Freedom? Morality? Principles? Facts? Certainties?

Using beautiful terms and buzzwords, both politicians and the marketing of huge concerns try to impress people (and motivate them to buy things). The former do it because they want our vote, the latter because they want our best – the funny stuff.

Consciously treating language shabbily is part of this “new dishonesty“.

Language is supposed to have a manipulative effect. There is an endless number of terms that are very suitable if you want to seduce people. These terms are used whenever someone says something great. In particular, it is used by people who believe they are in possession of the truth (if you are precise, you will have to call it certainty). They use terms they themselves do not really understand, but still they hope that, by using those terms, they can sell their certainties.

They will not concern themselves with what these words actually mean. Instead, they just parrot them. Consequently, we should put all statements that are put before us under really thorough scrutiny. After all, we live in times of irresponsible blabbering.

In 1983, I was lucky enough to attend a very high-profile management seminar on dialectics in Frankfurt under Rupert Lay. In those days, Rupert Lay had the reputation of being the German Nestor as far as “Ethics in Management“ was concerned. It was a very modern topic, almost “hype”. I learned a lot during that seminar. And I tried to continue learning for the rest of my life.

I was 33 years old when I learned language, i.e. when I learned what exactly it means to use language properly. Well, that is rather late, isn’t it? The six other seminarists were all top managers from industry or presidents of associations or politicians in high office. They were all around thirty years older than I. That means they were all a lot later than yours truly, doesn’t it?

After a short warming-up discourse, they all agreed that freedom was their most important property and that they would immediately die for it. When I distanced myself from these two statements, I was treated like a pariah. To be sure, I was the youngest, had the longest haircut and did not wear a tie. Consequently, these older silvery-haired gentlemen could not really take me seriously, could they?

Unfortunately, the entire affair was symmetrical. Because to me, these six persons looked very much controlled from outside, which means they were the opposite of free. To be perfectly honest, I thought my six co-participants in the seminar were the prototypes of unfree persons. They were typical system agents who were caught in their fascist jails.

This did not bode well for the entire seminar. Regardless, this seminar is where I started to see philosophy and rhetoric as something important in my life and to appreciate their value. Thus, I learned to listen carefully, to analyse language and to treat difficult terms with caution, rather than negligently. And ever since then, that is what I have tried to actively do.

Concerning the image below:
Be not afraid, my blog is not going to turn into advertising CDU. I will never vote for or support a party the members of which, shortly after WW-II, conspiratorially  and in secret meetings prepared for German re-armament, and then realized it against the protests of the people (and to the benefit of the German Armament Industry).

Because I believe that those were the days that a unique chance for us people was lost for good, just because some people were scared.

No, this is about the text on the poster, or rather the text on the tweet.

The picture illustrates a tweet that was shared by the verified account of the CDU (excluding Bavaria) .
Frau Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer forwarded this tweet under the account @akk . That is how it ended up with me.

Here is the text as it was shared by @akk at @CDU– Tweets with this picture:


In an interview with   admonished the readers: “I expect people who come into our country to accept our values – and above all, I expect us to fight for our values”.


To me, it seems like a sentence directly from marketing. In some way or other, it is a stroke of genius in its bi-polarity. After all, it contains a demand that seems to be easy to accept.

Those who “come to us” should “accept our values”. We, “since we are “us” because we are here already”, should fight for our values. Of course, the weak point in this sentence is the term “values”. What exactly are “values”. What exactly are our values?.

Why do we expect those who come to our country to know our values if we ourselves do not know them?
As I see it, it would be a huge social obligation to work out a consensus about what our values are. Even if you probably cannot solve this problem.

Here are a few ideas.
If I want to understand the meaning of “value”, I first look for related terms, such as morality and principles. I am looking for a general term (because it is easier to understand and describe a word if you have a general term you can use in order to distinguish between the less general terms. That is what you learn in the first semester if you study philosophy).

In Wikipedia, you will find an overview  on the individual letters of „VALUE“. The first cube contains an enumeration of how the word VALULE Is generally used. For our purposes, this is not helpful. Incidentally, this cube is not even complete: you will, for instance, not find what the “value” (content) of a variable is in the game with words used by programmers.
In our context, the second cube of the article is relevant. Here is what it says.

