In today’s fast-paced and constantly evolving world, the need for continuous learning and development has never been greater. With the increasing demand for new skills and knowledge, traditional training formats such as lectures and textbooks are no longer sufficient. This is where training videos come in and create new scope for designing learning environments. Why is this so? Videos offer an engaging, dynamic and interactive way to acquire new knowledge and skills, making them an indispensable tool for education and training.


Are digital media therefore superior to traditional teaching media?

Richard E. Clark says no. He says: “There is no good reason to suppose that learners who do the same thing learn something different only because of the medium” (1983).

Nevertheless, digital media can be used to change the learning situation so that it is more effective. Therefore, today we like to take up the most important aspects to consider when developing a training video.

To do this, we will look at the following:

  • The Cognitive Load Theory
  • The Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning
  • The functions that promote active learning in videos
  • The functions that promote attention in training videos


Cognitive Load Theory by Sweller (1988, 1989, 1994).

This theory suggests that memory consists of three components.


Sensory memory is very short-term and gathers information from the environment. Some of this information is selected for temporary storage and processing in the working memory, which also has a limited capacity. This processing is a prerequisite for encoding it into long-term memory, which has virtually unlimited capacity.

John Sweller identified the three components of cognitive load on working memory as the following.

  1. Intrinsic load: This is the capacity required just to solve the task itself. For example, the intrinsic load to solve this problem (2 + 2) is less than for this problem (64×8+7).
  2. Extraneous load: It is the cognitive load corresponding to processing irrelevant stimuli. For example: distractions or poor training planning.
  3. Germane Load: This is the mental load that aims to encode the new information into long-term memory

Since processing capacity is limited, this means that as one of the loads increases, the others decrease proportionally.

For example, if the audio quality is poor, the trainer is not following a clear line of thought and the neighbour is drilling, there will be a lot of extraneous load and consequently a lower germane load. This interferes with clean information storage and consequently proper learning cannot take place. If learning is to take place optimally, then the germane load must be maximised.

Good trainers keep extraneous loads to a minimum by preventing distractions and ensure that participants use an appropriate amount of intrinsic load by choosing tasks that are not too easy or too difficult. If the task is very easy for the participants, such as 2 + 2, then there is not enough new information to integrate. On the other hand, if the intrinsic load is very high, the participants cannot integrate anything because they do not understand anything.

Training videos Videos offer many new ways to optimise the use of this theory. By recording a training video, many distracting aspects of the environment can be manipulated or controlled. In addition, supplementary animations can be targeted and used more effectively. This can reduce distracting aspects of the environment, improve the way of speaking, find the perfect thread and direct attention better.


Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning.

This builds on Sweller’s Cognitive Load Theory (1988, 1989, 1994) and states that working memory has two channels for information intake and processing: a visual/pictorial channel and an auditory/verbal channel.

The capacity of these channels is limited. Therefore, in order to maximise the amount of information received, both channels need to be stimulated without overloading either of them.

If the trainer talks about the topic, the amount of information going through the auditory channel increases.  If he/she also shows pictures or animations, the second channel is stimulated with information. In this situation, both channels are activated and more information is processed and thus stored, so that a deeper learning experience takes place.

However, this theory also shows how overloading one channel can lead to impaired learning: If the trainer talks about a certain topic and shows an explanatory text at the same time, it can lead to an overload of the auditory channel in the audience.

Training videos therefore open many new doors on how to stimulate both channels simultaneously and appropriately for an optimal learning experience.


Active learning in videos.

Now let’s look at the features that promote active learning in videos.

But first, what does active learning mean?

According to the ICAP framework by Chi & Wiley (2014), there are four different levels of processing information. The level of processing influences how well information is stored. The higher the level of processing, the better the information is stored.

  1. If a participant sits back in the lecture hall and just listens, he/she is only passively processing the information.
  2. On the other hand, he/she writes down or underlines information on a piece of paper, then the information is being actively processed.
  3. If a participant produces additional outputs, such as drawing a concept map or asking questions, he/she is processing the information on a constructive level.
  4. The highest level of learning is the interactive level, for example when a participant discusses the topic with someone else.

It is not always possible to reach the highest level in a training because this level requires a understanding of the topic at hand, so it requires time resources that are not always available.

But planning a training video to reach the active learning level is not that difficult. Brame C. J. published an article in 2015 in which she summarised the conclusions of several studies on this topic.

  1. The first study found that the use of guiding questions promotes active learning. Asking a participant questions before or at the beginning of the video to guide him/her and make him/her aware of the important things can facilitate and favour the learning experience. If the trainer asks at the beginning of the video: Are digital media superior to traditional teaching media? This primes the participants to search for and retain information that answers this question.
  2. The second study found that participants learn best when they can interact with the video, i.e. pause it, play it back, change its speed, etc.
  3. The third study found that videos perform better when questions with personalised feedback are integrated into the video.
  4. The fourth and final study found that participants learn better when videos are part of a larger task. For example, when explanatory videos are mixed with lab exercises in a research project.


Functions that promote attention in training videos.

And that brings us to the last point: features that promote attention in training videos. For this, we will look at the most comprehensive study of video engagement to date, using data from 6.9 million video sessions. The study by Guo P. J., Kim J. & Rubin R. in 2014 found six factors that influence attention.

  1. And the factor that influences engagement the most is video length. The authors of the study formulated the hypothesis: shorter videos are more engaging not only because of length, but also because they may be better planned.
  2. Second finding: videos that intersperse a lecturer’s talking head with slides are more engaging than slide-only videos.
  3. Third: Videos in which the personality of the host is noticeable are more appealing than those in which this is not the case.
  4. Fourth:. Tutorials with Khan-style drawing (a certain type of animation) are more engaging than those that have PowerPoint slides.
  5. Fifth: Even high quality recorded classroom lectures are not as exciting when used in an online course.
  6. And now for the last point: videos in which the hosts speak fairly fast and with enthusiasm are more engaging than videos in which they speak calmly and slowly.


Let us summarise the most important aspects to consider.

– The Germane Load should be maximised, while the Extraneus Load should be reduced and the Intrinsic Load kept at an appropriate level.

– Both the visual and auditory channels should be stimulated without overloading either with too much or competing information.

– Videos should be an active experience by providing guiding questions at the beginning, allowing participants to navigate through the video at their own pace, including questions with personalised feedback, and/or making the video part of a larger training session.

– Videos should be kept as short as possible. This does not mean that long videos are of lower quality, but that videos should be planned to be of a length that is comfortable for users.

– Both a talking head and graphic elements should be used. This can help direct the focus to what is important.

– If the situation allows it, the trainer’s personality should be noticeable in the video by speaking informally, making jokes, etc.

– Ideally, graphic elements should be used that are more engaging than just PowerPoint slides.

– Plan accordingly, because the way of speaking in a video is different from the way of speaking in a face-to-face seminar/training/lecture.

With the information from these theories and studies, hopefully you now know what to look for and what to consider when creating training videos. We hope you enjoy trying them out. And as every skill requires: It also takes time, patience and practice. But there is no better time than now to start. Have fun!

Change is an inevitable constant in our lives. Sometimes we can influence it, but most of the time we cannot. What is new is the dynamic and speed with which we are confronted with change. What we need is a plan on how to adapt to change quicker and build a higher resilience to negative news, because a differentiated view of change processes will continue to produce this in the future. What will always be in our own hands, however, is our personal attitude and approach to it. As leaders, we are expected to act as role models and show others the way – this is no easy task, even for seasoned leaders. Fortunately, there are ways to adapt to change and even to use advantage of it…

A Conscious Approach to Change

The following overview includes helpful and proven methods and concepts for confidently dealing with change processes. They do not claim to be exhaustive, but are rather intended to serve as inspiration and to point to the multifaceted possibilities of actively shaping supposedly negative changes in our environment. If we succeed in understanding change as energy, which we can harness for ourselves in the form of opportunities, we are well on the way to braving the storm and using its winds to drive our own mills.

“When the wind of change blows, some build walls and others windmills” (Chinese proverb).

Giving space for feelings

It is good to talk about feelings, also as a leader. Especially when dealing with unwanted change, it is important to give space to negative feelings such as fear, anger or disorientation. As we know, emotions are very powerful. However, research shows that it is important to leave this phase early. In this way, the path can be prepared for us to engage with the change and be ready to work on constructive solutions. As a leader, it is important that we also give our team the space to openly express their feelings. Often there are already different assessments of the same issue in the team, which opens up new perspectives for the individual. It is then important to show the way out of this space and to move on to finding solutions. In this process, participation and transparency should be made possible, as far as the framework conditions allow, so that all those affected by the change can participate.

Harnessing stress

Your reaction to stress has a greater impact on your health and success than the stress itself. If we believe stress harms us, it will. If we believe that stress is trying to carry us over a major obstacle or through a challenging situation, we open up the possibility of becoming more resilient and possibly even living longer, as Stanford psychologist Kelly McGonigal argues in her essay “The Upside of Stress“. You can also find her TED Talk here. In any case, it is worthwhile for us to escape stress, even if only temporarily, by using it as an impetus to go through a process of change more rapidly. If we manage to come up with a goal of change that is so positive and desirable that far surpasses the status quo, it can even transform that stress into so-called eustress, which spurs us on and keeps us focused on the goal.

Focus on values

Remembering what is important to us – personal beliefs and, family, friends, religious beliefs, achievements in our lives, have what it takes to create an anchor for building resilience in the face of perceived problems. Just thinking about it has been proven to be effective. In the role of the leader, we not only have the organisation’s definition of values at our disposal. It can also be unofficial values of the team which have been lived successfully in the past and which contribute to a positive identification with the team. They can also be our own values, which we share bilaterally with team members, for example, about the courage of a certain fictional or real heroic figure whom we admire and whose values unite us. We thus arouse energy to want to preserve this value and create a sense of community within a social value system, which gives us additional security and resilience via the group.

Recognising change as the new normal

As adaptive leaders, we see change, whether intentional or unintentional, as an expected human experience rather than a tragic anomaly that unfortunate people fall victim to. Instead of feeling personally attacked by negative events and an unfair universe, we see an inevitable pendulum swing of things. Every high will also be followed by a low – every low gives way to the next high.

Humour helps with change

And last but not least, we should also consider unconventional methods…. That humour can have a healing effect, we know from numerous studies in clinics, where from comedians up to clowns not only put a smile on people’s faces with their humour, but also give courage and strength for their personal situation by creating happy moments in these difficult situations.

Trying to find a funny moment in an otherwise unfunny situation can be a fantastic way to create the levity needed to see an annoying problem from a new perspective. It can also help others feel better about themselves.

It is important that we strike an inclusive and respectful tone when doing so. A good rule of thumb is that other people’s arguments are no laughing matter, but ego-related statements, about how we deal with things and the impact of change processes on our own everyday life can serve as a projection screen. We make ourselves approachable and show that we are carrying our baggage, waiting along through the same quagmire, but not letting it take away our lightness and optimism. A funny metaphor, such as a fictional person who has clumsily done everything imaginable wrong, can also be helpful if we ourselves do not want to or cannot take on this role. Such humour quickly rubs off and has what it takes to lift mood and motivation and thus make it easier to go through the change process.

Our Learnings…

We can state that change is an omnipresent constant that we as leaders will encounter even more frequently and more distinctly in the future. In order to do justice to our role, it is important that we first reflect on how we deal with it ourselves and become aware of our possibilities for shaping it. There are many methods and concepts available to us for this purpose. Some important ones are:

  • Giving space for feelings – briefly and intensively
  • Making stress usable – as an impulse
  • Focusing on values – our own and those of our social environment
  • Recognising change as a new normal – as a constant
  • Humour helps to heal – ourselves and others

Have you already found your own ways to use the wind of change for yourself? Let’s exchange ideas on this. We are looking forward to your ideas!

Written by: Patric Huchtemeier

You create the future!
This is something we’re good at.



Consulting, although in the area of soft factors, has been a familiar core service of our company for business development for many years. Even as a boutique consultancy, we ask ourselves the provocative question from time to time in the context of strategy development:
Do we still need “consulting” or can it go away? And if it is still needed, in what shape or format?
Yes, that is our latest conclusion. Enabling, the new consulting.

How consulting was understood for a long time

There they were, those gray silverbacks and the large gaggle of motivated freshly graduated master’s students +, usually with excellence exams, who were certainly moving in the upper echelons of the companies. They were given ample freedom, conducted many interviews and collected valuable information in the organization at lightning speed. They routinely matched these with the concepts and competencies of their own consulting firm and documented them in a well-ordered and activating manner on slide decks prepared in a manner suitable for management. In manageable project periods. When they were gone, what remained was usually an excellent concept that had been coordinated with the C-level. Evaluated, provided with an action plan and “ready for take off”. Period.
These times are not over yet. Even today, this approach is still widespread.

That was really “expensive” and only low efficient

The slightly pointed undertone results from my own consternation. First of all, from the perspective of an employee who experienced how her knowledge, insights and experience were incorporated into the Big Concept without citation of the source and were reported without comment as the competence of the consulting firm.

And later, from the perspective of a consultant who came in after the big consulting firms were no longer there to support the levels below the C-level, to understand what was left behind or to work through and implement what was outlined in the concepts. Many a time we were the umpteenth consultancy that struggled to design what others had thought up or mixed for others. It was a miracle when a suitable added value emerged. With the many non-participants. Apart from the fact that, in addition to a high degree of demotivation, it cost vast sums of money.
If these concepts were ever implemented at all. We don’t even want to know how many of these high-end analyses and strategies were buried somewhere, in drawers in the past and in file folders today.

First it should then save the change management

The first attempt to get a bit of sustainability into it was to expand the idea of turning “stakeholders into participants”. Stakeholders should no longer only be asked in (stakeholder) interviews, but should also be involved in the development and implementation of solutions. This is where change management came into play. A large number of change projects were set up, most of them running in parallel, in which the added value and benefits of the high-end concept were explained. Naturally supported by powerful promoters. At least in theory, because with all the operational workload there was/is actually no time for this. Supported by a project management designed internally or by an external consultant and many Gantt charts. So a lot was done to explain and design how to make the concept make the transition from paper to everyday life. This was (at least economically) not bad for us. This was not a bad thing for us (at least from an economic point of view), because in addition to designing and implementing the concept, we also had to take care of change and project management. The external consultants continued to add value. And the so-called stakeholders became only indirect participants in the whole thing.

Even agile approaches did not bring the desired success

In the meantime, agility conquered the stage and now the sprints were supposed to fix it. Classic project management was given a new (admittedly pointy-headed) suit. The mood of those involved temporarily rose somewhat. Becoming a participant was within reach and finally, one’s own competence could be expanded a bit. How inspiring and beneficial. Finally, new faces came into play – Agile Coaches. They talked a lot about how to shape VUCA, the added value of vision and mission, and how to create team spirit. And they had funky tools in their little suitcase, e.g. retrospectives or techniques from Management 3.0. Great, Brought new motivation. And it was good that there were the consultants who created the deliverables in the meantime. Please don’t misunderstand: we are of course also Agile Coaches and continued to make our revenue with the externally delivered value.
However, it was really all just the same wine in new bottles.

Enabling, the new consulting

I don’t know whether we were driven by the fact that we no longer wanted to be primarily the extended workbench (although this will always be part of our service portfolio) or whether the entrepreneurs in us no longer see this incredible use of resources or – and perhaps this is it – we have seen that the greatest potential, namely that of the stakeholders, is not being used at all, but we decided some time ago: Enabling, the new consulting.

Since then, we have concentrated on enabling those affected, i.e. internal clients, whenever we create a deliverable for them. I.e. we apply what we have only talked about with the many approaches of the past. We co-create with our clients and share all our knowledge. Aware and with the intention to make ourselves superfluous at least with regard to this design. In this way, we make it possible for added value to be created directly and immediately by everyone concerned. In this way, those affected become participants and co-creators, and the personal and corporate competencies are strengthened.
With the perspective of creating much more.

The positive effect, which we have already experienced many times, is: the motivation of all participants increases and also their innovative power. Collaboration becomes tangible and spreads its effectiveness. And all parties have a whole lot more fun.

We call this enabling, the new consulting. And we believe this is the future.

You shape the future.
It works well with us.


created by: Eva-Maria Danzer


Ever heard of a conceptathon? Nope? No wonder. It’s actually a brand new format of New Work and New Learning that combines teamwork, collaboration and learning with immediately usable work results in the field of conception. And it does so with a lot of fun and a high level of energy. That’s what the Conceptathon is – a New Work Booster.

