Klaus Hnilica
Thursday August 17th, 2017

“Don Carl“ – or: the Heroic Fight for the Underpants

Carl and Gerlinde (Instalment #52)

Rarely had Carl stepped into his underpants more enthusiastically in recent years. It was this great feeling of ’being embedded’ and ’being protected’ that he enjoyed.

It was a pleasure he made himself aware of several times each day these days – and the feeling was strangely enhanced whenever, during the day, he allowed himself to re-position the private parts hidden therein by discreetly re-arranging his trousers!

Yes – it was “allowed himself to” – not “had to” – as he formerly used to look upon it!

Because ever since, apparently, a movement that originated in Southern Germany – headed by the usual suspects /1/ – had started discrediting men’s underpants – which, incidentally, had been establishing an excellent tradition in the Christian culture over almost three hundred years – with Bavarian relish, Carl had become alarmed for more than one reason!

Yes – it was really a ’shock with an aura’ that found its way to Carl when, on this 13th day of August in 2017, he came upon said IF blog /1/ in the social networks. In this article, the author talked about a world-wide underpants-free future for all men: a world where, from one day to the next, wearing underpants by men was abolished. As a reason, it was stated that, apparently, all chafing, uncomfortable itching, disgusting tickling and virility-threatening clamping between razor-sharp zippers was now ignored, denied or hidden under a ’caftan ’.

A ’caftan’ that allegedly was only invented to give more freedom – that is, freedom for the ’unrestrained dangling of the male privates’ and consequently freedom to enjoy the ’so-called feeling of comfort’ that went along with it!

Of course, this had unimaginable consequences for the body – life – health – morals – society and economy! Not just for Germany and the European Union, but, when all was said and done, also for the entire Christian Occident and thousands of underpants-producing workers.

And was the time really chosen at random?

Had not just a few months ago Putin forbidden all activities around ladies’ underwear for the entire Eurasian Economic Zone, which had had disastrous consequences for TRIGA?

Maybe this was the balance against the male half of creation that was necessary due to gender-equality, after the first hit had devastated the female half of creation?

And was it really totally by accident that this campaign started in Bavaria of all regions? Or was it perhaps part of a long-planned conspiracy by Putin and Seehofer?

But when Carl, a few days ago when they had a meeting to discuss the ’development of new market strategies’ at TRIGA, mentioned these aspects, he was appalled to notice how his colleagues could not have cared less. Bernie – i.e. Dr. Osterkorn –, who was the head of the hosiery sector at TRIGA, in particular, did not seem to understand the impact of this event at all. As often before, he, again, lacked the antennae for trends in fashion and society!

Incidentally, the same was true for Gerlinde during their breakfast in the morning!

She, too, only had a laugh for him …

And – almost sympathetically – called him, Carl, a maniac who, once again, was chasing ghosts. And when Carl reacted offended and left the breakfast table without having drunk all of the morning coffee she always brewed for him with special love and care, she cried after him that she was not going to believe in the threat to occidental culture before Horst Seehofer appeared wearing a ’Caftan’ for the next Political Ash-Wednesday in Vilshofen!

Luckily, Carl knew what needed to be done in such catastrophic situations when everything was in danger of tumbling down: ’nothing’!

Now that was one aspect where, as always, he found himself in the best company with the others …

(Translated by EG)

Hans Bonfigt
Friday July 21st, 2017

The Power and the Glory

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Hans Bonfigt
Thursday June 22nd, 2017

ex post

Marc Haber zeigt eine mir bislang unbekannte Seite des Dr. Helmut Kohl auf:

Roland Dürre
Sunday February 12th, 2017

The Unavoidable Unpredictability of the Future!

Many thanks to Jan Fischbach, master of agility and my photographer.

On February, 10th, I gave a presentation for the FAV (Forum agile administration) at the Stuttgart Hochschule der Medien. The audience was terrific and I would like to take this opportunity to express my special gratitude. The twitter tag was #fav17 – it is a convenient way to find more information about the workshop.

