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Unsere neue Homepage ist live!

Unter anderem finden Sie dort verschiedene konkrete Wege, von unserer Arbeit zu profitieren — aufbauend auf unserem Buch Management Y, unserem Film Augenhöhe, der B-Corporations Bewegung, und darüber hinaus.

Wir freuen uns auf Ihr Feedback und Ihre Resonanz!

"Augenhöhe" — unser Dokumentarfilm über Zusammenarbeit

Bilder sagen mehr als tausend Worte — gerade bewegte. Wir haben daher beschlossen, inspirierende Zusammenarbeit zu filmen: Menschen an ihren Arbeitsplätzen, auf Augenhöhe zusammen arbeitend, vertrauensvoll, erfüllt von ihren Aufgaben.

Den Anfang macht Allsafe Jungfalk, ein preisgekrönter metallverarbeitender Betrieb mit 160 Mitarbeitern in Baden-Württemberg.

Es ist ein Experiment: Können wir durch die Kamera "sehen", wie sich gute Zusammenarbeit anfühlt? Überträgt sich der "Spirit" im Film, und inspiriert er die Zuschauer?

Wir haben in 3 Tagen 14 Stunden Material in Kinoqualität gedreht und daraus einen ersten 2'35" kurzen Trailer gemacht — funktioniert es?

(Ein Klick auf die Pfeile neben "vimeo" zeigt den Film in voller Größe.)


Herzlichen Dank auch von hier aus an die engagierten Mitarbeiter und Detlef Lohmann für den Mut, uns bei sich drehen zu lassen!

Diskussion und mehr Infos zunächst hier auf Facebook, sowie in unseren Gesprächsgruppen '21' auf Facebook und xing.

Keynote "Beyond IT - Beyond Agile: Wie können wir im ganzen Haus agil zusammenarbeiten?"

Ich war ganz überwältigt von der tollen Resonanz zu meinem Keynote-Vortrag heute auf der #ManageAgile 2013!

Die Kernfragen, die ich im Vortrag gestellt habe, scheinen tatsächlich einen Nerv der Zeit zu treffen:

  • Was hat sich im 21. Jahrhundert geändert, das nun immerhin schon zu einem Sechstel vorbei ist?
  • Welcher unterschiedlicher Herangehensweisen an Zusammenarbeit haben sich entwickelt, und welche gemeinsamen Kernaspekte zeichnet sich ab?
  • Wie können wir uns die Zusammenarbeit erleichtern?

Herzlichen Dank für die vielen interessanten und zum Teil bewegenden Nachgespräche! Ich freue mich sehr auf den weiteren Austausch.

Mehr zum Thema demnächst hier und hoffentlich auch bald in unserem zukünftigen Event-Kalender auf go21.net.


60 helle Köpfe steckten zusammen bei unserem World Café Workshop "Designing for Collaboration"!

"Wieso zusammenarbeiten? Geht doch!" ist für viele von uns eine vertraute Haltung bei der Arbeit, in der Schule, zuhause und in den Nachrichten. Wir gehen meist davon aus, dass jeder zunächst nach sich guckt, und sehen zu, uns damit zu arrangieren, unseren Vorteil zu suchen und auf der Hut zu sein; und wir genießen Momente des Friedens, in denen wir uns keine Sorgen zu machen brauchen.

Diese verbreitete Sicht steht in klarem Kontrast zur psychologischen Forschung, die überall auf der Welt spätestens seit den 1960ern konsistent feststellt: Menschen sind glücklicher, wenn sie etwas tun, das für sie einen tieferen Sinn hat; und zwar vor allem, wenn dieser Sinn sie mit anderen Menschen verbindet.

Was beeinflusst unsere Entscheidung, ob wir uns mit Menschen verbinden und zusammenarbeiten oder nicht? Und wie können wir Kontexte gestalten, die uns dazu ermutigen?

Nach einigen kurzen Vorträgen entspann sich beim World Café und dem anschließendem Essen mit den fantastischen Teilnehmern aus sehr unterschiedlichen Ländern und Professionen bis weit nach Mitternacht ein bemerkenswerter Austausch. Die Photos auf den Stanford-Seiten (hier) geben einen Eindruck davon: Ich war sehr berührt von der Tiefe und der Offenheit unserer Gespräche.


