Friday, December 31, 2010

... a few thoughts for a finishing year

2010 is just having an open gap of a few minutes. ChrisBrogan has inspired me just a couple of minutes ago to do similar (not just copy & paste).
For me there are also three ways to reflect about the past 365 days.

Put down your thoughts
Tell the world your accomplishments
Do a PresencingStatus (as learned by OttoScharmer)

    1. Thoughts about the past and how they connect to this very last day of the year
    • This morning I learned from a mate in the Singularity Network on Facebook that he got Lyme-Disease (after 1.5 year undiscoverage). Reminded me of my own fight with that some eight years ago - and the power of experts who know only about their specific fields. Enabling the open flow of knowledge sharing will be the future.
    • After the new director, Dr. UlrikeHessler, had taken over operation of the Semperoper. A personal visit to the Day of the Open Door at Semperoper, and got hooked on something my mother some twenty years back tried to teach me. The learner only learns when the learner is ready to learn!
    These small unnoticed events are what I am passionate about, helping friends and clients. These kind of events fill me with grace when I see that felt problem emerges into a future chance due to minor interventions. So in the end it is a win-win-win situation!

    2. This year's two accomplishments that have taken place are around my broader vision to "create a place where people truly can play to their strengths and skills" (as stated on 14th of January 2009 up at TeamAcademy in Jyväskylä during a leadership workshop, verified by a dear friend).
    • In spring we managed to get a 800 sqm ballroom for three months (for free (!)) to prototype new forms of working, which is called CoWorking. All started with somebody asking one (!) day before Xmas in 2009 whether I would know some space to run a birthday party for 50 people. He asked me, because I am somewhat connected in the city of Dresden, whether I would know some place. I couldn't (rather let the problem stay on his side, as well as the solution) and told him a name that is active in the party life in Dresden. The story in short seen here. It turned out that this guy happened to come over to our office, LockOffice, back in January. I asked whether the other one had phoned him. And yes, he had done so and they had the party in the ballroom (that actually was not open to the public). This arouse my curiosity even further when I was sort of forced to leave the LockOffice end of April. So we moved into a beautiful ballroom in the first week of May, and called it CoOrpheum. The story ended now as a new tenant entered the game after the creatives had created the foundation and visibility as well as put some "stones" of the past out of the way (in conversations with city officials). 
    • The second accomplishment I remember very well of the past year went jointly together with the visit of RayKurzweil at the 4th Dresden Future Forum, where I held a workshop together with RainerWasserfuhr about LongBetOne. We met RayKurzweil in person and he wished us all the best for the ambitious goal of implementing a European hot spot on the emerging technological advances, SingularAcademy. I deeply have to thank MarcellaGaeb and ThomasKoeplin for making this all possible!!!
    • People whom I am thankful to have met
    3. The final PresencingStatus of the year 2010:
    • Good: staying with persistence on track to make my vision to become reality 
    • Tricky: dealing with all the turmoil around the CoOrpheum, within the existence and the closing
    • Learned: the right people who can help come up sometimes from areas where you least expect them
    • Action: take the job I have been offered the week before Xmas, I have the gut feeling this is a fit for both sides

    Saturday, December 25, 2010

    "Loose" in order to Win

    A very warm Merry Xmas to all of you who are reading these lines!

    The following is taken from a six-month old conversation on the PI Community where I asked other members about their experience with group dynamics, especially when they felt that the social field "crashed" (in a sense that it couldn't provide the higher purpose it had been initially meant to be).

    Just thinking about social fields, I ask myself, wether they just don't crash and rather evolve into something new.
    It only can crash if you hold on something. Image a cup of tea. You normally hold on to it drinking your tea. Does it fall down, it crashes - meaning you can't drink your tea from it any longer.
    Opening your mind and heart to the future that emerges from the fact that the cup is now not usable for holding fluids opens new paths.
    What do you think? What if this metapher applies in other context as well?

    Friday, December 24, 2010

    Go Slow to See Far and Close - Merry Xmas and a Good Time

    Over the past week some amazing things have happened in my life. What I never thought to become true, bringing the idea of TeamAcademy to Dresden has been called upon me from quite a different place in Germany ("Thanks a lot for the phone call on Friday last week!"). As many of you know I do quite an amazing lot of things ranging from becoming an opera enthusiast, harnessing my helping capabilities for individuals and organizations (which is not always easy admit), being active restlessly in different social networks ("When does he work when he jumping around everywhere and nowhere?" - that is one question I get again and again, friends, clients, even people I just know via the web), connecting people when I see the potential of them working/ talking together for the greater good, .... and countless more. It sometimes disturbes people what I do, as it seems just too much for others.

    Should we therefor stop to being ourselves?

    Everybody has his or her very special super powers. Mine have evolved actively over the course of many years. It has become networking across boundaries (bringing people together for good who would never know about each other), multitaskingly "swimming" in different ponds of knowledge (that on the surface from what you see, read, and experience in your life seemingly are un-connected).

    It all boils down to create an environment where people can thrive to what they really are. ViktorFrankl, survivor of the Holocaust, who's name I read in OttoScharmer's book "Theory U - Leading from the Future as it Emerges." with a short inspiring speech.

    How to get there? Can I do it, and how should I get to put my inner strengths joyfully at work?

    Take the "Minimalist Workday" as my present for the coming future.

    There are ways to master the art of time, and the best way to do that is to become a hunter. A hunter spots opportunities and greets them ... this, above all else is the winning strategy for working less.

    Sunday, December 19, 2010

    Schlummernde Venus - ein stilles Geheimnis


    Schlummernde Venus von Tizian und Giordione (1508-1510)

    Sonntagnachmittag um Fünf - ein trüber Tag mit Matsch und Schnee neigt sich dem Tagesende zu. Ein Besuch im Hygienemuseum ist abgesagt. Was also tun mit  dem Tag?

    [hier kommt noch ein Bild hinein] - welches wohl das passende ist? [Tip bitte in den Kommentar schreiben]

    Ein Gang in die Gemäldegalerie vielleicht? Ein Katzensprung und doch Jahrhunderte entfernt. Was außerhalb der Stadt die Chipwerke rund um Infineon und Global Foundries darstellen (Hightech von heute, immer kleiner immer nanohafter) ist hier innerhalb des Gottfried Semper erschaffenen Raumes eher mit Monumentalität zu bezeichnen.

