Roland Dürre
Thursday May 31st, 2018

Modern Enterprises (Entrepreneur’s Diary #125)

 

This is my attempt at outlining a “modern enterprise”.

 

If you visit Antarctica, you will see the condition of our planet. We badly need change.

Because: The country needs new enterprises.

If we wish to improve our lives, perhaps even if we just want to survive, we will have to drastically change our individual behaviour and the fringe conditions of our society in politics, business, social and cultural areas.

? In this article, I do not wish to write about social and cultural changes. In politics, I find the current tendencies towards demolition of the rule of law rather critical and dangerous. As far as business is concerned, I think we have now reached a perverse state of affairs that is really threatening. This is where we must start the process of change.

We managed to counter the destruction of our own bodies due to hard labour with the use of machines. Since the industrial revolution, we managed to drastically decrease the number of working hours per day.

Now the trend turns. Our growth ideology promotes an exploitation of both ourselves and others for stupid goals. The resulting burden is on our personal and social life (and on our families). By now, the process has reached a grotesque and fear-inspiring level (all-day care for small children, all-day schools for children and adolescents, several parallel jobs for grown-ups, full-time work for men and women, often in combination with hours of commuting that make the work day even longer, normal work on four or five days far away from home).

One would assume that it is the task of the state to change this situation. However, just like the unions, the state will not be able to do anything about it. Change is a task for all people who are concerned with the economy and who are responsible for enterprises – i.e. for many of us.

We must counterbalance the blind dogma of “productivity” with a new efficiency that promotes less waste (#nowaste) and more humanity. We must meet the wishes expressed by especially our young generation that say our work environments need some modification.

People are not here to serve the economy, but the economy is here to serve the people.

In this sense, our country needs new enterprises. There are quite a few communities and people who are concerned with the concept of #NewWork (#newwork) and who also try it out.

As early as in 1984, Wolf (Geldmacher) and yours truly, as the founders of InterFace Connection GmbH, aimed at establishing a really new and different enterprise. Unfortunately, we (and later I alone) only managed to do this during the first few years. Then the enterprise “grew up” and there were problems. Perhaps the time was not ripe, and/or I made too many mistakes.

Today, I at least feel competent to describe what such an enterprise would need to look like. I also know huge and small enterprises that show that modern enterprises, as described below, actually work quite well. This is true both for service providers (health, hotel, IT, mobility, care for the elderly and handicapped,… ) and the producing sector (bicycle technology, clothes, food, shoes, software, sports articles,…).

I would like to remind the reader that the following text describes many patterns that would be “ideal“ if realized. You will not find them too often in their purest form. It is already quite some progress if an enterprise leans towards the proposed direction.

I would also ask the kind reader to keep in mind that the following impulses are not supposed to be a textbook (which, with this topic, would have hundreds of pages). Instead, it is a lose document that wants to inspire a little bit and make you a little thoughtful!


 

Characteristics

Here are the outstanding characteristics of a modern enterprise

  • Common-good economy;
  • Networking idea;
  • Core competence and core business;
  • Customer and product centred;
  • Structure;
  • Processes;
  • Teams;
  • Infra-structure;
  • Requirements;
  • Culture and values;
  • Dynamics.

These are the important issues I would wish to discuss today!


 

Common-Good Economy

As demanded by the Bavarian Constitution, the priority of a modern enterprise must be to contribute towards the ” Gemeinwohl“. In other words, the products and services provided by an enterprise must, first and foremost, serve the people.

You will find something absolutely worth reading with Christian Felber, who is perhaps the most important protagonist of the common-good economy in the German-speaking world.


 

Common Good beats “Shareholder-Value“.

The common good principle limits entrepreneurial diversity and creativity.

Not everything that can be done is desired.

That is the price we have to pay for the common-good economy.

If you follow this principle, it is, for instance, hard to imagine how an enterprise that develops and produces weapons or mines can be common-good oriented. The service provided by private enterprises who “lease armies” or produce such things as “fighting robots“ – which is quite common today – cannot be in accordance with the common-good economy.

Less harmful examples for a clash between the common-good economy and products are the production of tobacco and e-cigarettes, or a farming concept that ruins the basis of its own existence (the soil and the country) in a predictable and sustainable way. I could make a long list of examples for existing misuse.

However, common-good economy not only takes the customers into consideration. It also considers other stakeholders, such as the employees and providers. The exploitation of employees violates the principle just as much as does the extortion of providers.

Also, in a common-good economy, the balance of “extremities” must be given. It contains and enumerates all the damage an enterprise does to its environment during the production process. The waste of water caused by a cheap production or the pollution of living space through wastewater are good examples.

However, damages caused by the products you make are also part of the extremity balance:
Example: If pre-defined threshold values for cars have been confirmed during examination but if they are then ignored and significantly higher when the cars are actually driving (exhaust scandal), then this is not simply fraud, but a huge damage in terms of the extremity balance by those enterprises that produce and are responsible for the cars.

Social damage caused by the enterprises (along with positive effects, if there are any) are also part of the extremity balance.

Examples: Damage done by enterprises if they grant credit to people although they know full well that those people cannot serve them. Manipulating people towards buying nonsense products (so-called marketing), making grown-ups addicts of gambling and children addicts of sweets, and much more of the same kind that happens every day.

Modern enterprises can follow the common-good principle!!!


 

The Idea of Networking

The networking idea means that an enterprise is willing and capable of promoting a special “added value“ to a number of cooperating enterprises, rather than wanting to develop highly complex system all by itself.

Partnership on the market beats dominating the market.

Example: The goal of a modern enterprise should not be to completely develop and produce an electronic car. Instead, it should provide an important part.

In general, you will want to say.
P (partnership) beats S (superiority)!