Herzlichen Dank an die Royal Society of Arts RSA (London), das betahaus, Anne Kjær Riechert und Johannes Puschmann vom Berlin Peace Lab, Mark Nelson, Dan Lockton, Sebastian Deterding und go21 für ihren großzügige Förderung, Unterstützung und Begleitung.

McKinsey: Unternehmen setzen inzwischen erhebliche Hoffnungen auf die Digitalisierung.

Laut einer weltweiten McKinsey-Befragung bei 850 Vorständen sind Unternehmen von den Chancen der Digitalisierung mittlerweile voll überzeugt:

Vor allem Kundenbindung, aber auch digitale Innovationen von Produkten, Betriebs- und Geschäftsmodellen sowie 'Big Data' werden als vielversprechend angesehen; Enterprise 2.0 und Automatisierung insgesamt weniger.

Kaum überraschend: Führung, Kultur und Talent gelten nach wie vor als größte Hindernisse auf dem Weg zu den digitalen Verheißungen, weit mehr als die vielfältigen technischen Hindernisse. Häufig hat der CEO als einziger Prokura für solche übergreifenden Veränderungen.

Das knappe Drittel der befragten Unternehmen, das die Stelle eines CDO (Chief Digital Officer) geschaffen hat, erzielt erheblich größere Fortschritte bei ihrer digitalen Transformation als die übrigen.

Designing for Collaboration: Wir-Gefühl als Gestaltungsaufgabe.

Klasse, kurz nach der ersten Ankündigung schon zwei Dutzend Anmeldungen für unseren Workshop am 29. August 2013 von 19 Uhr bis 21 Uhr im Berliner betahaus!

Stanford Peace Innovation Lab RSA Fellowship Gemeinsam mit Anne Kjær Riechert und gefördert durch die britische RSA und die Stanford Peace Innovation Labs erörtern wir, wie Design (im Sinne von Gestaltung) gezielt dazu beitragen kann, die Zusammenarbeit zwischen Menschen zu fördern.

(RSA: Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, hierzulande vor allem bekannt durch die fantastischen RSA Animates)

Rechtzeitig zum Urlaub fertig geworden: Die neue Homepage unserer Initiative go21.

Im go21 Netzwerk entwickeln wir einen modularen Baukasten zur Förderung einer zeitgemäßen Organisationskultur:

    go21 logo
  • miteinander auf Augenhöhe
  • am Menschen orientiert
  • verantwortungsbewusst.

Manche Unternehmen scheinen sorgenfrei in ihrer Branche zu agieren, gehen aus Krisen gestärkt hervor und ziehen Talente an. Auch in Deutschland, und nicht nur die Medienplatzhirsche wie Apple oder Google.

Doch nicht allen geht es so: Vielfach scheint die Organisationskultur im vorigen Jahrhundert stehengeblieben zu sein. Dabei ist das 21. Jahrhundert schon zu einem Sechstel vorbei, und etliche Alternativen zu den traditionellen Führungsbildern, Arbeitsweisen und Organisationsmodellen haben sich bereits bestens bewährt.

Wir unterstützen Organisationen mit go21 dabei, eine zeitgemäße Organisationskultur zu fördern, ohne das Rad neu erfinden zu müssen.

Das Blue Board: Und die besten Ideen setzen sich durch.

Klingt vertraut? Ideenwettbewerbe, Design Thinking, betriebliches Vorschlagswesen, und dazu der ganze Input aus der Kundenbetreuung: So viele Ideen und Vorstandsdebatten, und dennoch wird in der komplexen Welt draußen das ausgewählte Vorhaben wieder ein Flop.

Wie können wir die kollektive Intelligenz der Mitarbeiter besser in die Entscheidungsfindung über Innovationsvorhaben einbeziehen?

Blueboard im Einsatz Mit dem Blueboard haben wir ein praktisches Verfahren, in das sich jeder einbringen kann. Wo bisher Neuerungen die Ausnahme waren, wird nun der routinierte, gemeinschaftliche Umgang mit Veränderungsimpulsen zur Regel.

So entwickeln sich Ideen zu konkreten Initiativen, die gemeinschaftlich getragen und umgesetzt werden. Dieses partizipative Vorgehen eignet sich gleichermaßen zur einmaligen Generierung und Umsetzung von Ideen, wie auch als kontinuierliche Basis für den schrittweisen Kulturwandel in der gesamten Organisation.

Lab of Labs LAB OF LABS:
Lean Agile Design Thinking Garage
.