    Welche Informationen sind in den Bildern verborgen, die wir beim Betrachten derselben aufnehmen oder auch unberücksichtigt lassen? Das Ergebnis ist zu sehen als Bild, jedoch ist uns auch klar, was der Künstler im Kopf dachte, als er vor der noch frischen und leeren Leinwand stand (oder saß, wir wissen es oft nicht)? Was hat er wahrgenommen, wer hat mit ihm gesprochen und was trieb ihn an?

    Was mag es bei der "Schlummernden Venus" gewesen sein? Was wollen uns die Maler mit ihrem Werk "sagen"? Es scheint etwas Besonderes zu haben, denn -wie unschwer zu erkennen- ist das Parkett an dieser Stelle des Raums sichtlich abgenutzter. Sex sells, or better Sex pulls ;-)

    Wie mit vielen Dingen, die uns täglich umgeben, sei es Kunst in Form eines Ballettstücks, einer Oper, eines Bildes oder auch nur eines Services, den wir im Geschäftsleben erfahren: das was wir sehen ist nicht das was dahinter steckt.

    Der kreative Prozess bleibt uns weitgehend als Empfänger, Betrachter oder Genießer schlichtweg verborgen. Wir versuchen unsere eigenen Erfahrungen und Sichtweisen mit dem Erlebten in der Verbindung zu bringen. Doch was passiert, wenn wir jemanden anderen treffen und wir über das Gesehen sprechen?

    Eine ausführlichere Erklärung ist hier zu finden. Wann machen wir uns im realen Leben den Aufwand, nach den Hinter- und Beweggründen von Ereignissen zu fragen?

    Viel hat sich seit dem 16. Jahrhundert nicht verändert - damals fehlte das Buch, heute der Mut neue Medien für das Erfragen von Hintergründen zu nutzen. An der Zeit wäre es, denn sowohl Buch als auch Web sind als Wissensplattform reichlich vorhanden - nur fehlt uns heute oft die Zeit (so hat man zumindest das Gefühl).

    ... und nun heißt es, GEHEN (denn der Gong wird geschlagen hier in den Räumen der Gemäldegalerie).

    Danke, dass ich einige Gedanken in dieser anderen Umgebung zu Papier bringen durfte :-)

    Sunday, December 12, 2010

    Dido and Aeneas - First Premiere for Myself;-)

    Some thirty (30!) years back my mother tried to introduce me to opera (actually there was no opera house in Mainz where I come from) - it never quite connected. It took the arrival of the new intendant and some turbulences in the web (on the new website of Semperoper) to reconnect my latent interest.

    The newly set up Semperoper Junge Szene had today its second premiere at 12 o'clock (High Noon ;-)) with "Dido and Aeneas". On Friday I checked for tickets - bad luck. So I thought, "Why not try on Sunday - if not getting tickets, there is always the Albertinum or Residenzschloss to enjoy culture" (on a year-round pass (!)) - off into the icy and still melting snow (more grey watery mud) at half past eleven.

    (Un-)surprisingly quite a crowd awaiting and no ticket again - but as one calls it in Ultimate Frisbee "No disc is lost until it really touches the ground!"- so I waited in line in hope for some returning tickets together with a few others. And got a TICKET:-)

    Due to standing in line and my mind focused on getting a ticket I forgot about catching a booklet (to pre-inform myself about the performance). A bit of insight on what would seen on stage I had learned via the Facebook group of Semperoper Junge Szene.

    Written in the 17th century it took no big deal to transfer the story into the present situational context of a girls boarding school. Even the feeling of the giggling girls came over quite well. What started with a stare on the unquestionable iPhone (probably reading about the message of her boyfriend breaking with her) emerged into a plot where three time-layers (IMHO) intermingled: antique, medieval, and present.

    The girls coming from a winning tennis match, about to party with the landscape of thoughts quite open ("white canvas") they see their companion in grief, try to engage her in their party feelings (which does not really work in the beginning). Not long and they put the story of "Dido and Aeneas" into life.

    What are the take aways from this morning? I'd like to share what my PresencingStatus:
    • Good: dared to get a ticket, another opportunity to learn about opera (step by step), feeling the power of the crowd, a beautifully created booklet setting up emotions (racing us back to the days of our own school days, remembering the pillow fights ;-))
    • Tricky: honestly not having read deeper into the story beforehand, not used to understand opera voices (I guess for me in German it is even worse ;-)) 
    • Learned: sitting in the middle of the watching crowd let me experience the voices of critics (writing for a newspaper), and enthusiastic fans, never go to a opera without having prepared and learned about the plot (!), staying seated till the very end opens up new paths of seeing the world 
    • Action: book wish for Xmas, Reclam Opera Guide and Ballet Guide, revisit "Dido and Aeneas" a second time
    Still in the learning phase of understanding deeper the inner play of opera, and thankful for any comments if you have seen the piece as well.

    PS.: In English in honor to the protagonists of the play who have sang in English.

    Sunday, November 28, 2010

    Mornings - time of stillness, to think

    This morning, with rising sun and snow on roofs, stumbled across a rather old piece of writing of
    myself. A  bit more than a year ago I reflected on some questions Otto Scharmer had asked earlier.

    One would say, not much has happened since.

    Quite a lot has actually happened, sometimes subtle and emerging over time. In September last year the CoOrpheum (the first coworking space in Dresden was not yet an issue. The study on the culture and creative industries in Dresden had not been started yet. Meeting Markus Stegfellner from the Realexperiment Sinnvoll Wirtschaften in September this year, doing a WalkToTalk through the Großer Garten in Dresden. Working on bringing the "dots together" of the past has emerged into the WikiWall. Getting to know more about the Semperoper (due to a "storm in the net").

    Today at 1st advent it is time to reflect what has happened over the span of the past year. A lot, sometimes I have the feeling it may be too much and clear to be seen by others, especially the value it has brought into the conversation.

    Holding the tension is rather tiring even though this has been my philosophy in life to create the containers or -better said- social fields where others can act in following their own personal strengths, goals, and visions.