This is how, probably, dynamic alliances of small enterprises can make “better products“ that might well be complex and satisfy the basic needs of humans. Yet they can at the same time be sustainable and in harmony with the common good. In other words, they need not be detrimental to other people or, as is common today, to all of us.

Without – as is the practice of the huge concerns – manipulating the customers in advance and telling them what they have to need and then selling them those things.


 


Core competence and core business

There is a clear competence based on which a clearly defined service is offered or an actual product is developed or produced. In this business model, we need modern virtues such as self-restriction and the focus on your own strengths.

Example: An enterprise focuses on the development of electric motors (or perhaps even just an important sub-competence like the necessary software) or (rather than and) the efficient production of the entire motors.

Concentration and focussing beat “do-it-all-yourself“.


 

Customer centred and product centred

The customer and the product must be the centre of all entrepreneurial considerations. Consequently, all employees must work together towards one goal.

If you have a service enterprise, the person who receives the service must be the focal point of all creativity.

Examples: In an enterprise that offers home-care, the people you are assisting must get the optimal support and care. In a hospital or hotel, everything must be about the guests getting well soon or feeling absolutely comfortable. An enterprise that, for example, helps a medium-sized enterprise to cope with all the problems that can arise if you use IT, the service must give the customer time for his core business (the round-the-clock-worry-free solution).

Similarly, an enterprise that makes a product must make sure that all employees work towards making the product even more perfect on a permanent basis (functionality) and nicer (design) and easier on the eye (emotion), simpler, more efficient, less costly, etc.

Examples: You want to develop the electric motor for the low-volt sector, the best gear hub for the bicycle, the best e-velo for travelling, the best pair of shoes for making it easier to stand and walk in. Or to produce new e-cars by combining the simplest and best components available on the market.

If ALL employees in an enterprise are enthusiastic about a core competence and willing to work towards it – then true innovation will happen. The positive consequences are that the employees will identify with the enterprise in a healthy way and that being an active part of the enterprise (often simply called work) will give them courage and joy. That is what a modern enterprise needs in order to survive.

And this is how the customers can get so fascinated by a product that they recommend it in such a way that makes marketing (which basically should be banned) and sales promotion (the very word!) obsolete.

A shared enthusiasm for what you offer will move mountains.


 

Structure

I use the word “structure” as in “organizational structure”. I no longer use the word “organization“, because a modern enterprise organizes itself intuitively. They no longer need disciplinary bosses and an organigram that describes the organization.

A modern enterprise has no hierarchy. There are no panels such as directorate or work council. The legally binding positions of the enterprise (director or chairperson) are more representatives than decision makers.

All teams have a maximum size and are self-organized. They are well connected, interact directly and learn from each other. They are also responsible for their communication with stakeholders (customers, suppliers, …).

All decisions are team decisions. The teams are responsible for guaranteeing quality and time of delivery, as well as efficiency and further development.

Depending on the size of the enterprise, there might be a (small) back office. Possibly, some value adding teams are necessary in a direct or indirect way. Persons who mostly achieve the added value indirectly, however, will not give pre-defined requirements. Instead, they will give impulses and inspiration, or, in times of crises or problems, they help with actual moderation or support.

There are no main departments such as strategy, marketing, sales, human resources, product planning. The same is true for entrepreneurial processes and pre-defined methods. Neither are there any central services that get out of control and suddenly set their own standards. Simply because everyone uses their brains and actively participates. And because the services and products have a quality that sells by itself and because the promotion by those who bought it and tell the tale creates more demand than can be met.

Local & flexible beats central & inflexible, iteration beats planning!


 

Processes

I use the word “process” as in “process organization”. As before, I no longer use the term “organization“ because modern enterprises control themselves intuitively.

In a modern enterprise, you have no processes. Something that worked in practice and well-trained behaviour will always dynamically be adapted to change. Rules and regulations are not necessary, because the idea underlying every employee’s activities is their knowledge, their experience and their mental concepts. They all want to achieve the best goal – the best service for the customer or the best product. Social interaction is determined by values, rather than rules.

Common sense and intuition will beat processes and rules!


 

Teams

They realize the achievement of an enterprise, which means they render the service or make the products the enterprise thrives on. All employees in the teams must know and be competent in the core competences of the enterprise.

Example: There was a time when google only employed people who could actually program. That included administrative and managerial jobs.

Besides the explicit added value, all employees and team members also take responsibility for others

and for all the factors that make success possible.

Example: In a software team, everybody can program. Each team member takes responsibility for important fringe issues such as quality control, configuration, delivery on time, customer interaction,… on top of his original duties. This is how all competences and talents can be used for filling different roles that will contribute towards the success of the team either after mutual agreement or without even having had to talk about it.

Depending on the size of the enterprise and the challenges, it is possible that, apart from the teams that directly cause the added value, others will be necessary for the indirect achievement of added value.

Example: There might be service and moderation teams. The moderation teams are made up of particularly experienced employees with moderation competence. They can help if a team has problems or if a team becomes too big and cannot really cope with how to divide itself. However, their support should always be restricted to moderation and perhaps help towards finding solutions.

The teams are the central elements of the enterprise!


 

Infra structure

The entire enterprise is part of one intranet (software system). Said system provides a wiki or social media system. However, I would not call it “knowledge management“ (the term has been used up). Instead, I would call it a common basis of communication.

Example: A system such as Google+ is very mature and offers all you need. If you have a bigger enterprise, you might consider customizing or even develop your own system. If you have a small firm, I would recommend you take one of the many systems available.

All members and teams contribute towards the content.

Example: A team found potential for improvement at the tag and tells other teams about it.

Ideally, the system should be available to all stakeholders (customers, providers, sympathizers and the competition), usually with reading and comment enabled. Because transparent systems are an advantage for all parties concerned.