Conceptathon reminds of Hackathon

To be honest, the basic idea of the Conceptathon is not all that new. It has its roots in hackathons known since the turn of the millennium in hardware and software development.

These are IT developers meetings limited in time, first in the presence and later also in the virtual environment. They pursue the goal of collaboratively developing products or finding solutions to specific challenges during the meeting. From classic hackathons, the public is familiar with large quantities of pizza boxes and all kinds of technology that the developer needs to creatively design the tasks set. You could say they have made a reputation for themselves as mega pizza parties, where a lot of creative competition packed into agile sprints ensures a lot of fun and output.

Conceptathon has agile roots

And that’s where the Conceptathon comes in. This format also relies on collaborative design and a good team spirit to achieve high-quality work results in a short time. The Conceptathon also focuses on fun and creativity and the basic design is in sprints. So it is in no way inferior to the Hackathon and appreciates its qualities and experience. Especially since the Hackathon, as a prototype of agile working, practised the principles of New Work in its purest form early on.

Learning by doing in Conceptathon

And yet the Conceptathon is very different from its relative. That starts with the general conditions. It is true that the Conceptathon also offers suitable catering, but with a different focus: fresh fruit and snacks with food for the brain. Conceptathons are also planned for several days. The nights, however, are for regeneration and the breaks and evenings are for relaxing, often with the team. While at hackathons everything is preferably darkened, conceptathons deliberately open doors and windows and let the light in or move straight outside into nature.

The real difference, however, lies in the format itself. The Conceptathon – a New Work Booster – supplements collaborative learning and working with small teaching nuggets at the beginning and end of a sprint. I.e. during the meeting, the product development is supplemented with suitable learning impulses that then inspire the joint concept work. In this way, not only is something co-created, but at the same time a targeted individual competence development takes place.

As the name suggests, learning and working at Conceptathon revolves around the theme of “conception”. In many ways, a participant in a Conceptathon can increase his/her ability to create concepts while at the same time designing concepts.

This process is supported by these attitudes or methods:

  • The idea of the “Wisdom of the crowd”, i.e. many people working together have a more holistic perspective and more options for finding solutions than just one person
  • The New Work principles of “collaboration” and “co-creation“, the understanding and methods of how to effectively implement collaborative working
  • The New Learning understanding that learning is best done by doing and on demand
  • The approach that learning facilitators as guides, as we say at TCJG, give impulses that promote empowerment instead of imparting knowledge
  • The framework of Design Thinking, which can be used not only for excellent product development but also for the development of concepts

Conceptathon – a New Work Booster

A conceptathon can be held over 2 days, but it is preferable to run it over 3 days. A longer duration is not recommended, as experience has shown that the concentration decreases.
Design of a camp that works with a team of 5-7 people and a guide is recommended. The number of participants is scalable with a simultaneous increase in the number of learning guides. This camp can also be significantly larger at any time if the framework conditions allow.

These conditions should be met:

  • Sufficiently large room with individual working areas for each participant, but also collaboration areas and chill-out areas
  • Provision of technical equipment (e.g. computers) and creative material
  • Space or format that allows all participants to meet together from time to time during the course of the workshop
  • Availability of healthy catering
  • Offer socialising and team-building sessions

Conceptathons can be organised in fixed working teams or in Mix-Max groups. They are suitable for the “real world”, for example as presence camps and are recommended by us, but they also function just as well in the virtual world as remote sessions.

In order to test the ability to create concepts, suitable topics should be available. Either the participants themselves bring topics or the organiser provides appropriate topics and, if necessary, resources.

The design of a conceptathon can be varied. A pure open space is just as suitable as a theme-based format, such as the joint development of workshops or learning nuggets, or the creation of decision-making templates for new ideas of one department.
Either way, the Conceptathon is a New Work Booster. And a learning booster at that.

Many good reasons for a Conceptathon

The added value list of Conceptathons is as long as its possible applications.
Here are just a few selected reasons why Conceptathon – is a New Work Booster.

  • Participants build up individual competences in the field of systematics and structure as well as expertise in concept work and agile working
  • Collaborators experience community work and train collaboration with a view to output
  • Participants experience teaching and learning at eye level and understand the importance of sharing and caring in the context of New Work
  • Participants learn a variety of methods, e.g. design thinking or Scrum techniques as well as creative work and argumentation
  • The investment in learning has an immediate effect: directly usable concepts for the utilisation of the learning process

The Conceptathon is an open source Zeitgeist L&OD format by The Company Journey Guides.

You shape the future.
This is something we´re good at.

This article was written by Eva-Maria Danzer.


How do we bring agility into an organisation? Certainly not overnight. In order for the agile plant to grow and flourish sustainably in the organisation, it requires constant, organic implementation. Only with consistent application and intensification of the methodology can sustainable implementation be guaranteed. After all, we don’t want to reap our harvest for just one season. On the way from seedling to magnificent blossom, however, this little plant needs a special breeding ground – ownership for an agile understanding of roles. Often our gardeners still have a clear distribution of roles – if fertilised, watered, pruned, all conventional plants thrive.

Role understanding

Picture 1: Ownership as a foundation for an agile role understanding, The Company Journey Guides

A fixed understanding of roles

…only our agile plant is hanging its leaves tiredly – what has happened here?

Agile project management quickly pushes a fixed understanding of the roles of our gardeners to its limits. The team is confronted with new tasks at short intervals. And they cannot be clearly assigned to the predefined roles. The plant is still drooping its leaves, not to mention the blossom. Who is responsible here?

Suddenly, important tasks are not carried out. Delays occur. The process comes to a standstill. Blame begins to be apportioned. A, often not insignificant, part of the available capacities is occupied with the questions – Who should have been responsible here? Who is to blame? – instead of dealing with the urgently needed solutions.

Understanding of roles

Picture 2: Ownership as a foundation for an agile role understanding

The problem does not arise within roles, but in between. Mostly when tasks can no longer be clearly assigned to a role and responsibility is shirked. Why does no one take action even though our plant is withering?

  • Agile project management makes it very difficult to identify all upcoming challenges in advance, to derive possible tasks and to assign them to concrete roles in the team due to short sprints and the specific input required from outside.
  • There is no specialist in the team for the newly added tasks, as they were not foreseeable in advance, so someone has to familiarise themselves adequately with the topic.
  • Often these new tasks represent an additional workload to the already planned range of tasks.
  • Since no one feels directly responsible, the fulfilment is also followed up only carelessly or not at all.

How can ownership save our plant?

In an agile sense, a gardener, for example the person who first noticed the fading of the plant, would inform the team about the deviation in the project plan – we have proceeded as planned and still have to reckon with the loss of the crop. In the team, our gardener now gets the mandate to find a solution. He/she also takes ownership of the well-being of our plant. He/she follows the process beyond the mere presentation of a solution and is only satisfied when a respectable flower emerges. Problem solved, but how can we instruct our gardeners to do this?

Ownership cannot be assigned like roles – the behaviour only emerges through attitude. It requires intrinsic motivation to take on the plant. And to decide to holistically take responsibility for the identified task. The agile framework gives the freedom for this intrinsically made decision. But only ownership leads to the implementation of necessary measures. Even if these have not been specified in advance in any role, process or task description.

How do I create a corresponding attitude in my team?

Our everyday actions, how we approach the tasks we are given and how we continue successful patterns of action, have an impact on our personal satisfaction. Successes that can be traced back to self-determined action have a much more positive effect on our satisfaction and our own self-esteem than following work instructions. Agile principles and methods support autonomous action. In this sense, if we give the definition of roles, processes and tasks back to our gardeners step by step, we enable a sense of achievement based on self-determined decisions. At the same time, we reflect the closing of the process gap for the well-being of our plant back to the gardeners, who in the best case have their own claim for the fulfilment of the roles they have developed. Ownership as a foundation for an agile role understanding.

Understanding of roles

Picture 3: Ownership as a foundation for an agile role understanding

How do I know that ownership is functioning?

We leave the next withered plant that catches our eye and see whether it is being consolidated in the team. And whether someone will take care of it completely. If a healthy plant presents itself to us after a few days, the first seed has been planted. A fluid shift from employee to co-creator is initiated.

Ownership is not a matter of self-sufficiency, but requires constant care. Where no essential damage is to be expected, we can deliberately leave new tasks open. We give individuals the space to take on the solution. In this way, we prepare the ground for the consolidation of ownership and allow self-confidence to grow in the team.

Would ownership, as part of an agile mindset, also add value to your team? You can get a first appetizer in our TCJG To Go Agile Mindset Experience. We look forward to the exchange with you!


This blog was written by Patric Huchtemeier.


We are already in the middle of the New Work era. The problem with New Work is that the focus is usually on structural measures. For example, working hours are quickly cut and hierarchical levels removed. Not too seldom, however, this does not have the desired effect and leads to identity problems, politicisation and complexity problems instead of motivation and increased performance.

What is missing here? The view from within.

Surprisingly, our research is quite a bit ahead of our economy here. As early as 1949, Harry Harlow experimented with laboratory monkeys on this topic. In the experiment, the monkeys were asked to solve a motor task (see illustration).

Source: Pink, D. H. (2015): Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Riverhead Books, New York.

At that time (and to some extent still today), the idea was: what drives us are either (1) our biological urges or (2) carrots and sticks. In other words, rewards and punishment. Things got interesting when the monkeys showed interest in the task even before the experiment started. And not only interest… they solved the task without any incentives.

This gave rise to a new theory: there is a third drive. A drive from within. Triggered by doing and trying the thing itself. Later, it was realised that people also have this drive, called intrinsic motivation: people want to expand their abilities on their own.

Great. Is it possible to activate this intrinsic motivation in our employees? One way to do this is through psychological empowerment. That is, empowerment needs a psychological component.

Intrinsic motivation through psychological empowerment

The term “empowerment”, referring to the empowerment of employees – mostly in the course of democratisation in the company – is unfortunately often quickly pushed aside as a buzzword. What has been problematic in implementation so far is that in the context of empowerment only the structural component (e.g. the removal of hierarchical levels) has been considered.

However, in recent years we have learned from Gretchen Spreitzer and extensive research based on her findings: people interpret their environment individually. That is, removing one level of hierarchy has a liberating effect on one person, while others lose an important point of orientation as a result. A broader view, the interpretation on a psychological level, is essential here to enable the empowerment of employees. In this context, there are four work-related perceptions that shape our role and thus the shaping of our possibilities for psychological empowerment:


Source: The Company Journey Guides GmbH

People who feel psychologically empowered experience their work as meaningful (significance). They feel confident in their work tasks (competence). They perceive autonomy (self-determination) and are convinced that their work can make a difference (influence).

Here, the perception of psychological empowerment is based on a high expression of each facet. If one facet is low, the construct loses stability.

Why we should engage more with psychological empowerment

The concept of psychological empowerment has already been examined in numerous studies and research papers. What is particularly exciting is that there are numerous correlations with benefits for employees but also for the organisation as a whole.

On the employee side:

On the organisation side:

For most companies today, the main focus is on generally increased performance. This can sometimes be explained by the fact that the trust gained through self-determination and influence is repaid through conscientious and uncomplicated behaviour.

Utilising the psychological component of empowerment in the right way

Especially in today’s world, it is important to understand that control from the outside is neither manageable nor desirable in many areas. Psychological empowerment relies on the view from within. It gives us a chance to sustainably inspire our employees by activating their intrinsic motivation.

In the course of redesigning one’s own work, it is therefore well worth considering setting psychological empowerment as a target. Those who would like to use psychological empowerment for themselves must bear in mind that there is no universally valid special recipe for this. As explained at the beginning, the concept is based on the individual perception of each employee. Therefore, it is first necessary to recognise and understand the point of view and needs of one’s own employees.

The same also applies to the manager. Why not start with a small personal experiment? Ask yourself these two questions every day after work and take 5 minutes to reflect.

Which work situation has made you feel empowered?
In which situations have you experienced less empowerment?
Once it becomes clear what is lacking, there are a wide variety of human resource development measures that can strengthen the perceived psychological empowerment across the individual facets, such as:

Source: The Company Journey Guides GmbH

And it is clear – empowerment needs a psychological component.

We are looking forward to hearing about your experiences. You can also find more on this topic in our Learning Nugget New Work in a nutshell.


This blog was written by Leoni Meffle.


The current time requires constantly to deal with challenges and to deal with change. There are many forms of facing these topics. Most of these formats are very rational. With 3D mapping, a completely different approach is practiced: in a creative and intuitive way, approaches to solutions are found and developed. Creating the future with the help of 3D Mapping.

And what exactly is 3D mapping?

An organizational development method created by the Presencing Institute and used primarily by teams dealing with change and challenges. 3D Mapping provides the ability to visually map a system or issue or idea and look at how it might evolve from multiple dimensions and perspectives.

The strength of this method lies in the fact that participants think out of their heads, work with their hands and create a model together. One does not think about the current situation and its possible development.

In a creative and intuitive development process the image of “reality” is created. If the knowledge of one’s own hands is trusted, one does not fall back into habitual ways of thinking about the present and imagine the future as a continuation of the existing, but it is very likely that new ways will be discovered. And that is exactly what creating the future with the help of 3D mapping is.

Creative techniques are used and different creative materials are employed. At first glance, it looks a bit like a DIY session, but it is an innovative method that has long since gained recognition in the business world. At the latest after Design Thinking has conquered the stage.

3D Mapping in 3 steps

Before ideally 4-7 participants start creating the model of their system or their issue, it is made clear what the intention is and what the focus of the mapping is.

The first step is then to create a mapping that represents the current state of a system. Each object in the model represents a different element, quality or stakeholder of the system.

In the second step, team participants reflect on the model from four different perspectives and with different questions. This gives the participants the opportunity to each develop a different view of the existing system from a different archetypal perspective.

In the third step, the participants design the future based on the insights gained. To do this, they change the model in such a way that it better represents the new future they want to bring into the world.

Afterwards, the overall process is reflected upon and measures can be derived to solve or redesign the problem. As a rule, these measures are characterized by the fact that they get to the point and prioritize themselves immediately. In addition, there is no need to call in a committee of implementers. This has already been done in the process.
That’s probably why this method is so powerful. It is sustainable.

An example: 3D mapping in a nursing facility

A few weeks ago, we implemented this process of 3D mapping with the care management team of a nursing facility. It was incredible to see the emotions that immediately come into play when this format is used. We experienced emotionally heavy moments, but also very touching ones.

The members of the team got into a good flow very quickly when creating the model and, without consulting each other, created the current situation in an intuitive and creative way.

For us as process facilitators it was nice to observe how the people in this team trusted each other, worked together and protected and supported each other. Thus, there was a necessary stability to create what emerged.

The process starts with an AS IS picture

When the work began, the energy in the room changed noticeably, it became visibly heavy and oppressive. This energy was also reflected in the model: Although the good unity of the team members was evident here as well, heaviness and chaos dominated in many places. Many walls, demarcations, no cooperation. On the contrary, in many areas there was a recognizable counteraction and watching each other.

When the team members reflected on the model, everyone was quickly aware that a change had to be made promptly. One statement was “if you look at the model longer, you would like to run away”. This statement sums up the image and energy in the room well. However, there were also statements of encouragement. In reference to the leadership team, the terms “love” and “our unity” fell; in reference to the nursing facility, the potential and spirit of the home was emphasized.

After creating the current situation and reflecting on the model, the leadership team was mentally and physically exhausted. This was a completely normal process, as they had been very intensively involved in this process. We paused here in the process and did not design the future model until two more weeks had passed. This allowed the team members to reflect on the process again in peace, to gain some distance and to shape the future with fresh energy.

3D Mapping process

The second step is about future

At the beginning of the second session, experiences and insights from the first session were reflected upon once again. Afterwards, the team members set about designing the future with great enthusiasm.

Very quickly they were back in the flow. And without any consultation, one change after the other was made to the model. What a difference it was from the last time!

A lot of lightness unfolded in the room. A very light energy and love were noticeable, the true spirit of the house spread. There was nothing of the leaden heaviness of the last time, which also affected the team members. The team energized and motivated. And for all to see the weight that had fallen from the shoulders of the team members and how a breath of fresh air could take place. That was constructive and effective future design with 3D mapping.

The presented future shows a picture of understanding and togetherness. Looking at the model, the team members were able to quickly develop initial ideas on how to achieve this future. They are very optimistic and motivated to create this ideal image together – with the nursing staff – and to make the house a unique place for the residents and relatives.