    A sunny advent to all

    Ralf

    PS.: Thanks a lot for all your support and serendipity connections.
    I got to know people like BetseyMerkel, ValdaWilson, MarkusStegfellner,
    RayKurzweil, OttoScharmer, HalaMakarem, PhilippeGreier,
    ConstanceWolter, MichaelSmolens, DavidHawthorne, AndreasBeyer,
    CharlesVanDerHaegen, VilleKeraenen,  DavidOrban, BobRichards, ...

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010

    S... in the City? Or is it U..?

    Following OttoScharmer a professor of MIT Sloan School of Management for some two years now. The initial spark to get interested was buying the book Presence during the System Dynamics Conference 2007 in Boston. Form the first page it hit me like a striking bold - it resembled my own life. A year earlier I attended a workshop, sponsored by BMW, to grow my personality (quite a still thinker not as outgoing and furiously fighting for my points - so my boss back then thought), and had come back from the year earlier SD Conference. This caused me to tell my life story (which was done by every participant of the workshop) in causal loops - which I must admit looked messy, or at least not linear!

    Isn't it that new things often emerge out of chaos? Where nothing is the same as yesterday and surprises interchange?

    2002 the sheer chaos overcame Dresden when the waters of the River Elbe spread across it. New connections, friendships, ways of seeing the things emerged. The physical help back then was the main driver for change, the use of Web 2.0 was not yet really up, only rough databases run over a web interface enabled the helpers and help seekers to communicate.

    Eight years have passed now. It was 2008 when I sensed that something profound was boiling under the surface of this area of Germany. Some events, like the closing of the Henkel plant in Genthin, some German car manufactures got in trouble (and with them their suppliers), in a way were the first signs of something bigger emerging.

    Again it became quite obvious that everything is coupled with everything and the people, US, are just entrenched in the middle. Because of the pressure and urge to earn a living we often don't have a chance to see the larger picture. The result was that the old and formerly successful strategies for the organizations to get out of trouble re-surfaced in 2009. Cutting personal, close their channels to the public and customers to a minimum, only to work on what their leaders on the C-levels perceived perhaps as the one and only cure.

    However in eight years quite a lot has happened and the social net, also embedded in the Web 2.0, plays a more relevant role than ever in the growing interconnectivity. Today it is no problem to chat with somebody from South Africa, and in the meantime get Facebook messages from friends in Italy or Australia.

    Whilst the business organizations are still struggling to keep their problem solving knowledge to themselves initiatives like CoWorking, DesignThinking, PresencingInstitute, TeamAcademy, or LockSchuppen, CoOrpheum, NeonWorx (the three latter ones from Dresden), and more are springing up all across the globe. Their aim is to make the ground fertile to enable the large-scale shift of how we will live and work tomorrow.

    Something however is different here in the city, which has a rich heritage of culture and industry alike. Bombed and burned to the bone in the last days of the war 1945, they city's collective memory is still focusing on the days that most of us haven't seen and experienced personally. Could it be that this is has a major impact on keeping just in a more or less "closed circle" and seeing inwards?

    I guess not, even though the change is small and during my study time of economics you would call this "weak signs".

    Looking deeper there happen things that no one would have seen a year ago. The director of the University of Leipzig for example will be for the first time a woman and here in Dresden the first intendant of the Saxonian Opera Semperoper is for the first time, after several hundred years of male dominance on the top, also a woman, Dr. UlrikeHessler.

    Not only the outfit on the website has changed for Semperoper but their various ensembles are moving into a space where lots of other organizations don't dare to step in. On Facebook the SemperBallett and the JungeSzene are moving into the sphere that is not common for artists. It is great to see the flourishing conversations, and upcoming dialogue on their fanpages.

    Congratulations to the whole team and a courageous leader on top who was willing to step into new areas of doing - Dr. UlrikeHessler !!!

    May it be the starting point for something bigger that is piling up in the beautiful city of Dresden? I am quite positive especially as I get some surprising events concerning my own vision about the place where I now live again :-)

    So long and just think next time when you get a tweet or Facebook invite from somebody you may have not even seen or talked to, take the present of surprise for granted and be happy :-)

    Cheers, and so thankful for my "Australian Sparks" (Marigo, whom I know already through meeting twice by syncronicity in Boston, and Valda whose tweet on the OpenDay at Semperoper after enjoying the ballet team in the training room for quite some while has initiated my own action)

    Ralf

    PS.: It all started with a furious discussion about the new website design of the Semperoper - and as always this kind of action and energy driven into it made me curious to understand the underlying currents and mental models.

    Saturday, November 6, 2010

    Ziehen von der Zukunft her - Reset!

    Einige provokant klingende Werke hat RichardFlorida in die Welt gebracht, wie "The Creative Class", "Who's is Your City". Der umtriebige Wissenschaftler, der sich seit Jahrzehnten mit dem Phänomen nachhaltiger Stadtentwicklung für die zukünftigen Herausforderungen, beschäftigt war tief getroffen von Pittsburgh. Dort lehrte er an der renommierten Carnegie-Mellon-University und inzwischen an der Rotman School of Management der University of Toronto.

    Nun ist sein neuestes Werk auch in Deutsch zu haben und ich habe es in einem (fast ;-)) Zug verschlungen - und wer JaneJacobs bereits kennt (seine langjährige Mentorin), der wird unwillkürlich sagen, "Das ist alles nichts Neues!"

    Was für Dresden daraus mitgenommen werden kann, am Montag heißt es wieder Workshop im Rahmen der Prognos Studie zur Kultur- und Kreativwirtschaft in der Stadt Dresden. Ein paar Hintergründe sind auf dem KonzeptSpeicher von SebastianSchwerk zu finden.

    Meine "provokanten" Fragen:

    Wie sieht der Ablauf einer solchen Studie in Crowdsourcing aus?

    Wie schnell ist die Studie erstellt, wenn alles über TitanPad abgewickelt wird?

    Wieviel mehr Wirkung auf die Stadtplanung und Entrprepreneurship-Landschaft Dresden ergibt sich?

    Wie lassen sich die zahlreichen CrowdFunding-Initiativen wie Seedmatch und StartNext aus Dresden integrieren?

    Welche Relevanz und monetäre Auswirkung (in positiver Weise) zeitigt die frühzeitige Verknüpfung über Facebook und Twitter mit Initiativen wie z.B. CoWoDDev, NeonWorx, DresdenExists und  in anderen Städten, wie z.B. Graz wo bei der I-Know auch Communardo GmbH aus Dresden zugegen waren?

