Category: news

16 Jun 2021

Questions about letting go and winning.

“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










05 May 2021

Is ambiguous enough?

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


25 Mar 2021
Openses - Happiness

Little Happiness

 “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.

What illusion?!

Different levels cause different consequences and emotions

  1. we may give up the illusion of control, the longing to have everything under control and the last “illusion” of power over the system.
  2. we allow ourselves to trust in ourselves and then in the people who contribute to our visions, goals.
  3. 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.
  1. we are flexible and not dependent on rigid structures and certain experts/team members. Iterative steps bring necessary flexibility.
  2. 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



09 Mar 2021
Angry Forgetting

Angry Forgetting!?

Angry Forgetting!?

Do you sometimes feel like it’s only Tuesday on Friday? Or that your short-term memory lets you down and you easily could be reminiscing about old memories?

You are not alone, but in good company of the many who spent the last months working at home and missed necessary challenges to practice their memory.

Never mind, it’s not that bad?

Unfortunately it is bad, because with the fitness of certain brain areas, the level of perception is also affected and with it the perceived and actual ability to concentrate, focus, reflect and understand complexity. This often leads to a sense of loss of control, and regardless of actual impairment, we then even more crave certainty, control, and power.

My thesis is, that the diminished capacity to grasp complexity leads to a loss of agility, a prerequisite for moving forward in the current situation.

Loss of control versus desire for power?

What is your experience? Has your working world become more hybrid?
How many benefits do you derive from the new situation?
Why don’t I ask about the disadvantages of the same?
What design frameworks does the “new normal” offer?
How do I maintain my perceived and actual capacity to think and remember?

One question can be answered quickly: asking about the disadvantages (for solutions of this kind) is less significant, they block our creativity and memory of successes.

More important to ask: what have you and your organization been successful at? How much agility and how much structure were helpful in reorganizing the world of life and work? How were you able to sustain courage and joy?
And then: how do we influence our ability to focus and quickly recognize, analyze, act, react? How do we maintain our flexibility?
How do we exercise our thinking skills in the context of new digital demands and increased lack of social, empathic interactions?
How do we react to, how do we distinguish between fake and subjective reality? How do we value facts? How “agile” do we manage complexity? How do we deal with uncertainties, volatilities, ambiguities?

What does our freedom consist of?

Certainly, we will all have to learn, develop and reinvent a lot. For today I have three approaches to offer:

  1. Nora Bateson refers in her reflections on “Emergence” to the assumption that many present results are preceded by developments of several generations and that a solution lies in this understanding without exposing the roots of the development. She calls this understanding “Warm Data” – empathy, intuition and understanding of the “system” – on which shared learning (“Symmatesy”) and solutions are then built on.
  2. Studies found that actually exercising different regions of the brain not only strengthens memory, but leads to a more relaxed, overall sense of well-being. Studies show that calm, serene engagement of the same brain regions lead to quicker and appropriate memories and decisions. I call it clarity from (letting go) and curiosity about what comes next.
  3.  reflection on one’s own need for secureness and control: Marshall Rosenberg writes in “The Purpose of Anger” that anger and rage are expressions of unmet needs. Recognizing and articulating these needs ourselves and then in others could save us a great deal of effort in imposing systems of control (on ourselves and) others.

How much better would then self-confidence, self-responsibility and sense-making work for complexity management and the development of agile attitudes.
I’m sure you can think of other helpful attitudes and skills.

Write to us. Together, we’ll create a diverse, agile, solution-oriented world in motion.
Oh yes: please let’s not forget to paint this future colorful and meaningful to us. Then it can succeed….

Write us your impressions and answers. Let’s learn and experience together,


Barbara & Michel


Supplementary literature

Surprising Purpose of Anger by Marshall B. Rosenberg, ISBN 9781892005151

Nora Bateson:


01 Feb 2021


Temptation. What a word. Temptation. No, not prohibition, not kick from self-harm. Or is it? Has the edge of the plate we look over become so narrow, the plate on which we eat life so small?

Reflecting on it is addictive. Danger of longing. Because today I mean nothing else when I write about temptation than the invitation to go beyond previous experiences. Drug-free, of course. Well then, let’s “try” it:

What holds, what gives structure in an old world that is more and more dissolving? What are old experiences that we should keep and new experiences that we should gather?

My inspiration for today’s blog was a classically presented offer of future orientation. It offers strict presumptions about digitization, remote work, management work and operational future scenarios. With all due respect: bullshit.

