Category: news

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

19 Oct 2020
Post-Corona or in the middle of it? - Toccaverde | your development in business

I care that you care

I’m an avowed layman. Not even an “amateur” (derived from Latin for “lover”) – as far as epidemology or virology is concerned. What about you?

How do you deal with all this not knowing?

Aggressive and fearful – Marshall B Rosenberg would emphatically attribute this to the desire for security, for being understood, for much of the unfulfilled.

Selfish and egomaniacal – when no one else is paying attention to you or because you are not one of those at risk, because you have to work for others and because everyone else is generally so much better off than you?

Or reflects compassionately and carefully (self-)caring?

I found a text on posture in Nora Batson and I thank my teacher and friend Matthias Varga von Kibed for transfering to me:


„I don’t care if that mask you wear is really going to keep me from getting the virus. I care that you care. The wearing, and not wearing of protective bandanas, gloves, or whatever… is a message. You know that. I know that. What sort of a world is it that day to day life takes place within?

But no. Normal is beckoning. Normal is urgent. Normal is the survival of billions of people. Normal is a reboot of the inter-systemic death machine that got us here in the first place.

Normal is a double bind. Go back to normal and we all end up in more global catastrophes, but if we do not go back to normal, it is a global catastrophe. And to say this in writing… is to trigger a thousand blades of snickersnack comments to slice the writer into coleslaw.

“That things ‘just go on’ is the catastrophe.” — Walter Benjamin

This is the dystopia. Its counterpart is the vitality of caring and tending to each relationship in each moment. In the supermarket, in the living room, in the social media space.

It is also a small hint of a path.

It is not what is said, or unsaid, but the relationships in which the saying is taking place that give the meaning.“

From: Nora Bateson „My Health Is Not My Own“

Let’s make a decision. Now. And remember: we design.

In any case, we are here for you in Toccaverde. We care.
Please feel free to call us (+43 664 232 11 32) or write to us at

18 Oct 2020
Post New Work! New Work?

New Work! New Work?

It`s time to start with creativity, optimism and agile co-shaping future !

During the last week I had many nice coaching and strategy talks.

I am enthusiastic about the spirit of those who knew how to rise above themselves for a common cause, to overcome their fears, to be there for others under difficult conditions.

You are the heroes of the new VUCA world.

You keep their attitude, when it comes to Vulnerability,  Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity in our “new” world, social, business, family values and vision wise.

And right now? 

just for minutes I had been appalled by self-promoters, who turn the self-evident into a PR show in order to supposedly increase the “brand” of the company. Honestly: that goes wrong, because it is “very old fashioned”! We have become more critical and aggressive, clearer in our perception.

I don’t want to dwell too long on disappointment. Because now it is time not only to allow the gradual ramp-up of our “frozen” everyday life, but also to accompany it. For the statements of sociologists, epidemiologists, ethicists, mathematicians and economists and many more are similar in the assumption that we will continue to feel the effects of Covid19 for a while.

So what remains of the beautiful? Let’s show the profile neurotics our friendliest smile and move on to the essentials. What have we learned?

* Clear communication and cooperation, even in a remote state, are the key to success:

This includes a structured approach to the people we want to address and move with our statements and a language that can give these people in the current situation a guideline for the next few years.

* Let us say goodbye to old structures and organizations – let us live VUCA attitudes:

The pandemic created a paradox, namely prescribed spatial freedom – “spatial distancing”. How flexible, how productive and how secure is cooperation in and outside of offices? All these considerations inevitably lead to different, reflective leadership attitudes, to a reduction of control and hierarchy, and to the need for trust and clear objectives.

Will we reorganize ourselves and our work in the future? 

Since the 2008 crashes, templates have made it from the military to management literature. Now – similar to the acceptance of digital structures – executives are being thrown back on skills, tested in a world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA).

Quick decisions, processing of enormous amounts of data, acceptance of new technological possibilities and adapted or completely new goals will determine success:

Let us learn quickly which tasks have been solved much more efficiently in the peace and quiet of a home office. How are those who are not in the office involved in the project, in the task? Will all former employees be involved in this new process? Have they all been able to acquire the necessary know-how to solve tasks flexibly and without strict work instructions, taking responsibility for themselves?

Does leadership in VUCA times give us a guideline?

Let us try it:

1. change our thinking patterns, our perspectives.

2. let’s speed up our change, let’s not cling to the “good old world” but accept the disruption, a new speed of thinking, deciding and implementing, let’s learn to fail and see this as a milestone of alternative learning, let’s be happy about the support of the Digitals.

3. forward and different: Let’s make the (maybe even small) difference. Let’s give a new perspective to those who may be tried and tested (I will gladly write about the change of perspective in the near future).

Let’s say goodbye to “old-fashioned” communication. Let’s look at how who communicated with what success. Who actually mastered “remote leadership”. 

I am happy to report on “secret” heroes who showed surprisingly strong performances in the crisis, put their own ego aside and worked on the challenge.

Renouncing fair weather and personality statements and opening up to the abilities and needs of the “target group”.