    Wie relevant ist der Besuch von Gästen (CharlesVanDerHaegen und VilleKeraenen) von TeamAcademy am kommenden Dienstag, 09.11.2010, im CoOrpheum für die Gestaltung der Zukunft von Entrepreneurship in Dresden?

    Lassen wir uns alle von den Ereignissen der nächsten Tage überraschen - Keep your Mind Open and Grab the Opportunity as it Approaches  :-)

    Monday, November 1, 2010

    Inner Voice Cutting from the Edge

    Over the past two days, really amazing things happened in Dresden. One of which was the ballet performance "The Inner Voice". Jiří Bubeníček (back at the time Principal Dancer at the Sermperoper Ballett) decided to build the story around a sculpture of AugusteRodin, and to use the open space interior of the Albertinum to allow the flow of action, thought, and reflection. That opened up fully new and unexpected views - for the audience and dancers, musicians alike

    Impressions of the days. The video of the performance can be found here (timeless).

    Besides the focus on the art itself, ballet is always a form of showing great leadership. Especially in the context, where the audience is almost sitting on your lap and standing somewhat in the way, there emerges free a floating of action just drawn by "The Inner Voice". Adaption to moving surrounding (the audience), with just a few fix points. Amazing in which brilliant way all the participants of the performance played up to their highest possibilities.

    Wondering in thought through the three performances over the weekend I followed the following short speech of ViktorFrankl has come up in my mind. I wonder what role our "inner voice" plays in finding our very personal "search of meaning" in life.


    Sunday, October 31, 2010

    50 Year Truth - Aldous Huxley

    AldousHuxley interviewed by ParisReview in 1960 had some thoughts on education and creativity that hold true still today.


    INTERVIEWER
    What about creativeness in general?
    HUXLEY
    Yes, what about it? Why is it that in most children education seems to destroy the creative urge? Why do so many boys and girls leave school with blunted perceptions and a closed mind? A majority of young people seem to develop mental arteriosclerosis forty years before they get the physical kind. Another question: why do some people remain open and elastic into extreme old age, whereas others become rigid and unproductive before they’re fifty? It’s a problem in biochemistry and adult education.

    Are you starting the journey with us and CoOrpheum to make AldousHuxley's dream become true? We are ready.

    Saturday, October 30, 2010

    Extrapreneurs & Intrapreneurs Orbiting the Firm

    Intrapreneurs the "internal" entrepreneurs of an organization. They stay within the "safe" cocoon of the organization, nevertheless they often cross departmental boundaries to find the ways to solve current challenges.

    GordonMacKenzie, author of "Orbiting the Giant Hairball" mentions a similar behavior, called "orbiting the hairball" meaning that even as you work as one of many in your organization you don't let you suck in by organizational culture rather stay in the meantime on your own vision/passion and coupled to the organization at same time.

    WilliSchroll, futurist blogger, on Twitter what if a global enterprise with 400.000 employees would move to 100.000 and an extended crowd sourcing concept.

    Interesting idea, and by far not out of sight if you think of 300.000 extrapreneurs spreading the seeds of IBM networks, knowledge around the globe without the "foot chain" of the corporation.

    Would you allow your best folks to orbit outside the corporation? What is the trust level that would enable you to do that?

    Your Authentic (Passion) Swing

    A few months ago when reading through TheoryU I stepped across a passage where BaggarVance and "feel it in your hand, not your mind" was mentioned.

    I couldn't really make sense out of it. I let it go and forgot about it.

    Now it has come up again. Triggered probably by reading from Theory U in front of a 30 people audience yesterday at the SLUB.

    So the question has come up again, what did he really mean?

    A few minutes ago, thinking about the Semperoper Ballet later today at Albertinum and what opportunity spaces this performance will again open not just in a cultural context, I checked on BaggarVance.

    The one titled "What's Your Passion" has made me shiver. I wonder what passion inside you makes you shiver?

    Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    Craftsmanship - The Real Beauty of Work and Joy

    Remembering my visit to the Semperoper on Sunday very well. Today I have combined this with new experiences from the shopfloor (certainly not an opera) at a visit to DHL's postal center in Ottendorf-Okrilla.

    .... and so I quietly reflected on what really counts in life.

    Certainly it is not the fast paced consume as we encounter in various parts of our life.

    Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0
    Like a diamond that is initially dull, dark, and not sparkling at all, people often don't openly show off their strengths (often they and others don't even know them). Sometimes driven into a direction where they naturally wouldn't have turned. So I learned that Giuseppe Sinopoli, former conductor of the Sächsische Staatskapelle, not only had studied music, but also had a PhD in Criminal Anthropology).

    When do we know what our true SELF is searching for in life?
    How many detours do we take in life and when does somebody detect our inner strengths?

    Going far to see close - into yourself and your true SELF - is what my dear friends of MonkeyBusiness, ex-students of TeamAcademy taught me. It certainly needs constant honing of the diamond of personality and feedback by friends, colleagues, and even your least-liked companions (they open a mirror to what you really really would not like to do).

    Mario Sarto
    .... when nurtured and done by real craftsmanship this may come out and it accounts for any field of what we can shape in life :-)

    All my best wishes to the sparkling fresh voices at Semperoper.

    Sunday, October 24, 2010

    Kunst - ... und auf den ersten Blick nur ein Eckchen des Möglichkeitsraums

    Immer wieder hört man in der Republik, "Es muss gespart werden. Die Förderung der Kunst ist zu hoch." Sind es wirklich die Kosten, die relevant sind, oder übersehen wir des Öfteren nicht Etwas?

    Klar es kostet Geld, ein so großes Haus wie z.B. die Semperoper zu unterhalten. 40% der Einnahmen werden durch die Kartenverkäufe eingespielt, der Rest durch Sponsoren und öffentliche Förderung (so Frau Dr. Ulrike Hessler beim Presseclub Dresden vor einigen Tagen).

