Roland Dürre
Sunday May 14th, 2017

I

About Me

I am now writing a personal article. I see it as a Link in order to introduce myself to persons I meet for the first time. Consequently, I want to tell you what exactly I am doing and who I might be. That is, in addition to the trivial and nice facts that I have a huge family and many friends and that I try to live my life consciously and to enjoy it.


Yesterday:

I am an ex-programmer for whom the time came in life to hang his programming shoes to the proverbial nail. And then I became a more or less successful entrepreneur in the IT sector.

Today:

Today, I am financially independent. I try to serve nobody. And I try to make good use of my time, both in my own and other persons’ interest; that is: I try to live.

Thus, I try to share experiences and knowledge and at the same time to learn as much as possible. My most important commodities are my body and my time. Consequently, I try to spend time only with persons whom I particularly appreciate and like. Just like I also only start “projects” of which I believe I will enjoy them.

Today at noon, in the Großhesselohe Forest Restaurant. Wearing a Trump cap.

As a “learning mentor at eye-level”, I try – above all but not exclusively – to help young people towards becoming a little happier and more successful. I especially like doing this for entrepreneurs and enterprises (above all, I like to help start-ups). My method is to “listen and ask stupid questions”. In small groups, I sometimes organize “dialectic workshops” (something like Fahnenbildung etc.). Mostly, I work without charging anything for it. Special activities, for instance if I help someone to sell his company, cost money.
I gave myself some rules, for instance that no meeting will ever take more than 60 minutes (maximum exception 90 minutes in particularly hard cases). Whenever possible, my appointments are arranged at short notice and as the necessity arises.

On the whole, I try to live following the maxim: “agile, lean und open“. This is a little like the agile manifesto, the application of which should not be restricted to software development.
.
Tomorrow:

I would like to spend the remaining years of my life as an activist for PEACE and SOFT MOBILITY.


Well, so much about me. With compliments!

RMD

Roland Dürre
Sunday March 19th, 2017

Let me Say a Few Words …

Travelling in this world (1984)

What I heard on my travels.
Maybe something to think about.

Although or perhaps because I (almost) no longer go anywhere by car, I travel the world more than ever. And I experience many exciting and beautiful things. In particular in connection with the persons I meet when travelling. From them, I hear so many wise, new and important things.

And whenever I hear something that goes right to my heart, I remember it and write it down. To this end, I created a document that I can read everywhere. This morning, I read some of it while sitting on my Sunday sofa – and here is what I thought:

“What a pity that nobody else can read this“.

So now I am going to copy a few sentences/paragraphs from there – mostly written in the last few days – and share them with you.


Social solidarity is the central issue. It is the only way to make sure we can live together in peace. My formats – both the ones I realized and the ones I envision – aim at promoting tolerance through participation. I want to abolish prejudices and experience the added value of doing things together.
(Simon – speaker, trainer, moderator, doer, founder of the Kempten Founders’ Village, world-improver, expert for the young generation, spouse and father – whom I met one week ago in Kempten. Here is an excerpt from an email he sent to me).

The worst managers are those who are proud because they saved their enterprises from many wrong decisions.
(Founder – I do not remember who said it, I only remember I heard it last week during a business plan award ceremony)

Transition & Speed!
(Stefan – entrepreneur, IT expert, chess and billiard player, father; motto for the next year)

Re-write the script of his life
and
Human – you really have reason to be proud!
(Sociologist – in the Bayerischer Rundfunk; about the social change caused by the young generation)

What if no meaning is found – if only nameless horror remains?
(Walter Benjamin – philosopher who made me thoughtful; he is being listened to and read a lot)

A problem is a state of affairs that cannot remain as it is (and consequently must be solved)
and

Management seminars are “trickster seminars”.
(Gerhard Wohland – @GerhardWohland, learning counsellor; every truth is tomorrow’s error; spoken on the Dornbirn PM Camp 2016)

Optimism is something you always have room for more of – at least as far as I am concerned.
(Andreas Stichmann – Interview partner on the radio, author, word-game prize winner, literature; I just heard him on Bayern2 “radioTexte – Das offene Buch“)


I wish you all a nice and peaceful Sunday!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Sunday February 26th, 2017

Please Treat Humans as Befits Them.

