Arkiv for kategorien 'Cases'

Embrace globalization – don’t fight it!

Copenhagen Airport is the stage of two labor conflicts: 1) SAS cabin crews object to being transferred to a subsidiary with less favorable working conditions, and 2) Danish labor unions object to Ryanair’s policy of not negotiating with unions. Labor unions protect current privileges while airlines strive for lower costs. A classical conflict which builds on the assumption that employees and employers have opposite interests. Behind both conflicts is the increasing globalization of the labor market: Why should airlines pay more for a Danish cabin attendant that does the same job as a Latvian colleague who is willing to work for maybe 50% salary?

I don’t think labor unions can successfully meet the challenge of globalization with conflict: Companies constantly strive to be competitive and therefore they  employ the people who add most value. Competition is the main source of wealth: Just think of how steeply airfares have dropped over the last ten years, and how many people have therefore now been able to travel.

Ryanair offers a lousy employment package from a Danish point of view and therefore probably no Danes will apply for jobs in Ryanair as long as they have unemployment benefits that are more generous. This is fair. Fortunately for Ryanair there are thousands of people from less privileged countries who will go out of their way to work for Ryanair. This is also fair.

The Danish labor unions meet both the Ryanair and SAS challenges with conflict. Why not embrace them instead? Why not meet the airlines with dialogue? Ryanair won’t talk, so leave them alone and they will probably fail to get any Danish cabin attendants. Bad luck for them. But SAS and others will be highly interested in working together with unions to find new and innovative ways to create more value by collaborating better: providing better service, eliminating waste, responding faster to changes, reducing costs, coping with sickness, reducing turn-around times and -costs, and more. New solutions don’t emerge in a climate of conflict; they grow out of mutual respect and trust. Such collaboration will lead to more value generated per working hour and a both a good company and a good union make sure that the gains are shared fairly. That’s embracing globalization and that’s what labor unions should do.


Terror in Denmark – not only their responsibility

Last weekend’s terror attack in Copenhagen shocked me like anybody else. How could a person (or a group of persons) attack innocent people at a meeting and other people celebrating a young person in their synagogue?

There is no excuse for this deed. Period. But there are things we can do to reduce the likelihood that such things happen again. We have a responsibility to act.

I am a co-founder of Løkke Fonden which focuses on boys who don’t function well in our society, including young men like Omar el-Hussein. Such young people need special attention and Løkke Fonden is committed to find ways to help them find a place in our society. One project, Drenge Akademiet (The Boys Academy) helps boys advance two years in the core subjects in just two weeks. Imagine if Omar had been part of such an experience.

I am also involved in Danish Scouting. For decades, Scouting has reached out to less privileged young people, but we have not been sufficiently successful in all ethnic communities, and at least we were unable to reach Omar. Imagine if he had learned to take responsibility for others and if he had acquired Scouting’s basic values. You may think that Scouting’s values are incompatible with Islam. Think again: two thirds of all Scouts in the world are Muslims.

My point is that we all have a responsibility to embrace young people (in particular boys and young men) who have difficulty adapting to our way of life.

Tell me what you can do. Write a comment.

Don’t wait for recovery – Create your own recovery!

Business leaders and politicians wait for the economy to recover. Until it does, they plan for no growth or modest growth, which in my view is a self-fulfilling strategy. So, don’t wait for the economy to recover – create your own recovery!

In my view, the key is to start a new business or to start a new venture. If you don’t yet have a good business idea, it is probably because you don’t have a clear enough purpose. Here is an example: Alexander Kierulff is passionate about helping people to be happy at work (his purpose). He started blogging about it and gave himself the provoking title: The Chief Happiness Officer.

Alexander learned so much from his dialogue with others about happiness at work, that he decided to write a book about the topic. He wrote the book in a collaborative effort and today the book “Happy Hour is 9 to 5” is an international bestseller. Soon Alexander could turn his passion into his job and today his company employs several people and makes a nice profit. Alexander didn’t focus on Happiness at Work for that reason. He chose his cause because he was passionate about it and because he wanted to make a positive difference.

This is the model that I recommend you follow. The UNBOSS puts purpose above profit, but he or she does not forget profit. Profit is essential for anything to be financially sustainable and profit is the fuel that allows you to have an even higher impact next year. The UNBOSS doesn’t know all the answers him- or herself. He or she engages others in the cause and creates a business model that will maintain their engagement out of self-interest. Running a business or an organization that way changes everything: people, structure, processes, marketing, supply chain, communication, R&D – everything.