    Fotograf: Christoph Münch
    Lassen Sie uns beim Vorüberschreiten von Friedrich Schiller am Haupteingang auf das Überraschende ein, was heute morgen um 11 Uhr begann (und sicher noch nicht zu Ende ist). Die Fünf-Minuten-Uhr über der Bühne zeigte "XI 00" und das Feuerwerk konnte seinen Lauf nehmen. Dr. Ulrike Hessler, die Intendantin des Hauses, kündigte die Vorpremiere der Ballettinszenierung "Die Innere Stimme" an.

    Mich zurück erinnernd an eine Opernaufführung im Jahr 1993 (den Titel weiß ich leider nicht mehr) wurde ich sehr angenehm überrascht, was sich auf der Bühne durch das Semperoper Ballett erschloss. "Die Innere Stimme" so der Titel der Inszenierung, wird am kommenden Wochenende im Albertinum (verlinkt auf die Facebookseite des Semperoper Balletts) in der Skulpurenhalle aufgeführt werden.

    ... wer ohne fixe Erwartungen dem Leben entgegengeht wird stets auf's angenehmste überrascht :-)

    Die "weiße Wand", die mich sozusagen vor Beginn des Konzerts heute morgen empfing löste sich -wie so oft- in etwas Neuem auf. Sehen Sie am besten selbst.

    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    Die Elbe ein langer ruhiger Fluss...

    fließt durch Dresden. Alles orientiert sich mehr oder weniger an diesem beständigen Phänomen. Verbindend oder trennend, stets sorgt dieser Wasserstrang für Stabilität - man weiß eben, dass es so schon immer war.

    Kommt ein Ereignis wie die Flut der Elbe im Jahr 2002 überraschend dazwischen tun sich Möglichkeitsräume im zeitlich begrenzten Zeitfenster auf. 2010 wollte die Elbe im Sommer gleich dreimal, das gewohnte Bett verlassen - doch das reichte nicht, das Stadtsystem ins Schwingen zu bringen.

    Das reichte noch immer nicht die gesamte Stadt ins Schwingen zu bringen. Stabilität regiert. Auch RayKurzweil, der im Juni in der Stadt weilte konnte dies -bislang- nicht nachhaltig verändert. So scheint es wenigstens für die meisten. Und doch tut sich was.

    Da folgte auf den Intendantenwechsel bei der Semperoper wesentliche Spannung in Teilsystemen der Stadt Dresden. 

    Ingolstadt macht's vor, wie JeanPolMartin, Entwickler von Lernen durch Lehren, beschreibt und Peter Kruse zu Wort kommen lässt :-)

    Was wirklich wirklich möglich ist beschreibt OttoScharmer in diesem kurzen Interview zu seinem neuen Buch "Theorie U - Von der Zukunft her führen" (Theorie ist in diesem Fall durch Praxis zu ersetzen ;-))

    Lassen Sie sich von der Global Entrepreneurship Week Mitte November in Dresden und Aktionen um Systemveränderung inspirieren. Mehr folgt in Kürze.

    Tuesday, October 19, 2010

    TESLA oder BMW - Wechselspiel der Emotionen?

    Gestern fand im Dresdner Hilton eine außergewöhnliche Veranstaltung statt. Nichts für den geneigten Touristen, der eher die historischen Stätten der Stadt wie Residenzschloss, Zwinger und andere aufsucht.

    Und doch schwang der Geist von 450 Jahren Zukunft (und mehr) durchaus im Raum - ob das die Teilnehmer um mich herum bemerkt hatten?

    Worum ging es? Die Mobilität der Zukunft war Thema des Kolloquium, das von Silicon Saxony e.V. einem Spitzencluster der IT Wirtschaft im Raum Dresden einberufen war.

    http://www.freefoto.com/preview/29-04-2
    Freude am Fahren - der Slogan von BMW hat es versinnbildlicht. Nun noch mit normalem Benzin und Verbrennungsmotor. Efficient Dynamics, ein seit einigen Jahren eingesetztes Programm zur Verringerung des Kraftstoffverbrauchs, bringt bereits eine Menge und doch liegt die Herausforderung vom Öl wegzukommen noch vor uns und den OEMs.



    http://www.ubergrun.de/tesla-roadster-sport/
    .... und wie sähe der Slogan für diesen flotten E-Renner aus dem Hause Tesla aus?

    Welche Emotionen weckt dieser Renner im Verborgenen?

    ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

    Mehr zur gestrigen Veranstaltung übrigens unter #mfDD10

    Sunday, October 17, 2010

    Change always happens with(in) us first

    A few days ago I had an hour long conversation with a dear friend from Dresden. And we came across the turmoil people talk about here in the area around Dresden and what they would wish to be better (in their life, work, and community environment). On the other hand their personal drive and passion doesn't force them to change (yet).

    The question arouse: Why so?

    How can we make our vision clear where to go and what could be achievable - by cutting through the woods of life?


    Going back 21 years, when the Wall opened and shortly thereafter came down, a new system was imposed on the area that formerly was the GDR. People had to change, actually for the second time after the disruptive moves after the war, and sometimes from one to the other day you could be without a job. Actually there would be no job in your city or region sometimes and you quickly had to adapt to this expontially changing world around you where you have live for decades in pretty stable ways.

    EdgarSchein calls the necessity for change "disconforming information". Something has be different as people want it to be. This only opens the window for making the change possible. What if the person remembers other times in the past that have been even more disrupting (like the coming down of the Wall). Does that mean they would see and feel an urge to change their current situation?

    You perceive the situation is not as it should be (from what your values are), however all is running "smoothly" in a way. Your hear, "It running o.k., but it could be better". You get along as well, using your personal networks nowadays again more in the way you did before the re-unification where a strong network of social network ties helped to get along the tough life situations without moving really out of the dip.

    So you might think change wouldn't be possible here in the area?

    Certainly not - we all have the power and potential inherently in ourselves, we -together- just have to unleash them to create the world around us, we truly seek.

    Sunday, October 10, 2010

    Kristallklar wie ein sonniger Herbsttag

    Was haben GoogleInc und die SemperoperDresden gemeinsam, möge man sich fragen?

    Beide fokussieren auf ihre Stärken (GoogleInc - umsetzungsorientiertes Know-How für Suchmaschinenprozesse,  SemperoperDresden - alles rund um die musische Kunst der Operndarbietung).

    Beide haben eine schlanke mit hohem Weißanteil und Schlichtheit glänzende Website!


