The big misunderstanding of populism and demagogy


I’m a strong believer in democracy – even within companies. Logically, the wisdom of all has to lead to better results than the wisdom of just a few. If the few are smarter than the rest – they should be able to convince the rest to follow. That’s the base concept of democracy. Democracy is not lack of leadership, producing random results by whatever mood currently reigns. Quite the opposite: democracy actually needs strong leaders. But leaders who lead by personal authority based on competence and trustworthiness and not by formal authority based on greedy entitlement and power brokerage. Democracy needs leaders with voluntary followers and not people taken hostage.

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Why big companies fail to innovate «disruptively»

Ever wondered why Warner, Sony or Universal were not able to invent Spotify? Why Encyclopedia Americana or Britannica were not able to invent Wikipedia? Why Yahoo was not able to invent Google? And Google not able to invent Facebook? And Facebook not able to invent WhatsApp? Or why big taxi corporations were not able to invent Uber? And why big financial institutions will not be able to invent their future?

The most common answer is wrong

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Peter F. Drucker 2.0

It’s not about transferring Peter F. Drucker’s concepts to the future. The future is what Peter F. Drucker already meant.

The term «2.0» first became famous with «web 2.0». It was perceived as a completely new way of using the web. However in its essence web 2.0 is nothing else than the late breakthrough of the original ideas of the web. This happens likewise to the ideas, concepts and methods of Peter F. Drucker. 

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Lessons and Visions of Direct Democracy

Lot of people question the very idea of direct democracy. The dysfunction of the democratic decision making processes in the western world seems to prove them right. And to ask all people to vote on ever more complicated or delicate issues seems ill advised. To make a good case for this thinking they often hint at two decisions of the Swiss people in the recent past: the vote to curb immigration and the vote to ban minarets. Direct democracy seems to be prone to populism and group egoism. The relevant question, however, is whether there are better alternatives we know. And whether the results of direct democracy are not superior to all other models.

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The first ever, from ALL employees democratically elected CEO

Vision becomes reality: Executive Board and management call democratic election to choose new CEO; Hermann Arnold retains active role

St. Gallen / Freiburg, June 5, 2013 – The Executive Board and management at Haufe Group member company Haufe-umantis AG in St. Gallen have called on their employees to elect a successor to founder and chief executive Hermann Arnold. Marc Stoffel, head of sales and marketing, won an overwhelming vote of confidence and was elected as new chief executive. Mr. Stoffel took up his post as of June 1 and now heads the specialist in Talent Management solutions as it embarks on its next growth phase. Hermann Arnold will play an active role as chair of the Executive Board and remains in charge of product development. The object of the reshuffle is to add fresh, positive momentum to the development of Haufe-umantis.

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World’s smartest guys working on the wrongest problems

The financial industry pays in average twice the salaries than «normal» industries and employs in average twice as many highly educated people from all disciplines. Instead of inventing new sources of energy or more energy efficient machines and cars; instead of developing new and affordable drugs to cure cancer, HIV, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s diseases; instead of eliminating famine, illiteracy or oppression of people; instead of fixing our societies problems and designing new ways to organise economy, education, immigration, retirement, politics, social welfare, tax or legal systems; instead of solving all these and many more urgent problems, our smartest guys spend their brainpower to invent highly sophisticated financial instruments to trick the highly complex regulatory systems to maximise obscene short term profits for their financial industry with highly damaging consequences in the mid and long term.

What went wrong?

It is instructive to look at the development of salaries and educational levels in the financial industry compared to other industries during the last hundred years. The time before the Great Depression starting with the stock market crash, which was caused mainly by overleveraged lending to normal people to buy inflated stocks (sounds familiar?), salaries and the relative educational level in the financial industry soared to unsustainable highs. Read More