Wie startet man ein Projekt mit doppelter Geschwindigkeit und Begeisterung? Mit go21 und der preisgekrönten Ideenschmiede Dark Horse in unserer Werkstatt.

Lab of Labs ist eine moderierte Reihe von Workshops, in der Projektteams mit potenziellen Kunden greifbare Prototypen Ihres nächsten Kassenschlagers entwickeln und die Umsetzung im Haus vorbereitet (denn nur eine realisierte Idee ist eine gute Idee).

Wir freuen uns über die Einladung, bei der Konferenz "Manage-Agile" am 24. Oktober 2013 einen der Keynote-Vorträge zu halten!

Eine tolle Gelegenheit, über den Tellerrand agiler Organisationsmodelle hinauszublicken und über konkrete Ansätze für die partizipative Produktentwicklung in modernen Unternehmenskulturen zu reflektieren: von der Ideenfindung bis hin zu Portfoliomanagement und Budgetierung.

Nach der starken Resonanz auf meinen Vortrag vom letzten Jahr bin ich natürlich doppelt gespannt auf die Veranstaltung.

Eindruck von zwei Konferenzen über nachhaltiges Wirtschaften am 13. und 14. Mai in Berlin:

Das Thema 'Nachhaltigkeit' scheint langsam beim Mainstream anzuklopfen. Noch wird viel über Ursachen und Bewältigung der Veränderungen gesprochen... aber zunehmend auch über Chancen und Potenziale.

Diskussionspanel am 7. Mai um 11:15 - 12:15 Uhr auf der re:publica: "Impact Investing – a New Era of Good-Cause Investors?"

mit Dr. Mariana Bozesan, Club of Rome,
Dr. Maximilian Martin, Impact Economy, Genf,
Ben White, Venture Capital for Africa,
Andrea Kolb, Abury foundation
und Ulf Brandes (Moderation)
über Chancen und Potenziale von Impact Investing:

Mit gutem Gewissen Geld anlegen, darum geht es beim so genannten "Impact Investing". Diese Form des Investments kann als Versuch gewertet werden, einen Paradigmenwechsel hin zu einem "nachhaltigen Kapitalismus" zu erreichen. Auf der re:publica möchten wir uns mit diesem Phänomen beschäftigen und haben dazu ein Panel mit verschiedenen Expertinnen und Experten über die Hintergründe und Strategien und wie "social entrepreneurship" die klassischen BWL-Modelle unserer Zeit herausfordert: "A new era of social entrepreneurship?" [Text: re:publica 2013]

Photo by Hapee de Groot via Twitter.

Online-Seminar "Geschäft und Sinn: Ein Gegensatz?", als Folgeveranstaltung bei netbaes.de zum Dialog Summit 2013.

Die Renaissance der Sinn-Frage: "Warum ist unsere Firma gut?"

Kann ein Unternehmen einen inspirierenden Sinn haben, oder muss sich alles ums Geldverdienen drehen? Wie können wir den Unternehmenszweck als Inspirations- und Bindungsquelle für Mitarbeiter und Kunden etablieren?

Austausch über natürliche Ursachen von Mitarbeitermotivation.


Tolle Ideen, und dann? Innovationen mit Agilem Management kollaborativ verwirklichen

Vortrag mit Diskussion beim Summit of New Thinking

Wie gute Ideen besser zustande kommen, ist die eine Frage -- zum Beispiel mit Open Innovation oder Design Thinking.

Die andere Frage ist, wie aus ihnen dann etwas wird. Denn wirkliche Innovation kann nur so gut sein wie ihre erfolgreiche Umsetzung. Und auch die bestgemeinten Neuerungen verbreiten sich selten von selbst im Haus.

Wie wird eine Idee zur echten Innovation? Wir betrachten die kulturellen und strukturellen Rahmenbedingungen, unterschiedliche Perspektiven und Herangehensweisen, und die Frage der Komplexität.

Und weil Realisierung von der Praxis lebt, gibt's zum Schluss Anregungen für erste Schritte, die man sofort beginnen kann.



Folien hier als PDF zum Download

Manage-Agile 2012 Vortrag "Agile Führung wirksam im Unternehmen verankern", von den über 400 Teilnehmern der Konferenz zum "Top-Vortrag" gewählt.

Traditionelle und neue Sichten verbinden

Immer mehr Unternehmen lassen das weitverbreitete Menschenbild des «Homo Oeconomicus» hinter sich, und begeistern Mitarbeiter und Kunden mithilfe menschlicherer Organisationsmodelle.