    Über GoogleInc redet die ganze Welt (ohne von der Einfachheit der Website zu reden), und jeder unter uns nutzt die Suchfunktion mehrfach täglich im Internet.

    Auf die SemperoperDresden hingegen, auch ein grandioser HiddenChampion seiner Zunft weltweit, wird im Netz mehr über die frische Website gesprochen, als die tatsächliche Leistung des Ensembles zu honorieren.

    Konzentriere Dich auf Deine Stärken! Finde die anderen, die Deine "Schwächen" zu Stärken ausbauen! 


    In diesem Sinne wünsche ich der neuen Intendatin, Dr. UlrikeHessler, und dem gesamten Team der SemperoperDresden einen ähnlichen Erfolg (weltweit) wie GoogleInc  (über die übrigens 1998 noch niemand sprach, beim damaligen rudimentären Design der Website ;-))

    PS.: (Danke an SethGodin's und sein inspirierendes neues Buch "Linchpin", das mich erst auf den Gedanken brachte, diesen Blogeintrag heute zu schreiben)

    Saturday, October 9, 2010

    What Gift of Life have you been Given?

    ... in response to StaceyKramer's TED talk

    Thanks Stacey for sharing your most personal moments of life!

    Reminded me of flying off my bike back in 1997 on the cobblestones of Dresden, at a speed of 40 km/h, without wearing a helmet. For one split second I saw the dynamo on the front wheel go down into the spokes, my shoes stuck in the pedals I crashed on the street. Head front, missed the 90°, 15 cm sidewalk edge just by millimeters. My gift was surviving with only a torn ligament!

    One often don't know what gifts life is giving to us. The greatest gift of all is that we are on earth, playing to our very strengths whenever we ca use it!

    Stacey, your short memorable story was shaking and I really have to thank you for that:-)

    Friday, October 8, 2010

    A Dream is Growing



















    What dream will become reality in this brick and mortar environment with a history of almost 110 years - two wars, two economic systems, 5 years of emptiness, and an unspoken future?

    What is the building the shadow of the pole is pointing calling (perhaps even screaming) at you to do?

    Saturday, October 2, 2010

    Do You Remember your Lego Dreams?



    A visionary BBC documentation (part 1 of 3) from two years back.

    Dresden hosts lots of the necessary technology that make
    that possible. There is a vision to combine these various
    activities, players, and fields in one HUB.

    Dresden has been an innovation spurring place for centuries
    as the recent exhibition at Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
    shows.

    Why not also for the next 450 years, RayKurzweil has made the
    start this summer?

    Wednesday, September 29, 2010

    Offene Worte - und große Dankbarkeit :-)

    via Mail an einem Septembertag 2007 (lange bevor die Idee des LockSchuppen geboren war) und doch zeitlos:

    "Hallo Ralf,

    ich komme einfach nicht dazu, etwas jetzt schön zu formulieren, aber damit du überhaupt eine Rückmeldung bekommst, hier auf die schnelle meine Sicht der Dinge zu deinen Stärken.
    • Du kannst dich auf Leute einstellen und versuchst, ihre Sicht der Dinge zu verstehen (allerdings nur dann, wenn dich diese Person auch ernst nimmt, hast du das Gefühl nicht, verliert sich deine Mühe schnell (aber das ist sicherlich auch ein Stück weit bei jedem Menschen so ;o)).
    • Du bist schnell begeisterungsfähig und bei einem neu erkannten Thema wenig bremsbar…
    • Du bist wie ein Forscher auf der Suche nach dem eigentlichen Problem, keine Spur bleibt bei dir unentdeckt.
    • Du rennst auch gegen hohe Mauern an und gibst nicht so schnell auf, auch wenn es unbequem wird.
    • Du versuchst immer wieder und machst es auch täglich, Menschen mit den gleichen „Problemen“, Sachverhalten oder Ideen zusammenzubringen, um Synergieeffekte zu erzielen.
    • Du bist meistens gut gelaunt.

    …und mein Kopf ist jetzt gerade auf einmal leer. Wenn mir noch etwas einfällt, melde ich mich noch mal oder wenn du für den ein oder anderen Punkt ggf. noch ein Beispiel hilfreich wäre, melde dich einfach noch mal bei mir. Ggf. schaffen wir es ja mal zu einem Kaffee."

    DANKE :-)

    Sunday, September 19, 2010

    Stewardship or Lean? Kind of Keen!

    taken from GoogleBooks
    Control or letting go? That is the question, which is often in managers's minds.

    What have you contributed to make the team a striving force for the company that is paying to everybody in the end?

    I have stumbled across PeterBlock's book while searching for something totally (are not quite ;)) different. Is serendipity just everywhere, or is that just my feeling? Oh, I know that are now too many questions again, so I will stop for now and let you go
    ••• • • •  •  •  •   •   •   •   •    •    •     •

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    Blank canvas - DETROIT as a role model for the future

    Detroit (a project by Jonny Knoxville in cooperation with Palladium Boots) a decaying giant of the past economic era. At least so it seems. Look a bit deeper - just dare.

    http://www.urbanophile.com/
    Not quite so :-) Everywhere where something is dying there is also lots to grow new. Leave an orchard or field alone (for years) - you will be surprised what unimaginable good will emerge.


    The messy and unregulated is often best ground to let the new ideas, actions to get out in the open.

    What do you see in your "FUTURE EYE"?

    Sunday, September 12, 2010

    Time is Money! - Heading towards the right race?

    by wouterduijndam
    It's all about the right speed for the appropriate context - often going slow in the pre-race results in winning the race!

    Haven't you heard "time is money!" by your boss or the executive board meeting, when there had been a proposal to improve operations or certain business processes?

    Often from the manager's perspective this is meant in the sense, of not "wasting" money through conversations or dialogue dealing with the problem at hand.

    How have you learned best in the past to deal with obstacles or constraints in your life? Certainly mostly without time pressure. We took the paths of learning that fitted our personal experience and accumulated knowledge. To do that we needed TIME. 

    Where and in which context could a manager allow himself to let the use of a bit of extra time (within the set time frame available) to find better solutions for pressing problems today?

    Best area will be a process within the organization that is most troubling but rather not having relevant direct impact on the organization's outcome. Do the small experiment with an outreaching impact on the wealth of the organization.