3D Mapping process

3D Mapping process

For us, it was a fulfilling task to be able to support the nursing management team in finding a way to shape the future and we are also pleased to be able to accompany them for a while.


Want to know more about 3D mapping process?

Please contact us.

This case was written by Julia Winkler.


Until the 1960s, upper and middle management were oriented toward the cybernetic control loop as a fundamental management model. Deviations from the norm were regarded as controllable or regulable by means of “correct” methods. But the changes became more profound, more comprehensive and increasingly rapid. The so-called “disturbance” thus became the normal case, and regulating or remedying it became increasingly costly and complex. Management no longer comes to “rest”, but is an object of constant adaptation to changing conditions.

Yesterday’s recipes for success are no guarantee of tomorrow’s success

What was gently called “change” 20 years ago has today undergone a rapid acceleration, so that some would like to speak of a “revolution”. Economic history shows new phenomena, such as globalization, new work, Internet, multimedia, etc.. These then led to new terms such as, Change Management, Leadershift, Chaos Theory or Business Transformation.

Yesterday’s recipes for success are no longer a guarantee for tomorrow’s success. Many new tools and models are offered: Lean Management, Learning Organization, Knowledge Management, Design Thinking, Agile way of working, and many more.

Suddenly, employees, executives in upper and middle management had to deal intensively and directly with the topics of change, permanent learning, disruption, new formats and chaos management. This inevitably led to a loss of familiarity, status and control, and caused uncertainty. From this state of affairs, a new “recipe”, change management, was established. Change was not only to be seen as necessary and inevitable, but was also to be actively shaped.

Employees not only had to be made less afraid of the new, but they also had to be won over as essential building blocks in the change process and allies for the new.

Change Management – all dimensions of change

As a kind of “container term,” change management is not as clearly definable and adaptable as project or quality management. Management of any kind aims at change. In this respect, all the great concepts of recent economic history were and still are part of change management – Taylorism as well as Lean Management or Knowledge Management. Even more: every merger, reorganization, and even well-managed employee appraisals, every suggestion for improvement or management review meeting is about change. In this respect, the question arises: What is not change management?

In Anglo-Saxon literature, change management is primarily understood as the human dimension of a change. In German-speaking countries, on the other hand, technical aspects are also taken into account. This leads us to the conclusion that change management is about technical, strategic, organizational, managerial and human-social changes, which are realized with a multiple combination of hard and soft factors.

Consequently, the essential task of a change manager is to manage people, information, resources and processes in a targeted manner in order to bring about change and adaptation. The main focus is on human resources management, because changes – as proven by our own projects – are met with resistance, cause fears, resilience and learning blockades.

Another finding from many of our own projects is that change is not possible without the participation of employees.

Change Management

Source: Study Institute for Learning Organization and Innovation, Munich in cooperation with the Institute of Business Administration of the University of St.Gallen

All approaches to change management pursue a common concern: they should create “infrastructures” for change. It is not the changes alone that are important, but their implementation and the provision of a climate and environment conducive to realization. Above all, proactive change management strives to create a change-friendly climate in which new ideas and concepts can emerge.

It’s not just about the new

Today’s change management also aims at continuous sustainable corporate development. In addition to growth or consolidation, revitalization, reorganization, accountability or value enhancement are among the common objectives for the development of organizations. Today’s goal is to create structures in management and a mindset that shape change itself and are no longer fixated on constant constancy. Consequently, in the change process a company should not only acquire the ability to change its own rules according to the learning process, but at the same time to develop rules for the rule changes and thus to become reflexive.

Change Management – step-by-step

Models and concepts for a successful approach to change management can be considered from two main points of view – to change the content and direction, companies should work with common models in terms of content and concept, with Business Reengineering, Lean Management, Total Quality Management or Balanced Scorecard dominating the opportunity scene here so far. When it comes to the question of “how”, there are two answers. Depending on the point of view or the basic model, a more management-technical approach is interested in the typical course of a change process. For the phases of diagnosis, goal formation, planning, decision, realization and for sustainable support control. Human resources managers, for example, tend to focus more on the actors involved in the change and ask about the necessary motivational resources.

Usually, such a process goes through several phases until the psychological changes are stably adopted into the behavioral or attitudinal repertoire.

The Company Journey Guides proceed with minor deviations from the generally accepted seven-phase model:

Shock – Rejection – Insight – Acceptance – Trial – Realization – Integration. Change Management step-by-step.

Extensive changes, such as transformations, cover a period of at least 24 months. In each of the phases mentioned, a different set-up and procedure is useful.

From our point of view, supporting consulting/coaching and facilitation play an essential role for a successful change. This creates a suitable methodological, spatial and temporal structure and ensures sustainability. A facilitator is therefore first and foremost a process designer and structure provider, completely neutral in terms of content and impartial. He/she has a high level of competence in relation to change, groups and conflicts and has a well-stocked toolbox of methods for conversations and creative processes in meetings, workshops and conferences. Thus, he/she is able to pick up people from where they currently stand.



Please contact us.

We are here for you.



Listening – that’s old news. Show me one or two people who haven’t heard or learned this. It’s a central component of every communication training program. Why that again?
Quite simply – because we don’t do it or do it only very superficially. And deep listening is the mega competence.
For me, for you, for executives.
But what exactly is Deep Listening?

Active listening

In the communication training courses already mentioned, there is indeed repeated talk of so-called “active listening“. Is this Deep Listening – the mega competence?
Yes, and only partially.

“Active Listening”, a model by Rogers, is often divided into three levels.
“Listening”, i.e. accompanying the conversation partner with non-verbal signals, such as nodding, eye contact, a facing body language and also with small sound signals, such as “mmh”, “ah” and similar.

Then there is “understanding”, or rather cognitive understanding. Here it is a matter of the listener being able to reproduce what has been said, preferably in his own words. And summarizing and mirroring what was said. Or even deepening or questioning what has been said with precise questions.

And the third level is then the “understanding” of the feelings. The perception of what moves the other person at the moment. And the ability to address this and to mirror it to the other person verbally and also through the body. This is already a very elaborate version of “listening”, because here it is necessary on the one hand to grasp emotions and then to be able to express them authentically at the same time. Not to mention the ability to empathize with the other person and perhaps even read between the lines.

Troublemakers while listening

Actually, active listening is quite simple. Then why shouldn’t it be successful?  Yes, it is quite simple. That’s why it rarely fails because of the toolset. And the toolset is what people like to address when they talk about “listening” and the skills they have already acquired here.

Knowledge about how to listen is actually available. It is just that it is often not used.

And this is due to the mindset or this troublemaker “EGO”, which would know, but does not like.
For whom it is simply too boring to adjust to the other person, to take oneself back and to direct one’s attention to the other person. It’s usually more fun to fill the cannon again for the next well-formulated salvo while the other person is saying something. In the spotlight of the stage. What absolutely has to be said again. And it has to be said now. And while one is on the way, one cannot listen. At least not to the other person.

Deep listening – the megacompetence

And this is exactly where Deep Listening – the megacompetence – clearly goes beyond Active Listening. It already begins with the fact that “listening” starts with oneself. And only after that listening to the other is possible at all.

The term Deep Listening has been used by several authors. The model of Deep Listening, which will now be looked at in more detail, comes from Otto Scharmer and is based on his Theory U. It includes four levels and distinguishes between “listening” to oneself and “listening” to the other.

It comprises a total of four levels and thus also differs from the model of Active Listening.
Here it is presented in a slightly modified form.

Level 1: Listening to oneself.

Deep Listening is based on the assumption that only those who are in contact with themselves can really listen. I.e. who is not distracted by his/her own EGO or external circumstances, but is completely present with him/herself. These people listen to themselves several times a day and take care to be in an inner balance. Techniques from the field of mindfulness are helpful for this.

Level 2: Listening to the Other.

When the presence is achieved in this way, this is a good basis for perceiving the outside, the other. Then what is said is received at all in calmness and a certain composure. Then one listens completely. First with the head.
In the contact this becomes immediately noticeable. The speaker thinks that he/she is being heard. He/she is allowed to speak, to take his/her time. The stress of having to be quick, of having to get a word in edgewise, eases for her/him as well.

Level 3: Perceive the other person with all senses.

There is then something more going on. If the “listening” goes beyond taking in the words in presence, then the heart is also used for perception at the same time as the head. Then the feelings and emotions play a role. Then the undertones are “heard” or read by the listener. We use the term “empathy” for this. Empathizing with the person you are talking to. The resonance with the other person.

Science assumes that our ability to feel empathy is created early in our socialization. Here, the model of “mirror neurons” is often cited, which describes an early resonance system of our brain.

If we perceive people not only with their thoughts but also with their feelings, then they will describe to us that a perceptible feeling of well-being arises. They then seek our proximity and get more involved.

At least up to this level, deep listening – the megacompetence should be practiced by managers today.

Level 4: Entering into a generative dialogue with intuition.

And it goes even beyond that, says the Four Levels of Listening model. We can also bring our intuition into play. Then we also “listen” with “sensing”. Then we let images and associations arise from what the other person says and what we “feel” in the process, and offer them in dialogue. As a rule, this sets a creative process in motion and a generative dialogue develops. An exchange in which something “beyond” is created. One or more impulses that take what was originally said a bit further, modify and transform it. Not forcefully from the outside, but from within.

This is then usually described by all participants as extraordinarily enriching and where possible meaning-giving. They then speak of a feeling of connectedness. Then Deep Listening – the megacompetence becomes a gift for both sides. For the one who is being listened to and for the one who is listening.

Future Communication Skill for Managers

And this last mentioned competence of integrating intuition and generative dialog is truly a Future Communication Skill that is actually a “must have” for managers of the future.

In a world where we are overwhelmed with information and hardly know where our heads are anymore – how are we supposed to understand each other. If not via the path of truly deep listening.

Admittedly, this has to be learned. And it takes a little time, because it needs to be practiced. But it is also rewarding in every way.
The best way to do this is to start over and go through all the levels of deep listening.
By the way, effective designs to follow this path are available at yoU for business.

And also we at TCJG offer a nugget with the same name “Future Communication Skills“.
You can reach us at TCJG to go.

And finally, here’s a video, Otto Scharmer explains the model here.

Deep Listening – the mega competence.
It works well with us.


Today, human “work” is increasingly migrating to the machine and AI is taking over more and more tasks from us. By doing so, it is only driving forward a process that has already begun. Many of the classic “jobs” have been the responsibility of the so-called “low-wage countries” for years. How contemporary is the term “co-worker” – at least in industrialized countries? Is there a change on the horizon?
The one “from co-worker to co-creator”?
(By the way: we always think diversely, even if we “sacrifice” the wording for the sake of reader-friendliness).

Work has a lousy image

In the ant-song from Tabaluga you can hear “Work is half of life …”. And indeed, there were times when a large part of the population of the industrialized countries would have fully agreed with this. And still today we encounter this confirmation from other regions of the world.

Although the term “work” is initially described neutrally as a “purposeful, social, planned and conscious, physical and mental activity”, it nevertheless has a “hidden agenda” attached to it. Work is usually associated with burden and effort, with complaint, and often with “unfair” working conditions. This attribution has its roots in ancient medieval times. And although the Christian, primarily Protestant religion has tried to give work a positive “image” and this was also emphasized again and again in the course of industrialization, it remained so – we still associate with work a matter of the socially lower classes.
It is poorly paid and performed by people with low education. These people supposedly need representatives who enforce their interests and leadership, since they cannot lead themselves.

Perhaps sociology could provide a remedy here. According to its definition, work is a process in which people enter into social relationships that are of central importance in the overall context of life; these include the structuring of time, social recognition and self-esteem.
And, honestly, that was a great try, but who would define “work” that way?

Co-worker, employee, colleague, ….

When it became clear that trying to correct this “hidden agenda” with optical polishes was not really fixing the problem, new names were created for the more modern or educated worker: Co-worker or Colleague and “Senior Associate” or “Executive.” In this way, they distanced themselves from the lower class, which, for example, also had hierarchical levels in the form of the foreman, and created a parallel world. With the familiar social conflicts. And then – for whatever reason – a compromise was reached in the world of Management 2.0+. All of them became the species “co-worker”. Employees of a company who are assigned to a manager. So much hierarchy was necessary after all. Although there is also an ambiguity, because managers are also employees and therefore actually co-workers.
To top it off, all of them are “workers”. Again, “work”. And whatever it actually means.

In any case, it sticks with the “worker”. With the whole worker story in the luggage. With or without a crown. More or less dependent.

Expiration of the term the “co-worker”

That somehow no longer fits the times, does it?
The term “work” is overdue now, at least in the age of the next big digital transformation. Even if it is still a central component of our understanding of the economy, primarily the national economy, which is still valid and characterized by performance thinking.

How unsexy it is today to see oneself as a “worker”. Who among us still wants to “work”?
The term “co-worker” has had its day; it simply no longer has any appeal or hardly any appeal.
At least the “work(er)” part is then best left for disposal. But what happens to the ” co-“?

From co-worker to co-creator
What exactly “co-” is and what does it mean? First of all, “co-“ means “with” or “also” and not “alone”. “Co-” requires others in each case. That is the spirit of the times. Today, we still talk a lot about teams, but now the idea of collaboration is gaining ground. The idea of creating something together. As opposed to every man for himself. By the way, collaboration has its roots in working together with the “enemy”. That really resonates with a lot of transformation potential.

Co-creation is therefore the current and forward-looking approach. There the “co-” is further in it. And something new. This is “creating” instead of “working”.

For some time now, a re-prioritization can be seen in people’s basic motivations. It is no longer the motivation to perform that is most pronounced, but rather that of influencing or shaping and that of connecting. In some sources, the basic motives are supplemented today by “freedom,” the motive that is currently becoming a shooting star. And “influence” as well as “freedom” have little to do with what we conventionally understand by “work”.

It really looks like the shift is coming: from co-worker to co-creator.

Spot on the “co-creator”

Assuming that the co-creator does exist, what distinguishes him from the “co-worker”?

First of all, a completely new basic understanding and a changed attitude. Designing or influencing something oneself does not mean waiting for a task to be assigned. It means becoming active, perhaps even proactive, and getting involved proactively. It is about ownership.

Energy that may be tied up in resistance in the “co-worker” is released in the “co-creator”. Creative potential and joy in self-efficacy can emerge.
What a benefit for the individual and the entire company.

At the same time, the requirements increase. It is important to deal with what one’s own contribution is, where one’s personal strengths lie and can be developed. Attentiveness and care for oneself and visibility in business take on a special significance. Courage is required to defend one’s own point of view. And resilience, should this not prevail with other co-creators. This can also be quite strenuous and takes those affected out of their comfort zone.

These are all future competencies that sometimes need to be developed first. An accompanying qualification offensive is certainly indispensable here.

Effects in the system

However, moving from ” co-worker to co-creator” is not done by changing the attitude and behavior of the “co-creator”.
It has an impact on the entire system and culture of an organization or company.

Co-creators have something to contribute and say, and they want to be heard. For this, it is necessary to create a suitable framework, formulate governance and develop principles of collaboration.

Co-creators have different requirements for their environment in terms of the type and location of the place where value is created. Here, a flexibilization of existing structures would be required. Mobile work and trust instead of control of times would be basic requirements. As would an understanding of which formats are suitable for joint creation and exchange.
Here, at the latest, we are in the center of the transformation to the “New Work” which is taking place anyway.

Leaders First

The shift from co-worker to co-creator can only be considered if leaders internalize and support the shift.
In fact, such an approach requires executives to be engaged in the transition even before implementation.

Co-creators, who take ownership, contribute themselves effectively and thus take over leadership through their role, make classic leadership unnecessary. New and future-oriented competencies are then also and especially required of leaders.

First, however, we need a mindset shift and the development of a supportive attitude in management and among all decision-makers. The following also applies to executives: From co-worker to co-creator.
This journey should be accompanied and begin before the “co-workers” set out on their journey.

Interested in going deeper? Gladly.
Please contact us.

You create the future.
This is something we’re good at.


Two years ago, we at The Company Journey Guides set off again into the future. Courageously, committed and with a lot of esprit. A retrospective on the first year, at the end of January 2020, showed a differentiated picture of how the alignment had succeeded and illuminated how we had actually made a few rookie mistakes ourselves. At that time, it could be read how we want to work on this in a next sprint. And then came Corona. So the TCJG Future Journey 2.0 came to a standstill. And is currently undergoing its relaunch as TCJG Future Journey 3.0.