In addition to the system, you organize meetings (face2face) at regular intervals and with a reasonable format, for instance barcamps. Basically, the internet only makes sense if you also see each other once in a while.

For the infra structure, the following is true: It always has to be a means to an end, rather than its own end. It must be capable of adapting to changed needs quickly and be absolutely simple. So here is what we need:

No more than the amount we really need and as much as necessary!


 

Requirements

From the business point of view:
The only element we know from classic enterprises and that has to remain intact in a “modern enterprise“ is the strict adherence to business control principles. All teams must have positive balance sheets. If a team has problems, it has to either solve them or ask other teams for help. Budget deficits are only tolerated for short time intervals. If they do not disappear quickly, the team will be suspended.

Any surplus will be used for financing the (low) infra-structure costs. A considerable part of the profit

remains with the team, the team members decide the quota and extent to which profit is distributed among the team members. Dependent on the individual situation, a suitable part remains with the enterprise or/and with the shareholders.

Example: If a team has a problem, for instance with coming up with a decision or with dividing itself into smaller parts, they will contact the moderator. That is also true if a team notices that it has technological problems or quality deficits. The team will choose its own moderator.


 

Structure:

The size of a team will be mutually agreed upon. Depending on the task or challenge, I would say a team should be between seven and fifteen employees.

As the situation requires, a moderator should be able to work for between ten and twelve teams. If you have a small enterprise, for instance only one team, then members of the teams will also play the moderator role.

Example: The enterprise Buurtzorg (The Netherlands, Home Care) has 1,000 teams with ten employees in each team (i.e. 10,000 employees), for which fifty moderators are totally adequate. They have many teams that never need a moderator and some teams that often need a moderator.

If you have founders (which, naturally, is only relevant for a young enterprise, since after a few decades the problem solves itself biologically), then they can, of course, be moderators, impulse givers and inspiratory, as well as achievers.

Example: At InterFace Connection GmbH (which was the predecessor of InterFace AG), I did consultant work for other companies and at the same time contributed towards building up CLOU/HIT (”product owner“).


 

Knowledge:

All experience is shared. This should at least happen online and, if we are talking important experience, also in person (peer2peer or in a barcamp).

Example: Best Practice concepts discovered by one team will be published for all teams on a shared website.

Merkantile clarity, the willingness to support each other and the absolute readiness to share all knowledge are indespensable requirements!


 

Values and Culture

Similar to the entrepreneurial culture, values are also best described by stories. It makes sense to remember the culture onion  (Kulturzwiebel).

Example: There are enterprises where the employees share the belief that all they do and all their decisions should be agile, slim, transparent, pragmatic, professional, uncomplicated and similar things. They also believe that listening is just as important as – or maybe even more important than – talking. The values they live are eye-level and respect. Self-organization, self-responsibility, participation and error tolerance are normal behaviour. They all share the basic assumption that all form of indoctrination can be avoided if you use your common sense and emotional intelligence. And, last not least, they all believe that the “heroes” that every social system will inevitably create will turn exceptional employees into models.

In summary, one could say that a modern enterprise is a social system with a respectable goal that masters the art of not producing system agents. Because diversity beats simple-mindedness. Together, the employees know and understand more than the “boss“ alone can ever know or understand.

Thus, “corporate identity” will not be decreed from above, but instead develops mutually, just like the future is also shaped by mutual agreement. This is possible in a modern enterprise. Bureaucratic detours like holacracy, („Holokratie“ – in my opinion, the concept is crazy) must be avoided. Because the cooperation in teams and in an enterprise must not be dominated by bureaucrazy.

In a modern enterprise, it must be clear that there is no control through set goals and that nobody tries to motivate anybody by explicitly holding out a prospect of rewards by granting material favours (extrinsic motivation). Both measures will not work and in the end they will be more detrimental than beneficial.

The employees are motivated because they experience an environment where they can work with courage, joy and confidence in a self-organized and self-responsible way. This is how an intrinsic motivation will grow. And because they know that they can and will be successful together and that, at the end of the day, the success will be shared fairly and in a self-organized way wherever possible.

In former times, I often invoked the term “fear-free zone” as something an enterprise must realize. Today, I have progressed and now I demand a “zone that leaves room for unfolding“.

If you want to have it, you will, first and foremost, need absolute mutual appreciation of everybody’s value. It must be lived and shown by the models. Most likely, something else must be added to this element, for instance maybe that the expectations are not ”too trivial“.

Culture and values are the “operating system” of a modern enterprise.


 

Dynamics

Since the world changes at an enormous pace and is also perceived as more complex than in former times, there must be a high willingness to change in a modern enterprise. The wisdom of an enterprise should ideally consist of the wisdom of the masses. The right questions are asked before you start working on the solutions.

Nothing is as constant as change!


 

Utopia?

Some readers will probably not understand this article and judge it as utopian. Freedom makes them insecure because they know another world and feel comfortable with this other world. They prefer clear statements by third parties, instead of accepting responsibility.

That has also been my experience with some of the people who started out with me. They considered my ideas utopian. Regardless, my experience with self-organisation and self-responsibility were always excellent.

There is another argument that, sadly, I have to accept:
Huge success, exceptional growth and the thus achieved enormous dimensions will corrupt an enterprise and its culture.
It is perhaps some kind of entrepreneurial natural law.

Well, all I can do is provide a nice counter-argument and a solution:

I notice all the time that huge enterprises that had medium-sized beginnings work better than the concerns I know.

And perhaps there is a counter-measure: You could decree that companies that grow too fast have to divide into smaller ones according to their core competences and determined by the teams that were built inside the company?

Today, I know a number of firms that show that it really works and that you can be very, if not fear-inspiringly, successful with utopian ideas. You can really earn a lot of money with this kind of company for your employees and for your enterprise.

Thank you very much for living and having discussions with me.

