Today I laughed heartily.
And should that be worth considering?
Because the last few days have made me doubt whether to think further than beyond the moment. Too much is said, written, lamented and denounced. Rushed, wiggled, assigned … and yet:
We’re all in the same boat. Perhaps not in the same “bubbles” as it is called in modern speech, but still in the same boat. Our world. Whether it is about the environment or health and ultimately freedom for self-development: it is our world, the boat from which we cannot jump without “drowning”.
I am slowly beginning to understand the images: one is operating the engine and controls, the other is waiting and using the time to sue those to whom they have given responsibility. Sounds paradoxical, psychopathic, the perpetrators become victims and vice versa. Double bind, the scientists would say: no way out and no solution.
Is that so?
I tend to be optimistic – I’ve learned it. There is always a way out, a decision. Even if it is only to let everything go like this and patiently observe. That would be “premodern”, but one of many ways to resolve situations of fear, aggression, and shock.
And if there is one solution, there are many.
1. The new experience of the opposite of the previous one. Stepping into the other person’s shoes may mean more understanding and not yet acceptance.
2. The exciting mixture of both perspectives, which goes beyond “both and” and merges “the best of both perspectives” into one?
3. Even this could lead to further questions, to the realization that you need additional knowledge for your own decision. So: what is missing or has not yet been considered?
4. A system loop is now appropriate to review everything that has gone before, and then, with courage and curiosity, and finally with great self-confidence, one
5. Leading a completely new solution to a decision.
Sometimes all that is needed to reduce the formation of bubbles and to open up to the others in the common boat is a brief reflection on the common goal: healthy and happy to fill the days with meaning, to laugh and to celebrate life.
Well then: let’s start sketching the way to get there to our common goal and provide the clever resources. We already knew, thanks to all the clever systemicists. I am in.
We look forward to ideas and comments,
Barbara & Michel
Change has hardly ever been perceived as powerfully – sometimes liberating and perhaps also frightening – as it is today.
What does change mean for organizations?
What do we define as an organization today, what is contemporary?
What can be designed?
What influence does culture have and what are the considerations for shaping culture or cultures?
Change has hardly ever been perceived as powerfully – sometimes liberating and perhaps also frightening – as it is today.
Please understand that we can currently only offer one version in German …
We got closer in search of security and became more distant in our physical perception. Is that so? And what helps – maybe?
In the midst of the pandemic, what effects have the last 18 months had on us in general – in the interpersonal, economic and technical context? toccaverde managing director Dr. Barbara Schütze is looking for a practical, realistic answer.
The conversation partner is Sonja Wallner, CFO of A1 Telekom Austria since 2015:
Sonja Wallner, from Controlling at Telekom Austria (2000), who has been on the board of A1Telekom Austria for finance and strategic projects since 2015, studied at the Vienna University of Economics and Business and at the Luigi Bocconi University in Milan.
here is our podcast in German language…
Whenever I end one of my intensive coaching conversations, I pay attention to two essential points:
– Have I kept the arc from topic verification to solution orientation and resource reinforcement for my conversation partners, so my coachees are stronger and more motivated as a result than before
– Have I given thanks for the many thank-you impulses and solution orientations, that keep me positively aligned on a daily basis.
So thank you.
Dialogues make me happy. Questions we ask each other make me happy. I carry them before me like a light (I almost wanted to use the image of a sword cutting through the thicket of confusion, but I leave it).
Well: I am not naive.
Of course, there are also absolutely depressing conversations and bleak thoughts.
After some reverberation then follows my realignment:
– Without bleak cuts, there are no insights and gratitude about the many successful conversations. Difference is what makes it.
– Without differences and variety, there would also be no reason to find appropriate solutions.
Questions are (almost) everything.
As long as they are open and constructive and give time and space to respond.
Answers are often quick satisfaction pills. How long these works also depends on what goal they cover and who they involve.
– Yes-no questions (term: closed questions) give little space and are often subject to everyday routines. Beware – the most essential yes-no question is the one about whether this is a yes-no question. Ach.
– “Firefighting questions” need quick decisions that are just as quickly superseded by the next one – they are great for process-based behavioral guidelines.
– Strategy questions are devoted to factual considerations, build on actual figures and developments, and their answers can also be answered simply on the basis of verified structures. Anyway the answers do not say anything or motivate in reaching the goal at all.
– target questions allow a broader perspective (especially along the miracle question or the brief solution question given by Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg), touching resources, obstacles and action beyond and the impression, if the target would be able to accomplish.
– Relationship questions (actually standard for all systemic-constructivist work) need a new form of reflection – on the form we take in relating to our values, beliefs, concerns, individuals in any shape, and other abstracts, – and later only to the effects of our responses on others. Think about nowadays requested client satisfaction – this could be the opener by, as the native Americans say: “you have to walk in their shoes to get a better understanding.