Do I have your attention?

Bullshit? It depends on the perspective!? If the author (s) speak for themselves and take responsibility, the prediction may be correct. If – as it is the case – we are asked collectively to convert the prediction into reality, this statement with a claim to truth is inappropriate. Because: Every individual is asked to follow their own plans, intentions, wants and skills in order to create reality. To know the results of the collaboration today is impossible.

‘Cause future is a mutual trial (and error)

My offer: Let us no longer pretend that we know, that we have the wisdom to see the future. And let us allow ourselves, our fears, our worries and our care and the knowledge that we want to steer our futures from different perspectives, expertise, the ability to react quickly and out of the longing for a beautiful and appropriate life for many. In their “Generative Change”, Robert Dilts and Stephen Gilligen emphatically describe that creative shaping of the future depends on our attitude. Only stability in ourselves, openness, the welcome of other inputs enable us to find solutions where there was previously externally controlled determination.

Have you given up looking any further?

Have you withdrawn into your own truth, into the familiar, the known? Just withdrawn into clear predictions that arose from the extrapolation of the past? Or decide to focus on yourself, to trust and to look for solutions in cooperation with others.

By this the “attempt”, the “temptation” takes on a different, beautiful meaning.

She leaves the outcome open, knows little about “either or” and often “as well as” and then “and then also” (note: based on Steve de Shazer`s und Insoo Kim Bergs „Brief Solution Synchronicity“, BFTC Milwaukee/Wisconsin).

Own tasks, people, intentions, cooperation, all of this begins to change and opens up many possibilities. Try it. What was quietly announced before the disruptive year 2020 is reality today. Terms like “positive” and “negative” have changed their connotations. Also allow “trying”: We define “trying” as a consistent search for solutions, developments, alternatives and then “both”: this “trying” does not know failure, only one path of development.

What is that to us as managers?

A lot, I would like to think: if executives can convey a new definition of “temptation” or “attempt” to the entrusted employees, employees should not dismiss an unsatisfactory result with “unsuccessful attempt”, which then entails waiting and withdrawal, but rather a continuous resumption, continuation and astonished, self-confident, creative, new “intermediate result” possible.

Is temptation addicting?

Maybe? Maybe not. It takes self-reflection and it takes effort. It takes courage to try unfamiliar territory, to discover yourself and creative solutions.

Is there a means for this? Let’s try with attitude.

  • Give yourself and your employees a framework in which solutions are possible (Dilts and Gilligan speak of the interplay between the body and the unconscious and the conscious in a constant dialogue.)
  • Give yourself and the employee a common intention (what do we want to achieve together?)
  • Develop a “generative”, trying mindset together (move yourself and the people you trust from being evaluated by third parties to an appreciative relationship.)
  • Find an appropriate, shared, creative solution (many roads lead to Rome: there is not just one solution, stay open.)
  • Convert obstacles into fine resources (change takes place where challenges and uncharted territory await.)
  • Drive the transformation forward steadily.

Tired of trying? Well. Then get down to work: do it!

Write to us: what should there be more of in the future, and of what less? Thank you for your feedback today,

Your Barbara and Michel

Robert B Dilts, Stephen Gilligan: more information at

Insa Sparrer, Matthias Varga from Kibed at

10 Jan 2021


Seduction. How seductive that sounds.

On the one hand to be seduced and on the other hand to seduce others. Surrender of power and presumption of power – or giving up responsibility or cold calculation.

I don’t want to write about that today. Or just so much:

We didn’t want to admit it for a long time. Not only will there be no “back to normal”, but also that “more of the same”, i.e. more control, more functional hierarchy, more efficiency, will not show us a way out of the current situation. Even if some of them wish so much to be able to hand over responsibility upwards or elsewhere.

No. It cannot go on like this. Not even through meso-esoteric encounter in denial of reality and facts.

None of this supports us as individuals to accept the new challenges:

  • Shifting space and time by the mixture of analog and digital work: how do we lead our employees towards social, economic and self-reflective behavior? Which structures are needed for this, which daily routines, technologies and meeting or co-working places. Much is already given to us by futurologists. The truth is: we don’t know and idea or assumption are just paths.
  • Creativity and innovation need new, interdisciplinary approaches. This includes courage not to (yet) know and nevertheless trust in the capabilities of the partner. How do we create a culture of trust where hierarchies of strong power and control predominate? Which of these structures will continue to be useful.
  • What or who gives safety and securness? When will artificial intelligence take over which tasks – even in terms of design – and what tasks will then remain for us as leader?
  • How can competences and new skills in order to deal with new framework conditions be acquired, if we have not yet understood the old systems and effective forces?