Start 2.0

A quick look at blogs and the documentary shows – two years ago, we set out on our TCJG Future Journey 2.0. A good four years after the founding of TCJG, the Future Journey 1.0, that was simply the next step. A look, a direction into the future. A strategic redesign.
Things got off to a good start, and the first stage was met with a great deal of joy and energy. We had formulated the purpose together with the team right at the beginning and a north star quickly pointed the way. The next step, defining our ideas in a governance and thus formulating the foundations of our culture, also worked out very well. Not to forget the co-creation of our new website as a carrier of our future orientation.

Stumbling stones along the way

So far so good. And just as we started, the first distractions came. Everyday life took hold again and displaced the co-creative space and the euphoria. First delays occurred, our common journey temporarily moved out of focus. And already the spirit began to weaken. That happens quickly, and a year quickly comes to an end without any important next steps having been taken. In the retro at the end of January 2020, there was talk of this and also of how this could be captured in a next sprint. They were still just stumbling stones.

That was it for 2.0

A little over a year ago, at the end of February, we were just about to hold a restart workshop for our TCJG Future Journey 2.0. And then events came thick and fast. First, a TCJG founding member and co-managing director spontaneously decided to take on a new challenge. And away he went. And two weeks later, Corona was there. The first week after the lock-down was marked by cancellations. The order books for the next months, which were quite full, were emptied within three days.

And that was it for 2.0. Now it was more a matter of squaring the circle. From now on, think everything in virtual terms. Within a very short time, we had to massively expand our own digital competence. Redesign concepts, create new designs. First attempts. You can do it. Quickly become bolder.
Within four weeks, something like a new, completely new everyday life had set in.

In no man’s land between today and tomorrow

In a completely different form, this is how a TCJG realignment came about. Unplanned, chaotic, disturbing and at the same time close and connecting in the team. We shared daily in each other’s fate, we listened to each other, we wrapped up understanding for each other. We met in “kitchens”, “bedrooms” and next to the “cuckoo clocks”. Live reports from Bergamo have shaped our day, as well as the narrowness of a mountain village without guests in Austria.

There was no thought of the future. We simply thought from today to tomorrow. There were some days when we wondered if and how things would continue. And there were also days when we thought we wouldn’t be able to do it as well as we usually do. Especially since in the middle of the year, planned, a long-term and experienced guide started to work independently. And we have also somehow compensated for this and from May still two new colleagues virtually taken on board.

In July, we started with 40 virtual sessions, not counting the virtual coaching sessions.
In the fall, the presence sessions were supposed to start again. And indeed, we managed 15 external days in empty hotels and conference centers before the next lock-down light and then lock-down in full version was announced.

A safe bench for us was that we have been working a lot in the development of learning architectures, designs and concepts for years. This has stabilized us well again.

What a roller coaster ride, back to the future.
Unexpectedly with a good operational end in 2020 and exciting new prospects in 2021.

TCJG Future Journey 3.0

Alright, if that’s the case, then let’s take a look at our future again. But this will no longer be a 2.0. This is now the TCJG Future Journey 3.0, which we are thinking about and developing from the future.
We already know how to design the Future Journey. What’s new is that the journeys are now being recreated more frequently and at shorter intervals. Strategy in sprints, so to speak.

Familiar and new faces and people have come together and are transforming what was into what will be. How exciting is that. An understanding that there is no going back to what was. And a bunch of vague and also more concrete ideas about what might come.
New skills enrich the TCJG team and fuel a change of perspective.

It’s the end of February again. Time for a TCJG vision workshop. We are planning it for March. Still in lock-down. So be it. We know and can do how virtual vision workshops work by now.

Turning back to the future is really exciting. The TCJG Future Journey 3.0 has begun.
We will continue to report on the next stage of the it.


Coaching works. This finding is now widely and reliably supported by scientific evidence. Although there are also negative effects and different effect strengths in the (positive) effect, it can be said on average that whoever takes part in coaching will achieve a positive effect. What we hardly understand, if at all, so far, is the question of what exactly is effective about coaching and what makes coaching effective. Nicklas Kinder has been investigating this question for some time now as part of his dissertation.

Coaching Effectiveness and Success – a mostly very subjective endeavor

The first question is what is actually being measured when we talk about effectiveness or success in coaching. Here, science falls back on a multitude of different constructs. The more objective the measure of success, the more time-consuming and cost- or resource-intensive its collection. Accordingly, measures such as goal achievement or client satisfaction are usually used. This survey can be carried out conveniently by means of (online) questionnaires.
However, this approach brings with it a fuzziness. Today we know that the satisfaction with coaching is significantly influenced by the sympathy to the coach. To leave out this influencing factor is to undermine the credibility and validity of the results obtained. Measures such as employee turnover, productivity or return on investment are much more meaningful, but are very rarely collected for the reasons mentioned above.

The complexity of the impact of coaching

Leaving aside the challenges of measuring success, we turn our attention here to the mechanisms of impact of coaching. Coaching works, yes. But how and through what? Eliciting the answer to these questions is in no way to be considered less complex – on the contrary. Regardless of the training direction of the coach, coaching represents a special form of social interaction, which is therefore subject to common social psychological rules and phenomena. In simplified terms, people in interactions thus always strive to maximize their gains from action and minimize the costs resulting from the action. However, the results of coaching are co-created by both interaction partners – coach and client. Thus, only part of the control over the results of action is in the hands of the coach, another part is in the hands of the respective counterpart, and a third part is in the joint, shared control. The respective situation plays an additional role.

This can be said – coaching works as a part of social interaction

In coaching, however, the coach does not follow the maximization of his action gains, but tries to influence the interaction positively in the sense of his client. In coaching, there is a continuous exchange of emotions and cognitions between the interlocutors. The joint interactions usually take place in loops. Thereby a mutual influence takes place. Basic needs initially generate motivated cognitions. These then lead to motivated behavior, which is interpreted reciprocally and leads to a further loop. Whether this process is perceived as effort or gain/benefit depends on two factors. On the one hand, to what extent the individual needs and motives match. Second, how the respective counterpart perceives and reacts to the behavior. This is the voice of social psychology.

Individual impact factors cannot score

Thus, in summary, the study of the impact of coaching depends on the behavior of coach and client and their interaction. In addition, it is also about the perception of each other’s behavior and its subjective interpretation. It is therefore relatively unsatisfactory and not very meaningful to identify specific individual factors as mechanisms of effect in coaching. The reason for this is the complex interdependencies of effects, which suggest a plurality to multitude of relevant factors. It can also be assumed that, for example, satisfaction with coaching depends on other factors than the achievement of goals or the consistency of the implementation of certain goals.

The frequently published studies on individual impact factors found are consequently limited, at least in their informative value. This is especially true if one considers that so quickly the impression is created that many similar factors could play a role, which, however, could be quickly traced back to a common origin in a joint investigation (e.g. social closeness, trust, empathy, positive interactions and sympathy are explained by the working relationship). Thus, one should examine several interesting and interrelated as well as extraneous constructs together to obtain impact factor models. Single impact factors seem unrealistic and not very meaningful.

Complex impact factor models – an exciting research direction

Preliminary results from studies of more complex surveys (Kinder et al., 2020) suggest that coaching works, as different criteria help most clients to rate coaching as successful. Success was assessed in terms of goal achievement and satisfaction with coaching, but composed of different differentiating individual questions. The criteria arose from a number of variables, which were the result of complex statistical calculations with so-called structural equation models.

Impact factors for predicting the success of coaching (from the client’s point of view):

  • Working relationship – tasks (how well did the activities and tasks help the client in coaching)
  • Working relationship – bonding (closeness and bonding in the working relationship between coach and client)
  • Trust (the client’s confidence in the coach’s competence, benevolence and integrity)
  • Empathy (the empathy of the coach)
  • Affect calibration (the inclusion of the client’s emotional level in coaching)
  • Resource activation and implementation (orientation to strengths, competencies, resources and experiences and their usefulness for the implementation of the goals)
  • Each variable in itself has an influence on coaching success, following the logic “the higher the better”. Therefore, statistically, the more a coach incorporates these points, the greater the likelihood that the coaching will be successful for the client.

As we can see, two levels are significant for coaching to be effective:

On the one hand, the coach should address the relationship level and respond to you individually. Only in this way can a trusting relationship develop and your coach understand what is going on inside you.

On the other hand, the coach should be a structuring element and ensure, through a good selection of tasks that suit you, that you work on the right adjusting screws, reflect and ultimately make progress for yourself. The structure is likewise found in the reflection and gathering of suitable resources that you need or that can help you achieve your goals.


As was the case during the first Corona lock-down, “the sales department” is now to invest more heavily in “customer relations”. This means contacting customers by phone or conference call and “let’s talk …”.
This type of call is usually perceived by both sides as rather unpleasant and – as we all know – it is often quickly over. The contact is then in any case made, the verification box ticked.
Action is taken and customer loyalty is established. Honestly? Does that make the customer happy?
Or should the goal be better: Connecting with the customer and conjuring up a smiley face.

Customer relations in times of digitalization

Actually a good idea to get in touch with the customer in the age of digitalization. In most cases, touchpoints of customers with companies along the customer journey are rarely characterized by F2F contacts. You encounter a brand or a product today in the digital media: on websites, in e-brochures, at an add or an influencer in social media. In pictures or via well-designed video clips. Sometimes also in a call center voice.

Purchase and order processes are now also digitalized and subject to a secure and standardized process. Simple usability wins out. With as few clicks as possible on the Datahighway to a quick solution. With the advantage that the user’s own data is stored and further contacts are then suggested by the virtual assistant. You have to do less and less yourself.

And now again from person to person

The human being usually has no place in this process. In the meantime, he is no longer missed. The customer has become accustomed to communicating with the machines, the digital brand representatives and colorful images. Sometimes he/she still comes by personally in a store. There, a live encounter takes place in real time. One touchpoint among many.

In the meantime, the employee named at the beginning of this article is already a long way away from the customer. There is still a note about the customer’s wishes and needs in the customer database. But how do you tie in with this? How to build a bridge and create a connection with the customer?
What do you say now, after you have said “Good day”?

And this in COVID times, where everyone is intensively occupied with his own topics. Partly with high emotional involvement. That is then simply included in the call. To catch it alone brings many people to their limits. TCJG offers on request of our customers exactly to this topic specially designed workshops.

Connectedness with the customer

At the moment, when we sit in front of the screen for hours and days and get tired of the many faces in honeycombs and the overfeeding with animations, the inner voice is slowly knocking again.
A personal contact, an exchange from person to person, someone who listens, an individual feedback on what is being said – yes, that would really be desirable.

In other words, it is exactly the right time to make personal contact with the customer again.
The best way to do this is with one goal: to create a connection with the customer.

Connectedness describes a form of relationship experience that has an emotional impact. A feeling of being noticed and listened to with one’s own needs. To develop a desire to experience more of these contacts.

Connectedness with the customer means that the customer is the first and foremost factor in a contact. And not the ticking box or whether or not there is a quick conclusion in it. It means to focus all your interest on the customer and to be curious about him and his world. This can be done in a structured way. With the positive effect of regaining individual customer data, which contributes to lasting customer connectedness.

How does it work – customer connectedness?

We are happy to share some tips on how “customer connectedness” can be successful.

  • Own attitude
    First of all, it has something to do with the attitude and inner alignment with which one makes contact. Here curiosity is required and openness to results. And of course courage, if one is to go without completely formulated goal to another person.
  • Goal or purpose
    Then it would be good to define a purpose for the contact instead of a clear goal. Maybe something like giving the customer a change or diversion in his virtual home-office day.
  • Structure
    Not having a concrete goal, but simply getting involved in the contact does not have to mean that you do not follow any structure. On the contrary. We suggest that you use the time to really get to know your customer. For example, do you ask him how he organizes his current day? What is currently moving him in and around the business? What does he do in his limited free time? What wishes or ideas have been newly created or have become concrete during this time?
    And just listen. Your customer will tell you a variety of points of contact for small and large “goddies” that you can do for him and which will be reflected in a concrete business at some point. That’s a promise.
  • Format
    Make it clear right from the start with the invitation. No, this is not a classic ticking-box follow-up phone call. Invite to a “virtual café” instead. Or maybe even to a “Walk and Talk”. Either in pairs live or each one separately, connected with a conference call via smartphone.
    Specify the time frame (20-40 minutes) in advance and outline the “agenda”. It should say something like: “I actually only have one TOP on the agenda: I would like to hear and understand how you are doing in these current times”.
    An occurrence of connection is guaranteed. WOW experience and happy customer too. Try it out and amaze.
    And take something for yourself as well: Connectedness!

You shape the future.
With us it works well!

Stay healthy.




One learning format is currently enjoying increasing popularity. It is a short term learning design that can be easily integrated into the daily routine of every person. By leaning on a time slot that is set anyway. The lunch break. With a sandwich or salad, some content and sharing. The Lunch & Learn is ready. And Lunch & Learns, they rock.

Micro Learning is on the move

The days when learning in business was primarily done in a group in the seminar room or alone in front of the computer are gone. Where you had to “cut out” days or hours to learn new things, to get inspiration or to optimize your own behavior. Today learning is different. For example in small bites, so-called Learning Nuggets. Small learning units for in between. They can be “nibbled on” in the process. They are assigned to microlearning, one of the current trends in qualification. Just like the Lunch & Learns, which rock.

Sharing turns out to be the new learning

Another trend that is just beginning to take off is learning through sharing. The sharing of knowledge and experience among people. In your own company or/and beyond your own organization, e.g. in topic communities. The advantage of this “learning format” is that knowledge shared by people who belong to an identical context is usually practical and immediately applicable. In addition, sharing one’s own experiences with interested parties is usually experienced as an appreciation. And this form of learning has yet another advantage: it is free of charge and available in a variety of ways. That rocks. Like Lunch & Learns, by the way, they rock, too.

Not to forget, the Social Workspace Learning

According to the 70:20:10 model, learning today and tomorrow takes place primarily at the workplace and in collaboration. In the ideal case as Social Workspace Learning, i.e. with a focus on social learning, i.e. learning in exchange with others. And that in a timely manner, when learning needs arise. Companies would do well to consider this demand for learning of their employees. And to offer suitable formats. Like Lunch & Learns, for example, which then rock.

Lunch & Learns offer everything in one format

What exactly is this dream format that rocks like that? Well, it’s basically a joint lunch with a guided exchange on a topic. Salmon roll meets super food salad, so to speak. And there is something to that. After all, food is an essential part of this setting. And so is showing what’s on your plate at the moment. Usually this is one of the openers for a Lunch & Learn, especially when it is done virtually. In this format treffen (meet), from three to X are people who belong to an organization or feel connected to a certain topic. around lunchtime, usually for 1-2 hours. Rather shorter than longer. And during this time they exchange ideas on a specific topic or question that is important to everyone. A teaser and/or (several) impulse “lecture” can introduce the topic and a facilitator should set the framework and accompany the group. It is then crucial that those present enter into dialogue with each other and share their voices and views, contribute their experience and hear other perspectives. This is where the design is needed and the “good” questions from the facilitator. Ideally, the exchange takes place in small groups of 3-4 people. This ensures that everyone can make a contribution and thus be heard. The best way is to invite people to the peer work in live format and virtually. At the end there should be a “harvesting“. What was in it for the individual(s)? What can be taken away? What should be tried out?

Lunch & Learns that rock

And here are a few tips from the treasure chest of the facilitator for the Lunch & Learns that rock

  • Short and crisp
  • Opener, where everybody has a say or shows an activity
  • Attractive teaser (video, mini-key note, message from an expert, provocation, etc.)
  • 2-3 sharingrounds with different conversation partners
  • Questions that stimulate a deeper exchange
  • 1-2 energizers
  • Space for harvesting and transfer

Lunch & Learns have an addictive potential. I promise. We at TCJG are happy to share our experience with this format.



Whenever transformation is involved, it is stated that a mindset refraim has a key role to play. Many initiatives threaten to fail because people remain in their old “patterns” instead of opening up to the new. Even the best chains of argumentation are of no use. And even horror scenarios or idealized visions of the future miss their target alone. Time to reflect on a very old format and its power – the effectiveness of the circle.

The failure of transformation

Each and everyone is currently engaged in primarily digital transformation. However, many are apparently not making much progress in this area, and it can be often heard  that they are “lagging behind”. Transformation initiatives often drag on for years and seem to be stagnating.