Just do it! – let me have your comments.

Bevægelsen vinder over banken

Jyske Bank beskylder Spiir for at hacke og lukker kundernes mobilbank, hvis de bruger Spiirs værktøj til at få overblik over deres økonomi. Jyske Bank går så vidt at true Spiir med politianmeldelse hvis ikke Spiir lukker for Jyske Bank kundernes automatiske overførsel af deres netbank udskrifter til Spiir. Da Spiir efterkommer bankens krav politianmelder banken alligevel Spiir.

Det er sådan virksomheder ville reagere, hvis de var 100% kyniske og ligeglade med alle andre end deres egne interesser. Store banker har rigeligt råd til at betale alle landets advokater for at bekæmpe Spiir.

Og alligevel vinder Spiir: Politiet undersøger politianmeldelsen og konkluderer at anmeldelsen er grundløs. Det skyldes to forhold: 1) Spiir er en bevægelse med et samfundsgavnligt formål, og 2) Spiir er en ordentlig virksomhed der naturligvis har styr på at det den gør, er lovligt.

Spiir er en bevægelse med et samfundsgavnligt formål: Tænk lige på Boliga, som hjælper danskerne når vi skal handle bolig. Vi kan finde boliger, vi kan checke priser og vi kan få en masse andre informationer som betyder at vi kan kigge ejendomsmægleren over skulderen og endog i nogle tilfælde selv sælge vores bolig uden mæglerbistand. Da Boliga kom frem satte ejendomsmæglerne alle sejl til for at standse den gratis tjeneste, men uden held. Boliga er nemlig en bevægelse med det formål at hjælpe forbrugeren i forbindelse med bolighandel. Boliga henter data fra ejendomsmæglernes hjemmesider og præsenterer dem på en måde der giver overblik for forbrugeren. Fra et samfunds synspunkt er dette en god ting fordi det bidrager til forøget konkurrence.

På samme måde er Spiir en bevægelse der hjælper almindelige danskere med at få økonomisk overblik og dermed økonomisk frihed. Spiir henter – med forbrugerens tilladelse – netbankudskrifter for de konti som forbrugeren har i forskellige banker, og præsenterer dem på en måde der giver forbrugeren økonomisk overblik. Ligesom Boliga efterhånden blev overvældende populær vil Spiir blive det, og hverken ejendomsmæglere eller banker bør kunne få held til at standse forbrugerens adgang til sine egne data.

Heldigvis har de fleste banker intet imod at deres kunder bearbejder og analyserer deres egne data med et redskab som Spiir, også selvom en kunde med bedre overblik over sin økonomi måske vil være lidt mere kritisk over for sin bank. En del af kundens over blik er jo at kunden sort på hvidt kan se hvilke renter og gebyrer han eller hun betaler i hver af sine banker.

Jeg glæder mig over endnu et eksempel på at bevægelsen vinder. Hele sympatien er jo hos dem der laver noget som er gavnligt for kunderne og samfundet over for den virksomhed der kun tænker på kortsigtet indtjening og afkast til aktionærerne.

Hvis ikke du allerede bruger Spiir, så meld dig ind her og få et bedre overblik over din økonomi. Det er gratis. Hvis du er kunde i en bank der lægger forhindringer i vejen for din brug af Spiir, så fortæl banken hvad du mener om det.

Og skriv gerne en kommentar nedenfor!

6 rules to simplify complex work

Here is a really thought-provoking 12 minute TED talk: Why structural change is no more the solution when work gets more complex.

Yves Morieux’ six rules are: 1) Understand what your people do, 2) Reinforce integrators, 3) Increase total quantity of power, 4) Extend the shadow of the future, 5) Increase reciprocity, and 6) reward cooperators.

In other words: avoid organizational layers and departmental silos. Empower people and make them work together, forget the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and you can increase productivity and improve employee’s lives.

In my ears, this is exactly the core of Oticon’s spaghetti organization, which we created as early as 1991.

What do you think?

Scouting, drugs, street children – it works

I am just back from the Philippines where I discussed with Philippine Scout leaders how to scale up the great work Scouts do with street Children.

Scouting is simple to understand: You make a commitment to develop into a decent person and Scouting provides the tools to do so. Street children who take drugs and participate in gang wars, know that they aren’t doing the right thing, they want to change and Scouting provides them with a ticket to a better life.

