Archive for April, 2016

Kaput

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

Kaput

Until yesterday, I thought that the German “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” was a pretty good newspaper. Well, the editorial team certainly has its merits, but …..

Yesterday the phone rang, on the line was someone from the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”, asking for my father. I told him that my father had died 5 weeks ago. His answer: “OK, then I am informed. Thank you and good bye.”

Macabre?

Irreverent?

Badly brought up?

Badly trained?

To be honest, I was rather flabbergasted.

As the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” is also on Twitter, I decided to send them a tweet explaining what had happened. That was 24 hours ago and they have not responded yet. In my opinion, this is not acceptable on Twitter.

If a customer or a potential customer (I assume the guy tried to get a hold of my father in order to sell him a subscription) has an issue and goes through the trouble of reaching out, a company is well advised to get back to her or him fast in today’s world. Especially if the company happens to be a not so future-proof one, like a newspaper.

Ignore customers and/or potential customers and they will ignore you sooner or later as well. Nowadays, sooner more likely than later.

And nowadays a good product alone won’t do either. The whole package including service, care, personal touch, responsiveness and responsibility has to fit.

Why do so many companies still prefer to ignore this?

Imbalance

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

Imbalance

Why is our world out of balance?

Why is humanity out of balance?

Why are we out of balance?

Why are our organizational systems – political, religious and commercial – failing?

We are responsible for these failures, whether we like it or not. Ultimately, we are responsible for climate change, pollution, exploitation, waste, extermination, wars, migration, slavery, inequality, discrimination, consumerism etc. In short, we are the culprits!

Why are we letting it happen?

Are we afraid, naive, lazy, ignorant, greedy, weak or gutless?

All of the above?

Or aren’t the explanations that we’re helpless, powerless, uninformed and innocent nothing but excuses to avoid standing up and assuming personal responsibility?

Isn’t hoping for some technological invention to miraculously make all of our failings, problems and challenges disappear nothing but wishful thinking?

And if it weren’t, who (!) would invent it?

Would we expect the technology to invent itself?

Or are we finally going to do something about it? Personally?

More of the same is definitely not the answer. As human beings, we have to evolve and that implies to critically examine our general attitude, our behavior. We have to accept the responsibility for our direct and indirect actions as well as for our failures to act.

In short, we must change!

Compassion

Monday, April 18th, 2016

Firefighters

“Compassion is the basis of all morality.”
(Arthur Schopenhauer, philosopher)

Back in October 2015, my mother died after a very long fight against cancer in the hospital and a few weeks ago my father died as well. I consider myself to be very fortunate, having been able to be with both until the very end.

I remember driving home from the hospital in the middle of the night after my mother had died and thinking about how incredibly caring, helpful and compassionate the doctors and nurses had been at all times. I had the same feeling after my father had died – incidentally in the same hospital – and wondered how we, as individuals and society, honor and value this, at times extraordinary empathy.

And then one thought led to the next:

Wouldn’t it be nice, if politicians treated their constituents the same way?

Wouldn’t it be nice, if corporations treated their customers the same way?

Wouldn’t it be nice, if we treated each other the same way?

These positive experiences at the hospital woke me up and ultimately led me to re-prioritize my own life. In the process, I developed a healthy dose of skepticism about the world we live in and how we are, all too often, not living up to our rights and responsibilities.

Enlightenment reloaded

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

 

Stop

“The true Enlightenment thinker, the true rationalist, never wants to talk
anyone into anything. No, he does not even want to convince; all the time
he is aware that he may be wrong. Above all, he values the intellectual
independence of others to highly to want to convince them in important
matters. He would much rather invite contradiction, preferably in the
form of rational and disciplined criticism. He seeks not to convince
but to arouse – to challenge others to form free opinions.”
(Karl Popper, philosopher of science and professor)

 

Clarity

Saturday, April 16th, 2016

Achtung

“We should not write so that it is possible to understand us,
but so that it is impossible to misunderstand us.”
(Quintilian, rhetorician)

Connect

Friday, April 15th, 2016

Wall

“We build too many walls and not enough bridges.”
(Isaac Newton, scientist)

Happiness

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

Happiness

“Some cause happiness wherever they go, others whenever they go.”
(Oscar Wilde, playwright and poet)

Wrong or right

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

Opposition

“In any organization it is far, far safer to be wrong
with the majority than to be right alone.”
(John Kenneth Galbraith, economist)

Home

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

Romeo and Juliet

“Home is not where you live, but where they understand you.”
(Christian Morgenstern, author and poet)

Questions

Monday, April 11th, 2016

Questions

“I keep six honest serving men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.”
(Rudyard Kipling, poet and novelist)