    Let an outsider, or by-stander have a deeper look at your business (at best a customer will be also involved) to advice you. Done in a lean thinking way, doing an insightful deep 2-hours conversation could already be really helpful to open up opportunity alleys of the future.

    What do you think, would that be worth for your organization?

    Tuesday, August 31, 2010

    Riding the Innovation Wave

    In a world where information is freely floating from East to West, back and then South, only to build up a cobweb of personal connections.

    Haven't you gone through an overwhelming information wave that felt like you were going right through a big crashing wave on the beaches of Hawaii or the Italian Adria in a storm? Of course one get dizzy, when one tries to swim through the wave with normal breast stroke.  A few meters and you probably would struggle and stop.

    This overboarding sea of information, especially fueled by social networks like Facebook, XING, LinkedIn and alike seems like crashing on us where we used to swim in calm waters of life and business.

    http://bit.ly/cJOoGT
    JohnHagel and JohnSeelyBrown (both to be found on Facebook as well) tell the story of the surfers on Hawaii in their new book "The Power of PULL - How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion".  Crazy guys on the waves and yet being pulled by their passion to learn more to cope the "perfect wave".

    What seems like a brain-overloading for some, is enjoyable fun for others. Quite different as the surfers on the surfs of Hawaii, the "web surfers" however are among the others in a sea that is called "Internet".

    So let's not blame them to be different or crazy, even though we maybe don't understand what they are up to. Perhaps they are inventing just the new social innovation for the good of society, corporations or their community.

    Let's them explore the waves we don't dare to ride - let their passion drive you as well.

    Friday, August 27, 2010

    The Wise and the Heretic

    Ralf Lippold
    September 8, 2008
    Dear Otto,
    Quite a similar special moment happened to me when I met Jay W. Forrester last summer at MIT (while I was attending a workshop on system dynamics). During a coffee break I had a chance to chat with him for a few minutes and asked him, how to get forward with system dynamics in the work field if nobody is really taking it serious. His answer was, “If they don’t listen yet, don’t worry. Work it out yourself and you will learn a lot! By the way, I am still learning.”

    Having said that -at the age of almost 90 years of age- I felt quite the same as you did and thought, “Wow, I got some of his time and thoughts even as a total newcomer to the field! That can’t be really true, or?”. Despite his age his eyes had still the spark of fire that someone with a vision has -regardless of circumstances or age.
    This episode has inspired me to take the step forward and move on on the road to the future I see, not an easy path as “The road to success is under constant construction” (chinese proverb).

    As my ancestors come from Eastern Germany (even though nobody of the family really knows from where exactly) I have the strong feeling that there is the place for me to be (despite the economic low level that it still has). In many talks to people I always sense that the pride of not taken the easy route (going to more prosperous areas) and the spark of doing it a different -if there would be a joice (for them). Actually there is another event in a region where there almost no major economics prosperity and just larger plants. Shutting down a plant with around 600 workers depend on it (directly in the plant and indirectly at several service providers mainly doing business with the plant). In a small town with merely 16.000 inhabitants that will have a big impact (not in the best case, I guess;-().

    How to make the change happen before all the mobile workers have moved away for better work?
    I wonder, whether there would be a change possible? I have heard that the situation is not so uncommon especially in areas where economic growth depends just on a single resource (such as a mine) or product (washing liquid – as in the mentioned example).
    Best regards
    Ralf

    ... follow the whole story and the initial spark for my above comment.

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010

    Surprise of the Unexpected

    http://bit.ly/dnIPI7
    "Tales of the Unexpected" by RoaldDahl has been the inspiration to the following. Reading "The Power of PULL" for the last couple of days, it makes me go back in time to some emotions connected with my past work experience. Back in 1998 I started my first job. I was so to say invited to join an international team to build -which was back then the first privately operated and publicly financed- rail-road-intermodal terminal, KTL Kombiterminal Ludwigshafen. I had to do a lot with IT, was the guy in charge to make the operation system for handling the trains get ready and in place.

    After we had the terminal in operation a new challenge was awaiting: getting a almost slowed to a standstill tracking & tracing program, CESAR, to make it from the funding stage into the customer paid stage. Early in the beginning the data was not always as 100% sober and so customers complained.

    Seeing the potential of that program (also in monitoring the data flowing between the operators and different customers) I just couldn't give up. I found a handful of dedicated supporters in some customer service departments of forwarding agents with whom to check data and find correct ways. Every error that occurred in the system worked as a small prototype to improve. Either it was the program itself that produced the error or some new procedures that had not yet "mirrored" into the program lines.

    We hadn't much to loose: not getting the program forward to broad use by customer was not an option! Every small improvement (KAIZEN) was leading us to the goal to providing outstanding customer service with online real-time information service on container movements across the train networks of Europe.

    So errors were "allowed" in order to make the program a success!

    Almost 10 years into the program now 460 customers are using frequently the service, 55.000 daily requests in 2009 (which represents a 30% increase compared to the year before).

    Thinking back to the early times in 2001 (I only had run the quality management for CESAR and "bring it into the world" for six months (!)) I remember the key success factors very well:

    • acting on the periphery of the day-to-day operation
    • having on single goal in mind (get the program running on its own)
    • internationally diverse project team
    • direct personal contact with the programmers
    • open-minded customers willing to get on the service first and commit to it with own ideas
    • (last but least) no interfering higher management, meaning no fixed plan and so enabling the serendipity that was necessary to find new ways through interactions with other people on the periphery and outside the system
    When has the serendipity in your work field occurred? What has driven it?

      Friday, August 20, 2010

      Language - the bottom line to understand each other

      Hello everybody,

      Today while having a meeting at IBM, a colleague asked me about a cup of coffee. I said, "Sure! Please with lots of milks". Two minutes later he has come back with a cup filled up to the edge and a pot of milk. In my mind I thought, "Shoot, that was a mixup of two different mental models that were outspoken and understood despite the same words crossed the air".

      So even though you name the same thing or process others not necessarily see or understand exactly the same.

      The same is true the other way round. I got "The Power of PULL" just two days ago, reading heavily into it.  It doesn't really talk about Lean Thinking, and yet I feel it in every single line while reading it.

      Wouldn't be the ultimate Lean Thinking approach to connect all the approaches that are in practice that focus on similar (or same) principles of Lean Thinking? In general it's about people, knowledge sharing and growing, transparency in order to improve the whole (a holistic view).

