The magic happens when you want to make the world a better place!

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Özlem Turhan, founder and CEO of classloom.com

When Özlem Turhan enters the stage in New York tonight to receive the Stevie Award for the Best New Product or Service of the Year – Consumer Services she will think back on how this all started just a little over a year ago. Continue reading

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The 6+4 habits that will make you stand out from the crowd

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TimeThese 6+4 habits are really simple to learn and do not require a Ph.D. in astrophysics. Anybody can follow them although very few actually do. If you follow them you will have an easier life and people will notice and respect you. Continue reading

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If you never receive inbound inquiries then there is something terribly wrong

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Is sales really like roaming the desert looking for water?

Most of the posts I read on the LinkedIn Sales Pulse are related to situations where it is very hard to find potential customers for what we offer and where selling to these potential customers seems very hard as well. Many of the posts sound as if sales is like marching in the desert looking for water. We are constantly thirsty (the sun is burning down mercilessly on our unprotected heads) and there is per definition not a lot of water around. Continue reading

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Why you should charge for coffee with someone you don’t know

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HPB in workshop portraitI was the keynote speaker at a business event some time ago. At the following lunch I was sitting next to the CEO of a software company.

As my keynote was about how information technology and software companies can grow faster than their competitors, we obviously talked a lot about issues related to this subject. We especially talked about how to enter foreign markets. At a certain stage in the conversation the CEO asked me a question that I frequently get: Continue reading

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“The Navision Model” was born when IBM said no thanks

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no-thank-you-600x40225 years ago three young gentlemen from Jutland in Denmark set up a small office in Hamburg, Germany, from where they would sell the Danish financial software program Navigator to German customers. In honor of their achievements here is a short version of a very interesting chapter in the short history of the European software industry. Continue reading

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My little secret in South Tyrol

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Erwin, Hannelore og Hans PeterWe spend two weeks hiking in the Alps every year. One week in August on our way back from Croatia and one week in October when the temperature is pleasant and the autumn colors are hypnotizing. We never book in advance, but check the weather forecast the day before we arrive and then head for where the sun is shining (hiking in the rain is possible, but not our preference). This approach has taken us to numerous places in the Alpine countries (France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy and Slovenia).

In this post I’ll share a little secret if hiking and biking in the Alps is something you enjoy. Continue reading

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Avoiding and mitigating risk is not the same thing

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Wearing helmets when skiing is risk mitigation

Everything we do is associated with a certain degree of risk. Some of this risk is completely outside our control and impossible to mitigate, like getting hit from behind when we stop on red at a traffic light. Completely avoiding risk requires a degree of isolation that very few are willing to accept. Instead, we work together minimizing the risk through cooperation and legislation and we take our own individual precautions like fastening the seat belt when driving a car and wearing a helmet when we ski or ride a bike. We try to foresee what can go wrong and we have strategies and procedures for managing the most probable unwanted outcomes of our projects and activities. The more severe the consequences of an unwanted outcome the more rigid the control systems we establish to minimize the risk. The control systems surrounding nuclear power plants and air traffic are extremely comprehensive, minimizing the risk of failure and subsequent loss of limbs and lives. Continue reading

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How getting fired advanced my career

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I have been fired five times in the course of my 35 years + in business and I actually benefited tremendously and learned quite a lot from being “pink-slipped,” as they say in the US.

I worked with 11 companies in this period, plus had a number of teaching and board of directors positions until I started my own company in 2003. Continue reading

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How Focusing on The Results Can Make You Blind

Money in the bank2“In business only the results count” is probably a statement you have heard over and over again.

I obviously cannot disagree with the fundamental fact that without solid and growing profit all businesses will lose their momentum and sooner or later they will cease to exist. However, I think that focusing on the “results only” often makes us blind to why we are in business in the first place and it makes us underestimate, undervalue and sometimes even ignore that generating these “results” is the outcome of a process. Continue reading

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Why we should always share with others

Richard BransonVery few of us share the recognition that Sir Richard Branson enjoys, thus all of us should have more reason to create awareness for ourselves than he has.

Richard Branson writes all his posts himself. Because he needs the attention or recognition? No, he blogs because he has so much he wants to share with the world.

I have never met Richard Branson, but Brian – the brother of my brother in law from Manchester, UK – has. Continue reading

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