(Wikipedia – value – version of February, 3rd, 2019, second column of text)
Value stands fo:
• Ethics, i.e. characteristics and qualities that are considered morally desirable
• social norms , i.e. social regulations for how to behave.
• christian values
• Ethical values, see: ethical law

Well, I do not really know why Christian Values are part of the definition. I would find “religious” values more appropriate. You could exemplify them by using “Christian Values”. And you would then have to include the values of other religions. Perhaps you could also describe these values as mindsets. Consequently, our values would be described as our mind sets. But do we have a common mind set?

If, in our historic tradition, the Christian-Occidental values are propagated, then I always remember that, until the end of the 18th century, the Christians were also among those who supported and used serfdom , which is just another word for slavery  . Well, at least in my eyes that does not make the tradition any better. Bear in mind that mostly serfs were also dependants .The landlord was mostly also the owner of the farmer. And who owned the land?

I like the first entry in the upper cube ethics a lot better. We learn that this is all about our concepts of values. So what exactly are concepts? Visions or hallucinations? The entry also shows us how easily you get into close proximity of morality  that judges if we apply values. After all, morality is something that believes in possessing the truth about what is good and what is evil. Can you tell me what is good and what is evil?

In Wikipedia, you will also find on morality:

Morality is about mostly actual behavioural patterns , conventions and rules or principles of certain  individuals, groups or cultures.  . A violation of morality is called immorality. Amorality is the denial or the purposeful refusal of moral principles and can culminate in the total absence of moral feeling.

So now we are again dealing with patterns, conventions, rules and principles! So let us continue – which means we end up with an article about principles . Now things are really getting complicated. Consequently, we will only take one sentence:
Generally speaking, a principle is a maxim or a basic rule you stick by.

So now we can ask:
Did the author (I am sure it was not AKK herself who wrote it) really mean values with this beautiful advertisement? Or morality? Or principles?
Or does it mean that those who come to our country had better stick by our rules and regulations and that it is our job to see to it that said rules are not violated? 
- Which makes it sound quite differently.

I strongly suspect that the person who wrote this sentence did not even know what he or she actually wanted to say.
Because he or she did not think of such a thing (and perhaps was not even competent enough to think of it). It was simply going to be a nice marketing slogan that sounds nice and makes a good impression. Insofar, it is a good match with the general dishonesty in our communication.

If you are interested in finding out how Frau Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer interprets the sentence on the poster, why don’t you send her an email @akk and ask her?

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Saturday January 5th, 2019

RADICAL.

Long Live the Radical Heretics!

When Hans Bonfigt’s article was discussed and commented on, the term “radical“ played an important role. This motivated me to become contemplative about the word RADICAL. Because, to me, it seems that being radical is very important.

According to de.Wiktionary.org/wiki/, similar words are either 
[1] hard, ruthless, reckless, stubborn,  or 
[2] clearly, thoroughly, noticeably, definitely, all-encompassing.

{
Laut de.Wiktionary.org/wiki/ sind sinnverwandte Wörter entweder
[1] hart, rücksichtslos, unerbittlich, unnachgiebig
oder
[2] deutlich, gründlich, merkbar, merklich, umfassend
}

I found no useful definition of the word “radical” in (the German) Wikipedia. In the political context, there is a link to radicalism . Sociologically, radicalism is a characteristic of change, see social change.

Well, at least in the German Wikipedia, there is no definition of the often-used word “radical”. This shows clearly how difficult the discussion of the term is. To me, this sounds almost logical, since we humans are famous for having arguments about things the meaning of which we do not know. Simply because we tend to put particular emotional stress on terms that we do not understand or cannot define.

Let me make some guesses as to what radical might mean. Or rather, how I understand it. It took several days of contemplation for me to come up with an answer. Then I discovered that, to me, “radical” is particularly important when it comes to thinking. That means we are talking radical ideas. Which, as I see it, Hans Bonfigt time and again does not apply.

To my way of thinking, “radical ideas” mean that our ideas can develop in straight lines without having to consider moral fields. In other words, our ideas should not be influenced by the restriction: “You do not want to think along these lines“.
And I believe that radical ideas will soon make you a heretic. I rather like heretics if they are capable of questioning their own so-called truths.

Let me describe a few theoretical results that can spring from radical ideas.