My presentation was about the “unavoidable unpredictability of the future”. The title is not originally from me – and the same is true for the following sub-title. Nonetheless, I tried to stick to the pre-defined ideas:

Agile methods are especially useful if the uncertainty about the desired goal is huge. In private businesses, uncertainties increase. Is that also true for public administration? Do agile methods really make sense in this sector?

As a service for those who watched and those who were not there: a summary of my presentation. It is a little shortened and sometimes just in catch-phrases.

I started the presentation with an outlook and by explaining terms that seemed important to me. So the first thing I did was pin a cross with five words to the white-board: in its centre stood “agile“, flanked by  “digital“, “social“, “newwork“ and “network/community“. I defined the terms and explained how, in my understanding, they belong together.

When I give a presentation, I am always a little nervous initially. In Stuttgart, I forgot the important terms lean and open. The next time I talk about “agile“ I will start with the central “smart“ cube “agile“, “digital“, “lean“  and “open“. And I will add “social“ to build a pentagram.

For instance, in #newwork I collect all the efforts we make towards giving work a more humane appearance that help us “not to suffer from burnout” even in our modern working world. It is all about consideration, cooperation, appreciation and participation. These are all values that movements such as “Augenhöhe“ (the Film), common good economy, intrinsify.me, “democratic enterprise”, “EnjoyWork“ and others demand. For me, “smart” includes the combination of “digital“ and “social“, with digital being the basis for “network/community“ and “agility“ doubtless only having been re-invented in the “digital world“.

However, the digital change (digital) is only the logic continuation of the Industrial Revolution and consequently the ever more accelerating technological progress. The acceleration of the development is no surprise, because thanks to digitalization, we have more and more powerful tools; what follows is that digitalization is the basic cause for the very fast drastic social change.

I supplemented this image by adding the two terms “courage“ and “joy“ – as a prerequisite for a successful (work) life –, along with the two terms “give impulse“ and “inspire“ as the two central agile means of leading (see below). And then I evened it all out by adding “trust“ (left) and “change“ (right). Finally, I wrote “happiness“ and “success“. After all, it is my goal to make other people – be it audience or mentees – at least a little happier and more successful

After that, my presentation had six steps. Here is a description in catch-words.

    I introduced the “Agile Manifesto” as it has been written by software developers and talked about the influence of IT on technology and our society. It was important that it became very clear how agility is not just a method, but a “philosophy” or “way of living”.
    There is no ideological discourse about, for instance, whether “scrum” or “the waterfall method” (V model) are better. Agility is such a natural, basic and so very human concept that both methods can be useful, depending on the individual task.

