After February was mostly about CoCities and client projects, March pretty much was about traveling and meeting a lot of great people. The last week was no exception.
I took the train to Frankfurt on Tuesday to attend the SAP congress on personnel management in Mannheim. Our friends from Wolters Kluwer had invited me to join a panel labeled “Social Media – Revolution in the work space or pointless waste of time”. Yes, the discussion in human resources circles in Germany about social media is still very much at the beginning. People told me that decision makers in personnel management are among the most conservative and anxious ones around. Stuff like this always baffles me. Especially in human resources, there are so many amazing possibilities to get your employees more involved, collaborate better and scout out the really motivated and engaged ones. Well, never underestimate the endurance to resist change. The panel anyhow was a nice chat with two fellas from Audi and Deutsche Telekom, two companies I’ve actually worked for. At least on stage, it all sounds like it’s going in a good direction for them…
On Thursday, we all flew to Vienna to spend a few days meeting with our friends from LHBS. We had been following each other’s development for quite some time now and when they were in Berlin for CoCities, we took the chance to finally sit down with them for a coffee. The vibe felt great and so we decided to visit them in Vienna to take more time to see how we could collaborate and learn from each other. And yes, we also couldn’t pass the chance to check out the current state of the Vienna coffeehouse culture. (For a modern take on Viennese coffeehouse culture, check out Phil.)
So we had an amazing time with LHBS last week. They are likeminded friends that went into planning while we followed our love for technology to basically become professional geeks. It’s like we have the same “parents” (curiosity, innovation, pattern recognition) but took slightly different career choices. This makes for very insightful conversations. The more similar someone is to you, the better you can work out your own characteristics in comparison. So we left Vienna with a lot to chew on when we close ourselves away for the next two days to figure out the next steps for Third Wave (we do this every three months). We also developed some ideas for collaborative projects that you will hear about in the near future.
On Thursday eveing, we gave a talk labeled “Digital Disruption – How technology is changing our cities, our work and our media” as part of LHBS’ Uncomfortable Talk series. We had tons of fun being as uncomfortable as possible which is actually not that easy when you tend to be more exited about change than scared. The talk was recorded and should be available soon.
It feels absolutely great to be able to work with friends and close acquaintances. The best ideas and conversations always form over coffee or food. We got plenty of that in Vienna. It’s the same vibe we get with our friends around our neighborhood Kotti and in Berlin in general. Hopefully, we can continue working with even more of our (current and soon-to-be) friends.
Our travel schedule: We’ll retreat to the small town of Caputh for a couple of days this week. Peter is going to be in Hamburg next week, and Igor and Peter are headed for New York later next week.