RMD

P.S.
I often and gladly give presentations on this topic. I always defend my theories. Strangely enough, though, I seldom have to do a lot of defence work to do. Instead, I usually get a lot of consent and support.
? To my surprise (or not), this support often comes from very conservative leadership personalities.

P.S.1
For more articles of my entrepreneurial diary, see: Drehscheibe!

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Friday January 15th, 2016

RESIGNATION.

Originally, Medusa was a fascinating beauty. Then she went and brought doom into the world.

MEDUSA - Die Göttin des Unglücks

MEDUSA – goddess of Apocalypse 
1895. Water colour on paper. Collection Hand/Nyeste, Glencoe, USA.

The day before yesterday, I read a tweet by :
All this mania around meYou really wonder why not more people become psychologically ill because of this mania.

I find it easy to understand the author of these lines. Some way or other, everything seems to go wrong at the moment.

World Climate:
They have a world conference in Paris. But it is all just for show. Thousands of persons attend. The result is: totally unbinding decisions that are supposed to become binding at some vague time in the future. Or maybe not. Basically, who cares? And in the media, they actually sell this as good news. 
Except: only a few days after the great Paris theatre, Australia approves approves the building of a controversial coal export harbour. It is a once-in-a-century investment. This is how the system reality reacts to nice words.

Europe:

Trapped in the EURO straitjacket, it has long ago become a mere bureaucratic farce. Now it turns more and more into the breeding place for a new nationalism and into a loose federation of anti-democratic national states, close to its own ruin. In the end, nobody will probably lament said ruin. Even the mantra-like confirmation of the existing “shared values” on paper will not help. On the contrary. All you feel is pain. The epoch of free movement of persons was nice, but what is bygone is bygone.

Refugees:
I am in favour of helping persons who suffer. I am also prepared to share and accept a change in our lives and country. After all, change is a very normal thing. And there are many things that have to change, anyway. But I have no idea how that is supposed to work socially. For instance, how are male refugees who have been socialized to be insane in the Islamic Northern African countries supposed to cope with our insane society without becoming even more insane? And vice versa? I have no idea how this is supposed to work. But perhaps they will manage? However, the only chance would be if everybody wants it and everybody is prepared to work towards it (and I mean work hard).

Africa:
After centuries of colonial exploitation (first brutally, then more subtly but no less efficiently), North Africa and probably almost all of Africa is dying. The much-praised “Arabic Spring” brought higher food prices (which in itself is already a terrible thing for the mostly poor people living in this region), war and instability. Poor countries like Egypt are more than bankrupt, the “rich ones” (even the oil exporting countries) have huge state deficits. And there is murder, robbery and arson all over the place.

USA:
They have the “lead” position in our “free value society”. Yet they get more and more corrupt. Policemen prefer shooting African Americans. Shooting people is a popular sport (more than 30,000 each year are killed). It is made possible by sacred weapons legislation, because weapons “protect freedom”. This is not the only reason why a high percentage of the population serve behind prison bars. The tendency is upwards. Of course, the percentage of African Americans is disproportionally high. 
The death penalty is law. Penalty is often confused with revenge. Fighting terrorism has the highest priority and serves to justify all and – what a paradox – it makes terrorism even stronger. Religious fanaticism (creativism is not scarce in God’s own Country…) is fashionable and almost methodical; bigotry and hypocrisy are on the way up. The Republicans celebrate their original thinker Ayn Rand and discuss strange candidates. And soon they will elect a new President. And, in totally democratic fashion, the result will be that the one with the higher budget wins.

Problem Countries:
I will be brief, because otherwise this section would be endless. For me, all the BRIC-countries are problem countries: China, India, Brazil – which means a considerable part of the world population. And quite a few more. In fact, I do not at all understand how they can still function. Judging by what I witness whenever I go there…

Globalization:
Stranger and stranger extremely undesirable things happen. And it does not get any better. See also: TTIP. And at the same time, the travelling circus of exploitation wanders through the continents.

Capitalism:
Capitalism won over communism. The economy of the common good – as it has also been intended by the fathers of the Bavarian Constitution – struggles like a small green plant beside the road to survive against the concrete machinery of the big concerns.

Medicine:
The medicine industry is also a sector where turnover and results beat everything else. Patients are “the means to an end” and help to operate the machines to capacity. As long as the dividends of the high-society hospitals are high enough, nothing else counts. After all, they are the only thing you can still invest in today, aren’t they?   
Witnessing how many elderly persons are subjected to all kinds of medical treatments shortly before they die and how they have to spend their last weeks on earth in inhuman and degrading circumstances increases my personal fear of death. And there are quite a few things no “patient’s last wish” will protect you against.

Mobility:
Attending our AktMobCmp on January, 4th and 5th this year, too, contributed to my growing belief that we have arrived at a total social dead end, and this is not restricted to mobility alone, either, where we give motorized individual traffic a totally insane right of way.

I could easily write a lot more about this. Instead, I will now write about a rather unimportant topic. Yet it is also a topic that, to me, seems to be symptomatic for the entire situation.

Association Football:
Even the nicest irrelevant thing in the world has become something that gives you nothing but a headache on all levels. The Fifa has turned into a corrupt enterprise celebrating its bribe money theatre. The “Summer Fairy Tale” was bought and you cannot get more bizarre than our village club 1860. And only a few days ago they reported another betting scandal (Wettskandal). It concerned bets about the third-class test match between SV Wehen Wiesbaden and Borussia Mönchengladbach II, played in Side/Turkey, where a referee gave two “slapstick penalties”. Nobody knows the referee, but there had been exceptionally high bets on this match with German clubs in Asia. Isn’t that absurd? How nice that the DFB has its secret weapon, the sport-radar company. It is the investigative weapon used for such purposes.
Only a small morsel of hope remains. I am sure we can still hope. That all will end well. And we must or should do all we can for this positive end. However, I feel so impotent that I hardly have any enthusiasm left.
Consequently, I decide to stop it all. From now on, I will ignore everything. And I will try and enjoy my life with relish. And I will go and have my own fun by being more active and doing “my own thing”.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
I took the Medusa image from Wikipedia. It is by Carlos Schwabe, 1890.
(Quelle)

Roland Dürre
Thursday January 7th, 2016

Doing Evil – Punish Evil?