  • Religions and God were invented by humans. How can a person call something an absolute truth if he himself invented it?
  • Who are those who benefit most from war? The weapons industry. Consequently, the weapons industry needs war. And whenever there is no war, it will see to it that there will soon again be war.
  • First and foremost, I must be considerate of myself. Because only if I love myself, I can also love other people. Consequently, martyrdom is socially detrimental and should not happen – nor should it be glorified.
  • Humans are not evil. If anything, then their actions are evil. Consequently, you should not condemn humans but instead their actions.
    (Rupert Lay once said that Hitler was probably not an evil person, because maybe he mostly followed his conscience. Perhaps his conscience was rather alien, if not pathological. To be sure, Rupert said it during a festive presentation for famous guests of a big German Bank. And legend has it that he was then interrupted by the managing director and escorted from the premises. Because he had broken a taboo – there are things you cannot think, let alone say).

Well, I guess I had better stop writing before someone comes and escorts me from the writing stage.

RMD

Roland Dürre
Sunday December 16th, 2018

Why is Germany so Far Behind When it Comes to Digitalization?


A short time ago, someone asked me during a presentation about the reasons for our (the German) weakness when it comes to digitalization. After all, haven’t we always been the country of engineers?


On this picture, I do not look like a happy person wearing a uniform. I would have preferred to play with a computer.

Well, I had to do some thinking. After all, there was a time when German enterprises, such as Siemens, were the top of the world in technology and IT.

I try to consider the IT scene as a whole over time. I notice that, for a long time now, innovations have rarely come from the technology laboratories of the mega concerns or huge research institutes.

Instead, innovations are introduced by movements that are mostly initiated by young persons with passion. This is especially true for computer science, i.e. the IT and related technologies.

At Siemens, I myself was part of those who developed what I call industrial informatics in the late 1970ies and in the 1980ies. We developed – in an absolutely engineer-like manner – expensive and heavy mainframe computers with the matching periphery.

At the same time, simple computers for at home were thrown onto the market. For example the Atari (1979) or the Commodore (1982). Both in the USA and here, the children “played” with these or similar computers.

We “industrial computer scientists” also took a close look at these home computers. However, we only considered them toys that need not be taken seriously. We never realized what a fascinating potential these systems had.

As I saw it, for instance, the non-existent technological perfection of these systems was irritating. For example, they used a noisy cheap TV set as a screen (we called it data viewing device). Data were saved with cassette recorders on unreliable audio cassettes. And the input keyboards, too, were nothing that could make you optimistic.

Well, I lived to regret that I had given this new technology so little attention. Consequently, the PC wave and later the success of the technologically so weak Windows with its graphic interface and, above all, with its games such as solitaire, were ignored by me.

I already knew the graphic interface from devices such as the Xerox Star, which Siemens sold as an office computer. To be sure, it was a professional machine, but its cost/benefit analysis was extremely poor. Consequently, only very few German enterprises used it. I only know about Lufthansa in Germany who indulged in this luxury. This is why I did not take this technology seriously, either.

The young generation often only knew the world of the new computers – and they really gave them a boost. That happened in the USA – and you can easily read what happened there. For example if you read the biography of Steve Jobs – a book absolutely worth reading.

Back to our initial question:


Why is Germany so far behind in IT?

I do not think that there is one central reason for this German digital weakness. I am sure there are several reasons.

But I can give you one – probably a little rhetorical – answer:


I believe the compulsory service might have been one determining factor.

In the time that was crucial for IT development, we had around 500,000 young men under weapons. That is a considerable part of the male inhabitants of the country – at the best age. The national army was comprised mostly of people who were removed from normal life for 18, later 15, months. Most of them were young men.

Even today, you will mostly find men among the MINT (mathematics, engineering, natural sciences, technology) professions. In those days, it was even more pronounced. And compulsory service only concerned the young men and thus was detrimental for their development.

IT was – and is – a top-performance discipline. You have to stick to it with passion over several decades and, in the process, you have to suffer and understand a ruthlessly fast development. If you are forced to desist for an entire year, you will be at a considerably disadvantage. You can compare it to a young top soccer player who has to pause in his training for 18 months. I would assume that, normally, this would be the end of his soccer career.

There are a number of good reasons that support my theory.