EXPERIENCING rather than LEARNING!

Carnival time will soon be over and “Mariechen” will disappear back in the attic. The Carnival Guard’s Gala Uniforms, too, which should be a thing of the past in real life (just like marching along the Honorary Guards with their bayonets if you are a Visitor of State, which I consider a pitiful tradition) will end under the roof. After all, in today’s digital world, the bodies will no longer be cut with bayonets but with drones. I do not mean this cynically – it is simply the reality in our high-tech world.

In our schools, and by now even at our universities, the evil carnival continues after Ash Wednesday.

This is why I repeat my Credo.

Above all, I want to “experience” and “live through” many things. I want to try new things and “work towards” acquiring knowledge that I need with the necessary depth. Learning in the classic diction without a goal is not my thing.

I know that I am always “part of something” and that I consciously want to belong to a “we”. It is my pleasure to take responsibility, both for myself and the shared social life. To do this, I need no motivation from outside, neither ideological nor financial.

For me, it is important to get feedback that appreciates my value and to find undistorted mirroring. However, I do not want to be graded, because I oppose for my “essence” to be metricized. Because I want to remain a human being, instead of becoming a machine. That is why I also never evaluate other persons or give them grades. In my opinion, being proud of good grades is just as absurd as being proud to be a German.

I would like to live in a society where “coaching” (in the sense of support and help) replaces reigning over others. A world where communication and networks are free and where nobody has power over others and where self-organized networks replace hierarchical structures.

Consequently, we should kiss terms such as “life-long learning” good-bye. Learning is “not nice” and getting graded for what you have learned is “even worse”. I was myself a master of “knowledge bulimia” (a better term would be: “knowledge fraud”) and know what I am talking about – also because I am a father of seven.

So it is only a logical consequence that we must liberate our children from the learning and grading stress. I was actually quite pleasantly surprised to hear that even Marlies Tepe, the director of the Union GEW, wants to  abolish all grades at school – from primary school through grammar school. Unfortunately, I also had to read that there is considerable opposition against the proposal.

I am in favour of it!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Thursday February 23rd, 2017

Aphorism: HUMANS & LEADERSHIP

 

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

Two theses

(I)
If “hierarchical structures” dominate an enterprise, then a culture of “agile, digital, lean, open, social“ is not possible. There might be a few exceptions for start-ups founded by a private person, but they only prove that the rule is in general correct.

(II)
Human beings feel comfortable in social systems like enterprises if they experience, respect and appreciation and if they can take responsibility in a spirit of courage and joy. The counter argument that this cannot be true for persons who have been trained in obedience and dependence is not in accordance with my concept of humanity and consequently not valid for me.

I defend these two theses vehemently.

Two ideas

(I)

A good rule for entrepreneurs is

“Only employ persons of whom you believe they have at least the potential to do the job better than you yourself would be able to do it!“
I (almost) always stuck to this rule at “InterFace Connection”. And my experiences were very good. It is also true at Google and probably one of the factors that made this enterprise so tremendously successful.

(II)
If you have employees who, following (I) are “better” than their bosses, then how can a system and its agents come up with the idea that control “from the top”, central ideas, set rules, division of labour, set and structured processes and a formal systematized communication might be better for the enterprise and its stakeholders (employees, customers, shareholders, ..) than an agile self-organization of the teams and informal networks. Especially in times of rapid change!

Incidentally, there is also a method (or rather: a procedure or culture) called: “Kanban”. I believe that both theses and ideas are true for all areas where humans work together, be in as a software engineer or as an elderly care nurse.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Tuesday February 21st, 2017

MORE MONEY FOR ARMAMENT …

Says the USA as they look towards EUROPE …

 

 
 
 

I find it terrible

  • After all, up to now I believed it is the world-wide goal of everybody to wage fewer wars, kill fewer people, produce less misery and build fewer weapons.
  • And that weapons always will only be useful for business in the weapons industry.
  • In the last fifty years, I myself never knew a war that solved any problems. On the contrary.
  • Side effect: now I know that Greece (relative to its gross national product) is the EU country that spends most money on armament (2,4 %) and Germany (thanks to the strict rules formulated by the “federation partners” when we were “re-united”), least (1,2 %).
  • Just like I always also hear that, among all the EU countries, Greece is worst off and Germany best off.
    🙂 Honi soit qui mal y pense!
  •  

     
     
     

And here are some questions.