    • The medieval cathedrals, as well as the Rome Colosseum were built in an “agile” way: 
Builder, master and craftsmen met (networking).
    • Not agile: Daimler Museum 
(only new computer speed made it possible to build it, otherwise the static could not have been calculated. But then fire regulations intervened).
    • How agility got lost: 
The industrial revolution changed our view of the world. After having seen the Chicago slaughterhouse, Henry Ford got the idea to produce cars, too, in the assembly line. His huge plants had a great need of workers that were not available. At the same time, many farm workers lost their jobs due to more machines in farming. However, they were “stupid”, not even familiar with the concept of “time”. Consequently, the caste of engineers had to regulate everything. This is how the “caste of engineers” developed. They had to do the mental work for their slaves in all respects. A hierarchical system, paired with extreme division of work (Taylorism) became the formative organizational structure for enterprises.
    • Example: Werner von Siemens, born 1817: he organized his enterprise (Siemens) following the model of the German Army.
    • Another factor: time is a special commodity. As soon as it is over, it is gone. Now, all of a sudden, it is measured. In units, like kilograms! 
Note: sailors knew no schedules. They were only introduced for postal coaches. Only steam ships and the railway made schedules possible. This is how people came up with requiring “shared time” in common areas.
    • Before the industrial revolution, clocks were mostly used for navigation on the ocean. Now begins the time when they dominate (rule over) life.
    • In the plants, there was a common time. To make sure the rhythm was not interfered with, you had to leave your watch at the gate. If someone retired, his farewell present was a watch. “They returned the time to the people”.
    • Before the industrial revolution, nobody had a feeling for time. As early as 1900, there were only few countries with a shared time. For planning, the parameter “time” is extremely important.
    • In an agile world, communities take the place of organizations
Example: movements such as #newwork versus unions.
    • In an agile world, the needs of the customers have priority over the contract:
Example S21 – the plebiscite was positive because the people had understood that facts had been set – simply because contractual obligations had been caused by those who had signed the commissioning.
    • Fake agility 
A good example for this is the car as master of all individualized traffic. Having a car without a driver will not make you free. What happens if all automobile drivers realize this and want to become “agile”? They say that, if that happens, the economy will collapse. However, this is nonsense, because innovation is creative destruction.
    As a general rule, agile persons are less fearful. Because fear happens between your ears. Usually, agile persons know the moment when they have to stop weighing arguments and instead should start and try things. Agile persons know that all they have is certainties, rather than truths. They are prepared to first give trust (“first give, then take”).
    Agile persons enjoy their work more and are more modest and happier. Perhaps they are also more humble and grateful. There is a rule: the more fear, the less agility and vice versa. A superior serenity is the pre-requirement for agility. It grows if you live an agile life. Consequently, agile persons are usually happier and more successful.
    In the last two decades of the last century, people and managers believed you could predict the future. All you have to have is enough information and then process it in a precise way. That would make it possible to develop valid scenarios for the future, too (for instance through think-tanks).
    And then you could come up with the right solutions and decisions in a totally rational way. 
This is how they believed an enterprise (and a public office) could become a determining system that gets input and gives output – and how the management could be controlled optimally through simply adjusting the right screws.
    What an antiquated point of view! 
The future cannot be predicted. But then, how are you supposed to plan and control the future if you cannot see it?

    • In his 1982 “Theses on Change in Management”, Hans Ulrich (the founder of the St. Gallener Management Model) states in his first thesis: “The future cannot be predicted!“
    • In St. Gallen, business scientists ask themselves how managers can ever make the right decisions à priori if it is often not possible to determine à posterio if a decision was right or wrong 
(Definition of decision: its consequences are serious and it is made under uncertainty).
    • Vuca (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity) 
All of a sudden these terms appear as abbreviations for the “real world”. But has the world not always been like this?
    • Futurology: 
I, too, am guilty of having believed analysts (Diebold, Gardner), especially when they confirmed my own assumptions (prejudices). Almost in all cases, the predictions were wrong: 
Here are two examples that were detrimental for me, as well: 
Bildschirmtext (BTX) and Print on Demand (PoD). In those days, the market predictions were totally wrong. Entrepreneurs who believed in them made the wrong investments.
    • There are two personal friends of mine who are worth listening to: 
Klaus Burmester (@foresight_lab) and Lars Thomsen (future-matters.com/lars-thomsen/). They are both probably among the world leaders in research about the future. Klaus is a twitter recommendation. (#FF). 
Matthias Horx (www.horx.com/) is rather famous, but I do not personally know him.
    • On Lars and predictions about electro mobility: 
Several years ago, during a bike meeting in Sylt with entrepreneurs, managers, counsellors. It was about innovation and change, also e-mobility. 
Lars fascinates us all with his presentation on e-mobility. Two years later, almost 20 % of all the participants are proud owners of a Tesla, but all his prognoses were totally wrong.
    • Incidentally, the definition of futurology, according to Lars, is the extension of trend research. Based on this, futurology becomes the search for the Tipping Point (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tipping-Point) in technologies.
    • My conclusion is: futurologists are not much help when it comes to predicting the future.
    • The innovation as advertised by everybody can best be described as “creative destruction”.
    • The reform that is so often called for is nothing other than “non-violent change“.
    • And more and more buzz words are making their rounds:
      Transition, Transformation, Revolution, Disruptive Changes, Anti-Fragility, VUCA …
However, none of those are really new and agility is the only concept that can help.
    Enterprises will die if they cannot cope with change. Especially in IT, there are many examples. Some enterprises “only” go bankrupt. Others leave behind them – even if for many years they privatized their profits very successfully – huge damage that will then elegantly be socialized (see EVUs – for many years they had been the DAX heroes – now they try to move the remaining problems, such as nuclear plants, to the public sector).
    Public office and administration cannot melt away either after having failed to adapt to change. After all, life in the community will continue. Consequently, the public offices – also due to their political and social mandate – have to cope with all change.
    But then, how is the survival of public administration supposed to work without an agile concept as its underlying idea? A concept that has an agile philosophy as its value orientation and that develops and lives an agile culture…
    The understanding that future and change are not predictable grows. Even today, planning fails more and more often, in surprising dimensions. (many big IT projects, S21, BER). You are probably correct if you assume that change will be more frequent and more intense in the future. The trend seems to confirm it. In many areas, we see an enormous acceleration, the speed increases all the time and will continue to do so.
    Some drivers of change could be:

