Do you operate a high level of 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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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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Digital Nomades – The herd moves on

Being able to exchange information promptly and over long distances has always been the decisive driving force behind new forms of communication. In most cases older practices have faded into the background and then – over time – been “forgotten”. Interesting migration paths of communication are to be found everywhere. Adults view the communication behaviour of their children or today’s youngsters critically (and with a degree of horror). And there we have it: we can hardly imagine these kids without smartphone, SMS and WhatsApp!

These means and forms of communication are nevertheless only the logical development of earlier communication forms such as carrier pigeons, postcards, telegrams and the local pub. By the way, these too were denounced at “their time” just as much as Twitter, Facebook and co..

New connectivity and changed communication in society is neither a reason for panic nor an obligation to join ranks. It is what it is – new technology – with its advantages, prejudices, trends and the necessity to deal with it.

This also includes the digital nomad scene as a new, hip form of work for young people. Like migrant workers and the Pony Express it is changing connectivity and creating new jobs for digital nomads. At the same time, however, it also create new problems that are usually not so readily reported on. We’ll take a look at a few of them in this article.

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Holding up the mirror

HR Business Partner – the modern court jester in companies?

This is a contribution by our guest author Christoph Henties. Christoph already published the three-part “Organisations Learn Jazz” in June this year. We are very happy to have him back this week.

Recently, in a conversation with an experienced, committed HR manager, she quoted one of  her superiors: “Our job in HR is solely to implement the board’s decisions and measures.” I visibly felt the restrictive effect of this statement of loyalty to the hierarchy on my interviewee. The disappointment at neglecting one’s own ideas for constructively shaping creative personnel work for employees and the organization was all too noticeable.

The concept of the court jester came to my mind: a figure who could tell the authorities unpleasant truths without fearing the consequences. This figure could mention the unspeakable. It had the task of telling the ruler the truth, had the freedom of fools.

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Who cares?

Have you noticed those stickers? They are proudly displayed on cars – mostly on the back and often on vehicles like the KIA Carens and the Peugeot 807. Very rarely or not at all on a Mercedes Benz SLK or an Audi TT. You may think: “Oha! The latter vehicles are well-endowed with horsepower, while the former are in need of it.” With this I counter with the Opel Tigra Twin Top, which even with the largest engine produces a modest 125 bhp. Now you might think: “Eureka, I‘ve got it. The latter are made by German carmakers and the former are from countries less skilled in car making.” I counter such a foolish assessment with a dry “Citroën C3 Pluriel”, a convertible like SLK and TT, which is built in a country that stands for French bread and overpriced red wine, and in terms of power potential still lags behind the above-mentioned Opel.

The former often sport small screens at the back fastened to the headrests, which is never the case for the latter. To all those who now think: “The latter can only accommodate two people, while the former can accommodate six to seven”, we can only shout “Brilliant!”

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Innovation or decay?

Blame Management (Part 2)
Undocumented, but practised processes of project management

While in Part 1 we introduced ourselves to the significance of this falsely demonised topic in society and companies, it is time now to become more concrete.

This requires a common understanding of what it is all about.

Definition of terms

The English term “blame” has also been very common in the German-speaking world for some time, but there it is increasingly used in its progressive form of “blaming”, i.e. accusing someone of something. In my opinion, we should expand the definition in the corporate environment in such a way that it better fits actual practices:

“Assigning responsibility for negative events or circumstances to the lowest still plausible, but politically most defenceless hierarchical level.”

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Autumn is here

… or: Halloween in day-to-day leadership
(Part 1)

And with falling leaves, persistent rain and colder nights dread falls upon us… When I went to my car yesterday in a good mood, it was already there! She was waiting for me, unmissable, right in the middle of the door to the underground car park! That’s my door, it wanted to tell me. I would have liked to have agreed with it and run back up the stairs immediately. My breathing became shallow and my body began to make movements the mind considers nonsense, but my mind had absented itself anyway. You guessed it. On the door sat a cobweb spider, aka a house spider, altogether about 6 cms across.

Why am I telling you about my fears?

Because I think it’s time to make fear socially acceptable. Fear is a deeply human emotion that unfortunately sometimes makes us do things that don’t make sense. I often experience this in companies. But first things first.

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