Week 35: Unshareable yet, offsites, lateral thinking in groups, interviewing people a family photo.

A lot of time on unshareable topics this week ;-)

This week was ok to good for me. I spend a lot of time on topics and projects I cannot share here as they relate to something that is not yet communicated. And this across nearly all my “dimensions.” This is rare. And I also had some super nice family evenings on Monday when we went to Neue Nationalgalerie together and on Friday evening when we had a family picture session and a nice dinner.

Interviewing people

When hiring people for open roles, it is always a challenge to figure out how well they know what they are doing and who well they will fit into the organization they want to join. Especially with senior people, it gets even more exciting: you want them to fit, and you also want them to influence the organization to turn into the next and hopefully better version of itself. This is a double opportunity to develop potential: for the people and the organization. I spent one day this week interviewing candidates for a senior leadership role. We were five people interviewing them in the first round, and we all have different backgrounds. Our observations were nearly identical when we came together in the evening to compare notes and results.

I always like letting the people who want to join talk more than myself and rather like a dialogue than a question session. And I need to take notes.

Coming week I will have two offsites.

One with the APX team and the other one with the board of trustees of Berliner Stadtmission. I think they will be extremely different and also similar: We will be all 16 FTE of APX, including two people important to us, whom we want to take along, and we will spend two days doing some strategic and tactical work and a lot of time just talking to each other figuring out how we are and what we want to do together over the next months. Some of the greatest ideas come from “unstructured” interactions where people spend time thinking laterally and not as structured and transactional as usual. We have not yet figured out how we can do this in online meetings. So we are all looking forward to two days together in person.

With Berliner Stadtmission, we have 24 hours together with all the members of the board of trustees. We have not had this much time together for more than a year, and all our regular meetings were very transactional as we had so many decisions to do and things to organize. I am very much looking forward to taking the macro perspective with my fellow board members that day, evening, and morning.

A family Photo

Since c/o Berlin exists, I am one of their supporting friends. This year they offered a photo session for all friends who wanted their photo taken, and we decided to do a family photo. We have no family photos and thought it is something we should have. Some years ago, we took a photo of Dina and me, and it is still the best picture we have with both of us in it. The session was on Friday evening in an empty store in Friedrichstrasse in Berlin Mitte. What was super nice was that I knew the photographer Peter from a photo session he had done with Tilman and me for a piece in brandeins two years ago. Back then, the session was fun, and having him working with Dina, the twins, and I was great 15 minutes of walking, holding still, and a little bit of jumping. I cannot wait to see the results.

What I read and viewed this week

nothing special. I was working with others more than usual, and most evenings, there were meetings I attended. All good for one week, but I would miss my reading and learning time if this were the norm. Nevertheless, I got some books and a magazine I started to read this weekend:

  • Neue Narrative #12 (in German) with the idea that we are actually never 100% healthy, and that’s ok. (resonates with me) and some more good thoughts on how to work together in a company.

  • I listened to Kanye West’s and Drake’s new albums and found both long and mixed quality.

Thank you for your time reading my weekly email! I hope you found something meaningful.

Have a good week

Joerg