    • What is demanded of politics/society; 
Trump, “laws” that have to be immediately put into action …;
    • Economic Change; 
Car industry, export downfall, excise tax …;
    • Infrastructure & our habits; 
Mobility consumer behaviour, …;
    • Determining factors; 
Rising interest rates, more poverty, …;
    • Disruptive events; 
Refugees, the climate (warming and cold, water and droughts,…) epidemics, war (terror)???
    • Technology;
smart solutions, virtualization, electrification, passports as app;
    • And much more.
    Digitalization as the high-speed continuation of the “technological progress” has only just begun – and the same is true for the social change caused by it. Cultural technologies, such as “being able to do calculations (by heart or on paper)” disappear. 
Machines are now “intelligent”.
    Using “intelligent machines”, we can build machines that otherwise could not be built – and they can themselves build yet more intelligent machines. Thus, the technological acceleration caused by digital progress will continue to grow. 
“Pandora’s box” is probably a nice metaphor for digital technology. The box is on the table. The table starts vibrating, the box begins to wobble. Before you know it, the lid will be askance and something crawls out of the box. Because there is plenty brewing inside the box. 
Soon, the lid will fall from the box and the box will topple over. Its content will spill all over the table. We do not yet know if all the things that spill out are caterpillars that will become beautiful butterflies. Or if they are evil worms that Medusa sent us?
    Well, my hopes are on beautiful butterflies.

That was my presentation. Since the audience seemed to like it, I will probably give the same presentation a few more times, perhaps a little modified with the focal points “agile mobility” or “agile enterprise”.

(Translated by EG)

Hans Bonfigt
Thursday February 2nd, 2017

Entschuldigung eines alten Sozialdemokraten

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Roland Dürre
Friday October 7th, 2016


Weiße Taube auf blauem Grund, eine Variante der Friedenstaube: Seit den 1980er Jahren verbreitetes Symbol der westeuropäischen, vor allem der deutschen Friedensbewegung, entworfen im Kontext des Widerstands gegen den NATO-Doppelbeschluss.

White dove on blue background, a variation of the peace dove. This has been an established symbol of the Western European, and especially the German Peace Movement since the 1980ies. Originally, it was developed in the context of opposition against the NATO double track decision.

A short time ago, I was alarmed. A friend of mine told me he had heard I am no longer active in the project PEACE. He asked me if that was correct.

It seems that, in some way or other, I caused a misunderstanding with the last article of mine. Quite the opposite is true and rather important!

I am and will remain true to the idea of PEACE. In fact, in the future, I want to do even more for PEACE than ever before.

During the last few weeks, however, I learned a lot.

For instance, I no longer believe in the “project PEACE”. The term “project” implies “management”. And I mean management in the worst meaning of the word. And that is something I am actually ABSOLUTELY FED UP with! I also understand now that PEACE is not something you can just “manage until it appears” or “make it happen”. Just like the “crusade for PEACE” is nonsense. I will also gladly acknowledge the perhaps cynical but rather correct comment of my friend Dr. Jörg Rothermel after he had read my article:

“I seem to remember a proverb:
“Fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity“ …(by Dr. Jörg Rothermel on Facebook).
😛  What a nice metaphor from the 1960ies.