  • Why does not EUROPE counter by asking the USA to spend more money on climate protection?
  • How does EUROPE expect to become more independent if they do not vehemently oppose the amoral request of the USA, rather than agreeing like an obedient sheep?
  • What exactly are the shared values of the USA and Europe that need to be defended?
    (Would you like me to guess? I cannot think of very much.)
  • Does the NATO really have to manoeuvre in the Baltic States and already plan the next manoeuvres in Poland?

In particular, I do not understand it because EUROPE, just like the USA (and the same is true for the enemy RUSSIA) are bankrupt with permanently increasing debts. And besides, these nations, just like the entire world, have totally different concerns that they really should get worried about. It is the “fear that eats up the soul” and truly fills the heads of some old men from a world long gone. That makes me sad.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Sunday February 19th, 2017

THE CAUSA BÖHMERMANN

About Alternative Facts, Fake News and False Logic.

My last article POST-FACTUAL TIMES reminds me of the “issue” Böhmermann. At one time, he made a (probably poor – but that is not the point!) joke in lyrical form in which, not following logical rules, he intentionally came to wrong conclusions.

For instance, he assumed that people who used to work in jobs that gave them the opportunity to do so – for instance shepherds – had sex with their animals.

I can imagine that this assumption may well in some cases be correct – after all, I learned in religious education that sodomy was a particularly evil and unfortunately much practiced variety of whoring. And consequently, it is totally just that it will be punished as a deathly sin before God on the day of judgement. And you will only write down such strict laws if you have reasons to do so!

Then he wrote a poem that suggested that a well-known Turkish politician might well also have done it at a time.

In other words, Böhmermann constructed a joke by implicitly and intentionally in an exaggerated way coming to false conclusions that everybody knew were false but that were still intended to be hilarious. Perhaps he should have taken cigarette adverts as a model and added the following note as a sub-text.


Attention! False Logic!

Just because all humans, that includes us, somehow had forefathers that were involved with farming or raising animals and because some of them might perhaps have been sodomites, this does not necessarily mean that we all have to be “animal abusers”.


Nothing more. Regardless, the “cabaret performer” had to pay a rather high price.

On the other hand, if he had described something that can be proved (or even something that was based on wrong information) …

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre

POST-FACTUAL TIMES

A short time ago, a friend of mine told me

“that he no longer listens to the BR news and also no longer watches the official news of the state-subsidized stations ARD and ZDF. He also no longer likes the classic newspapers such as SZ or FAZ (he never mentioned BILD) and consequently feels comfortable without them. To make up for it, he now likes watching programs such as Heute-Show and the Anstalt (both of them on ZDF, but that is pure coincidence).


Advertising!
Reading IF-Blog – it’s a must!!!


In addition, he reads a few blogs such as IF-Blog or FEFE. Along with reading the Postillon, that – supplemented with the occasional visit of the cabaret with programs such as Markus Barwasser (Pelzig) – is absolutely sufficient for him to be well informed, also in the sense of democratic responsibility.

My first reaction was to smile. But then I understood that some truth is hidden behind that statement. I even found an explanation:

If a cabaret performer or blogger relates theses or facts, he is well advised to do some serious research and groundwork before publishing them. Otherwise, he might easily be heading towards problems in our post-factual world. The “normal press”, however, never seems to have had that problem.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

In the autumn of 1985, I was the first to bring this book to Munich after having bought it at the Uniforum fresh from the printing machine.

A short time ago, I retrieved it. It reminded me of having been at Uniforum conferences with friends of mine in February 1985 (Dallas, Texas) and in 1986 (Anaheim, California). It was great. In those days, the Uniforum was the one and only UNIX conference in the USA. We were thousands of enthusiastic visitors from all over the world. I experienced a huge atmosphere of dawn at the time.

There was also a small sensation. Copies of the very new book on C++ by Bjarne Stroustrup (see left on the picture) right from the printing machine were delivered in the middle of the conference and sold directly from the palette. I bought a few of them and took them home. They were probably the first C++ books to ever reach Munich.