#WEAPON TERRORISM

Barack Obama himself said it a short time ago: more than 30,000 persons die every year due to the use of firearms in the USA (in fact, the exact number is probably more than 31,000). That is more than ten times the number of fatal traffic victims in Germany each year. Obama also understands that both weapons privately and publicly owned are a huge threat to all.

Now that the end of his presidency nears, he wants to do something beneficial for all and improve the US weapons legislation a little. Regardless of the fact that the US constitution sets a clear standard. Consequently, everybody who wants to “banish” weapons in the USA quickly becomes an “enemy of the constitution”.

Colt Model 1873 Single Action, Werksgravur 1893 von Cuno Helfricht

Colt Model 1873 Single Action, engraving 1893 by Cuno Helfricht

Obama has too many enemies who object to all modifications of the right “to own and carry weapons” in the strongest possible terms. They are not only to be found among the ranks of the Republicans – who still follow the strange definition of freedom as initially established by their long-time chief philosopher Ayn Rand. Reading what this lady wrote, you will soon discover that she has never been a philosopher of any standing. In fact, she was more a “Polemoph”. Her texts, after all, are full of shallow polemics and easily refutable.

Another early mind thinking about American rights and conservative power is Wayne LaPierre. He is still alive. A short time ago, I heard parts of a speech by him in the Bavarian Radio. He said:

“The only thing that can stop an evil man with a weapon is a good man with a weapon“.

Here is a “Zeit”- article  on this sentence:
Less than a week after the Newtown massacre, Wayne LaPierre, who has been the voice of the NRA since 1991, stood before the camera. He accused the press and video game producers of being responsible for behaviour such as that seen in Adam Lanza. His speech culminated in the statement that schools, since they are weapon-free areas, basically invited these kinds of attacks. “The only thing that can stop an evil man with a weapon is a good man with a weapon”, LaPierre declared. He offered to have NRA volunteers patrol schools – of course fully armed.

(Note: the 20-year old Adam Lanza killed 26 persons during his attack on a Newton/Connecticut primary school in December 2012, among the victims were 20 children. At the time, it seemed like harsher weapons legislation might be an option. The NRA (National Rifle Association in Wikipedia), however, immediately showed its power and it looks like it is unbeatable since then.

And consequently, the discussion continues. And what is always part of it is
#EVIL and the #EVIL PERSONS

All is their fault and consequently they must be removed and punished. This is the only way to create an ideal world. That is how it sounds, but it is decidedly not as easy as that. To be sure, there are persons who do evil. And you can certainly punish them. But what exactly is good and evil? Do they really exist, the good and bad persons? Meaning the bad persons who come with their weapons and threaten the others? And the good persons who protect the others with their weapons.

And will the world be a better place if the others can protect themselves with weapons against the evil ones? How many persons die in the USA due to firearm use by the evil persons who actually wanted to act evilly because they are evil?

Jesus said: “If you are free of fault, then throw the first stone!” Do these good persons really exist? Isn’t it more like very few people actually want to do evil deeds? And is there anybody who in his or her life never was out of control and thus only the good luck of not having a weapon at hand saved him or her?

The victims of acts of violence have deserved our sympathy and help. But as far as the origin of this violence is concerned, it is not about punishing the evil persons. Instead, we try to better cope with the act and its consequences by bringing revenge to the culprits. You demand that they be hanged because you need to compensate all the misery they caused. More often than not, the society as a replacement commits an act of revenge, thus murdering collectively for greed and revenge.

In the USA, you do not only have the right to own weapons – in a number of states you also still have the death penalty. And to me, this seems to be a particularly unhealthy combination. After all, the death penalty is exactly what I talked about above: murder for revenge. It certainly cannot be a deterrent, neither can it have any educational effect.

Why not force the evil persons to work in camps? Unfortunately, however, I am not only opposed to the death penalty, but also to forced work or service. After all, I suffered under such a thing for 18 months of my life. …

So what to do? We probably should view the “culpableness of humans” in a more differentiated way. Just like brain research teaches it. Because humans are much more complex than has been taught to us so far. And it is basically not at all as easy as it sounds when it comes to responsibility and culpability.

And I continue to dream of a utopia of the “penalty-free society”. And now I will look at the fight of the US president against (weapon) terrorism (BARACK – NRA). However, it is not going to be an exciting match. I already know the result.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
The Wikipedia picture (Revolver) is by Hmaag – own work, 2007.

§ § § § § § § § § § § …. … …

As I see it, ever more doubtful bills are passed quicker and quicker and with less and less diligence. This is true on the Bavarian, German, and European level.

Let me illustrate it using some harmless examples – harmless because probably nobody has ever been truly or severely punished or suffered from any of those bills. And they probably never caused any serious misery.

Among other things, I am talking the Culturally Valuable Goods Law, which they want to reform and make stricter, the Tele-Media-Law with its Disrupter Accountability (which is about accountability when using WLAN) and, last not least, the very controversial Tariff-Unity-Law.

The first of these three bills has been passed on August, 10th, 1955. It was supposed to prevent the total sell-out of German sacrosanct objects of historical and artistic value. It was probably a reaction to measures taken by countries such as Egypt who wanted to make it harder for foreign countries to steel their historic objects of art.