My personal experience
In the autumn of 1969, I started my first semester of “Computer Science” at TUM. On April, 1st, 1970, they drafted me and I served until September, 30th, 1971. In these 18 months, I learned the meaning of the words “drink” and “chill”. The only positive result was that I learned how to survive such perverse systems.

In the autumn of 1971, I again started with the first semester at TUM. This is how I remained in chill-mode. It took until the spring of 1973 for me to finally get rid of this mode, because the interim-diploma was before me and I was woken up a little roughly. It was stressful and I continued with my “training along with studying” (more at Siemens that at TUM with quick learning from books). And I even managed to pass the interim diploma on my first try.

After my diploma, I had a few years of learning at Siemens and Softlab. It took until 1984 for me to establish my own enterprise. I was considerably older than thirty. If the army had not intervened, it would probably have happened several years earlier …

Experiences at InterFace
In the early InterFace AG years, we had many students on board. Some of the people working for us were even still at high school. They were fascinated by the new technology and wanted to get a first impression of what it was like in practice. They often came with a recommendation (for instance as children of our customers).

These young persons did excellent work and soon became important employees. As soon as they were nearing their final high school exams, they started getting nervous: would they have to serve? For us, this would have been a great loss.
We often helped them when it came to organizing a reason why they could not be drafted and thus could continue to work for us while they studied. Without these young talents, we would never have been able to realize our product CLOU & HIT and many other innovations.

The American founders
Looking at Silicon Valley heroes like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and others, we see that none of them was hampered by military or similar compulsory service. Instead, they terminated their studies at university in order to focus on the new technologies and their enterprise.

German founders
If you look at the public cv-s of Hasso Plattner and Dietmar Hopp  (both from SAP), you find that they, too, have not served in the German Army. Of a very creative founder like Peter Schnupp, one of the co-founders of Softlab (born in 1934 and thus exempt from compulsory service), I know it because we are friends.

Start-Up Scene …
For more than ten years, I have now been one of the BayStartup jurors. It is probably Bavaria’s leading enterprise for topics such as business plan contest, financing, business angels,…
Depending on my availability, I evaluate around 100 business plans every year. Consequently, I learn a lot about the current technological trends and, above all, I also meet many young people who want to establish their own firms. And I notice that there is no new topic that does not mainly explain its specialty with the software that was developed for it.

It is thus a good thing that all start-ups have software persons on the team. They proudly tell me that they started programming at the age of ten and changed to sensible and modern computer languages and modern technology by the age of 12 or 14. A forced pause of fifteen or eighteen months would mean a huge drawback for them, if not the “out”.

So here you read a few arguments that might give some credit to my theory.


Now I really hope you know me well enough to realize that I would not declare that such an original theory is actually the truth.

However, I am convinced that the re-armament of the FRG after WW-II and the re-establishment of the weapons industry at least destroyed a unique chance for a great and peaceful Germany. And that the compulsory service and militarization in Germany are the reasons for immense economic and social damage.


The people who were responsible for this development, both today and then, were old white men like Adenauer with their prejudices and cynicism. Driven by fear, he had started as early as 1950 to work towards re-armament with criminally subversive methods and secretly.

If you want to find answers to the question “what exactly happened in those days?“, then you will probably want to read the Wikipedia article on the Bundeswehr and on Wehrpflicht.. They are very interesting.

But now I am happy that the compulsory service has been suspended and hope that this service will never again be re-installed.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
The history of the pictures 
On April, 1st, 1070 (after having studied one semester of mathematics and computer science at TUM), I was draftet. Roland Dürre became Private Dürre. Unfortunately, this was not a bad April-Fool’s-Day-Joke. After one night in Lagerlechfeld (where you got the six-week mixed basic training for young people who had successfully graduated from high school) and a few nights in Landsberg, I was sent to Ulm. Because I was considered recalcitrant.

In Ulm, they put me into a training unit that was supposed to turn the recalcitrant recruits of the air force into appropriate security soldiers. Since I was the only one in my unit who had a high-school diploma, they kept me as a teacher, which means I spent five quarters among the other teachers.

Each quarter, I had to lead a unit and I also took tasks like company training. For instance, I explained to recruits who had never finished school how our democracy and our constitution work and tried to make them understand the meaning of legislative, judicative and executive powers. Or else, I taught them how to use their weapon (G3, P1, I forgot the name of the machine gun…).