This brings to mind: in the 1980s, I constantly gave presentations on software development. At the time, the change in programming was the central topic, and the catchword used most often was OBJECT-ORIENTED.

I also wrote quite a few presentations on “OBJECT-ORIENTED” for IT managers. Among them was a “high-up” at Siemens AG in UB D at D AP (or was it already SNI at the time?). He was asked to tell his “team of leaders” what exactly OBJECT-ORIENTED meant. Afterwards, he said the presentation had been well liked – but it certainly did not really make a difference.

Today, everybody programs object-oriented. In fact, it is even a little too much for my taste.
Later, I gave up my “programming career” and became something like an “entrepreneur”.

Now I was no longer preaching the gospel of technology. Instead, I spoke about leadership and management. And in particular, I talked about the “smart” pentagram that consists of the terms “agile”, “digital”, “lean”, “open”, “social” and how they interact.

For instance, I related why courage and joy in those working for an enterprise is also a central requirement for economic success. And I also told the people how necessary mutual respect and appreciation of each other are (not only) in an enterprise. Why meeting at eye-level and shared participation and responsibility are the basic requirements for innovation. And why humans are not resources. And how change can only happen in an agile environment.

“Pro Agile“on the DOAG Podium /Yearly Conference in 2013.

I explained why processes, rules and bureaucracy are obstacles to the necessary change. I also explained what a huge damage Taylorist developments cause in an organization and how much waste (as opposed to “lean”) is created by an overwhelming administration and the rising bureaucracy in an enterprise as a consequence of those developments. And that it is totally useless to have endless meetings.

And that departments such as “human resource”, “customer relationship management”, “marketing”, “legal service” etc., basically do not guarantee the success of an enterprise. In fact, they come closer to endangering it.
And that the young and well-educated persons of today prefer working in an enterprise the central element of the culture of which is trust.

I can easily give you good reasons for all I said. After all, I myself was part of the scenario when we software developers made a (as I see it: central contribution) towards a new understanding of work that now spreads more and more to other sectors (#newwork). And this is how it helped to change the world.

I wonder if my call for “agile, digital, lean, open, social” as a “smart” pentagram will do any good? I am not sure.

I also got the impression that my audience mostly saw it in the same way. In fact, it would make me happy if we in the German Industry were to talk less about industry 4.0 and more about entrepreneurial culture. Be it 2.0 or 5.0.

Even the big bosses must understand that our enterprises and we ourselves can only survive well if we are prepared to question what we used to consider certainties and to change what we were used to.

Of course, I understand that it hurts to question hierarchies, cherished sinecures and structures you have become used to. Especially if you are the boss. But please keep in mind: we no longer live in the times of Henry Ford’s conveyor belts and even the prime time of the Chicago slaughterhouses is coming to an end.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
I took the star from the central media archive Wikimedia Commons.

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Roland Dürre
Monday May 18th, 2015

If there is no maintenance of infrastructure – or …

Amtrak-Zug auf der Cardinal route fährt ein in die Culpeper Station

Here is what happened when the Amtrak train drove into Culpeper station on the Cardinal Route.

Why Amtrak Trains are in Such a State of Disrepair …

This weekend, there was an SZ article about the poor condition of the US state railway Amtrak.

The motivation for this article was another report about the train accident where a regional train went off its tracks between Washington and New York. Seven persons were killed, 200 more were injured, some of them severely.

The train drove twice as fast as permitted. And the accident could have been prevented, if…

I would like to recommend both articles for reading. Regardless of increasing passenger numbers, the infrastructure of the railroad system is suffering neglect in the USA. There is no money for necessary safety measures.

Especially the Republicans remain quite unmoved. They are the ones who cannot understand why you would need a railroad, anyway. After all, we are living in a time after the invention of the car, so taking a train would be a waste of time, wouldn’t it?

This is what it is like in “God’s own Country”.

Shouldn’t we count our blessings?

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S
.
I took the picture from Wikipedia, it was taken by jpmueller99 from Shenandoah Valley of VA, USA.
This image, which was originally posted to Flickr.com, was uploaded to Commons using Flickr upload bot on 22:16, 26 October 2008 (UTC) by TheCatalyst31 . On that date it was licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.