Among these questions I include the
– Benefit question. Those who cannot see the personal benefit in their decision and response will fail powerlessly halfway through. Unfortunately, we all know someone who turns to substitute games to gain new energy out of fear of sense devaluation.
– Vision questions. Wait. How challenging is that. And yet these are the most essential, the ones that shape our lives.
And sometimes it helps to rely on oneself in full confidence to find an answer later, to forgo the relief of a pronounced first solution.
And sometimes it helps to find the questions behind the questions.
Because as said before: it is probably the greater challenge to find the question and not the answer…..
And always it helps to challenge your own abilities. To sharpen perception, to reflect, to leave old paths and to engage in new solutions that are appropriate for the moment.
Nothing is eternal, not even stone or ice. Everything may be expected, everything may be explored. A defining phrase attributed to Nashrudin Hodja: “From the bud of confusion blossoms the flower of wonder.”
Let us wonder and await the wonderful solution to a question just like this.
Sometimes I write just to finish a thought or clear up my feelings.
For many years we have lived comfortably according to a Central European code of conduct. We knew how we ourselves and how others should behave towards us. Practical drawers that helped Central Europeans, Northern Europeans, Southern Europeans, Americans, etc. to define according to cultures, values, principles.
Stop, first insert: the youth. In waves adapted or applied, they expanded or added something new to our drawers. And yet: all of this signaled a high level of security, even for those who were and are able to question themselves and the system in a highly reflective and related manner.
And now: the VUCA world has completely changed our ideas and reinforced them by a month-long pandemic and migrations.
Our rules of the game are still valid now? I don’t think so.
But what comes instead? Is something coming instead?
Can I be polite when psychotic narcissists abuse me? Do I have to maintain composure? Or better to show barriers, boundaries?
Crises – and as such we can call the current Corona situation – are not only a test for and on characters, but also something like a relationship maker. We recognized the value of trust and loyalty, but also what loss of control and dealing with uncertainty do for dialogue and cooperation.
Who was and is there for us, who supports and strengthens common tasks, projects and who shares responsibility with us – regardless of previous agreements and obligations – in the professional and private context.
Who believes that they can use us as lightning rods, as soul buckets for games that are mainly intended to compensate for their own insecurities?
And who can see himself as a constant even in unpredictable times, clearly also in the “fog”, curious and friendly in the new?
Let’s actively change the rules of and the perspective on the game.
We have learned: Relationship is everything, more than contracts, more than strategic goals, and more than unachievable goals. Relationship is communication and relationship is future.
So: what behavior, what attitude is appropriate with regard to the new, old, hybrid, analog, digital system changes? What or who wins the upper hand: the identity of individuals, of (structural or functional) organizations versus differences in any form.
Much of the previously valid behavior needs to be revised:
– Reflection on what is valuable and important also in our relationships
– Discarding reflexes and getting to know your own patterns
– Orientation towards development and growth – more on the inside than on the economic outside
– Learn to communicate clearly, in a friendly and understandable way and to take people with you into the new era.
– Respect that not everyone pulls in the same direction and
– Go further and allow change, even better, help shape it.
Responsibility begins with us for us and is then a prerequisite for smart relationships – also at the cost of demarcation and self-protection.
If we move towards a systemic-constructivistic understanding, we know about the second order cybernetics (Heinz von Förster) and the impossibility of completely detaching ourselves from the partiality of the observed system. And yet, distance is good and also the clarity to address and express your own needs.
This is the only way we can grow out of this crisis with the feeling that we know exactly who we can rely on – and with whom we therefore want to continue to work and laugh together in the future.
We wish you a very comfortable and safe summer, take care and start dialoguing with us on your experiences,
Regards, Barbara & Michel
The topics of podcast 2 (in German): Transformation drivers youth – culture – communication and the impact on corporate standards.
– Impact of new skills on the labor market, availability for companies
– Change of cultures and the death of old one-way information
– New frontiers are not defined by organizations, but by communication.
– The ephemerality of strategies: Fractal interventions and influences of dialogic communication on identities, organizations and strategies
– sensories of change perception in ecology and economy
– new guiding differences: legitimate and illegitimate
Many thanks to MacJingle for the fine implementation. We look forward to feedback and suggestions – as already with great thanks to the previous good ideas!
“Post-heroic” is what Dirk Baecker (University of Witten Herdecke) calls the characteristics of leaders after – or just in between – lockdowns, partial physical isolation, and instantaneous expectations about the drivers of our happiness, our success.
And returning from the buzzword world to the mindful balance between disruption, technology pushes, (assumed) facts, and alignment with long-term values is what Simon, Weber and Friends call for.
Wow, this is going to be exciting. How do we manage clarity, disenchantment from learned demands (on us and of others) like “faster, better, higher, further” and balance them with unpredictability and vulnerability?