Here is an anecdote from those times: 
During the basic training (the first three months), the recruits were only allowed to leave the barracks wearing their uniform. That was also true if you went home for the weekend. Well, at least they allowed us to go home every other weekend after the first few weeks in the barracks, but this trip, too, had to be in uniform. Most of us were the opposite of enthusiastic about moving in public in their uniforms and then having to turn up at home in it as well. Even though our parents rather liked it and everybody wanted to take pictures of us wearing our uniform. This is also how the two photos in this article came about.

Some of the recruits were especially cute. They went to the toilet at Ulm Railway Station wearing their uniform – and when they came out again they wore their civil clothes. However, they did not know that the army had positioned spies (in civil clothes). They immediately confronted the disobedient young soldiers and took them back to the barracks. Thus, the weekend trip was cancelled, along with that of the next weekend.

Mostly, the spy duty at the railway station was not something you wanted to do. It was probably a little like having to be one of the shooters in war when the enemy is lined up for execution. During the remaining 15 months, I avoided this duty because of my teaching position.

During my first trip home in my parents’ living room.

P.S.1
Impulse
This article was triggered by the current discussion about § 219b and the attempt at questioning the reform of § 218 (which, given certain stipulations, still allows a punishment-free illegal abortion). I heard from the right side of the “bourgeois centre” that “we would not have needed guest workers if we had not had abortions”. I found this theory so appalling and inspiring that I decided to postulate: “without compulsory service, we would not be digitally retarded in Germany”.

Roland Dürre
Tuesday November 27th, 2018

The CIO

Giving support only when there is a puncturen.

I always like helping people who are looking for a job. Actually, I even developed a small strategy. I call it “alternative job application”:

We sit together and draw up an “alternative job application“. It is a text where the person who is looking for a job offensively describes his or her strengths and develops a vision that outlines what extra value he/she can and would like to bring to the target enterprise with all his/her enthusiasm and courage. This sounds simple, but demands from the applicant that he thinks a lot and accepts many ideas, besides being creatively open.

As soon as this document is finished, we use the story as a text for our “alternative job application”. Additionally, we might also do a video recording that shows how the applicant can convince any audience with his personal attributes – including a link for responses – as a substitute for the commonly used gangster photos.

🙂 All of this will be individually adapted to the job and the enterprise the applicant feels he/she would like to become part of and work in. My underlying idea is that the one thing an entrepreneur is most interested in is how the applicant can “be beneficial to his enterprise” and how and if said applicant can follow somebody’s train of thoughts.

And, as a general rule, the “alternative curriculum vitae”, will usually be followed by job interview invitations quite quickly. Naturally, these interviews, too, will have to be prepared thoroughly. After all, success mostly is not the consequence of passivity.

More often than not, the people I coach have wonderful classical curricula vitae where they describe many details in the common classical way in tables. You will read what they did and what their roles were during the last (20 !?) years, full of workshops, trainings and certificates. All these lists have been written well and with diligence.

However, these applications are not too much of a success. The applicants get negative replies all the time, which will be quite frustrating for the poor applicant. To me, this sounds totally plausible, because how are you supposed to prove to anybody how competent (knowledge + competence) you are?

Quite frequently, the “classical” curriculum vitae is something nobody is interested in. Consequently, we make it more concise and then only use it as an additional attachment. As such, it shows that there are good reasons for making yourself look optimistic in your “alternative job application”.

More often than not, the first thing I have to do is give the depressed applicant some hope and belief in his own value.

Some of the people I coached were women. After having spent several years educating their children, they now wish to get back into work. And I must say that, whenever we together manage to be a success, we are extremely happy. I share all of their joy and belief in the future.

A short time ago, I accidentally worked with a true “top-class” person. He had been manager of a very good medium-sized IT enterprise. Now he had given notice. His reason for giving notice – which was absolutely rationally acceptable – lay in the fact that the owners had sold the enterprise and the new masters had decided on a policy and goals he was not at all prepared to agree with.

Quite courageously, he gave notice without having found a new job. Now he is looking for a job as CIO (Chief Information Officer) with a well-established medium-sized company. And then, at least that was my perception, he was surprised that, regardless of excellent formal qualifications, he did not find it easy at all to land a new job.

