A Travellerspoint blog

First Work Week in the Books!

...and an adventure planned for the weekend...

sunny 55 °F

This morning I had my requisite eggs before heading in to the office. On my way, I got a picture of that magical sign that makes me giddy on the autobahn.
Most of my day today was spent researching SIG, the company that Bernd and I will be presenting to next week. I think I mentioned earlier that this company had recently came up with eight values and was starting to take a look at corporate culture. They were planning to unveil them at their annual management conference, and a former Konzepte trainer who was now at SIG recommended that Bernd give the keynote on the importance of corporate culture. He was on vacation and couldn’t give the speech, but saw a business opportunity and told the guy putting the conference together (not the former employee) that he would sit down with him to give him some ideas on culture. After my presentation early in the week, he had been sufficiently impressed to ask me to come along and help put the presentation together.

Reading about the history of the company was interesting. They make the machines that make the kind of cartons that you might find chicken broth or orange juice in. They were the first to create a recloseable spout top and also the first to create the screwtop integrated into one of these packages. They had a number of different ventures in other realms of packaging that had been spun off over the years. At the very beginning, they had even been involved in making railroad cars and weapons!

They had put together a vision, mission and values that all sounded great and actually aligned well with Conscious Capitalism. As I started to pull the presentation together, I worked in Concious Capitalism and while explaining each of the four pillars and examples of companies that embody them, I also pulled out quotes from their vision, mission and values that aligned well with that specific tenet. For example, an excerpt from their vision read “succeed through mutually beneficial cooperation with our customers,” and their mission included “a systems solution that cares for the environment.” These aligned well with the stakeholder integration tenet. The final line on the vision/mission/vales page of their website said “We reward our shareholders by maximizing their returns in parallel with meeting our wider responsibility.” It seemed like a home run! I also worked in a plot of their values on the Barrett model, where their 8 values mapped to levels 3-6.

As I started to put their presentation together, my guess was that while they may aspire to these lofty goals, since this vision/mission/values were new, they probably weren’t living them fully, so I used a Barrett worksheet to get them to start thinking about what behaviors the company exhibits (or doesn’t) that embodies their values.

Last night, Bernd had told me about speed traps in Germany. Apparently they have cameras all over the place that will take your picture and send you the bill for 10-15 euros for being even a km/h over the speed limit. I’m conditioned to look for cop cars, but not cameras, so when I followed Bernd home from work, I was extra cautious on the way. When we got home Bernd was concerned that something was wrong with the car and said that I was going so slow he was afraid the bugs were going to start hitting the BACK windshield, which I thought was hilarious.

After work, it was time for the weekend tradition of heading into Bad Honnef for dinner at La Bruchette with their friends. Elke was headed home from a training and was going to meet us there, but ended up getting home in time to head there together. Only Gunthar could come this week, so I’m afraid I’ll never know his brothers name. Gunthar wanted us to know that we were lucky he was there because he had just got a brand new big screen TV delivered and only had an hour with it before dinner.

Well, its officially asparagus season! Its so funny how nuts everybody gets about asparagus. I guess because we can get it year round, we don’t value it as much, but asparagus season in Germany is pretty much only May and June and it's a huge deal. The restaurant had an entire specials menu of asparagus themed dinners!

I was really tempted to get the salmon I had last week because it was incredible, but I decided to buy into asparagus fever and got some ham and asparagus dish. Bernd got the same and Elke got asparagus soup. Last week, the people next to us had some strange looking dish and Elke had explained to me that it was vitello tomato (sp?). Its veal with tuna sauce and she ordered it for us to share.

After we ordered, the little old Italian guy who owned the place went to fresh cut our ham. You would have loved him Kristine.
I also remembered to get a picture of the awesome faux pergola over the bar since this is probably my last time at the restaurant (as we’ll be in Berlin next Friday)

Dinner came, and it was simple, but actually very good.
Elke unfortunately had to realize at dinner that I was halfway through my stay in Germany, which didn’t seem possible. I practiced some of my German vocab and pronunciations for fork, spoon, knife, etc. and they were impressed at how much I had remembered from a few days ago (though the pronunciations still need a lot of work). Gunthar also couldn’t believe that I had made to Cologne and back by myself. Apparently getting back from Cologne is complicated, but somehow I made it without any problems. Gunthar had walked to the restaurant, but we drove him home and in the spirit of learning German I asked Bernd and Elke how to say “Nice to meet you.” It was such a long and complicated sentence that I couldn’t even muster an attempt. Bernd said that Germans generally don’t really say nice to meet you, maybe partly because it was such a cumbersome sentence in German. In the car, Elke also mentioned that she had gotten great gas mileage on her drive back from the training earlier in the day, 8.51 liters per 100km, which is apparently how they measure it here. Good luck with that conversion.

When we got home, I talked back and forth with Chris Maloney for a while. I had originally planned to fly to the cheapest of Prague, Vienna or Budapest this weekend, but had considered Belgium as well. Not until mid-week did I remember that Chris was living in Belgium. It probably made more sense to do Prague, Vienna AND Budapest on another trip as they were relatively close together, while Belgium was much closer, plus you can’t beat knowing a “local!” I had thought about driving late at night on Friday to make the most of the day on Friday, but it was too late and I wasn’t up to it. The first Saturday train wasn’t until the afternoon, so I decided to wake up early to drive to Leuven, which is only about 2hrs 15minutes. It’s a college town just on this side of Brussels where Chris lives with his wife. I spent a couple hours looking up all the things to do in Brussels, Antwerp and Bruges and downloading a high-resolution map of each from Google images. This is cheaper than buying a map and its actually pretty convenient to have on your phone too if you remember to do it while you have internet. Packing and off to bed and looking forward to another adventure!

Posted by atbrady 05:11 Archived in Germany Tagged germany bonn working values konzepte conscious capitalism barrett sig

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.