The big and typical question you ask yourself at the end of the year how the past 12 months were, how you faired. This year it is a simple question to answer: yes, it was a great year! Or, shall I say another great year. Most of my consulting this year was for an internet service provider in Karlsruhe. Not only did were these consulting engagements challenging and intellectually rewarding it was and is convenient to our family for it is only a 35 minutes commute from Heidelberg to Karlsruhe. One of the main reasons I am very grateful for this consulting opportunity.
Next to consulting I have been giving seminars, webinars, podcasts, presentations and interviews on numerous topics such as leadership, collaboration, learning project organizations, ethics, agile product development, team building, innovation, project management, and empowerment. The main conferences I attended and spoke at were the PMI Global Congresses in Dublin and Dallas and the NASA Project Management Challenge in Long Beach, CA. Wonderful events. I can encourage every professional project managers to attend at least one of these conferences. The learning is exceptional as are networking opportunities.
One of the major milestones in 2011 was the founding of i-Sparks I founded this summer. i-Sparks is an open online innovation and learning community that facilitates innovation across entire systems. It provides a platform for people and institutions to discover, develop, and test new ways of operating and to put their ideas to work. i-Sparks aims at every person or institution which is motivated to understand the root causes of today’s and tomorrow’s challenges, to rethink how people and institutions live and operate, and thus to create opportunities for redesigning business models and social change protocols, working more collaboratively across groups, institutions and sectors.
At present we are working on a first prototype which we plan to launch this coming spring. Stay tuned and follow us on our website www.i-sparks.com.
Business is only one element in our life though it absorbs most of it these days. Luckily there are the welcome breaks called vacation. Have a look at my online photo albums for impressions of Long Beach,
and South Tyrol.
So, what about next year? The outlook is more than promising. It is funny that lots of people talk about an economic crisis. Unemployment is at a record low in southern Germany, economic growth is strong, the overall atmosphere and outlook are positive. And yet other European countries and their economies are struggling. There are numerous reasons for this imbalance. I don’t want to start this debate. What is worrying however is that people, i.e., European politicians and so-called experts, continue to talk about the dawn of another recession in Germany. This, of course, can have an impact – psychologically. Rationally and ethically, this chitchat is not comprehensible. Let’s see what next year will bring. I am optimistic and hope you too share this enthusiasm.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!