Now they want to modernize it – and even in this phase, they started a debate that, basically, makes clear what nonsense the bill is. For me, the question comes to mind: why do we not take a closer look at these laws before modernizing them? And why do we not ask ourselves what benefit and what damage these laws caused? Basically, we all know that all laws that have no use are detrimental by their very existence. And why are we not courageous enough to just abolish a law that has no use, anyway?

But no: instead of sweeping through, they come up with new useless laws all the time. Because they feel it would be a little too courageous to just abolish laws. But why?

In the same way, the issue of “disrupter accountability” as part of the Tele-Media-Law only causes misery. On my travels, I am often fascinated to see how unproblematic access to the internet is in many countries. But woe to the person who enters Germany …

To me, it also seems that disrupter accountability is one of those topics that particularly appeals to the outcry for security and the distrust culture of our civilized world, but also to the German mentality (German “angst”?). Who of us would want strangers to be given a right to trespass through our property?

The Tariff Unity Law is another example. Another nonstarter. Let me cite from Wikipedia:
Starting with July, 10th, 2015, we have the Tariff Unity Law in Germany. It says that, if labour agreements collide in one enterprise, only the tariff agreement of the union which had most members when the last agreement was signed can be applied. The law was subjected to strong criticism both from unions and the opposition and has been made the object of several constitutional complaints.

There was no chance to see if this law is doing any good. Because, sadly, it will probably never be installed. After all, even the first case it was used on turned out a failure. I am talking the argument between the GDL (Gewerkschaft der Lokomotivführer) and the Bahn AG. Well, basically this tariff argument was why the law had been instituted.

So what happened? The only reason why the opposing parties could agree during the mediation talks (incidentally, the mediator was a county governor from “the Leftist Party”) was that they both agreed that the law was never going to be put into practice. This is how the road was paved for the agreement.

For me, this sounds a lot like:
I write a program for a customer. And the first thing he does is agree to never use it. Well, would that not be a reason to start having doubts about the performance of my program …

Incidentally, there are other bills that have never been applied in practice. One of them is the Employee Involvement Law. In the spring of 2010, the Great Coalition decided to make it very attractive tax-wise if employees get more encouragement to invest in the enterprise. It is a rather complex law – and as far as I know, it has never been applied.
Both this and the aforementioned topics are hardly ever mentioned these days. The same is true for the Road Charge Law – the discussion of which was not that long ago either.

In fact, I believe that legislation is one of the areas where the simple wisdom “less is more” should be applied. But what we do is the opposite. Both the European and the national clouds let one law after the other rain on us. And quite a few announcements will give us pause like thunder and lightning. For instance, Frau Nahles wants a new regulation for “Fake Self-Employment”. She declared that the goal is to make sure everyone in our society actually pays into the social security insurance.

Well, I am absolutely sure that nothing good can come of this. I already look forward to seeing the results.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

I am glad to announce that now the video recording of the great presentation by Bruno Gantenbein at the St. Gallen IF Forum of July, 23rd, 2015, is available on youtube and can be watched by all of you:

The presentation ”Learning in Innovation“ held by Bruno Gantenbein at the IF Forum left me deeply impressed. Many of the audience felt the same. But some who also were very impressed by Bruno’s theses came back with the important reply that what he spoke about was not something “normal people” can live in a “normal life” in the “real world”. Because your normal Jim and Jack cannot really manage it. And it simply cannot be done. Once in a while, it sounded really like people were despairing.

To me, it seems the reason is that
“most people cannot really imagine living in another world than the one we are living in“
and that
“we are no longer capable of distinguishing between what is important and what is not important. Consequently, what is unimportant is dominant in our lives.“

To me, this seems to be the major problem both for us and our society. A degree of external control through marketing and lobbyism as we never had it manipulates us in a totally new way. It is totally different from, but certainly no less dangerous than, for instance, religious indoctrination of persons in the Middle Ages or, if we are unlucky, the manipulation as practiced by the Nazis.

The formatting of our lives through a super-powerful but not tangible system took away our autonomy. Now we get nervous and start talking change. Yet we lack all desire to start another life outside our comfort zone. In fact, more often than not, we are not even capable of imagining such a life. For instance, the strength to develop utopias for the future seems to have left us. Looking for values and visions no longer plays a role in our society. In fact, if we do look for visions, it is actually something others are belittling us for. The attempt to re-create a new “social consensus” is smothered in the very first stages. Consequently, we assume that the status quo is true and there is no alternative.

We no longer have the courage for change. We accept our dependence and are happy to be “enslaved”. Be it by technology or as our social concepts of life (our lies of life) determine it. We believe you cannot live without a car, a TV set and electricity all over the place. We believe in the omnipotence of medicine. That the federal administration must and has to guarantee our security and safety. And that the planet will certainly find a way to survive it all.

Except that so many of the things we take for granted can be easily disproved. There is no absolute security. We experience it all the time. The sudden death of an important partner or a surprise illness totally throw us off balance. We can easily fall victim to some mishap.

But then, there are also harmless examples. The stamp collection we inherited
from our grandfather that was so precious, but for which now not even the wastepaper trader is prepared to pay, shows us how difficult it is with security. Many things that used to cost a lot are totally valueless today. I made the same experience when pay day came for my direct insurance. What a discrepancy between the money I received from what I had expected when, decades ago, I first signed the insurance contract. Instead of the imagined free-hold apartment, the only thing I got for it was a medium-size car…

Regardless of all this, the (alleged) security of our modern financial world suggest for some that we actually are in total control of the risk of our material life through retirement money and savings. Except where will the Euro be ten years from now? Will we be able to solve future problems with it? What will money be worth? Have we not learned a long time ago that “you cannot eat” money? Especially if it is just virtual money and perhaps out of the blue will have to be shortened by the occasional digit.