What does this have to do with seduction? And what does it have to do with leadership?

Entice yourself with clear thoughts and knowledge of responsibility to ourselves and then to those we lead. How it works?

Let us use the first few days of the new year and let us practice clarity. Clarity about the inner force driving us every day. No, this does not mean the earning of every day`s living, but what we are willing and deciding to contribute to the improvement of this world of ours. Let us find an orientation: no, not an answer to orders, but inner lighthouses that help us to continue every day with our goal in mind.

I know that right now is a demanding challenge. Every day we meet people who behave as if there was no new time, no other human beings to be considered, no fear of change.

Let’s try it anyway (and not only because the literature from Viktor Frankl to hypno-systemists like Steve de Shazer or spiritual NLPers like Robert B. Dilts, Steven Gilligan and many others set an example). The change of time, for example, can also be clearly read in the “old men”: what remains and what ages. Countless literature and recently remote training of the latter two prove: The concept of meditative orientation no longer fits into fast-moving times – it fits perfectly into fast-moving times.

A rapidly changing environment calls for an “as well as”.

Smart thinking and quick, agile adaptation. The abandonment of ancient knowledge and the appreciation of wisdom. A few days ago I asked a small group of highly esteemed, scientifically oriented colleagues: “How much value has wisdom?” Pause, reflect and try to find an answer: “Wisdom knows what it takes for now and what needs to be let go.”

It is important to let go the endlessly “bathe” in one’s knowledge. Instead we have to expand our ability to listen “differently”, to allow optimistic solutions in a future-oriented and open to interdisciplinary knowledge. Letting go means a consistent reflection on the existing and innovatively merging with new influences. Seducing yourself and others towards solutions means free learning, associating, inventing and implementing, means happiness.

So what is our personal contribution to the success of a better world?

The neurologist Gerald Hüther knows: “What is really contagious is the happiness radiated by people who have taken responsibility for themselves. These are people who have established a bond with themselves and the world that makes them happy. These people lead a life that we can only wish for everyone in this world. ”

What is your personal contribution to the success of a better world – despite VUCA, despite Covid-19?

My vision of my contribution for many years has been “seduction”. Namely the seduction of as many people as possible to accept and take on conscious responsibility and self-determination.

Admittedly, this is not a “hit” in times of fear, control and distancing. Scientific studies show social withdrawal and abandonment to a few.

The necessary transformation and positioning in an unpredictable, insecure and highly agile world with rapidly changing framework conditions can only succeed if we first define a future for ourselves in which responsibility, humanity and responsibility have a place.

What skills do we have to develop in order to be able to help shape our ideas for the future?

  • Everyone is talking about the basic understanding of contemporary technologies, how to deal with digitization and the idea of ​​possibilities from artificial intelligence
  • The conversion to hybrid systems of analog and digital communication has almost been successful. We are slowly catching up with our children, who use existing technologies as a matter of course.
  • The reflection of social skills, such as leading at a distance, is in development and needs your, all of us, support: because it begins with leading ourselves, seducing us into an optimistic-realistic future. And according to modern brain research, the future is created in our heads. Through an appreciative exchange with like-minded people, it comes into reality (compare Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus logico-philosophicus 😉
  • Trust in ourselves to cope with the unknown. My favorite “wise man” Nassrudin Hodscha ( gives instructions when he says: “From the bud of confusion the flower of amazement blossoms” – only when we allow uncertainty we may enter new territories and learnings, develop solutions and experience happiness.

What is our contribution to the success of a future world?

  • Drafting your own, authentic and livable future
  • The acquisition of the necessary skills and knowledge:

– Reflected self-confidence allows us to trust others as well – sometimes with the necessary courage – and to set off, to question what we have achieved and to plan and implement the next steps / phases

– Consider complex topics on a meta level without immediately diving into micromanagement

– Bringing courage and joy into our heads and hearts for a common, appropriate future amid changes.

  • The visible, comprehensible example and demonstration, the seduction of others to take measurements, to reflect and ourselves: Only when we have given ourselves meaning and direction, we manage to develop passion orientation and community orientation together.