According to the study Shifthappens 2020, two out of every three initiatives fail. If one follows the many analyses and studies that examine this, the disruptive factors are usually the classics of change management: lack of vision or future prospects, too many activities at once and the resulting sand dune effect, incorrect planning, lack of support from promoters.

And above all a culture shock. Whereas in the past, classic silos, services according  to instructions mentality and cascade goals were required, collaboration, self-organization and iterations are now suddenly on the agenda. A 360-degree turn, so to speak, with a clear panoramic view. A bit much at once, for one or the other.

The importance of communication

Communication is one of the central success factors for successful change, which is a transformation. Even if the holistic version of the Change. Lack of communication leads to resistance. And this makes the entire transformation process slack. Helpful communication, in turn, takes the players on the road, involves them, and ensures integration. So far so good. Has been understood.

But what kind of communication should inspire the transformation? Nicely designed slides with many good arguments. The arguments that are plausible to the creator of the slides. Optimized to the point that they convince every member of the steering committee and beyond.

It obviously does not work. This kind of communication does not seem to bring people into effectiveness and action. Rather, it seems to make them persevere. Otherwise, many transformations would not be where they are.

A question of the mindset

It is really not about communication. It is only a means to an end. It wants to move. To bring people into thinking. Change perspectives. Broaden perspectives. Create desires. Arouse interest in co-design.

It’s more a matter of stimulating the mindset to change. To expand it, to move it out of its rigid corset and comfort zone and to go on a journey of discovery.

And this is certainly not possible with a plausible set of slides. But maybe with good stories. Not with one but with many. Maybe with analogies and personal experiences. And with individual wishes and desires. And with the medium of emotion instead of reason.

The effectiveness of the Circle

And this is where the Circle comes into play. A circle is a conversation circle, which allows to reach deeper levels of communication. In literature several names are used for this circle, e.g. Communication Circle or Talking Circle.

The Circle is a “learning format” that is still actively used by many indigenous people today. For the development of their children or to make decisions for example. It has been used as a method of organizational development and facilitation in recent years for organizations and companies and can work true miracles.

For a circle, a group of people (approx. 6-30+) comes together, whose connection consists in answering a common question. These groups sit together in a closed circle.
This can take place around a table or in an open circle of chairs.
The question for a circle is published for all to see.
A talking stick is used, which moves from group member to group member. It can either be passed on directly when a group member has spoken, or it can first be moved back to the center and then picked up by the next member who wants to contribute.

The effectiveness of the circle can be traced back to the setting, but above all to its principles.
Each member speaks in turn and has the right to speak as long as he or she sees it as appropriate and holds the speaking stick in his or her hands.
There is no external dialogue in the sense of questions or debates, but rather contribution after contribution. Sometimes with reference to previous speakers, sometimes without.
Once the circle is complete, it begins all over again.

An accompanying facilitator can at this point set a short summary of the preliminary round or a focus e.g. with reference to the initial question.
In this way, up to four rounds (depending on the size of the group) can take place. Then the facilitator closes the circle.

The Magic of the Circle

The principles of this format allow the minds of all participants to come to rest and listen to each other more and more intensively. Since an answer cannot/should not be given immediately, the attention remains with what has been said. From different perspectives and aspects, a new and extended  view of things crystallizes in small steps. In mini-steps your own mindset changes. By themselves. On the basis of a diverse view, but with your own thoughts and feelings. This is sustainable and works. This is how action is planned.

Interesting is the effectiveness of the Circle. It works through itself. Change happens. Just like that. Without chains of argumentation. Without logic. From within itself. How magical.

To everyone’s satisfaction, by the way. It is astonishing. Everything important comes up. Represented by all. Thus a wonderful example of self-organization and collaboration is created. And thus changing culture. In every circle.

Circles also have success factors

Two factors are crucial to the effectiveness of the Circle.

First is this: the question. It needs to be carefully chosen and well formulated to reach everyone and to raise the potential inherent in the community. Ideally, it should be formulated in several iterations together with representatives of the Circle and the facilitator.

Then the attitude of the facilitator. No, a facilitator is not a moderator. Rather, it is a person who unintentionally shapes the room and “holds” it, i.e. ensures that the Circle process runs smoothly and in accordance with the principles. This is a very special art that needs to be learned.


You use the effectiveness of the Circle to make Mindset Refraim.
With us it goes well.




Things have got to change. The classic management structures no longer reflect the zeitgeist. For years now, one new management model has been chasing the next, countless “recommendations” are being made as to how an ideal manager should be “knitted” and there are also no shortages of alternative solutions at organizational level. More self-responsibility and self-efficacy is the credo. More self-leadership, in other words.

But how does leadership lead to a leader-shift?

It’s up to the executives…

Currently, in times of  home office and emerging smart work, they are once again under real criticism, the managers. They cannot allow a liberalisation of the world of work. And they fear an erosion of power and influence. They do not know how to manage their team remotely. Managers simply want to have everything under control. In general, they do not trust. And the current situation makes this really clear.

So say the statements of countless articles, studies and voices of the public. And yes, this certainly applies to some managers as well.

At the moment, it is also time to break the lance for the “entire population of managers”. Many representatives I have met in my role as a coach over the past years have their hearts in the right place. And a mindset that deserves recognition. Many have approached their task with idealism and a large number of innovative ideas. They have put a lot of strength and energy into their role. Many have braced themselves against windmills. And some have also failed because of it. Or have decided to go into adaptation in order to “survive” in the system. Which is also simply human.

Or the organizations …

It is worth taking a look at this very system or organization or company. Although “purpose” and “self-organization“, “agility” and “flat hierarchies” are on everyone’s lips, we are still far from realizing these ideas. Home office – yes of course, this is the new work format that will have to be taken into account more and more in the future. And Scrum & Co – has already been implemented where it makes sense.

However, most organizations are still classically in silos organized and the executive is more the manager than the leader. He or she is measured by numbers and results. Perhaps a human-KPI will also play a role at times. One under 10. The team is just a side issue. And for the individual there is the annual meeting. Personal aspects can be discussed there. If it weren’t for these annoying employee surveys and mood barometers, everything would actually be fine.

Especially since almost all of the organization’s managers have already completed the workshop series on “New Leadership”, “Agile Methods” and not to forget “Digital Transformation”. So now, anyone should be able to lead in the zeitgeist and according to the current conditions.

And the employees…

Let’s assume that we would change this term to “co-creators”. That would make a huge difference. First of all, the term “work” per se is not really the “burner”. And secondly, the question of how “added value” will be created in companies in the future is exactly that. It Is “worked off” or “co-created”.

This is primarily a mindset question again, which then triggers consistent follow-up considerations.

If one thinks of this in “work” and thus in a Tayloristic world view, there may be good reasons for structuring, placing orders and controlling. For those concerned, this is then “annoying”, often stressful and limited but also familiar and within “9 to 5” and their own “comfort zone” (if one can speak of comfort here).

One thinks that in “creation” then everything changes. First the own inner attitude. Then you have to change to selfresponsibility, self-expression and self-management. Then there is no one left to say where things go, that is taken over by oneself. And then it is presented and discussed in dialogue. Then mistakes are on the agenda and failure becomes an everyday part of your own actions. Then freedom becomes tangible. And consequence too. Then the comfort zone is shifted towards the growth zone.

From Leadership to Leader-shift

Assuming we are serious about organizational and leadership change – which is probably essential – it would be advisable to use the window of opportunity opened by COVID 19 to implement the change. Then it would make sense to consistently pursue the path we have taken toward liberalizing “work”.

However, a few essential aspects should not be overlooked. The mindset-shift must accompany the structural change. It is not enough to implement “Smart Work”. The people in the organisation should also be willing and able to act as “co-creators”. Their contribution would be to take over self-management in their professional activities and thus contribute their part to the leader-shift. This is something that first needs to be learned.

Parallel to this, managers would have the task of enabling more people to take the step out of the comfort zone and into the learning and growth zone. To trust them, to encourage them, to accompany them, to create a suitable framework, but also to demand the shift again and again. This is certainly for one or the other a sustainable change of his or her own role. And that also needs support, e.g. through coaching.

Above all, however, recognition within the own organisation. If leadership performance continues to be measured according to the classic model and only with the previous KPIs, this will not work.

Instead, there should be a clear separation between added value and results (management) and the empowerment and effectiveness of the individual (leadership).

Here, the Shared LeaderShift model is recommended as a pragmatic approach.

Leadership is needed for the change from leadership to leadership shift. On the way to an increasingly self-organizing system in which human, especially emotional and creative competence, as well as artificial intelligence co-create and shape the future.

22.05.2020 For many, almost 10 weeks of Working@Home are now behind us. Some helpful routines have been formed in the meantime, new tools and efficient working techniques have been learned and the state of emergency has created a strange, new everyday life. And yet now comes a dry spell. This way of working is reaching its limits. Colleagues are missed more, the spatial separation of our life areas is painfully missing. The urge back to the “workplace” is felt everywhere. Just in case it goes on like this for a few more days or weeks or if Working@Home becomes firmly established again: Here are a few tips from companies, freelancers and bloggers on how home office works.

The workplace

“As you’ve made your bed, now you must lie in it,” says the people. This applies not only to the choice of mattress, but also to the choice of a suitable workplace. Depending upon the possibilities of the own home naturally. Ideal is a delimited area with table and ergonomic chair with lateral light and a clean working environment. This prevents distractions. For those who do not have a home office, order helps. Please put away everything that is not needed for working. Sometimes a visual change, such as a cloth, can also help, giving the table a new appearance and the head a new way to switch to work mode. For days when you need special motivation, a small bouquet of flowers or a motivating picture next to the laptop may also help. The phenomenon that the outside can influence the inside and vice versa is not unknown. Everybody knows that in a suit or evening dress you move and behave differently than in a jogging suit. How was it with the control and the jogging pants, dear Karl Lagerfeld? And that brings us straight to the second tip: the clothing.

The clothes

It is best to choose exactly the same clothes that you would wear in the office. Those who usually dress more casually in jeans and polo shirt or sweater will keep that in mind. In other industries, a shirt or blouse may also be appropriate. Shoes can also help to switch to “work mode”. The posture is immediately more upright and the head gets the impulse to switch to “work mode”. Also, one performs better during (many) video conferences.

The structure

Working@Home lacks a spatial structure and a clear separation of living areas. This makes it all the more important to be well organized in terms of time. On some days fixed appointments from outside help, such as video calls, remote workshops, jour-fixed appointments with the boss, team or customers. If this framework is missing, it is a good idea to create a fixed rhythm. Those who have fixed reachability from their company are usually sitting at their desk from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be reached. After that is “end of work”. How meaningful these rules are is debatable. This varies depending on the business model and type of person. After all, there are many studies on the different daily and working rhythms of people. In science, a distinction is made between larks, owls or other types. An added value offered by the home office is certainly to be able to better accommodate individual inclinations. Why not go to the virtual school with the children for an hour in the morning, as is currently required? But then in the evening between 19.00-20.00 o’clock again process the e-mails. Current collaboration platforms provide excellent support for this. It is easy to leave a message there when a person is “on” or “off”.

The breaks

Breaks are especially important in the home office. Various researches have come to the conclusion that breaks are creative and efficient. After about 90 minutes our brain is exhausted and needs a short break. After about 4 hours, a longer break is recommended. The eyes are also grateful for a screen break. Don’t forget to move, another tip – all experts agree on this. Not only that especially people who are on the move in creative professions often describe the phenomenon, the best ideas would come in the shower, during sports or while sleeping. Every person has the natural need to move. With Working@Home and the maximum between the kitchen and bedroom, this can be clearly neglected. Little rituals can help here, such as stretching from the “desk” every time you get up or circling your shoulders after every “call”.

The Mental Hygiene

The right mindset is the key to success, experts today also agree on this. Especially in the home office, self-management, motivation and self-discipline are the decisive success factors. Here it comes again and again to overlapping of the different roles and areas of life. So it’s good to always be clear about what’s coming up and what’s not. What is allowed is what helps. Some people find 5 minutes of morning meditation helpful, others use visualizations, to-do lists or the handwritten marker on the kitchen door. It is recommended to take a short break to realign yourself and to reprioritize if necessary. And above all, to allow yourself to take time off from family and work at home, as well as “doing nothing” just for yourself.

The future of Working@Home

At present, no one can predict how Corona will change our working world. Digitization has already gained momentum. So has creativity, solidarity and openness to New Work. Steve Galveski describes five different stages of remote work on From stage 1 “Non-Deliberate Action” to stage 5 the “Nirvana”, in which the virtual office no longer tries to copy the physical office, but defines its own rules through clever use and thus becomes more productive. Well, we´ll see. In any case, it’s a good idea to take a look at how Working@Home works sustainably. From now on it is part of it.




Countless studies show that companies in this country are lagging in digitisation. Above all, the development of digital skills for many people is not progressing as quickly as expected. What is needed now is a speed up. There is a solution: Hybrid Discovery (HD) Workshops from TCJG

There are many offers for the development of digital competence

 It cannot be said that there is a lack of initiatives and concepts or even measures to develop digital literacy. Never has the range of online and face-to-face training courses been as extensive as it is today. Obviously with a continuing upward trend. Today, private individuals can choose from a wide variety of learning formats. Meanwhile, e-learning is becoming more and more clever, with and without gamification elements, videos in explanatory or teaching mode, learning trips in peers with direct access to well-sorted content, hosted on platforms of varying attractiveness. In addition, there are in-house training courses of various kinds, in which digitalisation is still “trained” in live formats. Or one can find really great staged presence Future Learning Labs.

By the way: We have been looking around here and there over the last few months and are happy to share our experiences.

And yet CEOs of companies complain that a sustainable change in the behaviour of many people falls short of expectations and of necessity. In fact, knowledge in the field of digitization is often already available, but it is hardly ever applied.

Let’s think of Corona as an opportunity

The current challenge that is illustrated in connection with “Corona” makes it clear: it would be beneficial for people to be fit in and with digital forms of work. As a result of “Corona”, entire workforces may be forced to work from their home office at short notice. This can go well and minimize the expected economic damage. All that is required is that everyone is suitably qualified and motivated.

In this respect, we can also see “Corona” as an opportunity and driver in the development of digital competence. What could be postponed for a long time now creates a concrete pressure to act. Digital, networked collaboration.

In change management, one would say that the sense of urgency” is now becoming visible. This is one of the success factors for successful change. As a rule, digitalization is defined as a central strategic field in companies today. It can therefore be assumed that a pronounced digital competence also pays off on a powerful vision. A further success factor. Nothing stands in the way of change. Now it is simply a matter of doing the new.

Use the opportunity to speed up digital competence

The time is now to take the implementation of digital work seriously. From the current need to maintain more virtual than F2F contacts, the quick win can now emerge to strengthen the competence of digital working and learning through a targeted offer of suitable and inspiring formats. This initially includes the consistent implementation of well-structured conference calls via Skype, teams, WebEx, GoToMeting or zoom. And certainly, also the increased use of document sharing e.g. via SharePoint or GoogleDrive, should be mentioned here.

However, the TCJG format of the HD (Hybrid Discovery) workshops goes far beyond this. These are 0.5 – 2 day hybrid workshops in the area of Learning & Development. On various topics, such as communication, self-organization, sharing & collaboration and others. In these primarily virtual workshops, presence units are integrated into the participant’s workplace. This format provides for learning and collaboration in a virtual group, but at the same time ensures that social workspace learning takes place in real time. The basics of didactics (sensitization, information, practice/application and transfer) are considered as well as a high experience value and fun factor.

Really good reasons for HD (Hybrid Discovery) workshops

This format cleverly combines the introduction of people to digital tools and their natural application or use. In teams or alternative systems, people simply work. Playful moderation is achieved by changing various tools and these are immediately applied. Whether it is tandem work in a team call, small group work in the break out rooms of zoom or a joint brainstorming using a worksheet in OneNote. To name just a few examples of the MS Office 365 world. Then you don’t need your own MS Office 365 user training anymore. In the workshop the tools are simply used on an ongoing basis.

Not to forget your own mobile phone, which uses a (secure) messenger to control mini work phases or breaks, to deliver work orders or to play back work results from the workplace to the virtual group via audio/video recording.

And this is only the added value in the area of virtual media competence. Above all, it is also worth mentioning the development of the participants’ ability to work collaboratively and to share knowledge or experience at the workplace. By means of these workshops, a contribution can also be made to the development of cross-functional networks or new relationships can be created across silos. Participants are encouraged to set up a space at their workplace where they visualize the results of their work developed in the virtual group. This space remains available after the virtual workshop and serves as a tool for implementing the learning content.