The ticket is to become a Scout. To discover that I have people who love me and care about me; to discover that I am a creation of God who is destined to a better future; and to discover that I can change my situation if I commit myself to do so.

I was speechless when I heard Jerwin tell his personal story. How he was involved in gang wars, how he smoke marijuana and how he discovered that be becoming a Scout, he could change. Now he goes to high school and next year he will go to college. What a difference!

I was also speechless when I visited the two square m home of Queenie and her family in the corner of a city park. The family had lived there since Queenie was born. Queenie is now a Scout and through education her goal in life is to get her family away from the street.

Scouting works because it gives young people the opportunity to learn life skills. It gives them hope and self esteem when they progress in the Scout programme and it makes them feel safe because they are part of something great. They are encouraged by the fact that their school principal is a Scout, their mayor is a Scout, their governor is a Scout and the vice president of the Republic (Dr. Jejomar Binay) is a Scout. Scouting is the prime leadership development in the Philippines with two Million members as it is in the rest of the world.

Here is a summary of what the King of Sweden did on the first day of the visit to the Philippines last week.

What do you think?

Ambition, China and Europe

In tomorrow’s edition of leading Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten, I have written a column about ambition, China and Europe. The point is straight-forward: The Chinese companies I work with, easily understand that successful companies in the 21st Century need to pursue a purpose beyond profit if they want to engage employees, customers, suppliers and others to work with them and even work for them.

Chinese CEOs are hungry. They are driven by a strong determination to win, not only in China, but globally, and they will win. Not because they are smarter than managers in the west, but because they work harder and because they are more hungry for success.

Therefore I am gradually selling the shares I have in big Danish companies. I simply don’t have confidence in their boards who are dominated by finance people in grey or black business suits with no purpose beyond profit. The boards tend to employ CEOs who share the same lack of purpose. It happens everywhere, in banks, in construction companies, in manufacturing and in service. And even worse, the same lack of vision and perspective is penetrating the public sector under the “New Public Management” umbrella. Just look at the lack of vision in the Danish Parliament.

I am personally neither unhappy nor depressed. Because I have the privilege to start new growth businesses with a purpose and even more importantly, I have the means to go out and make a difference beyond business (for me this is Scouting). But for Denmark and Europe, I am concerned: We are gradually eroding what our ancestors built up and we are getting poorer and poorer every day. I have enough, but this will affect a lot of Danish families who certainly do not have enough.

I invite your comments and contributions. We need them!

Zappos moves to UNBOSS

Zappos – the legendary Las Vegas based retailer – takes a bold move: Bosses will go, the corporate hierarchy is out and titles are obsolete. The conventional chain of command will be substituted by a number of overlapping and self-governing “circles” with the intention to empower employees and avoid that the company becomes bureaucratic as it grows beyond today’s 1500 people.

Have you heard this before? Yes, it is UNBOSS. Zappos calls it “holacracy” and the idea is to organize work around what needs to be done instead of who should do it. Employees are assigned several roles and usually belong to more than one circle. John Bunch who is leading the transition at Zappos, notes that the change decouples the professional side of business from what he calls “the technical getting-the-job-done side”.

I am not surprised. Once companies grow, hierarchies become bureaucracies and flexibility and innovation dies. Look at any big organization you know. They are all the same!

Zappos has introduced the key aspects of UNBOSS: It has a clear purpose (excellent customer service), it engages stakeholders (customers, employees, suppliers) as partners and it now introduces the UNBOSS knowledge-based organizational model. The whole thing is based on a strong set of values. Welcome on board and congratulations!

Share your thoughts including other great UNBOSS case stories. Write a comment!


Her er en lille bog med et stort potentiale: “Bevægelsen”, som netop er kommet på Gyldendal Business som den første i “High Performance Serien”. Du kan læse den på en aften, men vær forberedt på at det tager længere tid at føre ideen ud i livet!

Budskabet er enkelt: Virkesomheder, offentlige institutioner og foreninger kan tage et stort skridt frem ved at opfatte sig selv på en ny måde, nemlig som bevægelser i stedet for organisationer. Hvordan bliver COOP en formålsbestemt virksomhed? Hvordan kan et fængsel gøre dobbelt så megen nytte med færre fanger? Hvorfor er det bedre at skaffe rent vand til de fattige end at sælge pumper? Hvordan kan foreningen fokusere bedre og skabe mere værdi? Hvorfor er det bedre at stoppe energispildet end at sælge energirådgivning?