Doch vielerorts setzen sich neue Ansätze und Ideen nicht automatisch durch, im Gegenteil: Sobald sie die herrschende Praxis berühren, entstehen Konflikte.

Wie können wir im Haus Wandel fördern statt bloß Wandel zu fordern?

Natürlich kann es dafür kein Kochrezept geben... aber wir müssen das Rad auch nicht immer neu erfinden. Die Kerngedanken sind:

  • Die Herausforderungen des 21. Jahrhunderts sind komplex
  • Der Mensch ist für den Umgang mit Komplexität geschaffen
  • Führende Design Thinker wie Tim Brown stellen zunehmend die Auffassung infrage, "Design" bedeute etwas "vorzuschreiben"
  • Wir können und sollten agile Organisationen gestalten, die mit Komplexität menschlicher und somit nachhaltiger umgehen.

Workshop: "Agile by Design" über moderne Herangehensweisen an Innovation und Komplexität.


Bücher, die ich gelesen habe oder noch lesen möchte.

 
What Matters Now: How to Win in a World of Relentless Change, Ferocious Competition, and Unstoppable Innovation
I have read this book
Recommended
Comment: "This management book is my favorite: Gary Hamel, inventor of classic business tools like the Balanced Scorecard, gives a passionate account of how organizational governance, management and innovation should and can be. The handbook of the revolution-to-come. Must-read!

Gary Hamel, having been a popular and immensely influential management author for ages, now descibes how all these optimization methods of the past (including his own) have led to organizational structures that are essentially optimized for stagnation.

"Mistrust and fear must be wrung out of 21st century organizations", he demands, and presents ideas and practical cases how this could be accomplished by mortals in real-world companies and corporations, acknowledging that "most people are like a zoo-born lion that knows only its cage".

So now, instead of catering for the classic bean counters and safety-seekers in the house, he's calling the rebels, the obstreperous, the dissidents, to bring their audacity, imagination and zeal to mobilize their organizations and make them agile (again!):

"We need diversity, disagreement and divergence as much as conformance, consensus and cohesion."

And while he's asserting that hierarchies will always be a feature of human organizations, Hamel now says that we need to limit the damages inflicted by top-down authority structures: Instead of a single hierarchy there need to be many, with each one serving as barometer of expertise in one critical skill area.

At this, collaboration is one of the essential elements: "In tomorrow's interdependent world, collaborative systems will outperform those based on adversarial win/lose relationships". And, citing Vineet Nayar, CEO HCLT, India: "Value gets created between employee and customer. Manager's job is to enable innovation at that interface. To do this, we must kill command-and-control. The notion of the 'visionary at the top', the 'captain of the ship', is bankrupt."

That's pretty progressive thinking for most contemporary management practicioners, and a commitment to a truly Agile manifesto. Hence, one of the key questions at this is, how we can achieve coordination without supervisory superstructures: "A market can do great things but it can't build a car."

I just love the way Hamel elegantly connects these questions to the fundamentals of dealing with dynamic complexity: "let structures emerge!" The idea is to help spontaneous order emerge, i.e. emergent, "self-organizing" structures: "Freedom's not the enemy of coordination, but its ally."

This approach will work, if we continue cultivating a culture of commitment and accountability - that people commit and promises be held, and that people can trust each other without controlling each other.

In my view, in the end this all recalls and revives insights that we've already had at the times of Aristotle... but it seems that 20th century's zeitgeist has entombed these antique world views with golden calves like extrinsic motivation, incentive schemes and shareholder value.

A few more Hamel quotes: "The future calls for more creation, not more control." "Money's great, but so are recognition and the joy of accomplishment". And: "While large, efficient companies will always continue to provide the backbones and infrastructures of modern economies, we should never forget that the organization should be the instrument, not the individual." Yes!"
Visual Meetings: How Graphics, Sticky Notes and Idea Mapping Can Transform Group Productivity
I have read this book
Recommended
Comment: "If you've always wondered if meetings can't be faster and more engaging, here's the antidote. Dozens of practical ways for groups to learn and come to conclusions in different settings.

Particularly I've loved formats like "Open Space" and "World Cafe" -- it's just amazing how much you can accomplish even with a group of strangers in just 90 minutes.