Finally: without much thought or discussion, digital work becomes normal and self-evident with this format. An incidental speed up of digital competence.

What does it take? A laptop, a mobile device and a human being.

We do the rest, or we show you how to do it.

HD Workshops from TCJG – Speed up!

Please feel free to contact us.


What does “leadership begins with the self” mean? Leadership is primarily understood as leadership of employees or leadership of an organisation – using different techniques and methods. Sometimes the spot is on management, sometimes the ideas of leadership are focused. After all, these task are traditionally allocated to a manager. And when taking care of these tasks, he or she can fall back on countless ideas and approaches as to how these can be managed. Leadership begins with the employee or with the task or with governance. Why then focusing on the Self when it comes to leadership?

A completely different understanding of leadership

Let’s say leadership starts with the self. Then leadership would no longer be limited to the role of a leader. Actually, everybody would be a leader. Leadership would be embedded in the self. And if everybody leads him/herself, why do we need leaders after all? Then leadership in the best sense would be provided by everyone, driven by self-organisation. For this, a suitable culture with suitable principles and the most necessary norms is required. Besides that, a powerful purpose and a shining North Star is desirable. By the way, this has already been described by Charles Manz and Henry Sims in “Superleadership“.

Admittedly an ideal image, in the best case a target image. Until then there will still be leaders on the road and for them there are good reasons to start leading the self. Namely to be able to consciously shape certain parts of their own personality and thus their own effectiveness.

Self knowledge – a basic requirement for people in leadership

In fact, a precise knowledge of one’s self is not as common among managers as one might expect. In any case, in qualifications or management audits, it becomes apparent regularly that the image of others differs considerably from the self-image. It is therefore not easy for (prospective) managers to name or assess their motivation, competence or factual and emotional impact.

The perception named here corresponds with statements from employee satisfaction surveys or commitment studies, which make it clear that employees accuse their managers of not being authentic, too power-related or not close enough. When managers are confronted with these statements, it is often very surprising to see how they are perceived. Since this view does not correspond at all with their own assessment.

Now, however, a deeper self-knowledge can be seen as a basic requirement in working with other people. In order to avoid projections or to recognize counter-projections, to differentiate hypotheses from reality and in the sense of a safe assessment of situations and possible de-escalation of conflicts, a precise self-perception is essential.

Working on one’s own self-awareness is thus a first leadership task for managers. Feedback from colleagues/friends, reflection with a coach and participation in appropriate qualifications are suitable support in this respect. The topic is just getting hip. Currently, there are also a lot of offers on the market. Here for example an offer from TCJG.

Good leadership is a question of attitude

Self-management also means being aware of one’s own attitude in leadership and to maintain a reflected approach to it. This means knowing your personal values, beliefs and needs. And to understand these as the foundation for one’s own leadership actions.

In his book “Haltung entscheidet” Martin Permantier offers to differentiate between attitudes in six different clusters and follows as far as possible the Spiral Dynamics approach or Ken Wilber’s reflections on memes. An analysis of one’s own attitude by means of the classification presented in the book also helps to better understand and align one’s own actions. One’s individual attitude forges best – oneself and the team.

The examination of one’s own attitude should be a further matter of course for managers, just like self-knowledge. Only those who can clearly name their attitude are in a good position to check whether it fits in with the corporate culture or whether “forced adjustments” need to be made, which are then perceived by the environment as inauthentic or manipulative.

At the same time, the attitude shapes the role model demanded by the manager. Authenticity will only be perceived if attitude is repeatedly experienced in coherent action.

Then it is also reliable to follow traditional or always new leadership models. Whether they are called “Servant Leadership” or “Human Leadership”, “Connected Leadership” or “Agile Leadership”. If one’s own attitude represents the spirit of the organization in which the leader works and if one’s own heart sets the pace, there is no need for static guidelines from the model catalogue.

Updating knowledge about innovation is of course something else. It is indispensable. But not only for managers.

Self-management wants to be practised

When self-knowledge is acquired and one’s own attitude is reflected upon, then there is still the behavioural level. If you know what makes you “tick” and what impacts your own actions and if your own effect can be described and there is awareness of how your own behaviour shapes the culture in the team, then you can proactively shape your actions consciously.

This is at first a question of will, in the sense of what I want to contribute to, my own purpose, which describes why I stand up every day as a leader. Then there is the ability, that describes how I will act, how I express what I want to get my team to do, how I go about designing. And then there is action, that shows what I do exactly, when and how often, in order to put will and ability into action.

While the purpose is best identified and formulated in peace, stillness and with some distance, the development and expansion of skills and procedures and, above all, consistent action is a longer process that usually takes place in iterations. Thus, an intention is followed by a period of experimentation and then again and again by practice. Until doing becomes a habit. On the way, discipline is usually required, as it is known from sports. Practice again and again, do not give up. Somehow this is like training for a marathon.

Resilience can’t hurt. Setbacks are part of it, especially when disturbances come from outside. A conflict situation within the team, a new supervisor, pressure from sales numbers.

Tips to ensure that leadership starts with the self

With a powerful driver, your own purpose backing you up and a goal of where you and your team should go, it will be easier to stay on the learning path.

It is proven to be a good idea to visualize both. In other words, to create a picture of one’s own “what for” and the desired result (vision) in one’s head or even on paper.

Rituals can be used for the daily behavioural routine. Just as you go jogging every day, for example, each day can begin with 15-20 minutes of reflection and alignment. Or one day a month can be scheduled for the “self”. Very important on the learning journey to oneself/with oneself are feedback sessions to check if the intended effect is achieved. Regular lunches with colleagues or employees can be helpful to allow space for this.

Becoming a manager is certainly not always easy, being a manager is a challenge, especially a manager who fills his role with charisma. As surveys show us again and again, it is more or less easy to master this challenge.

Those who are more successful are either natural talents or they have set out on their own journey to become themselves. An exciting journey by the way. And a rewarding one. Because leadership starts with the self.


Would you like to shape that?

This is something we´re good at.


Learning Journeys are a journey into the world of new learning. They comprehensively reform the personnel and organizational development process and combine many innovative and modern learning concepts of tomorrow – today. We have also embarked on a journey to take a look behind the scenes of the “Learning Journey” format: Come with us!

The first stage of the Learning Journey of learning

Everybody who has pressed the school desk, or the lecture hall knows this: One speaks monotonously and unagitated in the style of a frontally reader and the other listeners find it difficult to follow or even keep their eyes open. The frontal lecture was gradually replaced by a seminar, a workshop or interactive training. However, although interaction and direct participation made time pass faster, a sobering realization remained: only certain competences can be imparted through such formats, they cost a lot of resources and actually only make sense if the entire group of participants starts from scratch (or another common starting point).

In times of fast-moving change and constant adaptation, it was not far from the idea to digitise these formats because of the high commitment of resources. Webinars, podcasts or virtual classroom trainings were expected to increase efficiency in learning – after all, participants no longer had to travel to get in touch with learning. Unfortunately, these concepts soon reached their limits. A lack of individual consideration, external employment, of topic transfer and technical challenges added to the already known difficulties. The problem that curricular learning is only partially effective with heterogeneous levels of knowledge was not tackled in the first place. Not to mention the sustainability of learning.

The alternative route also had its pitfalls

At the same time, the realisation developed that knowledge content and skills in particular do not have to be acquired in presence or interpersonal interaction. e-Learning was born as a virtual brother to the good old textbook. Worldwide and at any time access to the learning content, learning on demand thus. And all you need is access to the internet. Many companies invested horrendous sums to implement their own e-learning concept in their in-house Learning Management System (LMS). Of course, with excitingly prepared and as interactive and multimedia as possible content.

The problem? The laboriously created content is always obsolete and outdated after a short time. In addition, it is often not so easy for employees to find “just in time” and “tailor-made” answers to everyday questions in the e-learning tools. Changes are usually time-consuming and costly, especially if an external service provider is involved. In addition, it quickly made the rounds that knowledge competences are only part of the necessary tools for people – primarily it is also about ability (application competences) and will (attitude competences, the much-quoted mindset). And that is where e-learning has its limits.

What is a Learning Journey now?

A smart combination of the two approaches, digital and analogue learning. And this on a temporary basis, from 12 weeks to 24 months or more, depending on the topic.

The topics can range from a limited field (e.g. “communication”) to a holistic program (e.g. “leadership development”). The concept of the Learning Journey makes it possible to design different learning architectures.

Learning Journeys solve the problem of previous learning by combining the advantages of individual successful formats and principles. These are workplace-based learning journeys that provide individual and multi-method learning nuggets and at the same time enable collaboration with other learners as well as experiential learning. They take into account interindividual differences in knowledge, ability and willingness and accompany learners on their individual learning path in a maximum of self-determination. Thus, they consider fundamental motivation principles.


Guide to the next stage of the Journey of Learning

Learning journeys of the current zeitgeist combine personnel and organisational development. What starts with an individual learning path and the development of individual employees can, of course, be rolled out to the entire organisation and has an influence on the working and learning climate, cooperation and networking within the organisation and, of course, on innovation and creativity. And last but not least, the added value of the entire company.

Such a journey follows clear principles. It is subject to a closed time frame, combines several formats in a blended learning approach and is set up as a workspace learning format. Employees should no longer learn instead of working; they should rather learn at work and in their own company. However, this also means being able to learn practical applications, knowledge and certain skills on demand. Learning in itself follows thereby the 70:20:10 principle, which proceeds from the assumption that in approximately

– 70% of our learning through own experiences through challenges and tasks

– 20% of our learning through exchange and collaboration and advice from others

– and 10% of our learning takes place through classical further education and training measures.

The different learning levels can be translated to different components of Learning Journeys. Jennings and Wargnier already suggested ways to apply this in their further development of the 70:20:10 approach.

These principles apply to the learning of the individual as well as to the learning of the organisation.


How exactly does a Learning Journey look like?

Ideally, a Learning Journey starts with a “kick-off” and ends with a “final event”. After all, achievements must be “celebrated”, online or offline. Within this framework, the development path for gaining learning experience at the workplace is accompanied by Community Learning as well as on- and off-site workshops. Collaborative learning takes place throughout the learning group and in peer groups. Virtual or live. Supported by small learning assignments and the provision of user-generated content. Learning experience is also acquired through e-learning content, practical projects at the workplace or, for example, excursions. Ideally, learners can decide for themselves which nuggets they want to work on and when. The individual learning experience can optionally be reflected by process-accompanying coaching. The duration of a Journey can be individually arranged. From 12 weeks with regular sprints, as is known from “Working out Loud“, to qualification trips lasting several years.

Especially compact journeys of 12 weeks have proven their worth.

And in “real” …

In theory, this sounds like a holistic and promising approach. But what can such learning journeys look like in practice?

Here are three examples:

Leadership & Management

The “Leadership & Management Programme” is an international qualification for middle management in stationary retail in the premium segment, which addresses classical and future competencies. It is a pioneer of new learning and working, which follows the principle 70:20:10 and shapes the development of a new learning culture by means of forward-looking learning formats.

Based on a competence analysis, an individual learning path (Learner Journey) is mapped for each participant, which essentially extends over approximately 24 months. Individual learning nuggets developed by the customer for this target group are available for the development of each competence. These can be worked on independently “on demand” and the acquisition of competence is proven promptly (mini test). Learning content is processed using innovative formats. These include community learning, virtual coaching, workspace learning (e-learning, practical projects), virtual classroom training and presence workshops. The Learning Journey starts with a future conference and a development centre, is mapped via a credit point system and ends with a graduation event. Each participant then remains a member of the leadership community, which functions as a supporting pillar of the Learning Organization.

Multipliers Fitness

Multipliers are people who pass on knowledge to others in the company. With their help all participants of a company can be reached when it comes to “Future Fitness”. But first the multipliers must achieve “Future Readiness”.

And this is how it works, for example:

The Community Learning Platform provides participants with initial information about the program. They then take part in a three-day on-site workshop, a discovery centre to determine their individual qualification needs, receive individual feedback and complete their first learning nuggets. The learners then embark on their individual learning path, which consists of self-directed learning units flanked by virtual classroom training and, on demand, on-site workshops. At the same time, each multiplier develops its own case with a qualification unit containing innovative media and formats and iterated with the peer group. The final part is a two-day future workshop with a deep dive into innovative qualification formats and a training centre in which the individual cases are “tested”.

What Learning Journeys can do

Learning Journeys can help to transform a company into a Learning Organization. They inspire collaboration and exchange as well as cross-departmental and interdisciplinary networking. They are clearly more than highly effective learning, development and qualification measures. The implementation of Learning Journeys lays the foundation for a new learning culture within the organization. They act as a grassroots movement of knowledge sharing through collaboration and user-generated content.

This enables the entire organisation to be innovative, creative and able to connect to the challenges of the future.


What exactly does “Triple A” has to do with fainting? And what about Mindset First?

AAA(+) could become the magic formula for changing individual attitudes in thinking, feeling and motivation. It could be the key to overcoming powerlessness and power in interpersonal relationships and organizations and to a completely new encounter with ourselves and with other people. And this creates added value for all sides.

Triple A is a seal of quality

Let us first take a closer look at AAA. Triple A is a measure of quality that reflects the quality of a product, a service or the strength of an organisation (see e.g. rating with banks or companies). This rating expresses that it is the highest possible quality. This creates trust and security for the observer.

Admittedly, Triple A is rather rare today. Too many disturbing factors and influences must be considered and “dilute” the result. Some are to be arranged, others rather not.

AAA is rather to be understood as the desired target state, more like a northern star.

Triple A in the sense of the mindset

The named descriptions of  “Triple A” also applies well to the interpretation of AAA, which is taken up here with a view to a “Zeitgeist” or “spirit of the time” mindset. Triple A as a measure of quality and as a desirable target state. A yardstick for oneself, for one’s personal inner attitude and one’s own framework of action. A mindset that shapes one’s own behaviour in a self-determined and sustainable way.

And a mindset in which each A stands for a focus: Attentiveness, Attention and Alignment.

With AAA to a new mindset


Attentiveness or so to say mindfulness is currently a “buzzword” and a product that is marketed in numerous workshops and in literature. That’s why it’s even more important to be careful with it. What does “attentiveness” mean?

To be present in the “here and now”, not only physically, but above all mentally. Not to be flooded and “disturbed” by the many offers and stimuli, but to concentrate completely on the one moment, what is now. And thereby its uniqueness notice, recognize and evenly? Respect? Completely without an evaluation, only observing. This is a challenge that usually needs to be mastered.

A Master of Mindfulness is gifted with the gift of being in contact with her-/himself and her/his own thinking, feeling and wanting. And to be able to lead oneself.


Today we encounter attention mainly negatively attributed, e.g. as attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder. The human being seems to lose the ability to focus on something or a person over a certain period. This is questionable, because then there is no more immersion in the depth and then topics are no longer really penetrated. With the downside that there is no natural feeling of security. Rather it remains gladly with unchecked assumptions or superficially developed evaluations.

If the art of attention is mastered, true understanding can arise instead. This leads to encounters that today are called “at eye level”.


Alignment means knowing one’s direction and using it as an inner guideline. To know the way intuitively and to give orientation. To be clear and unequivocal in one’s own actions, not to be nervous or arbitrary.

And thus, a reliable quantity for oneself and others. Even in times of upheaval, as they exist today.

If alignment is practised, a high degree of clarity and waste is avoided.

The concentration on the AAA leads to becoming aware of oneself and its value, to understand that others also have their self and value and to bring oneself into action in the sense of a co-creation. So, to become collaboratively self-effective.

And this is exactly what corresponds to the mindset of the future.

What’s this got to do with powerlessness?

In fact, in everyday working life today, powerlessness or actions that are motivated by having the power are the order of the day. In many companies, managers are still perceived as acting powerfully. They are said not to trust their employees, but to dominate them and not to give them the freedom they need. Power-oriented people are said to want to control and influence others. That leads naturally to resistance, since self-efficacy goes here at the expense of a third.

And the same is true of powerlessness. Already in the childhood and youth many humans make the experience that they are limited in their natural drive for action and in their self-efficacy. Instead of having to follow what third parties (teachers, parents, etc.) tell them. Punishment and reward systems that are highly manipulative are often used. At some point the urge to express oneself is not enough. The individual feels powerless and/or adapts in order to be the person exercising power later.

Until then, these are often the employees who feel powerless and in turn “feed” the existing power structures.

