they spoke a language that sounded totally alien to our ears. And the second word all those Bavarians uttered was one that had been totally eradicated in the East: God. Wherever you saw them, you heard them say: “Grüß Gott“ – the only thing the Saxonians could do by way of reply was to give an embarrassed and shy “Na goodden Taach“.

And we also learned that the Godly greeting was accompanied by something else: the church tax collected by the federal tax office and often shockingly high back pays for us persons living in the East. And then something extraordinary happened: countless special knights stormed into the East – fortune-hunting knights and robber-knights. Along with attorneys and politicians, counsellors and realtors, functionaries and unionists. Many of them – let us be honest about this – had become redundant or put to pasture in the West. In no time, the con artists came: the car salespersons who sold four-wheel junk as new cars. The textile merchants who sold used clothes as new. The quick property hunters who bought huge dilapidated East-VEB’s for one DM, then demolished the houses and sold the property for millions. And the agents for all kinds of things and totally useless items, above all for life insurances. I, too, unnecessarily, “nibbled”.

In the East, I met attorneys and civil servants from the West who, for example, did not even know that you had to put your signature underneath a legal complaint before you submit it at court. And even show-masters and magicians turned up. One of them actually came right from heaven – he landed in Dresden with a borrowed helicopter – like a God of Fortune. He built a new suburb of Dresden in a swampy area, sold the best soccer players and eventually disappeared behind prison bars. And there were also great IT counsellors who were really absolutely incompetent. They did not even know the meaning of the words software engineering and software quality.

Well, my dear Bavarians, you can imagine how, after the re-unification, there was plenty of frustration and negative culture shocks in the East. We had to undergo a total re-programming. And then, all of a sudden, a miracle happened. I witnessed the reverse, some kind of positive culture shock. In Dresden, I met the entrepreneur Roland Dürre and parts of his young team, his wife and even his youngest offspring Rupert.

Now this man was totally different. He was an entrepreneur who did not just talk big, but was competent and knew what he was doing. A man you could talk to, from man to man, without arrogance. He met me at eye-level without first looking at the contents of my purse (it was empty, anyway) before starting to talk. A man who, even as the head of the entire firm, met his employees like family, wearing felt slippers. With his athletic and unpretentious life-style, he used soap from army supplies for his daily ablutions, rather than certain perfumed chief soaps. Roland Dürre, the entrepreneur who was such a good listener. A man who it was a pleasure to talk to and to cooperate with. A flexible team manager in the truest sense of the word.

Well, let me put it bluntly: for me as someone who was frustrated with re-unification, Roland Dürre and his team looked like extra-terrestrials landed from another, positive star. And they successfully mastered the last 30 stormy years! And I admire all those at InterFace who were part of it.

You all are just terrific! It is so nice to have you all here!

Many thanks to Roland Dürre for this silver lining I was permitted to experience, this East-German/West-German post-re-unification culture shock! Dear Roland Dürre! In those days, we both were quite bold, deciding to organize the first East-German/West-German technological conference for modern software and application systems SoftSys 9/90 in Dresden. Regardless of our rather limited resources, we were both even faster than the high and mighty politicians.

As early as 9 days before the re-unification on October, 3rd, 1990, our East-German/West-German re-unification conference took place in Dresden! The good communication between the two of us had some considerable effect. Everything was done faster. Later, unfortunately, our connection came to a standstill. 


ComputerweltSo much the more wonderful that, after 24 years, we re-united. I found InterFace on the internet when I entered my own name and accidentally found a book review  about my computer science book for children and later for primary school in Saxonia: ”Erstaunliche Computerwelt“.

Dear Mr. Dürre, dear InterFace Team!

Looking back makes me a little sad: unfortunately, there are currently far too few enterprises in Germany and Europe where such a nice, communicative, faire culture is lived as at InterFace. In these times of company bankruptcies and mergers, where quite a few enterprises have not survived, you managed to stick it out on the market. Wonderful! Many others could learn from you.

I admire you!