To make up for it, we capitulate for fear of terrorism. And we are prepared to sacrifice our present freedom for these kinds of mind games. Sacrificing freedom for what we believe is an investment in increased future safety! And we are even prepared to start a modern (crusade) war for it.

This is how we follow the stupid and brazen battle cries of politicians and economic leaders who, more often than not, are no longer sane. We swallow pointless laws they serve us with, regardless of the fact that we know those will do more harm than good. And we surrender before the stupidity of our “representatives”. In fact, I actually yearn for a German or European Spring. But I do not mean one triggered by hunger or poverty like the one in Northern Africa – which inevitably dooms it.

Why do we believe them when our politicians tell us that “without the Euro, there would be no Europe” and that the so-called “Grexit” would ruin us all? Why do the politicians tell us such fairy tales? We know as well as the politicians that the Euro is good for those who stand in the light. And it is detrimental for those standing in the shadow. Just as we all know that the exploitation structures, both globally and within Europe and Germany, must fail or cause conflicts, either in the near or not-so-near future.

But we get the impression that we cannot do anything about it and perhaps that is really what happens. Also, we no longer have the courage to oppose the structures of the administrative and economical systems that rule over us. And we no longer stand up against this, even though we know that human beings – which is we! –, and not system interests that have de-personalized and de-humanized themselves, should be the centre of the society, politics and economics. First and foremost, the economy and the state must serve the interests of the people. Just like it is written in the Bavarian Constitution.

The system of the oligarchy of the parties (Oligarchie der Parteien ) – see Jaspers -rules over us and the morals of mercantile metric in economy sharpens the boundary conditions of our behaviour. Thus, the systemic mills will continue to grind, making the restrictive nets of bondage tighter and tighter. It happens in small portions, which means that we often do not even notice it and almost consider it normal.

Consequently, here is what we need to do:

Let us also get back to remembering that we, as “natural beings” are also part of the “natural world”. To be sure, the “cultural world” we created makes some things easier for us, but it also took a lot from us. It made us lazy. And we forgot that the price we are paying is rather high.

As I see it, we should return – and radically so – to thinking about whether, perhaps, we could also live in other worlds and probably even be happier living in other worlds. As you all know, my favourite example is the “away from the car” and turning towards active freedom through “active mobility”. Yet it is just as important to take a close look at the working and living conditions we subjugate ourselves under, be it in social systems such as families or otherwise. We need to question all that seems self-evident and draw conclusions from the answers. Formerly, one would have said: Destroy what destroys you.

Part of this is also to live a “life in harmony with nature” as Seneca formulated it. And he meant more than just the biological nutrition process and the preservation of the environment. He also meant we need to listen to our inner voice.

After all, Seneca was a great teacher who wanted to help his pupils on their way to become successful and happy persons. So let me finish this article with another sentence by Seneca that might perhaps make it a little easier for us to start travelling towards other worlds:

“It is not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It is because we dare not venture that they are difficult”.

Yet – there is hope. What is currently happening on the internet is actually something I rather delight in.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

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

"Mein Leben nach InterFace ?"

“?? My life after InterFace??”

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

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

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

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

“Creating Usefulness”

Our products and services should be something the market needs.

“Satisfying Needs”

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

“Meaning”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My interests in the board of supervisors will be:

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

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

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

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


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

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Saturday November 3rd, 2012

Seven Utopian Ideas – Seven Theses for the Future.

Since so much I do not understand is happening all the time, I will now write down a few utopian ideas I like very much, indeed. And I am determined to develop a few ideas on each of those utopian concepts that justify and explain why I, personally, do not consider them all that unrealistic.

  • Penalty-Free Society
    It would be nice if there were (almost) no jails. If we could organize living together without having to punish. If we refrained from revenge and instead were to try and prudently minimize the social damage.
  • Violence-Free Society
    What about a society free of physical violence against each other, where regions and peoples can live side by side without wars? It would be nice to treat animals and nature in a reasonable way. It would be nice to have a community where opposing ideas could be dealt with at eye-level in a “domination-free and fair discourse”.
  • Democratic, Tolerant and Transparent Society without Fundamentalism, Dogmas and Taboos
    Education and enlightenment will counter fundamentalism, dogmas and taboos. It is the only way to find and further develop a shared, humane concept of society. Transparency is the requirement for a common way of thinking and deciding, for achieving new insights through consensus. And tolerance is the Ultima Ratio. Intolerance should only be permitted against intolerance, and even there it should be used with extreme caution.
  • A Society of Sharing and Belonging
    I would wish to have a free society. I society where ownership is reasonably distributed and private property is regulated in a responsible and differentiated way. Which includes a particularly sensitive view of “intellectual property”. As far as possible, it should be shared as general knowledge.
  • Humane Economy
    I would wish to have an economy that is not powered by the great financial mechanisms and where all activities and behavior is not determined by profit. An economy that is free from lobbyism and the main purpose of which is to provide humans with products and services that make sense (like, for example, it says in the Bavarian Constitution). I would wish to see an economy where enterprises the goal of which is less profit optimization and more an increase of the common good are appreciated.
  • Media Free of Marketing
    Why are the media always dominated by marketing? Why do I get two units of brainwashing along with one unit of information? Why do some elements think I am so incapable and take me for someone who cannot make up his own mind about his needs? Why does all the world want to manipulate me for their own advantage and my own disadvantage?
  • Soft and Rational Mobility
    How nice would it be to have a mobility without constantly being in a rush and having to fight? Without evil smells and noise? A mobility that serves a purpose, instead of providing us with an emotional arena for ego-boost and self-portrayal? Without burning fossil raw materials? Slower and yet more efficient.

You will say I am a dreamer – but I counter with citing John Lennon in the last paragraph of his “Imagine”:

You may say I am a dreamer
But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

And let me remind you of all those utopian ideas that used to be considered totally unrealistic, yet today are a matter of course: women’s vote, violence-free education of children and much more.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

Up until now, I defined an enterprise as a social system. This is still true. But now I learned more. Or rather:
🙂 I am bold enough to believe I learned more.