Aebby (Eberhard Huber) proposed to substitute “enterprise” for “project”. That is something I can easily agree with, especially if the “enterprise PEACE” is the sum of the individual effort of many persons, all of whom start their own “enterprise PEACE” and want to live “in PEACE”.

In other words:
I will now, first and foremost, focus on my own life and give it all my strength. I decided that I will no longer let negative things affect me and influence me. After all, the more things that frustrate me I do, the more frustration I collect, and then it seems unavoidable that said frustration will again have to find a way out – in the form of enmity in whatever form, which then again will frustrate other persons. And I think “living in PEACE” first and foremost means not to collect frustration inside and then having to hand it on.

I spent many years of my life believing that this is unavoidable. I thought you had to “eat crow” again and again and even act against your own values and needs, for instance in order to come to mutual agreements. I used to believe that this was an unavoidable part of both my private and my business life.

Now I notice that, indeed, I can avoid negative input that I have to vomit up later in order not to do damage to myself. When all is said and done, it is only a question of courage on my side.

To be sure, I will have to kiss quite a few fixed patterns good-bye and change things I have become used to. Luckily, however, my first experiences on this path are rather sensationally positive, at least that is how I perceive them. Consequently, I will continue to practice.

I learned all this during many discussion, especially (but not exclusively) with Jolly. And it makes me happy.

So here are both my old and my new message: 

Whenever people want to live in PEACE and, for instance, send messages that promote PEACE, then I will be part of this. If and when Carmen makes a sensational film “PEACE”, then I will, of course, be part of it. Just like I will gladly join Gudrun wherever she lives “PEACE” in her own way.

This is also true for Aebby who moves so much in beautiful multi-dimensionality and for Wolf who keeps embedding PEACE in his great and beautiful media/internet work and for Daniel whenever he draws pictures for PEACE. And, if possible, for all those who want PEACE, as long as I enjoy it and my strength is enough.

And it will be my special pleasure to keep inviting you to be a part of the wonderful and important dialogues with experts and especially with Jolly on PEACE.

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Wednesday July 6th, 2016

Project PEACE.

I am frequently asked what our project PEACE is all about. My answer is always the following (or similar)



Weiße Taube auf blauem Grund, eine Variante der Friedenstaube: Seit den 1980er Jahren das verbreitete Symbol der westeuropäischen, vor allem der deutschen Friedensbewegung, entworfen im Kontext des Widerstands gegen den NATO-Doppelbeschluss.

White dove on blue background, one variation of the dove of peace: since the 1980ies, it has been the commonly used symbol for the Western-European, especially the German Peace Movement. Originally designed in the context of resistance against the NATO double track decision.

Thank you for asking!

For me, PEACE is the most important commodity, because PEACE is the requirement for everything else. Consequently, I want to give the project PEACE the highest priority during the time that remains of my life.
It is simply about, at long last, creating PEACE. Because it is about time.

Humans have managed to do so much already, why should we not succeed with this, too?

And: if you are in favour of PEACE,
you need no justification!

Project PEACE aims at
making more and more persons
willing and able to live in HARMONY
with themselves, with the environment
and the world that belongs to all of us and with each other.

It is a necessary and probably even a sufficient requirement for happiness. We want to work towards our goal without becoming dogmatic or moralizing, and we also want to remain totally neutral.

We will not imitate Greenpeace or Amnesty International and use propaganda and activities we finance with money we collected.

We will recruit friends and “friends of friends” who also want PEACE in a totally independent and free way, relying on inspiration and impulses alone, acting in a very soft way and with respect towards others. We want to reach many equal-minded persons, quasi through a snowball-system, thus contributing a little more towards PEACE.

Here are a few articles (Artikel) about the project PEACE. There is also a link to two videos with Jolly and myself. I particularly recommend Jolly. It is really worth watching. You want spend an hour with friends – or with your children and partners – and enjoy a glass of wine while watching it.

Best wishes!



Let us start and create peace! Thanks!

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Saturday April 23rd, 2016

New Barcamps is What the Country Needs!

Now I know why my enthusiasm about barcamps is dwindling …

PM_BannerDiese Woche war This week, I was invited to attend the first (!) barcamp organized by one of the really huge German world concerns in their enterprise building. The “anti-conference” was announced as an experiment and was about “modern leadership principles“.

