Again and again, I read wise books. There are many of them, and new ones appear all the time. And more often than not, I close them and put them away after only having read a few pages or chapters. Regardless of the fact that they actually sound quite interesting. Basically, it is because it always seems to me that they are not saying anything that is news to me.
Whenever I attend conferences, congresses or conservatively structured scientific events where knowledge is presented to me by way of speeches from the pulpit, I often get this uneasy feeling.
If then as terms like success, ethics, leadership, morals, planning, strategy, entrepreneurial culture, values, goals and goal-agreements, future,… become part of the presentation delivered with a huge amount of self-righteousness, I often wonder at all the things people know or profess to know. And then my stomach starts rumbling. Despite the fact that I, too, like talking about these topics. But I do it in the full knowledge that I, do not know the answers, either. Consequently I talk about these things because I want to motivate people to think about them. You could say I want to question other people’s – and my own – certainties.
Then I meet people who want to “profile” everyone and put everything, no matter if it is alive or dead, into “Balanced Scorecards”. And they speak about the “Human Capital” of an enterprise or a community. That gives me pause.
And whenever I sit in a circle with people who want to make all the difference, who approach the topic in a terribly modern and strategic way, who formulate huge goals, who dance from one utopian idea to the next and where “a mountain is in labor but all you get in the end is a small mouse” (“der Berg kreisst …”), then I feel really poorly. Those are the times when I think I really could have made better use of my precious time.
One evening, I was, again, discussing one of these topics from the world of economics with a very cherished female friend via email. Here is her reply:
… when all is said and done, we also miss the link to craftsmanship, apprenticeship, making, experimenting, piloting (this is where I see my personal interest), because basically economics are always some sort of mental game based on hypotheses, rather than a creative approach towards re-structuring the world. …
And suddenly I feel great. This is exactly what I want! So there are actually some people who are not only highly esteemed by me but also can spontaneously formulate well and in a concise way what I feel. Many thanks to my friend – whose name I will intentionally withhold.
To make up for it, I look forward to the next BarCamp – such as for instance the PM Camp. Because this is where you talk about your problems and ideas in a truly sincere way, where you exchange experiences and underlying ideas, share knowledge on a market place and acquire knowledge from practical applications for practical applications.
(Translated by EG)