Powerlessness and power are two sides of the same coin, the play money of a monopoly, which should now be replaced promptly.

With the Triple A Mindset this is possible. With the practice of attentiveness, attention and alignment that lead to authenticity and autonomy. Making faint superfluous.

Rethink leadership? Nowadays one often hears that leadership needs to be rethought. Why should we do that? Hasn’t been enough already thought about leadership, experimented enough, modelled enough? In the meantime, there is a multi-faceted multitude of new approaches to leadership, from Servant to Human, from Connected to Mindful Leadership. The idea of collegial leadership […]

Leadership in its present form no longer seems to work. Looking at the level of employee leadership, none of the leadership models of the recent past can currently secure a sustainable place on the podium. Probably also because leadership appears more comprehensively for managers. They are currently usually strategists, managers and leaders and today also innovators and change agents in one person.

The excessive demands are not far away. At the same time, the needs of employees fall by the wayside. It can’t, probably won’t stay that way. So where will leadership develop into?

How leadership still shows itself today

Today we often still meet executives who have learned their trade in the big schools of management and leadership, whether in St. Gallen or Harvard or … and have practiced over many years with sometimes more, sometimes less success. They are still involved in classic line or matrix structures, usually in a double mission as managers and leaders.

Mostly measured by the results that can best be expressed in hard figures – whether these are figures related to production or sales of products and services or figures that reflect the satisfaction of customers or the team.

At the same time, however, there is an increasing demand in these areas: to give meaning to one’s own actions and those of the team or to make them visible, to discover and develop talents and to see and enable each individual team member. And, last but not least, make sure that the processes are adapted to an ever-increasing dynamism and at the same time are already being acted on using scrum & Co agile.

And how leadership is lived at the moment

Sometimes we meet completely different managers in the here and now. Those who grew up in the last named “school”. They have learned from the outset not to think and act in long, medium and short-term planning cycles but rather in backlogs and sprints.

They have always been project orientated, are at home in the agile manifesto and are well aware of the importance of customer centricity. Team spirit is their elixir. Managers who do not distinguish between entrepreneurs and leaders. Their names are different. They name themselves owner or master and they are part of the team. In their understanding, it is also the group that counts, less the individual and his needs and development.

As a rule, however, these “managers” don’t really find their place in the classic silos and have a great deal of difficulty with the required “management-suitable” slide flows, the benefits of which they don’t see at all.

Managers are increasingly in question

Let’s face it, being an executive today is far from desirable. One of the named types is torn between the different requirements and expectations, even today driven by the classic pattern of goal achievement in time. The growing demands of a changing workforce, be it Generation X or Generation Y and Z, are increasingly demanding.

In fact, employee retention figures today are often not good, as the latest Gallup Engagement Index shows. This is a trend that is continuing and is exerting even more pressure on managers who are already working hard. The most questioned one is the direct manager, who is unable to live up to the expectations of his employees.

On the other hand, if one asks managers what they see as the reason why “leadership is less and less successful”, one hears of a lack of concentration, a rapid flood of stimuli, generally lower competence set-ups, especially in a dynamic environment and fear of making decisions. Or from a reluctance to face change, a so-called “fixed mindset” of the older generation of employees.

Together with the colleague who comes from an agile childhood, the manager outlined here increasingly experiences emotional overload reactions. Even if for different reasons. Both are not happy in the current structure and have a rather manageable happiness index.

Leadership does (not) meet the expectations of employees

And they’re not alone. If we change perspectives, we can draw an even more critical picture on the employee side.

Even if employees show themselves slightly more satisfied with an agile manager. All in all, however, the leader doesn’t really come off well. Only the fun and joy factor is usually rated a little higher in this management concept.

If one asks the employees, however, their subjective view is that they learn too little personally, are not sufficiently empowered and are not appreciated by their superiors. Or that there is a lack of responsiveness to their individual needs, such as reconciling work and family life or dealing with the increasing dynamics of work. Many employees today have the impression that they are not developing fast enough or are not able to contribute their talents. They do not feel sufficiently informed and not sufficiently perceived as human beings. In their eyes, individual support should be given even more weight.

Instead, they experience that their supervisor measures and aligns them by numbers, at least in the classical structure. Too little work is done in a team and that motivation often suffers from a feeling of pressure.

New leadership concepts alone do not solve the central challenge

The attempts to solve these challenges with approaches such as Transformational Leadership” or more recently “Servant Leadership” have not yet led to a lasting change in the situation.

They subjectively generate more happiness in the individual and thus make a significant contribution on the way to a more humane working environment. With this kind of leadership, the fulfillment of the expectations of the employees is better secured than with conventional formats.

However, the actual challenge is not solved in this way – the combination of the requirements of promotion and demand bundled in one person at the same time. Whether on the part of the manager or that of the employee, a bottleneck always arises. How authentic and unconditional is promotion if at the same time the focus is on output? And where will the individual contribute his or her energy when numbers and people compete?

And then there was something else – the customer

To make it round. We haven’t even talked about the third in the alliance, the internal or external customer yet. The customer, of whom we know that his expectations are mutating by leaps and bounds. The fact that he is becoming more and more “unpredictable” or demands to be analyzed very precisely, observed and understood.

To create products and services that uniquely live up to customer’s wishes is the aim. To establish wow-experiences and fulfil customer needs, even if the customer is not aware of these yet.

No, the customer no longer deviates from his expectations and requirements. On the contrary. He experiences confirmation in the fact that the fulfillment of his concerns has the highest attention. Many machines and systems are finding it easier and easier to identify customer needs in time and propose suitable solutions at the same time.

In order to always be up to date here and to meet this pressure of expectation appropriately, it is imperative to give the customer’s voice a greater hearing in a timely manner and to prioritize his point of view.

Where is leadership heading?

“Leadership” in the sense of a healthy and sustainable organization can and should therefore be viewed from three perspectives: employee, customer, performance. The competences required to cope with the tasks in the respective dimensions are very different.

Ideally, the potpourri of skills required can hardly be provided by one person alone. Not only because this is an enormous demand on the skills profile of a single person. Rather it is for the high-level personnel itself, above all even more for coworkers, a difficult balancing act to present themselves in contradictory roles authentically.

How credible is a person who, at the same moment, makes a claim for excellent quality that is justified from the customer’s point of view and demands its implementation from the employee, whom he should simultaneously develop and promote in his role as a promoter?

People at all levels of organizations are increasingly exposed to this dilemma. Which voice should be followed? How passionately can a point of view be represented? How authentic or manipulative is a leader in the eyes of an employee? And, what should the employee orientate himself to? Today the demand for excellence and quality? And tomorrow to be encouraged to build on individual strengths?

Another dilemma arising from this management model is talent development. Should a manager, who today is still primarily measured by performance records, report his real high potentials in talent pools and thereby bear the risk of suffering a loss of competence in the team? A real conflict.

Quite apart from the fact that leadership is transferred to the shoulders of the team in the medium term, current theories of organizational development are believed.

And what if we simply rethink that?

We are currently working on what this might look like in concrete terms. Today, tomorrow and beyond.

More about that in another blog.

Virtual coaching claims an increasingly important role in the context of modern qualification concepts. Why is coaching so important in tomorrow’s learning? Does coaching over the telephone or the Internet have any effect and if so, how does it work?

The learning of the future – different formats and methods

The demands on modern and innovative learning concepts are enormous. A wide range of skills needs to be developed in a varied and efficient way. At best, the learning formats should be effective, sustainable and up-to-date. In addition to increasing knowledge, the focus is and will be on developing mindsets or attitudes and sustained learning transfer. Working on our own attitudes is rather difficult, as this requires actively working on some of our deep convictions.

Each learning format has a different focus. E-learning primarily addresses the development of knowledge competencies. Classical classroom workshops or trainings focus more on the application of knowledge. Community learning is intended to ensure that knowledge is shared more effectively within the group and that an exchange of experience and collegial supervision take place. It makes a significant contribution to ensuring the transfer and integration of what has been learned into everyday life.

Aim and effectiveness of e-Coaching

And what is the significance of (virtual) coaching? It is the ideal format to activate the volition of a learner. But it is about more than just motivation. Coaching can develop personality, stimulate self-reflection or encourage a change of attitude. It is also an excellent choice for flexible learning support.

As part of Future Learning , coaching usually takes place virtually, i.e. via telephone or video conference. Thus, compact coaching sessions offer a way to maintain an ongoing coaching schedule over time regardless of distance, eliminating the need to travel. This makes virtual coaching extremely time and cost efficient. This, in turn, facilitates real long-term support for any learner.

Is virtual coaching effective at all? We have known for some time that coaching in itself is effective (Grover & Furnham, 2016). Also virtual or telephone coaching has an effect. According to current studies, there are no significant deviations compared to live coaching (Jones, Woods & Guillaume, 2015).

So it is no small wonder that this qualification format is more and more en vogue.

Fields of application and effect mechanisms of online coaching

When can virtual coaching be used?

It is always the format of choice when the focus is on supporting qualification programmes that are designed for the longer term development of individual learners. As this case shows, the coach acts as a link between the learner and his learning progress. It is the go-to method when learner and coach are spatially separated and regular live sessions cannot be realised.

In principle, coaching, even in virtual format, can be applied to these topics:

  • Process monitoring and process reflection
  • Target definition and target-process evaluation
  • Self-reflection and reflection on content
  • Review of competences and learning objectives
  • Development of learning successes and fields of development
  • Introduction of, implementation of and support for exercises
  • Personality development
  • Mindset Change, work on attitude and volition

Virtual coaching has a similar effect as a face-to-face format. Through the working relationship, empathy, esteem and increasing trust, learners can usually get involved with the content and development steps can be experienced. Structuring the process, asking questions and discussing exercises, goals or own topics leads to reflection and a deeper processing. The resources of the learners are usually strengthened. In addition, positive effects on a variety of psychological factors such as self-efficacy can be demonstrated.

Virtual coaching has proven to be particularly beneficial when coach and coachèe meet in person at the beginning. Although this is not absolutely necessary for the success of the coaching, it is certainly an excellent support.

Of essential importance is that the coach is experienced or suitably qualified in virtual work. Implementing coaching effectively via computers is an art of its own that needs to be practiced. After all, two levels of communication are severely restricted, body language and mood/atmosphere. This means that the linguistic design of the process is of even greater importance, as is the case in coaching anyway.

Virtual coaching – the heart of Future Learning

The importance of coaching for FutureLlearning will certainly continue to grow as it supports learners in two different ways:

  • Continuous monitoring of the individual learning process: In regular “coach calls” learners can clarify questions, structure their individual development process or check competence development. In a digitalised programme, coaching takes over what digitalised tests, artificial intelligence or e-learning cannot yet do.
  • Personal accompaniment of the human being: However, in an optimally designed and efficient qualification programme, people usually seek personal relationships and contact. Reflection and appreciation can hardly be experienced through the web. This social part of the development work can only take place in a person to person connection.

Virtual coaching thus combines economy and efficiency with the human component in the learning of the future. Attitudes and mindsets can thus be successfully addressed and developed.

Also worth reading in this context could be our Blog Coaching – a powerful instrument of individual change.

This blog was written by Nicklas Kinder, who is currently writing his dissertation on the topic “Coaching” at the University of Salzburg.

“Uploading” enables shaping the future

The term “Uploading” originally comes from Otto Scharmer and his Theory U. “Uploading” describes the conducive attitude and suitable behaviour of each individual in order to shape their own circumstances and future. With an understanding of “Open Mind”, “Open Heart” and “Open Will”, people act consciously and autonomously. He sees himself as a proactive and constructive co-creator of a community. It makes a meaningful, value-creating and sustainable contribution to organizations and society. The meaning of “Uploading” can be understood as an individual creating his or her own substantial contribution and bringing it into the system. The individual thinks, feels and acts on its own and makes this output available to others. Based on its own free will and for the good of themselves and others. That is courageous. This is how the future is co-created.

“No, like this” and “Wow, so” seem en vogue today

Uploading” thus stands in contrast to “downloading”, which is also described by Otto Scharmer. It is about the ongoing reproduction of information already available. Regardless of whether this information is evaluated positively or critically. “No, like this” and “Wow, so” are two sides of the same coin. They express the individual’s actions, which are more owed to the swarm. One joins a trend or a group and follows this view. This has little to do with a reflected individual view and design. Rather, one remains true to oneself and one’s mindset, reinforcing it again and again.

As soon as an individual, a group or an organization shows its edge, i.e. its own point of view, the feedback is not long in coming. Towards the one extreme as well as the other. If the Positioning meets the zeitgeist, it can lead to countless likes and a quantum leap in followers in no time at all. Conversely, countless platforms invite you to give room to your own displeasure, which can quickly grow into shitstorms and hate triads. The more populist the tone, the better. Sometimes the content is no longer important. What this overshooting behaviour does to us as society is another completely different subject.

Co-creation begins by leading yourself

Admittedly, in our world today, every day a whole series of themes become visible that give cause to marvel or to shake one’s head. At the same time, one could be distracted or standardized every minute. Push notifications, Alexa, messenger services, social media and many more try their best to win over our attention. It is a huge challenge to resist.

The daily dynamics, the exponentially developing flood of information and the much-mentioned digital transformation challenge us beyond measure. It is becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of things or to form one’s own picture. We are increasingly reaching our limits. It seems tempting to join “like-minded people”, to have a pre-selection of information made, to follow the chosen swarm. And thus, to put one’s own thinking, feeling and acting back.

But how much of a human being does then remain? Is this still worthy of human beings? Or is it more like being a machine?

If we want to keep being human (s), it is advisable to become stronger and more conscious to become a co-creator again. And to shape our own future proactively. Use your own potential and create added value. To express oneself, in coordination with the expression of others.

Otto Scharmers supports “Uploading”.
With the aim of “Presencing”, i.e. to “be present” as a human being and to help co-creating.

First of all, this means to lead oneself.
To do so, the following first steps are recommended:

  • Check your own “downloading” status and make a conscious decision to change
  • Consciously “switch off” disturbances and create more time to be mindful with yourself
  • Consciously form one’s own opinion and use a variety of sources of information for this purpose
  • Give space to personal intuition and learn to listen to it

To do so, techniques for the development of mindfulness (such as mindfulness-based stress reduction) can be a great support.


A Company Future Journey is a very familiar topic for us. Since our foundation, “The Company Journey Guides” have accompanied people and organizations in a variety of ways on their journey of finding an identity, cultural design, reorientation of business models as well as working and learning formats.
We know about the power of a vision and have learned to appreciate and prioritize the value of a purpose. We have often been able to experience how individuals and teams regain their full strength when the meaning of their own actions becomes clear, or how each of their strengths can be brought to bear. Sometimes we have even experienced a silence which occurs when it becomes clear how personal values and needs are in line with those of the organisation.
And yes, we have also gained experience with the fact that every change is gladly repressed and rejected initially before the path through resistance leads the way to shaping the new.

Departure – every beginning is hard

At the beginning of this year we set off on our own journey again. Our experiences during our projects gave us the courage and drive to start our own TCJG Company Future Journey.
It was easy to set off so far, questioning everything and verifying its future sense and suitability.
At the same time there were doubts and appeasements. Everything is actually (still) going well. And we have enough to do. Why should we now expose ourselves to a “pupation”? Especially since we know that our journey will lead through the four fields of the Change House (Claes F. Janssen). Defensiveness and resistance need to be expected along the way.
Things became turbulent right at the beginning. At first, we didn’t agree, neither about our departure nor about the direction. Leaving our comfort zone, even if it was just mentally, caused stress.
At the same time, it became obvious: now is the right time to leave. There was already a big crack in the cocoon. And a butterfly was waiting for us.

Start with the WHY

Following the principles of Simon Sinek , the first part of our journey led us to the WHY, the description of our Purpose.
Along this way we first dealt intensively with our past, our achievements and effectiveness. We reviewed our values and the motives for our actions. We found that our: values (mindfulness, truthfulness, sustainability) still remain valid.
At the same time, we analysed our strengths and identified what makes us unique.

We then asked ourselves what really mattered to us. Then we quickly agreed: human beings. And their unique and unmistakable contribution to shaping a company’s future.
We had already arrived at the “Purpose” and the caterpillar had hatched.

Taking time during the HOW

The short rest at our Purpose made it clear to us how invigorating it is for the entire team and it therefore was a real pleasure to continue our journey. Very quickly, the “Silver Line” on the horizon became clear. That’s where we should be heading. We empower people and organizations to shape their future and actively contribute to making this possible. WOW!