They wanted to try something new and invited around 50 internal employees and a few external persons (one of whom was me). Almost all of the concern employees were young “high potentials”, among them many personal assistants of directors or persons responsible for a sector of product.

With respect to the degree of freedom, the barcamp was a little restricted. For instance, the “feet principle” and the roles of “butterflies and bees” were intentionally not formulated. When I asked about those, the organizers told me they had been afraid that this would have been a little too much innovation – a fear that I do not happen to

But: the event was an extremely good experience.

To me, it seemed that, after a short phase of scepticism, all participants were really enthusiastic and active. And that it was a great thing for all parties concerned. Not one of the participants had actively prepared for the event by writing a presentation or some such! Consequently, all session givers formulated their problems, anxieties and experiences spontaneously after having spent only a short time pondering. And that really found its target – in the sessions, we always worked on topics that seemed really important and very exciting.

I, too, again, learned a lot and was truly glad to have been there. In particular, I now understand far better how huge concerned work today when it comes to leadership and management. As an extra knowledge increase, I also realized that, today, it is actually no longer the rule that new products need to be found useful by the customer.

In fact, first and foremost, it is all about evaluating where and if there are under-provided sectors on the market (product-free spaces), yet where the majority of persons who have been asked think they might need it.

As soon as this requirement is met, all you have to do is come up with a good marketing strategy and a concept that will make a basic scaling and good profit (production costs / price acceptable for the buyer) possible. I was actually a little taken aback when I heard that the usefulness of a product no longer plays any role when it comes to creative planning.

However, one (indirect and), for me, very important realization was (and this is why I write this article) that this “concern barcamp” made me aware of why I get more and more tired of barcamps:

The longer you have had a barcamp, the more people come with topics they prepared at home. They no longer formulate what is on their minds spontaneously and/or in the context of what actually happens.

pmcamp3Unfortunately, this is a tendency I see more and more often in the once so much-loved PM-Camps that, so far, I have always remained true to. And when I am there, I mostly stay in the coffee room and talk to the many great persons present. Also, it seems to me that, as the years go by, other barcamps have more and more “ready-made” session, which causes the anti-conference to slightly differ only in one respect from the good old classical conference: its format-based freedom.

Here is a possible solution to the problem:

a) communicate in no uncertain terms that it is better to let the moment determine what happens on a barcamp and have sessions develop from the individual and shared situation and

b) make the planning phases more iterative and “shared” (i.e. just fix the sessions for the morning after breakfast, then reflect in the forum for a short time what is going to happen and what should be continued).

To be sure, the constant tightrope walk between individually (alone) and collectively (together) and between agile and planned in advance is certainly not something easily done. But that does not mean we should not keep trying.

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Friday August 7th, 2015

Revenge & Hatred

Here are some ideas of mine on the two IF Blog articles by Klaus Hnilica: ”Only Forgiving Will Set You Free“ and ”Revenge Will Make You Strong“ (Nur Verzeihen befreit“ und „Rache gibt Kraft).

Schwarz Hass RacheHatred is the most hideous brother of revenge. Because hatred and revenge are an obscure pair of siblings who will delight in their negative activities and feed off each other.

They belong together – revenge will cause hatred and hatred will call for revenge.

It will easily turn into: “As long as … , hatred will be my office and revenge will be my virtue!“ – just like Kleist said it in his Hermannsschlacht.

As a pair, this black couple will generate an eternal circle of misery that will often self-reproduce – more often than not in the disguise of grotesque morals.

The wish for revenge might well be something we can easily understand. After all, you hope to find a release for your own pain by causing similar or even worse pain for the person you hate.

Hatred as such, however, is a true paradox. If I hate someone, then I would wish to harm him. Except that the effect of my hatred is totally different. Because the person I hate will feel just as comfortable as if I did not hate him or her. Hatred directed against a third party will damage me. It will turn against myself and make me feel even worse. The person I hate might even delight in my hatred, because I am ruining myself in the process.

