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    “Much show, few facts” — a critical look at #zensursula.

    Germany’s family minister Ursula von der Leyen thinks that secret website blocking lists maintained by federal police are a serious measure against child pornography. This news programme takes a critical look at her agenda and policy. 

    (via Johannes Kleske)

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    Into the woods!

  • New read: Leading Change

    After listening to the audiobook version of John P. Kotter's "The Heart of Change", I decided to also read his book "Leading Change". Kotter is an expert on change management, i.e. the management and leadership skills to lead an organization and make the necessary changes to adapt it to new situations and implement new strategies.

    I've read chapter 1, "Transforming organizations: Why firms fail", and I'm hooked. Kotter explains what errors are common causes of failing change efforts:

    1. Allowing too much complacency
    2. Failing to create a sufficiently powerful guiding coalition
    3. Underestimating the power of vision
    4. Undercommunicating the vision by a factor of 10 (or 100 or even 1,000)
    5. Permitting obstacles to block the new vision
    6. Failing to create short-term wins
    7. Declaring victory too soon
    8. Neglecting to anchor changes firmly in the corporate culture

    Looking at some of the organizational changes I was in some way part of, I can see instances where most or even all eight of those errors were made -- with the appropriate results. I want the changes I'm about to undertake to be a better success, so I'm curious what Kotter has in store in the following chapters.

  • Working from home

    More and more people are interested in working from home. A study of German IT industry association BITKOM showed that about two thirds of the 1000 respondents would like to have more flexible work conditions. For another ten percent, this is already reality; they are working from home regularly part of the week or even completely.

    On May 1st (Labour Day in Germany), BITKOM president Prof. August-Wilhelm Scheer explained that telecommuting and more flexible work conditions provide an advantage for both employees and companies: "Employees are able to better combine work and family while employers can retain qualified employees for a longer term". In times of economic crisis, he stated, telecommuting also increases efficiency since commuters save on travel time and companies on office space.

    Markus Albers' book "Morgen komm ich später rein" ("Tomorrow, I'll be in late") is a great read on this topic. Over the coming weeks, I'm going to collect some of his insights and additional tips from the web on establishing and efficiently using a home office.

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    Into the woods!