Let us seduce ourselves and our co- creators to be more courageous for personal responsibility and curiosity about the new life. Let us seduce ourselves into learning and surprising solutions. The more we have sustainable, thinking, reflective people in our teams, the easier organizations will fit into future, to shape the future together, courageously, flexibly and with multiple skills.

With this in mind, we wish you a wonderful new year 2021 and look forward to your feedback, suggestions and helpful ideas. We are there for you!

Barbara & Michel

PS: Our digital advantage: if you want to read or hear more of the smart “old people” mentioned – the Internet provides multiply information 😉

21 Nov 2020
Post Servant leadership

Servant leadership

For years I have been working on the methodical approach regarding leadership, attitudes and coaching. And you subconsciously certainly do it too. In our considerations on how to manage our teams or when sparring with partners in the new virtual present, we test new leadership situations and experience the so-called turning point.

Turning point. That sounds almost spiritual. In fact, we are less concerned with visible transformation of objectives, but more with the ‘uplift’ of mindsets towards focus, concentration and creative power.

A switch in time. We realized – very pragmatically and step by step accepted – that after nine months of a pandemic context, we are at the beginning of something new. The new, that affects our everyday business lives and requires the understanding of leadership as a daily task.

Many new-fangled terms related to ‘agile leadership’ such as Design Thinking, Scrum or Canban, which originate from traditional developments in hypnotherapy, from quality management and organizational development, created new terms such as ‘agile coach’, ‘facilitator’, ‘connector’ and, most recently, ‘servant leader’ – albeit limited to defined tasks. Times changed and former limits escape.

Upgrade. This may almost look like a downgrading of management tasks when the mentioned terms are now applied to people, who previously derived their effectiveness from organizational related hierarchy and established processes.

And no, quite the opposite. To lead people through these restless times of Covid is the noblest task at any level of leadership. It means to serve the whole big one, to lead people out of the small retreat box, we like to escape into in times of crisis, and giving them courage and perspective for the new era.

Yes, it will be challenging.
Yes, it’s uncomfortable.
And it’s exciting, crackling, and appropriate for the moment. Old and new, reality and virtuality blur – virtual reality.


Courage. History cannot be turned back. Former Knowledge and experience are needed as well as the ability to separate with cherished rituals and familiar control mechanisms. That makes it uneven and difficult to accept for some. Resistance, sadness and worry are part of the transformation and are a prerequisite for making friends with new things afterwards.

Let’s use this “unfreezing phase” to think new and experiment creatively.
Now show off your skills as a “servant leader”:

  • Provide secureness and reliability through structures, a framework in which growth and creative development can and should take place. Check the “space”, which may enable solutions.
  • Appreciate the contributions of single ones, encourage new perspectives and contributions of your team and colleagues.
  • Support and accompany those who still lack the courage to come forward with ideas or the technical possibilities to adequately contribute.
  • Invent and learn to use new communication channels, analog, digital or hybrid. What is “real”, what is simulation, what is dreaming, what is totally new?

The characteristics and attitudes are “simply but not easy” and briefly summarized

  • Force
  • Enthusiasm
  • Love
  • Flexibility
  • Orientation towards long-term results
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Systemic intelligence
  • Spiritual, conscious, reflected intelligence

Admit to yourself, that you are a learner. Associate with your colleagues, with your team towards a desirable result. Cooperation and the commitment of all of our senses are required.

Be lenient. With others and with yourself.
Be demanding. With others and with oneself.
Be reflective. Observe yourself as you learn and lead in a new context.

 Playful. Supportive. Optimistic. Powerful. You are the role model to which your, our interlocutors orient themselves. This gives leadership a different, social, caring quality – for a different yet promising future.

 Remember: we, the toccaverde team, will accompany you through the new challenges. Safely and competently. Give us a call or write to us.

22 Oct 2020
Post Are we open towards -- Toccaverde | your development in business future? - Toc

Are we open towards future?

What we jointly experienced in the past months: to come out of any comfort zone and step into the reality of change and dig deep into the clear core of necessity.

In other words: even theories of the past about the intentions of people and organizations with regard to perseverance and a return to the accustomed state in comfort are currently proving to be obsolete. A new chapter has opened and we are not returning to the old one.