What's probably best is to realize that you don't need to be a grahpics artist to be able to support group collaboration with visual tools. Everybody can do this -- and reading the book, you'll find "everybody should do this!""
Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers
by Alexander Osterwalder, Yves Pigneur
I have read this book
Recommended
Comment: "And another classic: A simple illustrated primer to collaborative innovation.

The book comes with two great set of tools: There's the "Business Model Canvas", variants of which you'll find from many sources such as e.g. IDEO -- but here it's particularly comprehensive and useful.

And then there's a wealth of standard business model patterns that you see again and again across diverse industries -- from B2B2C to "free as a business model".

Maybe the best of it all is that it all fits conveniently on a piece of DIN A3 paper.

Using the Business Model Canvas, you simply get divery people to discuss the complexity of business ideas and their possible alternatives in much more effective and collaborative ways than the usual way, e.g. with Powerpoint wars and email. People grasp immediately that business model design is much more about collective learning and exploration than about opinionism and knowing-it-all.

In my own professional projects, the business model canvas and its patterns has already been very useful -- in "heavy industry" settings as well as in startup companies."
The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
I have read this book
Recommended
Comment: "This book will be an all-time classic. Practical and deep. 21st century management practice for anyone doing anything new.

Eric Ries uniquely combines a deep intellectual understanding of contemporary behavioural, psychological and economic sciences, with a very practical sense of how all this could translate into the everyday struggles of building an organization. It's not just someone who's had a few good ideas, not at all.

Reading the book you feel that there's a ton of substance underneath the wise and very practical prose. Maybe that's one of the reasons why this book has become so enormously popular --- going forward, hopefully not just with startups."
Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future [Paperback]
by Peter M. Senge
I have read this book
Recommended
Comment: "We all start realizing that the dynamics of complexity and emergence are shaping some of life's fundamental phenomena. So if that is true: What does this mean to us in daily private and work life?

Peter Senge a highly, accomplished serious scientist who teaches at MIT, author of million-selling management books like "The Fifth Discpline", and one of the founders of Systems theory. Therefore, unlike many other related books on similar subjects, this book is not esoteric at all.

Instead, this book is a journey of pretty scientific minds into the fundamental aspirations and opportunities of sensing, dialogue, thinking and deciding.

Peter Senge and his co-authors explore questions like this in a deep account of what it might mean to be human. Not at all the classic "five-quick-tips-to-become-a-good-leader" brochure, but a touching book, rich of candid thought and curious exploration."
Implementing Beyond Budgeting: Unlocking the Performance Potential
by Bjarte Bogsnes
I have read this book
Recommended
Comment: "There are many books on "new ways of management" etc these days, and many were written by outside observers like researchers and idealists.

This book is different, and that's one of the things that make it so valuable: Bjarte Bogsnes comes right from the trenches of management -- and actually, not at one of the usual suspects like Apple or Google, but at Statoil: A large, European, state-owned energy company.

So while you, just from that outset, might expect a laggard's defense of a mediocre status quo, what you get in this book is an ardent, candid report why and how this traditional corporation entirely modernized its management style and processes.

That's something! And Statoil is not alone at this: Today, Beyond Budgeting is a movement of dozens of multi-national corporations -- time-honored firms who came to realize how their traditional ways of planning and managing turned out to be in their own way.

For anyone interested in corporate culture change, as a surprise, this book also introduces the CFO as your ally -- so the master of metrics and budgets, not the usual IT, Innovation or HR department. "Beyond Budgeting" argues that the CFO's practice should be all about learning and mastering reality, rather than stipulating the classic annual rain dance of strategizing and budgeting that never reflect reality.

What's also great is how deeply this book is based on a fundamentally human view of employees: Not and army of mechanistic plan-fulfillers, but individuals with much greater potential than most work systems can bring to fruition.

Bonus: As a light introduction to BeyondBudgeting, Bjarte Bogsnes has given a lot of talks many of which are available online as video presentations on youtube and vimeo. All highly recommended!"
Die Gemeinwohl-Ökonomie
by Christian Felber
I have read this book
Recommended
Comment: "We might be at the edge of a paradigm shift in organizational theory: The traditional governance model of industrialized production and command-and-control leadership is more and more seen to be ill-suited for the complexity of most critical challenges today -- in society as well as in business.

At the same time, we see a renaissance of truly traditional values such as integrity and respect.

And many people start realizing that mankind can only prosper if everybody's action were to demonstrate respect for themselves as well as respect for the needs of future generations; and ideally, for everybody else in between as well.