How do we become more robust, more resilient?
My assumption for the solution is a bold hypothesis: by taking more personal responsibility, becoming more attentive to the system as a whole, and giving up some habitual selfishness, which includes growth at the expense of others…..
Since the path to achieving the goal involves some effort, I begin with the benefits from transformation:
– We gain security from ourselves and experience in dealing with unfamiliar situations and others, even when faced with new, unexpected developments (Peter Sloterdijk calls this immunity through shared security)
– We learn to appreciate and consciously enjoy the beauty of our lives alongside all our efforts
– Our social competence and thus the easier, friendly interaction with ourselves and others moves to a new level. The reward: friendly recognition away from functional hierarchies.
– From a meta-level we gain overview of the essential. One of my favorite quotes by the philosopher Peter Sloterdijk: If you want an overview, you have to overlook some things.
Did you find yourself in this?
It can be so simple. Or?
– The first question that takes us further is: What is so significant that it should remain in our (professional and private) lives? What gives you stability, security, well-being, and a framework for the goals you still want to achieve, the beauty you hope toward?
– Then: what, beyond all learning from the momentary situation, learning about ourselves and our robustness, should become different, more beautiful in our lives? We are living a month-long seminar right now, training this co-immunity that is only ensured through togetherness, mutual recognition. What are the insights from this?
– And finally: what do we need to let go of now, to throw off ballast? Admittedly: the current situation makes it almost on its own to separate us from old patterns, beliefs, habits. Maybe there are other issues you want to leave behind, fears, differences, but also simply overcrowded closets and desks. Tidy up.
Reinvention as a leader
The involuntary or sometimes voluntary, conscious distancing has done its part to evaluate more critically the desire for the “post-charismatic” leader (Matthias Karmasin) and to discard it “as a relic of little use”, – even if the cry for rapprochement with the old, familiar is loud in some places:
FOMO control (Fear of missing out control). Is that really so? Or were we allowed – unfortunately without playful experience – to perceive ourselves already in a new attitude, new behavior? Maybe even find pleasure in it.
What are we already letting go of, letting go of, perhaps with quiet regret and firm resolution to remember it long and in good, and yet?
The answers are with you, individually and uniquely. And these answers influence us as leaders, as opinion leaders, as role models for those who need security, courage and a framework for their own development.
On a meta-level, “clearing out” simply also means gaining an overview and making room for new things, new interests, new methods, new networks.
It is a never-ending story that has now picked up speed and therefore requires our attention all the more. Let’s look forward to all the new and let’s look forward to beautiful memories and sometimes the transformation of sorrowful learning into hopeful understanding.
All the best to you, write to us, we look forward to it,
Yours Michel and Barbara
To doubt ambiguity is daring. Have we not worked long enough to allow the play of forces between both poles in an all-participatory way?
And yet, in view of the discussions about hybrid life that will remain in the future, it is appropriate to reflect on this and to pay attention to other models of thinking and decision-making.
The solution lies in more than both.
Both, the one with the other follow a systemic consulting loop into the positions of meta-validation, into potential, creative discarding and the search for transformation into creative innovation.
Two models of consideration as pars pro toto are given here. Both provide structure without prejudging content. They promote the essential ingredient of desired development, namely reflection and ownership:
A first model follows the format of the pentalemma from the school of Matthias Varga von Kibed and Insa Sparrer, who trace it back to the ancient, Brahmanic jurisprudence of the Indians:
– The One, Old, Existing is the first and starting point for our considerations – for the strategists of the old school, the inventory of the current state. Let us take as an example the current professions and their functional and legal descriptions.
– The other, the new, the desired future – in many development approaches also of non-trivial systems the target, the goal follows as second position. Following our example, here are those professions which futurologists consider to be necessary in the future. I have found one of these functions under the designation “Chief Remote Officer”, a “liaison officer” equipped with high social competence and transformation knowledge between the then no longer existing hierarchies. Can this go well, some will ask, and also want to recognize as: the “emperor’s new clothes” (loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen).
The journey has begun
We are already on the journey between the one, existing and the other, conceivable new, We alternate between our doubts and considerations, how the way from the actual to the target is to be accomplished.
Now the third position of the “and”, the “either and or”, the “both” is reached.
According to our example of the future world of work and its professions, this could mean naming those professions that remain valued, perhaps further developed and enriched by the addition of new knowledge. Or vice versa, new professions are supported by highly developed fact-evident, old knowledge: Who is not familiar with giving his current bread and butter job also a special touch through personal talents? Or also, completely up-to-date, to exercise several occupations, activities parallel, this at different places, at different times and then also still many other facets more.