During our HOW, the development of the Governance and the Guiding Principles then again became somewhat bumpy. This is exactly where it comes down to business if you are to take this journey seriously. How exactly would we like to offer our services? What unites us in this regards? What don’t we want any longer, even though it is well familiar to us and makes us feel safe? What do we stand up for with all our strength and also ready to go the extra mile? What can our customers rely on? When do we say yes and when no?

That was really challenging and sent our team through another new process. Frankly, the doubts and concerns came back. And not everyone was always happy. Especially since it became clear that certain beloved habits would not continue to travel with us.

The result were eight Guiding Principles and four areas, of how we work. And now we are really happy with them. We have set them as a measure for ourselves and thus become effective accordingly.

We have learned: Allow enough time with the HOW. It just takes time. Well, caterpillars, just the same, take their time and move slowly.

Arriving at the WHAT via our customers

Before we actually turned off to the “WHAT”, we took a long detour via our customers. Following the principles of design thinking, we first wanted to find out and understand what they exactly need and what their concerns might be. Where do they see added value and why would they need our support at all?

We created personas for this purpose and looked at the world from their perspective. This was a very enlightening process that we can recommend to every organization and every team. We then carried out a Customer Value Proposition for these personas and were able to sharpen our HOW once again.

Then came the exciting moment: matching the focus of our customers with our core competencies and strengths. And four new and inspiring business areas emerged from this: Mindset first, Leadership? – Leader-Shift!, Zeitgeist L&OD and Hero Customer.

Now is the time to make them come to life. We already possess a certain amount of services and product offerings for these areas from our past and will contribute them accordingly. Others are currently under development, following the DT principles of iteration with our customers. There is still a long way to go. Consequently, our Company Future Journey will continue even further.

Some of our previous services also had to be left behind. They simply no longer have a place in our new travel baggage. We’ve already said goodbye to some of them, while for others this process is still outstanding. This is of course a little bit sad.

And yet: the butterfly is now unfolding its wings. It is magnificent and multi-faceted. And it is the future.

Your Customer is King

“I need to tell you something! You cannot believe how I was treated during my last vacation! I felt like a king” A friend of mine said that to me a few weeks ago and he recalled vividly his experiences from his last summer vacation with his wife on a stunning island in Thailand. I knew that they spent their honeymoon in an exclusive hotel three years ago and wanted to revive these wonderful moments last summer. He told me when they arrived in the hotel, a surprise followed the next. At first, they were greeted by name by the bellboy upon arrival. Then, the receptionist informed them that she already reserved their favourite table on the gallery if they decide to have dinner in the hotel’s own restaurant. When they entered their hotel room, they found two freshly squeezed juices and a hand-written card saying: “Welcome back! We prepared your favourite juices for your sense of well-being. Enjoy!” In fact, those juices were exactly the ones both preferred during their last stay three years ago. My friend was totally overwhelmed, not only by such a high degree of appreciation but also by the surprising effect.

The Needs of the Customer at the Centre of your Consideration

In theory those experiences are described with the term Customer Experience (CX) and are an essential part of a customer-centric approach. Customer Centricity means that the customer is at the centre of all considerations. Critical minds might note that Customer Centricity is only a new way of describing the familiar concept “Customer is king”. In fact, a customer-centric design and marketing approach for products and services goes far beyond a simple customer-oriented method. Customer Orientation itself focuses mainly on customer satisfaction, whereas, a customer-centric approach tries to identify the customers’ needs (a feeling that is rooted in a sense of shortage) beforehand and align the design around the identified needs. This means that products and services are not only designed to best match customer wishes but rather generate greater added value by fulfilling the needs of the customer. This could even generate a demand for innovative products that customers were not aware of in the first place. A popular example is the Apple iPad. The action camera GoPro was originally developed as gadget for ambitious surfer that wanted to record their surf ride. However, in no time the small and solid camera induced a huge demand to record and share leisure activities even if they were not truly ambitious per se.

Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos names Customer Centricity as Unique Selling Proposition (USP) for his company:

„The most important single thing is to focus obsessively on the customer. Our goal is to be earth‘s most customer-centric company”.

Currently, Jeff Bezos tries various innovative solutions for distribution and logistics (such as drone delivery) to reach the customers in their living environment and ease the buying process. The current strategic focus shows clearly that a customer-centric approach is derived from three main dimensions: Customer Value, Customer Experience and Customer Lifecycle.

Ask yourself the following questions: What explicit value does the product offer for my customer, beyond a simple product advantage? Where and how could we create individual customer experiences? How does the customer lifecycle for my product look like? That means: What are the Customer Touchpoints (all potential spots to get in contact with the customer)? Starting from an initial contact until a follow-up after a purchase. Combining these dimensions shows how experience and added value are interlinked across all potential touchpoints.

Implementation of a Customer-Centric Approach

Many companies transform their processes with a focus on extensive Customer Centricity (follow the links below). Showrooms are restructured radically („Audi City“ in Berlin), virtual 24/7 chat platforms (Vodafone) are established and emotional marketing campaigns are launched (TD Bank). However, the return is often not reasonable in relation to expensive initiatives. Costs can be identified clearly but short- or mid-term results cannot be traced back solely to the initiative. Therefore, it is important to present a viable business case.

A success criterion for developing customer-centric initiatives is a customer-driven investigation of needs. In the course of agile development, innovative methods such as Design Thinking proved itself when it comes to exploring the living environment of the customers. Ideas for target-oriented products and services are developed, based on numerous observations, customer interviews and a detailed analysis. The resulting product ideas are iterated in various cycles and further developed with customers. The concluding product is then tested by selected customers and the feedback is considered to create the final product.

Design Thinking – a Helpful Method to Create New Ideas for Customer Centricity

We use Design Thinking across industries in organisations as well as in retail to put employees in the shoes of their customers and let them experience the world around them from a client’s perspective. For this, the employees see through the eyes of sample personas with typical characteristics of their customers and go on a customer journey to explore comparable brands and products. Alternatively, the customer could be involved right at the beginning to co-create ideas and being asked about their needs.

We repeatedly face the challenge in the service industry that a customer-centric service behaviour requires a mindset change. It is about a true interest in the person and not only in the customer. It is about putting the customer in the centre, about empathetic listening and an intrinsic disposition to think beyond standards and create individual solutions. Customer experiences do not necessarily require efforts in monetary form such as gifts or give-aways. Extraordinary experiences are rather about authentic attention, individual solutions and the surprising effect. One of my favourite examples for this is the famous Hotel Group Ritz Carlton. A little boy forgot his plush toy “Joshie, the giraffe” in one of its hotels. The hotel returned the toy by post but attached a series of photographs that pictured how “Joshie” spent his last days at the hotel. The pictures showed “Joshie” relaxing in the spa, working in the office and sunbathing by the pool… (see link below). In summary: Customer Centricity is an attitude, not a tool.

My friend experienced that attitude during his vacation at the honeymoon hotel and told me recently that a stay at “his” hotel is already in plan.


Get inspired by a few examples of extraordinary customer experiences:

#10: Ritz-Carlton Helps with Joshie’s Extended Vacation

Customer Experience at TD Bank

Customer Centricity at Vodafone

McKinsey about added value through Customer Journeys

Good old times

Times are long gone when established trainer personalities with a main competence in classical methods were amused when hearing the term “e-learning”. To be honest, I belonged to that guild when virtual learning emerged around 15 years ago and learning modules were just as unattractive as boring. The competence to enable learning was reserved to trainers and instructor-led trainings (ILT). Content was merely provided in live trainings – ranging from sensitisation for topics through required knowledge to appropriate behaviour. Preferably, during two consecutive days at a decent meeting venue with the usual convenience. Huge slide flows were often presented until even the last participant dropped off. That pattern was pricey, intense and inefficient. Would the term “learning journey” already have existed, most probably we would have understood a multi-layer training programme such as a curriculum.

Today, e-learning is a key player

Meanwhile, e-learning has gained momentum and conquered its territory. Today, not only formats and content editing are diverse and interesting but also experts such as FKC design highly attractive layouts for the content. E-learning fits for capacity building of some competences better as it is a more efficient and more effective solution. Especially when it comes to acquiring knowledge and related fields of application, e-learning is an established resource. Smart e-learning modules are far more convenient to provide content and support individual knowledge build-up than seminars or self-study programmes such as PDF’s can do. E-learning also contributes remarkably to preparation and follow-up of classical and even new, innovative modules such as workshops and e-coaching. Besides that, it can be used as learning companion, e.g. as self-guiding eBooks.

Learning Journeys and Learner‘s Journeys

At TCJG e-learning is a solid part when learning journeys are designed. At the same time, we understand e-learning as a component of a learning journey that is supplied by a variety of different formats. Let’s have a look at the term “Learning Journey”. What do we understand by this? Currently, the term “journey” is used massively, e.g. in “Customer Journey” or “Employee Journey” and defines the individual path of a person towards his “goal” (respectively, the satisfaction of his own personal needs). In this light, a Learning Journey is the path of a learner towards the build-up of single or multiple competences. The Journey can be guided by topics (e.g. leadership) or it can be highly individualised. The latter would focus on a continuous build-up of a diverse and individual competence profile.

Characteristics of contemporary Learning Journeys

Thus, Learning Journeys can be understood as individual learning paths that offer various learning modules or smaller learning nuggets that are entirely aligned towards the achievement of a goal. Single components are built on one another or complement and support each other. Excellent Learning Journeys should offer a variation to daily operations, diverse ways of activation and unexpected surprises. They do not follow a certain standard but are rather individual and can be shaped by the learner himself. Despite all individualisation, my team and I always get inspired by a didactic core principle when creating new Learning Journeys. The following steps are verified to sustain learning. First, the learner always gets into contact with the related topic. This is best done on an emotional basis to sensitise the learner (e.g. via a video) and next, offer selected input for the rational mind (e.g. via an e-learning sequence). After that, the emotional and cognitive input can be experienced and the capacity to act is revealed (e.g. via a Live Workshop). Finally, we highlight the added value by inspiring the learner to transfer the gained knowledge and capability into his daily routine and plan the application of new knowledge and skills precisely. Today, essential components of Learning Journeys are, beside mentioned diverse formats, learning communities and peer work as well as the use of learning companions such as the eBook or an e(Coach). In addition, user generated content is currently indispensable.

Outlook into the future of learning and Learner’s Journeys

Learning Journeys are currently in a transformation process, too. Recently, Micro Teaching suppressed current learning formats (even around e-learning) progressively and even the Learning Journey is subject to pressure to adapt. Obviously, trends direct the development away from self-contained learning units, such as WBT’s, towards smallest learning nuggets. The nuggets are available at any time, always accessible and expandable via user-generated content that can be compiled individually in a personalised playlist. What would the established trainer guild respond to all of this…   Links/Sources: Learning Journey

Learning Journeys – SlideShare

Different types of Learning Journeys


The right mixture makes the difference

Maybe you remember it from your own past – the teacher is holding a detailed monologue in front of the class while the first student doesn’t listen anymore, the second doesn’t understand a word and the third is already one step ahead. If your teacher had adopted the method of Blended Learning he would still have the first student’s attention by using small, relevant learning nuggets. Student number 2 would have found all incomprehensible terms quickly via useful keywording. And student number 3 would be working and exercising on his individual learning path. The teacher in front would turn into an accompanying coach who assists in learning, motivates the group, encourages interaction within the group and actively supports practical applications. Of course, this situation is shown a bit exaggerated. But it puts the benefits of Blended Learning straight to the point.

Individual learning paths

How does this work? And what exactly is Blended Learning? The meaning of the word “blended” already indicates a “mixture”. An appropriate and useful mix means not only to learn digitally and virtually but additionally in live and in presence. It means self-determined learning but not left alone and in constant contact with coach and peer group. The underlying theory of learning of moderate constructivism assumes that best learning results incur by following your own interests and individual requirements – with a coach constantly by your side who accompanies your self-determined learning. “Moderate” constructivism (i.e. Roche, Jörg 2008 – Handbuch Mediendidaktik) is a development of the constructivist learning theory. While the learner is running into the risk of being overwhelmed by only self-directed learning and might get lost on his learning path, the moderate version ensures that support and suggestions are given and includes the attendance of the coach. Digital self-learning tools are hip – if used correctly they are certainly useful for some particular learning goals. But studies have repeatedly shown that the motivation may weaken quickly while sitting alone in front of the computer or swiping on the smartphone. The motivational involvement in a group, which meets live and at fixed times, helps to get on with the goal and to pursue on a long-term basis. Pure knowledge, as well as individual strengths and weaknesses, can be well identified digitally: Adaptive systems analyze the individual learning needs and assimilate accordingly. Simulations can be very close to reality. But the best ‘skill’ training takes place in situations when practice comes as close as possible to reality. This includes an authentic setting in an authentic situation of where I want to apply my skills in reality afterwards. This also is the idea of the “70-20-10” rule – usually 70 percent of skills emerge from practical experience on the job, 20 percent from interactions with others and only 10 percent from formal learning situations.  

Explanation of the 70-20-10 rule


Development of individual learning modules/paths

To transfer blended learning into your work life the following applies: The learning content results out of the employees’ competence profile. This content is individually matched with learning modules/paths. To grab and keep the attention and to ensure the optimum use during day-to-day-business, the modules/paths contain small learning units. The so-called learning nuggets include a short video with short questions for example. All learning modules/paths embed constant exchange possibilities with the coach and peer group, live workshops and practical projects.

The best of two worlds

Blended learning thus combines the best of two worlds which are not mutually exclusive, but rather complement each other didactically combined: the world of e-learning and the world of presence learning. It’s like the perfect “blend” of a latte macchiato: The foam of milk should not be missed but the espresso is a definite must for the freshness.

Internal corporate social network? Today this does not stand for social exchange with our network of colleagues at the coffee machine. “A “social network” is a dedicated website or other application that enables users to communicate with each other by posting information, comments, messages, images, etc.” That´s the definition found on Wikipedia – in a way a social network itself.

Social Networks have become the prevailing exchange medium for every day communication. If Facebook were a country with 1.44 billion members, it would have overtaken China as the world’s most populous country in 2015. People follow topics they are interested in on Twitter, discussions take place in internet forums, information is accessed via digital knowledge database. At the same time the use of social media becomes more and more intuitive and can be easily integrated in one’s everyday life – at any time from everywhere, accessible via app on your smartphone or tablet.

An increasing number of cooperations use social networks and media, however, predominantly when it comes to external communication. Companies find suitable candidates for open positions via LinkedIn. Commercials posted on YouTube and Facebook reach a much higher number of views than TV commercials – at a global level without additional effort or expense. Opinions users blog about a brand or product influence the corporate image as people trust the “customer experience” of peers much more than advertisement.

It’s time to use these concepts for internal corporate communication as well! More and more corporate social networks are being developed to ensure exactly this for the employees within a company: The feeling of being part of a global online-community, an equal amongst peers at every hour of the day.

But why is this important? And why is traditional communication through e-mail or via bulletin board simply not enough anymore?

Social networks build on mutuality and exchange. Essential for that is the development and maintenance of relationships between companies and their employees as well as amongst the latter. Through online-communities, we break traditional hierarchies, everyone is equally important, everyone has a say. This strengthens the feeling of belonging, the corporate identity.

Social networks foster cooperation and collaboration and encourage peer-learning. No expert in the office? No problem! The corporate chat allows exchange with colleagues in China, Brazil or the conference building next door. Through integrated forums we are able to post open questions that reach all employees – hidden expertise, that individuals have so far kept to themselves, comes to light. The collective intelligence of a company is activated as employees solve problems together.

Social networks save and secure information in a sustainable manner. A new dimension of knowledge management evolves. Instead of replying to e-mails with the same question over and over again, the expert posts his answer via internal blog or on the corporate Wiki. This saves time and capacity and preserves information over time. Thus new employees can access the information even when the expert leaves the company. Further, employees can deepen knowledge according to their needs by following additional links, videos or podcasts posted on the network. As a result the self-management of every individual is enhanced.

Social networks are up-to-date, intuitive and globally applicable. And: Generation Y and Z already consider the times of e-mail passé!

Have a look at why that is not necessarily a change for the worst in this video on “E-mail trees”Video E-mail trees

In addition, this video by Erik Qualman, the bestselling author of Socialnomics, as well as Digital Leader and What Happens in Vegas stays on YouTube, provides more interesting facts on social media and social networkingVideo Social Media Revolution