Hatred is especially absurd if directed towards the past. That is, if hatred is directed against a person I cannot reach in space and time. A person who might not even know of my existence. For instance if said person is already dead. Then my hatred will be nothing but self-destruction. And in this case, it would be a good idea for us to be beyond the phase of blood-revenge.

There is an easy conclusion to be drawn from this:    
It would be best if I did not let hatred find the way into my heart and life – then I will not need revenge, either. And then I can also safe the energy it takes to practice forgiveness.  After all, I no longer need forgiveness in order to beat my hatred.

The other side of forgiveness, i.e. helping the “enemy” to get rid of his guilt feeling – if such feelings are present – can then be used very deliberately.

And once in a while, not without inwardly smiling, I will refrain from externally forgiving. Why should I forgive someone I do not like – if I am at peace with myself and do not let myself be concerned with the injuries I suffered? Some of them will only have taken place in my head, anyway! Inside, I already forgave, because I no longer hate.

If you look at it with this in mind, not hating is a rather desirable goal. It should be learned and practiced and probably only “the wise ones” and “the best” will ever achieve it. It has a lot to do with sovereignty. Which is not something you come by easily.
Many thanks to Klaus for both his nice articles.

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Thursday July 23rd, 2015

Ada Lovelace and Unschooling?

Here is my introduction to the presentation “Learning in Innovation” by Bruno Gantenbein  “Learning in Innovation” as I would like to see it tonight. What I am going to say is meant to connect the person ADA LOVELACE both with the term “unschooling” and with “project management”.

Ada Lovelace 1836, Gemälde von Margaret Sarah Carpenter (1793–1872)

Ada Lovelace 1836,
Painting by Margaret Sarah Carpenter (1793–1872)

ADA LOVELACE was a very controversial lady. As I see it, she must have had a very exciting – both successful and desperate – life. Even reading about her in Wikipedia gave me the following ideas.

If we want to become masters of our profession, we have to exercise the “best practice” of great masters and make use of humanity’s experiences condensed in “design patterns”. Until we reach a dead end – where we have to say good-bye to what we learned. Now you have to rebel and question “things” like “but that is how we always did it”.

Consequently, learning means familiarizing yourself with patterns and sticking by them.

Learning in innovation, however, calls for breaking with patterns. Breaking old patterns and developing new patterns will lead to creative destruction. Thus, living in a social community means you have to not only accept but even use the compromise between your individual needs and the collective rules for your own unfolding.

We love the formatted life, because it is secure and comfortable. We are prepared to subjugate ourselves under morals, because we want to be good.

On the other hand, we crave for freedom and novelty. Because we know that a moralising society will take away our freedom and confine us, at the same time making us look small.

This is the case both in private life and in our work life (if the distinction is still permitted at all). In the social communities of our private lives, we permanently manoeuvre between often paradox positions. And the same is true for our professional lives.

Because the enterprise where we work is also a social system, albeit with an economic purpose. Leadership is communication and communication is, again, a balancing act – between listening and speaking.

I do not know many biographies more laden with the conflict between autonomous self-determination and external control than those of the great mathematicians and Mrs. Ada Lovelace. Spontaneously, the only other person who comes to mind is Nietzsche, who was born a little less than 30 years after ADA LOVELACE.

I think we can only be “good” project leaders, managers and leading personalities if our important projects are a success. To me, it seems like the most important project for all persons are their own lives. If we want to meddle in other people’s lives, the first thing we have to do is make our own life a success.

However, our own life can only be a success if we focus on the really important things and if we change habits detrimental to life. Consequently, I have to be prepared to unfold my own life autonomously and bring order into it. In my personal life, I chose my mobility. I try to avoid unhealthy mobility as far as possible. It is very simple, isn’t it? –

How am I supposed to live a self-determined life if, for example, I cannot even manage to do it with respect to my own mobility? Consequently, I have to change and practice. Instead of letting myself be externally controlled.

Well, this is what I associate with the disrupted life of ADA LOVELACE.

During the presentation by Bruno Gantenbein, I would recommend that you look for parallels with your own life.

(Translated by EG)