The future of communication, of dialogue lies in the benefit of what is said/heard. And also in getting new perspectives from others through dialogue and developing or redesigning one’s own points of view.

Let’s give ourselves a new vision together, values that go beyond words and inspire those involved.

A large number of scientifically based works on sociological and psychological topics have worked on methods of the “Future Perfect”, the meditative visualization of a future worth living, from which, in retrospect, process steps, attitudes and resources can be derived, starting from Gregory Batson, Virgina Satir and Milton Erickson, Steve de Shazer, Inso Kim Berg, Robert Dilts, Matthias Varga von Kibed, Insa Sparrer and many others. This in a complex, ambiguous time.

We create our new world.  Let us start today!

If you want to know more about it, call me or write me! I am looking forward to your digital and analogue feedback.

Sincerely yours

Author: Dr. Barbara Schütze is known for crisis management, experienced executive coach and authorized expert in the fields of consulting

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17 Oct 2020
Please do not read … if you want to avoid more of the same ;-)

Please do not read … if you want to avoid more of the same ;-)

The blogs and articles are full of them. For once, let us stop talking about crisis management strategies. So, what instead? A “paradigm shift” is looming. Values are shifting – we are “for” each other instead of “against” everything. Will it stay that way? What can we do?

Appropriate for the moment: Step by step – because life is a dance!

In many distance coaching sessions, remote strategy moderation and distance teachings the Toccaverde team analysed the current status. Not unimportant to me seems to be the fact that many of our discussion partners work for companies that guarantee infrastructural security, network energy in material and immaterial form and make it available.

3 main topics of interest add up to new solutions.

Skepticism regarding the use of digital tools was seldom present, rather it was about building “new” security, dealing with oneself and the people entrusted to one’s care and then also for the company (the “brand”).

Taking experiences from human cohesion

Entirely in line with syntactic consulting work and our intention as coaches, we asked about the positive experiences from dealing with the crisis.

Spontaneously, all our interlocutors reported a renewed gain in confidence in the abilities and active attitudes of their employees and teams. What a wonderful insight and what a wonderful new challenge to take this team spirit, this cohesion into the future! And yes, this – cohesion and identification – also has something to do with the healthy survival of the company itself.

Maybe you now reply that with the dissolution of the CoVid19 virus, the cohesion would also “crumble”? I am incorrigibly optimistic. After many, many years we wanted to understand groups, teams and organizations as parts that defined themselves against other formations, among other things, the opposite is happening today: We are increasingly forming for one thing: for our own getting through, our togetherness, our economic and cultural roof, “our” company. Just think of politics which, instead of being guided by party-political considerations, has now (more or less skillfully and unfortunately not everywhere) turned its attention to decisions and measures for people.

The paradigm shift was already apparent in society before, but now the “for” instead of “against” seems to have reached many people’s awareness. Will it stay?

How can you, all of us, make sure that it stays?

Check your own attitude: I remember a sentence by Matthias Varga von Kibed: “Invite the attitude to your home like a good friend, entertain her so well that she forgets to be a guest and may stay! 

And please do not worry: If you go your own reflected way, others will follow. This is strenuous work that defines us as human beings. And which in its sum also constitutes the values and thus the value of the company.

Developing skills and attitudes for agile steering in the fog

Phew, how often have you scraped your will straight past the intentions and goals of the peers? Certainly, less in the past weeks than before. Concern and fear for the maintenance, provision of the bare necessities with reduced resources promotes cooperation – even with those whom we “actually” did not like to suffer at all, even rejected.

The result of this is that our emotions and commitments have reduced us to doing the essential, leaving space to appreciate (and sometimes perhaps painfully expose the opposite) the abilities and will of individuals.

So what? Or better how then?

Abilities to want to understand a common direction for different futures and to understand it better and better is a first step. The next step is “communalizing”, i.e. bringing together the most diverse perspectives and exchanging them respectfully. The active, operative, first step results from the new picture.

The attitude towards it is as simple as it is challenging: openness is required. And the realization that we can only solve complex challenges together, or even better, that we can often turn complex tasks in completely new directions together.

A hint from my attitude as a coach:
Nothing is right and nothing is wrong – everything is appropriate for the moment. 

Let us not question everything right now. There will be time for that later – please expect another blog from the Toccaverde workshop. A little hint: Tools for a systemic approach to work are available from our Toccaverde team 😉

 Let’s talk with each other instead of sending news around!

Surely you have already recognized the key to all existing and future successes. It’s very simple: let’s talk to each other – listen appropriately, speak clearly and make sure we are understood. Again exhausting work ;-).

The realization of this “simple” exercise and the repeated (explanation) of one’s own statements almost always leads to new perspectives and improvements. With a common level of knowledge and willingness, it will be possible to make the creeks run again and the “economy” buzz even after an ice age.

 Appropriate for the moment: go step by step – because life is a dance!

What moves you? What questions, worries are you dealing with right now? Let’s talk: write to me or call me – the professionals of Toccaverde are there for you!