Firstly, an enterprise consists of many people. Once, when I gave a presentation in a grammar school, one of the young students said it is a heap of humans. So we are talking an assembly of people. They develop a social life. You get common concepts and a feeling of belonging together.

The “heap of humans” is represented by a juristic person or corporate body, the enterprise and its “structural parts“– the managers and directors. It owns various kinds of things, such as office equipment, machines or buildings. But also patents and special knowledge. It develops a culture and “basic beliefs”, a value system, routines and rituals. Symbols are created and a “brand” is developed.

As opposed to other social systems, such as churches, associations or countries, an enterprise has an economic goal.
It might be – as it says in the Bavarian Constitution – to produce goods and provide services needed by humans at home (and abroad), thereby making a fair profit. But it might also happen that the only interest of an enterprise lies in making profit and it is totally irrelevant if what it produces is sensible or if it produces anything at all. Over the last few years, the latter case increased drastically, not only in the financial sector.

So this was how I used to define enterprises. During the last few years, however, I got more and more aware that something is missing in this definition.

It is the organization of an enterprise. Now that is indeed something hard to describe. Yet in many ways it plays a central role and has profound significance. Organization can work in all varieties of ways.

For instance, it might be democratic or non-democratic. Hierarchical or cooperative. Intensely regulated or chaotic. With a system of punishment or rewards. Creating fear or helping to develop life in various dimensions. There can be internal rivalry or the promotion of collaboration. The system might let people meet at eye-level, or else let them feel who is boss. The organization can influence the enterprise. It certainly has a huge impact on and relevance for the enterprise.

So now here are a few questions:

What exactly is an organization? Even if an enterprise has “no” organization at all, would that again be a form of organization?
Can you change an organization, and if: how??

Will an organization automatically evolve from the routines and rituals lived in an enterprise? Is an organization the sum of all the processes trained and realized in an enterprise?

What is the influence of the symbols an enterprise gave itself? What is the relationship between the culture and organization of an enterprise?

And the more I think and read about it, the more I realize what a complex thing even a small enterprise is. And how it is perhaps impossible to control the change that is always necessary “from the top”.

And how antiquated the understanding of management and leadership you get at universities still is. We are talking an understanding on which (mostly unsuccessful) enterprises are founded and which many enterprises still live on a huge scale.

All I conclude from this is that my firm intention to do a little better should be even stronger.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
For all articles of my entrepreneur’s diary, click here: Drehscheibe!

A radical (utopian?) position!

What we experienced with state enterprises and so-called “companies owned by the people” (VEB) was rather bad. As a matter of principle, we hate monopolies (not only state-owned ones). Privatization and state-ownership also disappointed us. Consequently, here is what I think:

We need shared enterprises for the solution of the great problems and for shaping our future:

  1. These enterprises should be free of competition and organized as co-operative societies. Or else they should be owned publicly.
  2. They must subscribe to the values “fairness” and “transparency”. There must be a hundred per cent guarantee that these values are also realized.
  3. A modern and reasonably controlled (self) management must see to it that these enterprises remain lively, innovative and capable of change.
  4. These enterprises should no longer be restricted by job protection, strike laws, bidding laws when contracts are handed out or other legal super-regulations that make no sense at all.

Note:

An enterprise with guaranteed fairness needs no job protection and no strike law.

As a general rule, public bidding renders catastrophic results. In the days when public bidding still worked, the bidding process was a camouflaged type of cooperation between “state-ownership” and “industry”.

Absolute transparency makes corruption almost impossible and you can do without public bidding.

As to the rest of economy, they should allow and promote free enterprise. Mind you, they should give free enterprise exactly the rules written down in the Bavarian Constitution (Bayerischen Verfassung). Including competition and all the reglations appropriate in a social market economy. But, please, make them modern.

Incidentally, the factors 2 to 3 will be as crucial for cooperative enterprises as they are for private enterprises.
It is also interesting that, especially in German medium-sized enterprises, there are companies that almost enjoy monopolistic status, and still they are efficient and customer-oriented. And they have highly motivated employees and extremely satisfied customers. 😉

Dogmatic class struggle and protection of acquired possessions have no right to exist in a fair and transparent economy. And the same is true for the current regulation mania of several legal branches on several levels that have lost all sense of reality. And to top it: social justice is only possible (if at all) through an “unconditional basic income”. Everything else will swallow us whole, both in terms of bureaucracy and cost.

Just like many more things will have to change in this world. For instance the meaning of the word ownership.

Because in many cases, like mobility, ownership is a synonym for wastefulness.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
I already wrote a little about this twice.  Private Versus State-Owned (Privat- versus Staatsbetrieb) and Public Bidding (Ausschreibung). Many thanks to my readers for all the comments!

P.S.1
Click here Drehscheibe for all the articles of my entrepreneur’s diary!

P.S.2
🙁 I will no longer set “more”, because it eats up the English translations – problem with wordpress and foreign language plugin

Roland Dürre
Sunday November 27th, 2011

My Town

At grammar school, I was allowed to play in the school theatre. To be sure, it was only a (very) minor role: the milk man. But it was a truly beautiful experience.

The piece we played made a huge impression on me. It was a very sentimental story: “Our Town (Unsere kleine Stadt)” by Thornton Wilder.

In a theatre lexicon, I once read there is no second play that mirrors “being human“ as well as this one.

Today, I want to tell you about the “town“ I live in. It is Riemerling, in the “district“ of Hohenbrunn. What makes it special is that the village of Hohenbrunn is about one kilometre away from Riemerling. But Riemerling seems to be part of the larger Ottobrunn.
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