How can we prove that an investment in design correlates, or even causes, an increase in stock value? Marty Neumeier recently tweeted: „It seems to me that design investment is a leading indicator of higher profit margins and stock prices. Need to prove!“


Organizations are not that different from us, human beings: both are organisms that – as long as they are nourished properly – can survive for a substantial amount of time. Likewise, if you want to make them more attractive, you dress them up; if you want to put them in a competition, you make sure they are lean and fit; and if you want them to be happy, you make sure that they have a purpose.


As there was something important to discus, my colleague took me „to catch some fresh air“: for me it was just fresh air, for him the same, but compounded with the heavy fume of a filterless Gauloises.
Soon after we had reached the terrace, the smoke started to penetrate in small cloudlets from his nose and mouth: the clear predictor of an imminent eruption!


Amongst mankind’s great achievements you will find great inventions like the wheel, the boat or the water closet. Not hard to imagine where civilization would be without these… Most of these inventions are by now taken for granted: we don’t even bother to imagine how the world would be without them.


What a surprise! Just when he was ready to pay the customer took a final glance at the bill and noticed that the prices changed: not the 21 euro for the main dish, but 32,50; not the 9,50 for the dessert, but 15,80… Upon inquiring why the difference, he got a straight answer back – „the kitchen crew needed more time than planned and that’s why the the costs have increased!“


As expected it came up right away: a call for strickt separation of what is regarded as life (privat), and what is regarded as work (vocational). As a reaction to my request to the audience – to reflect their level of customer centricity between ‚zero‘ and ‚full‘ on a graph – somebody wanted to know if she had to reflect her opinion, or the one of her employer: because that would be quite a difference!


It’s that time of the year again: the plants are just about to stick their heads out of the ground, and shop owners are already considering to move on from bikinis and sunglasses. The soil is still soaking wet and messy from winter, and the first optimists are running around in flip-flops! And the more you have experienced theses seasonal changes, the more you become aware that the seasons are way too short!


Did you never wonder why we have our eyes right next to each other and not, for example, one above the other, or one at the front and one at the back? The parallel arrangement obviously is evolution’s favorite. This genetically preferred eye-array has therefore influenced our behavior and the way we look at things: predominantly with a strong focus. That’s why we laugh at „Johnny Head-in-the-Air“, when he runs into a sign post or misses a turn, and regret the cow that doesn’t seem to notice the butcher right in front of her. We forced to take close notice of what is around us, and those who didn’t were eaten by predators and hence eliminated from our gene pool.


Do you have children? If not, no problem, because you might recall these yourself: the parent conference days! This ‘running-around-at-the-school-campus-and-looking-for-the-room’ where teachers are waiting for parents and their school-kids. Depending on the pupils’ ‘performance level’, the numbers of meetings were few or many and likewise a torture or purely a matter of duty.


The room was slowly filling up with the employees. One after the other they took their seats and didn’t look too pleased: the speech that I was about to be holding did interrupt the longed-for transition from their dinner to a well deserved drink at the bar! So this left me with the task to ensure that those snaring away during my talk would not animate the others to follow suit.