The new learnings that now have become even more stringent: 

  • value orientation instead of profit maximization
  • added value instead of unchecked growth
  • opportunities and possibilities instead of challenges
    networking with clear and convincing Unique Selling Proposition
    agile competencies over functional management
    and last but not least .. that appreciation and sharing of responsibility show the way to the future: no longer going faster, bigger, further but instead going with a sense of what is appropriate and responsible for the system

Leadership now means building bridges, positioning oneself in relation to society, business and politics, changing perspectives, in questioning the parameters and above all: communicating.

Managers with experience in intercultural systems could have a starting advantage over those who were supposedly secure in previously clear closed structures.

Leadership is no longer about instructing, but about the ability to make oneself understood and provide clarity about new collaborations.

What do you as manager require?

  • Self-awareness and self-care: your own mental health and your ability to adapt to the demands are prerequisites for leading in permanent change. This requires you to be conscious about your capabilities and readily fresh to perform at your best
  • A positive mindset: seeing opportunities instead of challenges also means maintaining strategic foresight even in imponderable situations. It also means reconciling different future scenarios with current reality as-is, i.e. taking positive adaptive next steps
  • A vision: to develop this vision and to push it further, to inspire and involve others, is admittedly exhausting but as ever mandatory to be the guide. The ‘Purpose’ creates the motivation for daily use (referencing to Viktor Frankl)
  • Values and social commitment: the last few months have emphatically (and scientifically) proven that trust and hope, integrity and results – in other words, everything that gives meaning to our existence – are perceived as valuable and people who are able to convey these are recognized as leaders.
  • Thinking for the customer: more than ever before, we orient ourselves towards our needs of our customers and further, their  stakeholders. Customers want us to onboard on their journey towards a positive future with us involved in their priorities, their needs, their solutions and so, their celebrations.
  • Spirit of transformation: foreseeing necessary developments and going with the energy of change is the force that prevents from being overrun by external forces.


All brings us back to where we started, closing the loop: resistance is the end. Reflection and communication on the future state and its possibilities that are collectively caring about our system, with the aligment of all in the network. This will be de trigger, the factor of success. It is about merging the valuable elements in time and space.

And, it started already. The time is now.

We at Toccaverde are here for you with our hybrid model of consulting, ready to strengthen you based on your needs and possibilities. Call us, write to us. Our team is looking forward to meeting you!

Barbara & Michel

22 Oct 2020
Post Do you feel working the same way as before Corona? - Toccaverde | your development in business

Do you feel working the same way as before Corona?

We are already getting more familiar with virtual meetings, connecting us remotely to each other. Discussions start becoming again more content focused, hence valuable. Large companies like Siemens are already considering the design and implementation globally of homework as common practice.

So, remote working has become a standard way of working. Where are the hurdles?We received tutorials for remote work. We can smartly work with images and a camera view and recognizing gestures are quickly being learned.

What does it all mean?

Studies in recent years have shown that ‘old school learning’, whether physically together or online, only contributes to 10% of the lifelong development of employees. We learn 70% ‘by doing’ and 20% by ‘copy and paste mode’.

But how do we design content for the new way we interact?

  • How do we show ourselves beyond the lessons learned on ‘emotional intelligence’?
  • Which linguistic formulas cause the transformation of the ‘new collaboration’?
  • Is it possible in the present form of remote work?
  • Which developments are caused in semantics?


Well, one question leads to the next..

How did I design creative, innovative work in the regular environment of physical presence, with sharply structured speech processes, school-like and interactive query modes and the usual silence comfort zone of some?

Since we at toccaverde have been operating also remotely for many years internationally (and multiculturally), we have been enriched by numerous earnings on how to rely on more than words to be able to respond empathically to our interlocutors.

Moreover, we experienced the need to develop some additional, perhaps even more unfamiliar skills.

Our personal experience

First, we gathered experience by attending remote meetings as a listener. Here we noticed exciting situations: moderators and speakers in strict control mode, highly mastering content, concentrated, but low-emotion and melody-free voices. Sometimes with limited speaking timeslots, agreed agendas that only serve to process technical content.

That may also fit the purpose. In any case, it is more efficient than those remote meetings in which the majority of the participants say goodbye to picture and sound and degenerate into bored consumers.

Creative meetings need more

They need a voice with a mood, a picture with emotions, space and time to laugh together, to get to know each other.

1. Voice with mood: give up control

Niklas Luhman and Paul Watzlawik have scientifically proven that the sender’s message is not the same as the information for the recipient.