So while that sounds nice in theory, what can we do in practice that goes beyond lip services or frustration?

For firms, Christian Felber suggests a very tangible approach: His "Gemeinwohl-Matrix" extends their classic set of profit-oriented performance metrics with a new, additional Balanced Scorecard of performance indicators how the firm contributes to General Welfare.

Now, as with all Balanced-Scorecard models, the crucial question is: "Who defines the metrics, and who evaluates performance?"

To me, that is the real news of Felber's "Gemeinwohl-Matrix" -- it is its governance model:

While many similar "social responsibility reports" etc are usually defined ex-cathedra by some central, omniscient expert group, the "Gemeinwohl-Matrix" gets both defined *and* evaluated in community-based peer-to-peer review and decision processes.

In just a few months, this approach has already attracted thousands of companies, and created quite a movement across several European countries.

While I agree with Felber's evolutionary design approach and its goals, I am not in agreement with some of Felber's political positions:

To me, many of his views e.g. on corporate governance and property rights seem to simply "jump to conclusions too early" -- they demand pretty radical changes that may be considerable barriers for many "mainstream" companies, and jeopardize the desirable mainstream adoption of many other, much more popular and digestable positions.

Here, in my view, some of Felber's specific recommendations are mistaking means with ends: While the goal -- give the public good a much stronger role in everyday business decisions -- is right, our way there will be quite experimental, for what we know today is just the beginning.

So it's great that Felber gave his his "welfare economics" model a vrey tangible and provocative start, but put its future evolution out into the hands of its practical users. This wise act alone makes it worthwile to follow the movement's future development."
Design Thinking: Integrating Innovation, Customer Experience, and Brand Value
by Thomas Lockwood
I have read this book
Recommended
Comment: "Compelling introduction to Design Thinking, marking a sharp contrast to conventional, "industrial" management styles, with some practical examples.

Design Thinking finally brings Csikszentmihalyi's "Flow" to the workplace.

Why can't all companies be run by humans, with a humane attitude? We'd all enjoy so much better products, and so much more joy at work.

At this, Design Thinking is a great toolbox for innovation -- and in practice, the focus of Design Thinking still is on ideation much more than on realization and production. And indeed, there's usually a significant gap between Design Thinkers and everyone else in the organization. While this book makes an effort to speak to this issue as well, it's not having all the answers."
Bounded Rationality: The Adaptive Toolbox
by Gerd Gigerenzer, Reinhard Selten
I have read this book
Recommended
Comment: "After all we know about human decision making: Are we truly as "rational" as Economic mainstream theory posits it?

When I studied game theory under this book's author, professor Reinhard Selten, I knew he was sort of sceptic of "homo oeconomicus", but "rationality" was the model -- it wasn't really challenged a lot in the 90s, despite the facts that human deviations from Bayesian probability optimization were pretty rampant, and that Selten had been one of the few Economists to look at cognitive bounds to rational choice already in the 60s.

Today we see the "rationality" paradigm crumble in a lot of fields that built on it, from medicine and psychology to software development and MBA classes. Also, exciting interdisciplinary fields emerged, like Behavioural Economics, Choice Architecture, and Design Thinking.

Yet, we still have no "unified theory" of human decision making. In lieu, this book provides an excellent overview of the available scientific evidence, and then develops a broad framework and toolkit for both scientists and practitioners interested in the subject. And this book is definitely not esoteric at all -- rather a tad to analytic even, I'd say. Useful reading for scepics and heretics alike!"
Spiral Dynamics: Mastering Values, Leadership and Change
by Don Edward Beck, Christopher Cowan
I have read this book
Recommended
Comment: "Lots of people whom I highly esteem have praised this book, and it's been sitting on my shelf for a while now, yet I still haven't read it. Obviously, I could easily blame the esoteric cover design ;-) -- but that wouldn't do justice to the bright minds who recommended it to me.

A strong argument for the book is that it presents a concise yet practical framework for individuals and organizations to deal with the complexity of the challenges of our time. And instead of serving a popular myopic demand for "quick fixes", this framework gives a challening account of human nature spanning virtually every relevant aspect of life, ranging from its purpose and the nature of emergence to practical aspects of organization and leadership.

So what's in my way? Maybe I'd expect a more explorative, "searching" approach to questions of this magnitude, than the "declarative", nearly "authoritarian" guidance that the book seems to offer.