Emnerne har jeg arbejdet med før, men nu er det blevet til en lille bog som du får svært ved at komme uden om. Prisen er dog let at overkomme: 99 kr som papirbog og 49 kr som e-bog på Gyldendal Business.

Spændt på at høre dine kommentarer. Skriv en anmeldelse nedenfor!

Skattely, Jyske Bank, DR og moral

DR er stolt. Med en såkaldt DR Dokumentar optaget med skjult kamera har journalisterne afsløret at Jyske Bank Schweiz rådgiver velhavende klienter i hvordan de kan minimere skatten. Forargelsen tar ingen ende og Skatteminister Holger K. Nielsen bakket op af regeringspartierne bebuder et indgreb mod denne formastelige og umoralske adfærd. Endnu et bevis på at bankerne er samfundets fjender nummer ét.

Jeg kender ikke den konkrete sag udover fra medierne og ville gerne have set de resterende 10½ times bånd for at forstå den sammenhæng, Jyske banks rådgivning indgår i. Men nej, så langt går DR’s åbenhed ikke. Hvorfor mon ikke?

Hver eneste dag søger tusindvis af danskere rådgivning hos banker, revisorer, advokater og andre om hvordan de kan minimere deres skat. Det sker i forbindelse med køb og salg af aktiver, ægteskabssager, arvesager, investeringer og mange andre økonomiske transaktioner og selvfølgelig er det hovedsagelig folk der betaler meget i skat, der søger rådgivning. Heldigvis søger langt de fleste råd hos danske rådgivere, men udenlandske rådgivere står på spring hvis lovgivningen begrænser danske rådgiveres mulighed for at udføre deres arbejde.

Hvis man har tjent fx. 100 millioner kr ved at drive og sælge en virksomhed dygtigt, så forventer samfundet at man betaler ca. halvdelen i skat, altså 50 millioner kr. Jeg tror ikke at en almindelig lønmodtager eller skatteminister kan sætte sig ind i hvordan det føles. Ingen er i tvivl om at et samfund skal opkræve skatter i rimeligt omfang  for at kunne fungere, og de allerfleste accepterer det og betaler som jeg ved kasse ét. Men når man oplever eksempler på offentligt bureaukrati, unødvendige offentlige udgifter og en retorik der lægger folk der har tjent penge, for had, kniber det med betalingsviljen. Det begrunder ikke ulovligheder, men det begrunder at man undersøger hvilke muligheder man har inden for lovens grænser, til at begrænse skatten. Det synes jeg er moralsk fuldt acceptabelt og jeg spørger mig selv om hvad der egentlig er værst: 1) At minimere sin skat inden for lovens rammer eller 2) at opkræve høje skatter og bruge dem til tvivlsomme politiske formål.

Det kan godt være at banker og andre rådgivere i nogle tilfælde går for langt, men går DR ikke også for langt når de klipper en halv time ud af 11 timers optagelser med skjult kamera? Og går Folketingets flertal ikke også for langt når de bruger skattekroner til tvivlsomme politiske formål som kun har til hensigt at skaffe netop deres parti flere vælgere?

Jeg har tre forslag:

  1. Tving DR til at udlevere de sidste 10½ timers bånd så vi kan se hvilken sammenhæng, Jyske Banks rådgivning indgik i.
  2. Gør skattesystemet enklere sådan at muligheden for at spekulere i skat bliver mindre.
  3. Sæt skatten ned sådan at motivationen til at spekulere i skat bliver mindre. Ret forargelsen mod den politiske beslutningsproces der medfører unødvendige offentlige udgifter.

Og nu venter jeg spændt på at læse din kommentar!

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Bloggen er et forum for debat og inspiration. Den er et virtuelt torv, hvor vi kan mødes og blive klogere. For tiden omkring 400 personer hver eneste dag. Lars Kolind skriver et indlæg en eller flere gange om ugen og alle er velkomne til at kommentere. Helst med dit rigtige navn og ikke under pseudonym. Kolind kan ikke svare på alle kommentarer, men meningen er jo også at alle skal inspirere hinanden. Hver blog-post tilhører en eller flere kategorier og vil du læse alle indlæg i en bestemt kategori, trykker du blot på kategoriens navn. Du kan også søge på alle indlæg, hvor et bestemt ord forekommer, f.eks. bureaukrati. Du kan læse og skrive kommentarer ved at klikke på ”kommentarer” under blogposten.

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