– The confusion because of the many possibilities and expressions aims at the fourth position, the “neither of both”, and does not have to mean to renounce all these possibilities, but rather in the systemic loop, in the daily Scrum and other helpful methods, to check the journey of the experiences, the result of the considerations, developments.
Which questions did we forget to ask?
Are our conclusions valid?
For the development of the professional world, this would perhaps also mean questioning whether all framework conditions, the regional markets, the needs of customers, our families and friends, and not least our own wishes, have been considered enough.
Do flexibility, agility, ambiguity offer enough answers in times of chaos?
How much structure is needed to tame disruption and dystopia?
What does “taming” mean and who is still in control and when?
In considering future career choices, this could lead us to question the profession of communicator, facilitator, consultant. Will we still need these professions or will they be replaced by artificial intelligences – remote learning, so to speak? And also: which intelligence will fix our drain?
– The journey starts from the beginning – looking at the One, old, then to the New, and so on to the “neither – nor”. Are we now sure about the future developments, about our part in it?
No? Now everything can happen!
– Then comes the master throw, the penta, the fifth position, a new dimension: the change and the completely different.
Which visions accompany us in our development, including our own ability, skills, responsibility?
How to do it? The magic word is transformation, letting go of the old, the new, both, none of the above … and then in their place: the dream of the best of all worlds.
For our example of future professional worlds, this means what? This long journey begins with a hearty, courageous “I don’t know”. Now everything can happen.
For the realists, for whom dreaming is too exhausting (written in times of Corona without cynicism, but with compassion), a still current solution from the workshop of Steve de Shazer is offered here:
The appreciative “Yes, exactly this one” is followed by a complementary consideration and examination, a “and also this one”, which then leads to a “maybe beyond”.
The appreciative, necessary quantum of security through the acceptance of the existing is strengthened and upgraded by the friendly interpretation, the change of perspectives and thus leads to the accepted new. Certain professions, especially social and infrastructure-related professions, will probably be needed for a long time; they will have to experience a different valuation. Other, trendier job descriptions will probably soon disappear or be absorbed into others as a result of digitalization and AI. And then, how will we shape cohesion and culture “beyond” that?
Perhaps this reflection on the basis of future job descriptions is an incentive to extend these two wonderful didactic and semantically rich models to other life situations?Whatever happens, let’s not allow ourselves to lose the personal responsibility and ability to reflect and decide:
Who or what do I want to be, what skills to use for what? Write to us, we are looking forward to your input.
Yours Barbara and Michel
“There is magic in every beginning” (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe). Nassrudin (Nassredin) Hodscha calls the magic “wonderment.” So what is it, the moment of miraculous enchantment, the pause? And what have Goethe and the whimsical Nassrudin lost in the everyday business life of the “New Normal”?
I do not know. And: precisely because of this I am curious about possible solutions and twists – and the new big picture of our lives. Is that why I am already “agile”?
How many perspectives does a meta-position offer? What can the many others add to our expertise? How many possibilities can be seen in the big picture? How much serenity does it take to recognize these as further solutions and how much strength to accept and implement them?
Were you counting as you read? The many “much(s)” that open up when we no longer remain in the pattern of “need to know”?!
Strictly speaking, I offered you the core themes of agility
– Not knowing and trusting
– Dialogue and then interdisciplinarity is a great extension of perception,
– Changing perspectives and relating them to the system – thinking outside the box – and then
– To be happy about the successful, small step, draw strength from it and make a next step.
Yes, you say. I know, you say.
Of course. And then: does this knowledge change your attitude, your behavior? How do we recognize the transformation, the change.
Different levels cause different consequences and emotions
- we may give up the illusion of control, the longing to have everything under control and the last “illusion” of power over the system.
- we allow ourselves to trust in ourselves and then in the people who contribute to our visions, goals.
- only then do we open ourselves to the impressions and additions that reach us from outside. We marvel at the possibilities that we ourselves never considered. For years, I have been observing esteemed people who systematically do everything differently than I would, and: they manage it – often easier and more relaxed than I do.
I’m learning. Just as long I focus on my “customers”, internally and externally. Their concerns provide impulses and open up my perspectives. Thank you for that.
- we are flexible and not dependent on rigid structures and certain experts/team members. Iterative steps bring necessary flexibility.
- we draw breath and recognize the small successes along the way. Serendipity. The small happiness.
Finally: the small daily happiness.
This happiness belongs to us individually or, within the organization, jointly aligned and experienced according to values. The prerequisite for this is the serenity to stay with oneself and to be attentive to the small coincidences, progresses and sections that happily open up for us.
How do you create the small moments of happiness for yourself? We, Barbara and Michel, are curious to learn from you. Write us, call us and expand your happiness moment by sharing.
Until then: stay healthy, curious and open! To imagine the better you don’t have to know the good (following Steve de Shazer).
Yours Barbara & Michel