When we talked, he turned out to be an extremely nice person in the prime of life. He also said many rational things. In many respects, he came pretty close to perfection. His personal record in life, too, looked absolutely a success to me. He also had a wonderful classical curriculum vitae.

In some way or other, I got the impression that he was not only depressed but also no longer quite up to date. Especially when it came to the internet and the turn of the era that has perhaps been initiated by digitalization. For me, his rather negative and relatively one-sided verdict on twitter, which he himself (naturally) does not use, was somehow significant.

After our conversation, I accompanied him to his car. And I was eager to see what kind of car I would see. I won the bet – it was the biggest Audi SUV available in Europe.

I had offered to support him during his application phase and said that I would also listen around in my network. All he would have to do is come back.

He never came back. Perhaps he did not think it possible that someone who rides a bike can actually help him.

Well, that is fine by me. It gives me more time to help those who perhaps need my assistance more. And perhaps I should have given the CIO the book on “The U Tactics” by Otto Scharmer?

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Sunday November 4th, 2018

We Replace Many Others.

On this picture, you can still see me at the Uhg Outdoor Public Swimming Pool (no cameras allowed).

🙂 Here is a non-fiction story.
It shows to treat employees and how you save money these days. Since it is slightly embarrassing, I will not give you any names. Except the name of the enterprise that plays the major role in this story. It is the Weva, which is an anagram for the German 
“Wir ersetzen viele andere“ (We Replace Many Others).

Maybe it already tells all you need to know. Just as it says in Wikipedia: Nomen est Omen.

So here is my story …


I try to swim regularly. During the summer months, I visit the public outdoor swimming pool There are times when, in summer, I manage to go there every day. With the seasonal ticket from the Unterhaching Civil Office, I really enjoy the pool.

During the cold months, from Mid-September until May, I visit a public indoor swimming pool that has been more or less privatized. Since it is a private indoor swimming pool, it is obvious that they have to economize wherever they can.

Regardless of the fact that I find the entry fee slightly overpriced, I am totally happy. I can easily overlook the occasional flaw and manage to go swimming several times a week. After all, I am quite glad that there is still an indoor swimming pool somewhere near home that I can reach by bike.

In this indoor swimming pool, they have strict rules. For instance, you are not allowed to shave at the sink. For hygienic reasons. I did it once – without knowing about the rules – and then a lady who was responsible for the cleanliness of the place told me in friendly but no uncertain terms that this is forbidden. Even though I cannot really understand the prohibition, I have stuck by the rules ever since. Because that is what it says in the regulations.

Now this changed. Over several weeks, I have seen that the employees of the public indoor swimming pool who were responsible for cleanliness have now been replaced by a service provider. Now the people who clean in the swimming pool area wear blue polo shirts with the logo “Weva – We Replace Many Others” (in German: Wir ersetzen viele andere). To me, this logo looks like a true threat.

Then I witnessed something. After my early morning swim, I got back my breath in the ante-room and checked my smartphone for what happened in the world during my absence. The ante-room was empty, I was sitting alongside one of the walls and a WEVA employee was vacuum cleaning the ante-room. He was working quite systematically, from left to right and top to bottom. He was not making any noise. Soon, he was finished with half of the place. I was close to revising my opinion about the enterprise that calls itself WEVA: “well, this is good news, at least they use soundless vacuum cleaners”.

My contemplations were interrupted. A lady – she, too, was wearing a blue WEVA shirt – appeared on stage and talked to the vacuum-cleaning colleague in a language I did not understand. However, he did not seem to understand her. Consequently, she started gesticulating.

Since this, too, did not seem to help, she took the electric plug that hung from the vacuum cleaner, pulled it out and applied it to the nearest electricity outlet. With an unmistakeable gesture towards the man, she left the room. Now there was a lot of noise – so this was not a “soundless vacuum cleaner”, after all. The vacuum-cleaning employee continued with his work where he had stopped. And I fled from the ante-room and rode my bike home.

On the whole, I do not get the impression that the place has become cleaner over the last few weeks. Perhaps it even became a little worse. I am not complaining, it is still ok. And I certainly do not want to be finicky, because I am glad that the life-guards always have a watchful eye on critical situations and always look after minor flaws.

