Too Much Bloody Choice (part 1)

When I was a kid if you had any choice at all it was “Take it or leave it”. As time progressed, we actually got BBC Home Service (for topical events, Women’s Hour, the original soap “The Archers” and half-hour comedies), the Third Programme (heavy culture) and the Light Programme (for music Dads and Grandads appreciated) on what we called the wireless.

I can first remember being utterly flummoxed by the range of choice when visiting Ben and Jerry’s ice cream factory in Vermont years ago. After an entertaining tour including us having answer questions with “moo” instead of “yes” we queued up to get ice cream. From a distance we could make out the numerous varieties, most of which were new to us then, so we pondered which to choose.

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Agililly – an emergency

Clarification: Since we are now trying to better understand companies and organizations as living organisms, what appealed to me about this posting was turning the highly topical and much sought-after characteristic of agility into a person – Agililly. With the constant indispensable companion and pioneer Scrummy in the role of Scrum Master – a mostly overworked and often ignored evangelist for the necessary principles and practices. The fact that the scene takes place in a hospital should not really come as a surprise.

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Feeling strategies – with dedication and passion against blind trust

This is a new text from our “guest writer” Christoph Henties.

A chorus on strategy

“Felt is not recognized.

Recognised is not formulated.

Formulated is not proclaimed.

Proclaimed is not understood.

Understood is not agreed.

Agreed is not applied.

Applied is not maintained.

Maintained is not felt. Felt is not…!”

Whether you are a jazz or classical music fan, love pulsating swing or soulful ballads, everyone can musically intonate the above chorus, the “strategy song”, in their own way. And as a rule, harmonies and songs, especially if you like them, become a catchy tune in your memory – they play themselves, so to speak, almost involuntarily recurring in your “spiritual ear”. How nice it would be if this metaphor also applied to companies‘ extensively elaborated strategic plans.

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Risk management or self-deception? (2)

Are the common approaches to risk management in projects still up to date?

I think not.

In a world in which more change takes place every day than in the whole of 1880, the almost exclusive focus on what is known and experienced is de facto pure arrogance paired with ignorance (and this also applies to Central Switzerland).

Even iterative approaches such as Scrum, which are rightly said to be better suited to rapid change and high complexity, provide only partial concrete answers. Shorter sprints and transparency about the state of the delivery outcomes are very helpful, but do not turn a turkey into a visionary yet.

But how can we position ourselves in projects in such a way that we are better prepared for unknown unknowns, or perhaps even draw something positive from them?

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Risk management or self-deception? (1)

Why this article?

Now, for a change, a topic in which satirical exaggeration is not so easy for me.

What might be the reason? Maybe the topic is simply too close to my heart, too important to me. Also, I have not yet completely penetrated it myself, thought it through to the end, internalized it. At least that’s what my gut tells me.

I already question the title again. Shouldn’t it actually be “I” instead of “you” (or at least “we”)? But it’s OK. After all, I already have a certain advantage, because I have already dealt with it. That’s enough of doubt. What is it about? It’s about risk management.

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Nostalgia and sustainability – The Eco Etiquette

While sorting through my mother’s estate, I came across the “Öko-Knigge” ecological etiquette guide (unfortunately not translated into English). Rainer Griesshammer’s book was published in 1984, and I gave it to her sometime in the 80s as a birthday present – which proves that the admonishing index finger was not only pointed from mother to daughter, but also vice versa.

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The Profit Center – a “doll in a doll”? (Part 2)

(Here the link to part 1: https://harlekin.blog/en/the-profit-center-a-doll-in-a-doll-part-1#more-2071.)

I cannot list all the problems that can arise with the introduction of a profit center organization, but for the interested reader here is an example of the hidden pitfalls of this system. The whole thing packed into one simple question:

Is a profit center manager, who, due to the “considerable” internal transfer price for the use of a meeting room of the “internal facility management”, capitalizes on a cheaper external room…

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The Profit Center – a “doll in a doll”? (Part 1)

Many readers will have worked or are still working in a profit center. It is possible that some of them have not been introduced to any other form of organization and therefore could not see any difference for “their work” at all. For this article I originally wanted to comment on a few personal experiences as ironic anecdotes. But since only few people know the phenomenon of profit centers (short PCs) from the perspective of management or finance, I decided to report a little more about the background and history of the PC.

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How the office came by a room full of champagne

This contribution is a joint production by the harlequins RGE and BCO.

RGE: We enjoyed celebrating at our office. Good deals, for example, or new customers. With bubbly.

Sometimes business even went much better than expected. From the management’s point of view, this was not very fortunate because our units were organised as profit centres. The general demand for business growth was about 5% per year. If it was actually higher, it automatically increased expectations the following year.

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