It is really a pity that, as of today, science has not yet mastered one art: perfect cloning. Both Germany and Europe would be better off if you and your enterprise could be cloned – maybe five times, or, a little more boldly, 20 times! And since, unfortunately, this cannot yet be done, they really should erect a plinth or at least a memorial table for InterFace here in Unterhaching. Well, even if they cannot do that at the moment, here are my heart-felt congratulations – you might find some similarities to Theodor Fontane:

”May sorrow be lame, may worries be tame!

Hear our wishes for the birthday child:

Another thirty years unharmed and mild!“

And, my dear Roland Dürre, here is another small wish for the future – because it is such a pleasure to cooperate with you. How about a new shared project with world-wide potential? I have an idea I would like to discuss with you.

Best health and good luck for all of you!

Grüß Gott! Godden Taach, and so long – perhaps with amusing anecdotes from my life with the computer in the East! You are all cordially invited!


Dr. Saeltzer, Unterhaching, June, 27th, 2014

Hochzeit im FlußThe invitation was for the session “fascinating things and anecdotes around the present and the future of computer application” by Dr. Saeltzer during our 30-year-jubilee party. In this session, he told us amusing things about the start of IT in the GDR during the 1960ies. He also took the role of helping to build courage and showed with small reading sessions from his book “Wedding in the River” (which is an “introduction to resilience”) how people can retain optimism even in grave situations, such as the Dresden flood catastrophe.

When I read this text, my ears turned purple, but I was certainly very delighted.
My most heartfelt regards and many thanks to Dr. Saeltzer.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.

Here are a few catchwords to characterize our “surprise guest” Dr. Gerhard Saeltzer:
Computer Scientist, Software Technologist, Simulation Expert, Author, Speaker, Trainer (more than 10 books, among them best sellers, 100 printed technological reports, 1,000 presentations and seminars, exposes for educational TV), entire pages and interviews in the daily newspaper devoted just to him, Chairman of big technological conferences in the East, Designer of Innovations such as ProgFox, LEMA. His last position was as governmental director of the Saxonian data-security center in Dresden. Currently, he is in anti-retirement; he has been jogging through Dresden for 20 minutes between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. on a daily basis for the last 45 years.

P.S.2

The text is the original by Dr. Gerhard Saeltzer. I added the two pictures of the books mentioned in the article.

Roland Dürre
Tuesday May 13th, 2014

27. Juni bei InterFace AG: 30-Jahresfeier mit IF-Forum!

Am Tage unserer 30 Jahresfeier veranstalten wir auch unser viertes fachliches IF-Forum. Hans Ulrich (der “Erfinder” des St. Gallener Management Modells) hat Anfang der 80iger Jahre in einem Aufsatz “Acht Thesen zum Wandel im Management” genannt. Eine der Thesen war:

“Selbstorganisation als Gestaltungsmodell für Unternehmen”

Diese These wollen wir in unserem fachlichen IF-Forum 2014 debattieren.

Das IF-Forum startet am 27. Juni 2014 um 13:00 im Alpenbauer Sortpark in Unterhaching statt. Dort feiern wir anschließend unsere 30-Jahr-Feier. Das IF-Forum findet aber nicht im VIP-Bereich statt sondern im Seminarraum der SpVgg Unterhaching im 1. Stock über der Gaststätte im Sportpark noch außerhalb des Stadions.

Hier die vorläufige Agenda:

Ab 13:00 Unsere Gäste treffen ein …
Eintreffen / Welcome

13:15 Wolfgang Menauer, InterFace AG
Hinführung

13:45 Dr. Eberhard Huber, pentaeder
Resilienz vor Effizienz

14:15 Dominik Rose, InterFace AG
Agil, Lean und Open

Pause

15:00 Bernhard Findeiss, InterFace AG
Kanban und Scrum

15:30 Roger Dannenhauer, Turnaround
Geisteshaltung

16:00 Roland Dürre, InterFace AG
Hierarchie oder Netz

Um 17:00 geht es dann weiter zu unserer 30-Jahr-Feier in und um den VIP-Bereich des Alpenbauer Sportparks.

Wir freuen uns auf Ihr Kommen. Anmeldung ans IF-Forum bitte per E-Mail!