Words alone are never enough, unconsciously we perceive the color of the voice, the accentuation and translate this – enriched with agreement or disagreement of facial expressions, gestures, own values, prior knowledge and much more into our own reality.
What would help? Talk to each other instead of about each other. Find each other. Show emotions – verbally and non-verbally.

2. Replace certain words

Let us elaborate a bit further on this one. You are already familiar with the essentials, such as avoiding the words ‘no’ and ‘but’.

There is also th challenge of the connotation: in times of change, mindfulness – mindfulness in the choice of words – is the order of the day. We learn that we do not control everything, that we are no longer in competition with others.

No more ‘higher, higher, faster’, but an agile, meaningful, collective approach to whatever possible future is announced.

Words like ‘challenges’ trigger untimely, competitive reflexes. The collaborative approach instead calls for opportunities.

Worries and considerations do not go away from now on – the semantic handling allows helpful perspectives and approaches to release the current stressy situation a bit.

3. Use an open word style and new levels of expression.

Invite your audience to ask ‘open-ended’ questions. Also let them ask others for support. Respond to moods and address them. Leave plenty of room for thought, induce a friendly change of level and perspective.

As a basic rule, appreciate and trust in the power of small steps.

We’ll tell you more about it in our next blog – or podcast. We look forward to your inspiring questions and inquiries about workshops, remotely or not.

Barbara & Michel

20 Oct 2020
Post-Corona or in the middle of it?

Post-Corona or in the middle of it?

Admittedly: I lack the undivided attention, the focus that the quarantine – and not only the home office – allowed us. Which meant a lot of effort, the new digital communication, the concentration on the interlocutor at the screen, the discipline of conducting conversations, the calmness of letting thoughts develop: all this is reduced and the focus “dispersed”.

Instead: Expectable and unexpected (partly) emotional outbursts from people to whom I would never have ascribed such things: fighting for the preservation of imaginary free spaces, crossing red lines and claims to control as the last bastion and demonstration of supposed power. The return to normality is incomparably more demanding than the retreat into “modern Biedermeier” – at least for the privileged who were able to withdraw.

What an exciting experience, also for me, to be able to relate to reflected hearing, to keep my common sense and then sort out the essential findings.

Two insights and questions that come up accompany me since a digital meeting with colleagues:

How to offer reflective and appreciative resistance to persistence and preservation? How to simultaneously develop futures that integrate the wonderful knowledge and skills of the past? Today we know how to appreciate and use the achievements of our ancestors, be it in architecture, music, literature, precisely because we have developed ourselves further. And also in a new guise!

How future models think, focus on possibilities: “Energy flows where attention goes”. How do we create the ambiguous challenge of guiding the people entrusted to us towards independent thinking and acting and the handling and acceptance of multilevel conditions?

My assumption from many conversations and reflections in the past: 

  • A “fight” for the preservation of structures and old power relations (e.g. between teachers and students) limits our resources. A nice example is known from the far eastern philosophers who define the “highest level of the master” as the ability to learn from his student.
  • In our Western understanding of a “facilitator” it is the ability to draw innovation by changing perspectives, by reflecting on customer questions and needs – and to assign to all participants the mindful and appreciative status of enjoying new insights. The struggle to preserve knowledge and transform it into future challenges, the possibilities to let it reach a broad public for the benefit of society, the social economy and the environment multiplies our powers.
  • TRUST is the key – to and about us and our own, reflecting, tested attitudes and abilities and the will of people to join the good.
  • Attentiveness and awareness to the needs and positions of our fellow human beings and the ability to tune into an imponderable future.

We have learned that a priori nothing is good and nothing is bad, not right or wrong, but depends on the situation, the visions and the direction – regardless of our commitment to social, economic or political guidelines Let us remain curious!

Let us move along the signposts of a penta-lemma between 

  • the familiar, the familiar, the comfortable the new, the alternative, the path from the previous
  • the “as well as” – i.e. the interplay (integration) of the two opposing poles,
  • the “neither of the two” as that of reviewing previous considerations, of searching for the overlooked.
  • Only then – and with joy – does the fifth position open up as the “completely new”

(Format from the Systemic Structural Constellation according to Matthias Varga von Kibed and Insa Sparrer, @Syst)

So many chances – so many possibilities! Such a wonderful, large selection, which opens us up, if we follow our inner knowledge, to give even the unchosen a new view.

Let’s go for it and stay alert!

We are curious for your comments and a lively discussion and of course for you (on all channels and with many other methodical approaches, which we offer as security in change) there!


Barbara Schütze