However, I believe that now, if I feel I need a shave, there is no reason for me to fear being scolded. I find it hard to believe that the WEVA service persons know the regulations and that they will point out my offense to me in a language I understand.

🙂 This proves how there is no bad thing that does not come with a good thing.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Monday October 29th, 2018

Sugar Coating (Entrepreneur’s Diary #126)

Last week, I learned some new vocabulary – sugar coating.

Following the motto “having a soccer table in your office does not in itself constitute #newwork“.

For me, it is quite clear that, in our social life as well as in our work-life, transparency within the enterprise and the participation of the relevant stakeholders (employees) are very important.


”Sugar coating“ as part of ”culture engineering“?

In my book enterprises are social systems where people work together in different roles for an economic goal – i.e. the goal of offering products and services that they will benefit from to people. Just like the Bavarian Constitution says.

Basically, enterprises are not machines that can be mechanically controlled by “management” that tries to minimize the input and maximize the output. Instead, enterprises are composed of humans.

A Great Team – InterFace Connection GmbH 1986: Celebrating.

That is extremely important. Just like I also consider values such as appreciation, respect and general considerateness when dealing with each other absolutely relevant in an entrepreneurial culture.

#newwork needs just as much communication as it needs civil courage and constructive disobedience. The elite of an enterprise should not be system agents. Instead, they have to be coaches, inspire people and give impulses. And the vast majority of an enterprise also has to try (and be able) to live the values they formulated.

For me, these are the pre-requisites and the basis of #newwork.

Especially in my sector, I discover more and more enterprises that “sugar-coat themselves”. Regardless, they still move at the edges of the German work legislation. And they form their processes and the entire system with an absolute priority on profit. For them, “entrepreneurial health management” is basically just an investment that is supposed to minimize the number of people who call in sick. For them, modern work environments are just a means to save on the rent for office space. And their decor is a sugar coat with great design and life style, both of which are supposed to impress the employees.

If you want #newwork to have any effect, then you cannot make it part of a strategically planned, human resource controlled ”enterprise culture engineering“. Instead, it must be lived by the employees –with intrinsic motivation.

This is what I have been preaching for decades, both because it is my personal experience and because of what I see in many enterprises.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
For more articles of my entrepreneurial diary, see: Drehscheibe!

Roland Dürre
Wednesday October 3rd, 2018

BUSINESS Visualisation

THE BOOK by
Botta/Reinold/Schloss

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

The sub-title

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Monday September 24th, 2018

Disruptive Technologies & Fear of the Future

Afraid of IT?

Are you scared of the more and more speedily growing complexity? And do you long for such buzzwords as agile, resilient, anti-fragile?

I never knew either of those fears. For me, the change was something exciting and I looked upon all the buzzwords as the normal result of more and more nonsense being talked without any responsibility in our times.

Because I believed that, even today, we experience nothing but very ordinary progress. Which, of course, at all times, has massively changed the world and society. Just remember the times between 1918 and 1938! Those were twenty years during which everything was in uproar.

And those times, too, can be summarized quite adequately by the words of Bertrand Russell:


» Every increase in technology will cause the same increase in wisdom, provided it is also meant to mean more instead of less human happiness. «


Because even then, it did not work.

There are at least three exceptional and particularly exciting technological dimensions.

  • World-machine interaction (sensors) instead of human-machine interaction.
  • Total networking of machines (IoT).
  • Learning machines at the roots (artificial intelligence) .

Well, these factors have the potential of new superlatives when it comes to change. Because the machines get exponentially more intelligent, they are connected world-wide and they will no longer need humans as connecting agents between themselves and the world.

Taken together, this will probably change our world and society as much as (or even more than) the triumphal procession of the “individual mobility based on combustion motors“ changed it. And that is an idea that brings even me to a point only slightly short of fear. Because the triumphal procession of the car really had tremendous consequences and it probably minimized the happiness of mankind considerably.

Well, the only hope that remains is that people will become wiser with the same speed as the “technological advancement“ gains momentum.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Saturday September 15th, 2018

Manifesto of Life

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

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

 


 

Manifesto for Life

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

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

Signed by


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

RMD
(Translated by EG)

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

Hans Bonfigt
Saturday May 26th, 2018

Moderne Zeiten

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.