RMD

Roland Dürre
Friday December 20th, 2013

Singing Elks ..

A particularly nice Christmas Greeting was sent to me by our author Klaus Hnlica. Klaus is the one who writes the series on Carl & Gerlinde which always makes me smile.

But once in a while, he will also write a poem – like for the 2013 Christmas:

They asked me: do elks sing?
And if so, does it sting?
Besides, what kind of song
Would make them not sound wrong?
A “Silent Night” with antlers donned
Might sound a little way beyond!

In fact, it might scare all the bears
And even hurt the hunters’ ears!
And just imagine, what a deer
Might feel about such curious cheer?
A crow might quite correctly claim
That even she has better aim
With pitch and tunes than you can hear
From where the foal and cow are near.

Yet Joe and Mary seem just fine,
Their youngster sounds to them divine.
His iPhone link knows all his needs,
He flicks his tongue, delights and feeds.
If Apple could an elk just teach
How best her high notes she could reach:

Why not with head-sets as an aid?
Is that not why they have been made?
At long last, we would then achieve
What some have never dared believe:
The network concept works indeed
For human-mammal language need.

The entire Christmas season gains
If elks and humans share their brains.
The churches, too, would be so cosy
With elks that want to get a posy.
They would be belling songs of old,
With Christmas stories being told!

Yet here at home, this year we will
Need neither elks, nor network spill,
Because all the children have arrived
To show that their own offspring thrived.
And just like every year it sounds
Our Christmas Corals making rounds!

A heartfelt Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, from Brigitte and Klaus Hnilica
Rodenbach, December 2013.

Now I wonder if elks could also sing in Bavarian dialect.

RMD

P.S.
And for all lovers of singing elks, here comes Elks 2.0:

They asked me: do elks sing?
And if so, does it sting?
Besides, what kind of song
Would make them not sound wrong?

A “Silent Night” with antlers donned
Might sound a little way beyond!
In fact, it might scare all the bears
And even hurt the hunters’ ears!

And just imagine, what a deer
Might feel about such curious cheer?
A crow might quite correctly claim
That even she has better aim
With pitch and tunes than you can hear
From where the foal and cow are near.

Yet Joe and Mary seem just fine,
Their youngster sounds to them divine.
His iPhone link knows all his needs,
He flicks his tongue, delights and feeds.
If Apple could an elk just teach
How best her high notes she could reach:

Why not with head-sets as an aid?
Is that not why they have been made?
At long last, we would then achieve
What some have never dared believe:
The network concept works indeed
For human-mammal language need.

The entire Christmas season gains
If elks and humans share their brains.
The churches, too, would be so cosy
With elks that want to get a posy.
They would be belling songs of old,
With Christmas stories being told!

Even Pope Francis would agree
To use his App and bless all thee,
All elks and humans could then share
The bread and wine and really care.
For what we need is rather plain:
Money should us freedom gain.

Klaus Hnilica
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre

Merry Christmas

Jolly Kunjappu
»Jumbo‘s first birthday. Celebrate your life.«
Acryl and wax crayon on canvas

Jumbos first birthday. Celebrate your life.

This beautiful picture drawn by my friend Jolly was what is printed on the front side of the InterFace AG 2013-Christmas Card. We selected it because it is colourful, exudes a message of courage, joy and freedom and because it is a symbol for “Merry Christmas” totally neutral in terms of religion and culture.

Jolly was born in Madras (Chennai) in Southern India in 1950. I was born in the same year in Augsburg/Bavaria. Jolly is a philosopher, composer and musician, painter, keynote speaker and performance artist. In his spare time, he also owns a very special Indian restaurant in the Zweibrückenstr. (Indian Mango – quite close to the Deutsches Museeum). He has been living in Munich since 1970 and he works all around the world.

I am a day labourer, free spirit, entrepreneur, father of a family and much more. I particularly like eating out at the Indian Mango. For instance today.

Jolly and I are brothers in spirit. With his picture, we wish you and all those you love, as well as the entire world, a very peaceful, happy Christmas in harmony. And may philanthropy dominate in your lives in 2014 and may your world be free of enmity.

RMD
(Translated by EG)