In contrast, e.g. Peter Senge or Viktor Frankl also have a lot to say, yet their style of sharing their ideas and insights seems to come across in a more contemplative, suggesting way -- which personally, I find more suitable than basically telling the reader how things are.

And on the other hand, I've found tremendous depth as well as practical insights in the original scientists' lectures, e.g. on www.edge.org, as well as in the modern management applications and approaches that are derived from this primary research, such as Agile Organizations, Beyond Budgeting, and Gary Hamel's Management Innovation Exchange.

But as e.g. with Robert Laughlin, one should resist judging the content by its form. And I'd be stupid to think that I already knew enough from other sources, anyway ;-) So I will read the book, promised."
Beyond Growth: The Economics of Sustainable Development
by Herman E. Daly
I have read this book
Recommended
Comment: "Already as a child I wondered how infinite growth could be a model for a finite planet. On the other hand, I've always been convinced that everybody wants and deserves progress.

Maybe one of the reasons why I studied Physics and Economics was to better understand this dichotomy. While academia hasn't helped me a lot to this question, work has: "It's the metrics, dude!"

We get what we measure and focus on, in business, and in society. Our key economic metrics focus on growing consumption; and that's what we get, then.

So, if we can't infinitely grow consumption of resources, and -- as behavioral sciences keep confirming consistently -- if infinite consumption wouldn't make us happier, anyway: Why do we optimize entire societies for metrics of consumption?

On the other hand, people obviously have the right and desire to improve their life conditions... and their happiness. Everybody deserves it! So the question is: Can we re-design society to encourage a fulfilled life?

Daly obviously has a few thoughts and ideas on these questions. While I don't easily go with many of his political recommendations, I am grateful that people like Daly popularize these deep, necessary discussions."
A Different Universe: Reinventing Physics from the Bottom Down
by Robert B. Laughlin
I have read this book
Recommended
Comment: "One of my earliest interests in Physics was to better understand Nature. Obviously, modern Physics has many answers to this -- but some of the most interesting pieces seem blanked out, like "where does life come from?", or "what's the physical link between body and conscience?".

Laughlin takes Physics from a completely different angle: He contrasts the classic Western "reductionistic" view of Natural Sciences with a new, deeper analysis of the dynamics of complexity.

So, while the reductionistic view posits to understand the whole by drilling down into its pieces, Laughlin prompts us to understand what processes govern the emergence of new, larger things from earlier, smaller things in nature -- such as, when air molecules condense into large clouds, wind forms sand into dunes, or molten metal crystallizes into regular structures.

While everybody is amazed by these phenomena -- just think of the Yann-Arthus Bertrand's beautiful photographs! -- modern Physics still has surprisingly few answers.

Not that Laughlin now had all the answers, not at all; and actually, his writing style is... let's say, controversial and quite funny. But for sure, he helped me understand that emergence and complexity are probably *the* fundamental concepts not only in Social Sciences (where I've always suspected that), but also in the Natural Sciences. Actually, the concepts of emergence and complexity might even become one of the *links* one day between these separate domains of science"
Denken, Lernen, Vergessen.
by Frederic Vester
I have read this book
Recommended
Comment: "... And Frederic Vester's other book that had strongly influenced my early views and reflections on brain, cognition and knowledge when I was a child, even earlier than his other classic "Neuland des Denkens". Vester's ideas may long have been superseded by newer scientific insights, but at the time, no much other popular literature on these subjects was comparably profound and accessible. Still grateful to my father for making the book available to me."
Neuland des Denkens. Vom technokratischen zum kybernetischen Zeitalter.
by Frederic Vester
I have read this book
Recommended
Comment: "One of the books that shaped much of my thinking early on. At the time (1984), Vester gave brillant, broad perspective on society and technology in a way both deep and understandable. I remember I did not agree with all of Vesters views, but his contribution to my Weltbild has definitely been considerable."
I have read this book
Recommended
Comment: "another original source that changed a lot of my thinking, this time on collective decision processes.

Deciding is the essence of management, so I wonder why Decision Design doesn't seem to have hit mainstream for long.
"
I have read this book
Recommended
Comment: "completely changed my view on business, management decisions, and collaboration back in 1997. One of these books for which I'm still grateful to the authors, and to the person who recommended it to me."
I have read this book
Recommended
Comment: "Who would have thought 20 years ago that Economics was a Design discipline?

This book finally put into written everything I had always felt was right (but could never prove) in designing products, services, policy, and user experience in general:

Gently improve public welfare without force, law, or sermon. Just using Behavioural Economics, small interventions, common sense, and creativity.