      What comes to your mind?

      Monday, August 9, 2010

      Thoughts overcoming the speechless owner

      About two years ago I commented on OttoScharmer's blog entry that was dealing with Attentional Violence. Now after reconnecting with a friend via Skype while he is currently on Cape Cod attending a workshop on group facilitation my memories brought me back to my blog comment (which you may read in completeness).

      1. Don’t force change
      2. Get into a relationship with people where they can feel safe to express their ideas and assumptions (without fearing to be turned down)
      3. Let the process decide, whether the agenda is useful or the dialog is more useful
      4. Step back in your role as “teacher” even though that his sometimes hard (as in a sense to give up power to the group)
      5. Open up time constraints, if the process needs more time!

      What would have been your tactics in a similar situation?

      Wednesday, August 4, 2010

      Questions or Answers - that's the QUESTION

      Imagine you are faced with a tough problem at hand, new and complex. Imagine further that is a situation where you are asked to give advice or your expertise. The client is seeking a solution to the problem he can't solve with his own resources.

      What to do?

      Doing the analysis on what the problem might be and already been addressed by the client, provide a solution presentation to client. There will be a presentation in front of client management team. Then implementation of the recommendation.

      STOP • Rewind the story • RESET

      There is perhaps another way, or?


      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Thinker

      • What is it that is really pressing or hurting the client?


      • What is the right question to find out (also for the client to find out himself)?

      Friday, July 23, 2010

      TeamAcademy - entrepreneurial incubator for the times to come!

      Today, just coming back from an inspiring meeting where CoOrpheumeum, TeamAcademy, LockSchuppen and SingularityUniversity have been the topics, some thoughts are racing through my mind.

      What is so special about TeamAcademy that it has caught my interest a while ago?

      PeterSenge, founder of Society for Organizational Learning, at his panel discussion (tune in at 1:11:10) at MIT mentioned TeamAcademy back in 2005. It seems like the entrepreneurial incubator for the future. Dialogue sessions as seen on the left are one essential part of the daily entrepreneurial work at TeamAcademy. The picture was taken in January 2009 during the IGNITION workshop in Jyväskylä. This kind of session is normal part of the entrepreneurial education, running up to 4 hours each (it sounds like a waste of time at first sight, but really needs quite some time to enable that people in the group feel safe enough to state their questions, feelings, problems, etc.)

      Run in an old factory of the paper industry in Jyväskylä, close to the railway station, the place is set up in an OpenSpace style. This resembles current CoWorking spaces that are currently emerging around the globe, to foster the entrepreneurial power of small startups and team entrepreneurs. On the flight presentations, workshops, etc. can be set up with no big effort. Changing the environment to the needs of the entrepreneurs, this is what future work and design spaces will need to be - the more open and flexible the better.

      Ville Hast (2nd from left) and Ville Keränen (3rd from left) have been the coaches for the workshop IGNITION for Leadership. Both are part of a spin-off of TeamAcademy, called MonkeyBusiness.

      Their saying is for learning to happen:

      More Action - More Chaos - More Mistakes - More Learning!
      How true is that?


      At the end of the three-day workshop stood a so-called "customer challenge". A Spanish company offering software for innovation management had given the real case in for the teams to provide useful consulting for their problem. As a Spanish company there recognition in the global world of innovation program provides was not yet valued. So their question was, "How and in which ways can we gain better recognition, and open new markets?".


      Within a 2-hours session, the workshop participants in three different groups worked on solutions to be presented (in a short few minutes long video to be transmitted to the client via Skype).

      In the end, every party in the process gained:

      Team Academy - spreading the word through real-life experience of new kind of entrepreneurship education

      Participants - reasonably priced workshop (including housing, food, workshop and party of TeamAcademy anniversary), direct conversations with TeamAcademy students, head coach (JohannesPartanen) and other coaches

      Coaches - More practice with international diverse participants (Sweden, France, Germany, Finland, Netherlands)

      Client - Diverse solution input in a very short and dense time, pricing feeds (probably) back into subsidizing the price for participants to attend

      Entrepreneurship - the spirit of what can be achieved together has sparked all participants

      All in all, this has led to starting the entrepreneurial think tank and incubator LockSchuppen. We also have set up a supporting CoWorking space, CoOrpheum, within an old ballroom to prototype the new forms of cooperative work (currently the crowd is working to convince the City of Dresden that it is worthwhile to emerge a "double" of TeamAcademy!).

      What are you doing to achieve a similar vision in your city?

      PS.: Inspired and driven by (in inspired order ;-)):

      Monday, July 12, 2010

      What you don't see is what you get

      All too often in live we look for the tangible results overlooking that the beforehand creative process is on the one hand necessary to make it happen. On the other hand we can't really measure it.


      What if we could make the left part of it visible to our boss, colleagues, customers?

      Thanks to GordonMacKenzie and "Orbiting the Giant Hairball"

      Sunday, June 6, 2010

      Obstacles that Make You Grow


      From a very dear friend, even though we have only met once or twice in Berlin in Person, Frauke has been the inspiration to start bringing my vision of creating a better place for co-learning ad collaboration into place. Thanks a lot Frauke and also to Wiebke for making the change happen :-) Self-HUB is coming back!
      The following are true whenever you face a dead-end road of your dreams. You are sure that nothing will work, and any energy will be a waste in its own. NOT QUITE SO :-)
      IF YOU FEEL LIKE IT DO PUT YOUR FINGERS ON THE KEYBOARD AND SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE OF THE PAST.
      And some inspiration from the past international BPW President:
      Inspiration for New Year 2009
      If you never face obstacles,
      Could you be a success?
      Could you set strategies
      To achieve your greatness?
      If you never get criticize,
      Could you fix flaws in time
      Before they cause problems
      Before they do you harm?
      It takes the darkness of a cocoon
      To turn a caterpillar into a butterfly.
      It takes an extreme pressure and heat
      To turn coals into a diamond mine.
      To attain the highest honor in life
      Face challenges without fear
      Let wisdom be your guide
      To victory and cheers.
      Warm Wishes,
      Chonchanok Viravan (Nok)
      (Written by Chonchanok Viravan, 12 Dec 2008)