Was so reassured seeing this concept spelled out by world class authors, backed by profound cross-discipline research, and a charming writing style.

See also: Design with Intent, e.g. at http://architectures.danlockton.co.uk/
"
I have read this book
Recommended
Comment: "Truly another life-changing book. What this man has overcome; and how; and what this teaches us.

There's always a choice between what I experience, and how I act about it. Full stop. Lesson learned.
"
I have read this book
Recommended
Comment: "another small book that I wished was must-read literature at school.

"One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much of it," writes the author, an renowned Princeton professor. "Everyone knows this. Each of us contributes his share. But we tend to take the situation for granted."
"
I have read this book
Recommended
Comment: "prefab: another interesting target industry for cognitive sciences, behavioural economics, and choice architecture in particular -- not just from a "green" perspective"
I have read this book
Comment: "useful for anyone involved in designing (online) training material.

Another strong application of cognitive sciences to everyday life. Actually, another case where we rub our eyes that things weren't always designed like this.
"
I am reading this book
Comment: "so as usual, it seems, we could have known it this time"
I have read this book
Recommended
Comment: "from a Physics perspective, this book should never have been necessary.

I guess we were all fooled too long by comfortable notions like "expectation values" etc used beyond linear problems in natural sciences.
"
I want to read this book
Comment: "another book that might be preaching to a believer, in my case"
I have read this book
Comment: "another classic textbook that should have really, really become mainstream by now, and still doesn't quite fully seem to have arrived there yet"
I want to read this book
Comment: "still can't figure out why I haven't read this yet."
I have read this book
Recommended
Comment: "still a must-read for anyone involved in innovation processes, I guess."
I have read this book
Recommended
Comment: "another one of these books that should be on the High School curriculum, rather than 20 years later in Management training."
I have read this book
Recommended
Comment: "What you always wanted Marketing to be like...

I wonder: What had gone wrong in Business schools, so that this (great) book could ever have become so damn necessary?
"
I have read this book
Recommended
Comment: ""what market do we want to be in?" The two INSEAD professors give a compelling view on this fundamental business question, with very practical implications.

Absolutely worth reading for anyone in marketing, product strategy or business development, regardless if the quintessential idea could have been laid out on a little less paper.
"
I want to read this book
Comment: "am completely bought into the idea of Design Thinking already, so why read the book? ;-)

of course I will...
"
I have read this book
Recommended
Comment: "read all three books with growingly intense adoration for the author.

Gunter Dueck distills a fundamental, pragmatic essence from 3000 years of scholar philosophy and psychological research -- extremely intelligent, profoundly substantiated, and rooted in a very human view of man and society.

Dueck starts with examining what kind of a person each of the great Philosophers like Aristotle, Kant and some psychologists must have been, and how their personality traits may have influenced their "philosophies" -- this proposition alone can be life-changing.

What then follows is an analytic journey to the roots of human needs and behaviors, towards fundamental questions of life, parenting, education, and leadership: nothing short of brillant and valuable. A tremendous source of discovery and inspiration, rooted in up-to-date scientific knowledge, with tons of relevant suggestions for further reading.
"
I have read this book
Recommended
Comment: "there's no better way to even starting to think of starting anything new."
I have read this book
Recommended
Comment: "recommended the book to a number of peers already, hoping to contribute to wider adoption of the fundamental ideas..."
I have read this book
Comment: "found this book quite reassuring, yet slightly superficial. Can't fully get why it's *so* popular"
Rework [Hardcover]
by DAVID HEINEMEIER HANSSON JASON FRIED
I want to read this book
Comment: "having studied and implemented collaboration frameworks since my first trainers' training and projects in setting up Knowledge Management back in 1997, I guess I'm already sold to this book, too. (to its authors, anyway)"
I have read this book
Recommended
Comment: "one of these books that ought to be taught at school. was life-changing at the time (and fun reading, too). "
I have read this book
Recommended
Comment: "always felt this was true. finally, then came the book."
I want to read this book
Comment: "another one of these original sources to read, that I keep postponing mainly because I find I'm fully bought in to the author's conclusions anyway"
I have read this book
Comment: "was pleased to see a direction evolve in Economics that, at the time, I've found astonishingly ignored by mainstream scholars, yet profoundly essential to discuss"
I want to read this book
Comment: "saw it cited in many other places => time to read the original source"