I want to express my concern

I am an eighties guy. When I was a teenager the world was full of egomaniac leaders like Leonid Breschnew, Ronald Reagan or Margaret Thatcher. I remember when once Ronald Reagan hosted a press conference. During a microphone check just right before the conference he said “to all Russians – we begin bombing in 5 minutes.” It was during the peak of the cold war. In these times everybody of my generation felt kind of depressed and unsafe. Even without any platform like internet and social networks the danger of an atomic war was everywhere. It was in the news, it was in art and culture, it was in movies like “the day after” and it was in pop music. Famous music videos like “dancing with tears in my eyes” from Ultravox or “ overkill” from Men at work all the time made us aware of what could happen, if influential world leaders do not act calm and sensible. The fact of “overkill” is one of the most ridiculous things mankind could ever create. It describes the possibility of how many times nations could destroy the population of our whole planet and we still have it. In the eighties Russian and American missiles would have been able to kill 100 Billion people with a total population of around 4-5 billion. So roughly a 20x overkill.

Why I am writing this? Well – during that time I was of the opinion that it could not come even worse. How nuts can an US-president be, saying those words even if it was a microphone check?

Now I am looking into the world of today. I see an antidemocratic Russian president like Mr. Putin. I see protectionism and far right parties growing in Europe, I see dictators like Kim Jong Un and Baschar al-Assad oppressing their people AND – I am again experiencing an US president who exactly acts like we haven´t learnt anything out of the past 30 years. I never ever would have thought that people of the twenty first century are again discussing of a construction of a wall? Seriously? We just overcame one some years ago. I am experiencing a president who favours torture and oppression and who is neglecting any kind of climate change. A president, who wants to isolate his country in the age of globalism and who closes his borders to immigrants and people seeking for protection as they are persecuted and discriminated because of their race or religion. Is this really true? I can´t believe. During the disgusting election campaign I still thought that it will be going to be okay after everybody is getting back to reality and that people will become serious again. Apparently I was wrong reflecting the last week.

What can I do as an individual? I can shout it out loud that I do not agree. I can express that I am concerned. I can write a blog about it using large platforms to spread the word and connect to others, who feel concerned as well. We should not remain silent – we must raise our voices early that we do not agree what is going on.

I simply wanted to say – that I am concerned, Mr. Trump.

Feel free to share, spread the word and to comment. Don´t stay silent. Hashtag is #Ifeelconcerned

I hate the Internet

I Hate the InternetI Hate the Internet by Jarett Kobek
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

To me it is a book which rides a bit on wave. Compared to the overall internet hype in the book. Yes – it is absolutely and brutally honest. It smashes directly into the face. It is finger pointing to millennials gives a warning as well what could happen in times of fake news and alternative facts. But it is not reading which makes fun. It is disruptive in using short chapters and clipped words. It repeats the same joke about eumelanin over and over as a technique which is after chapter 20 getting boring. It is an evil book which does not stop before Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, the Bush family, Twitter, you tube, google or instagram. If you like evil books, you should read it. I think the book must have been brilliant if the author would have known, that Trump will be the next president. I would love to read his comment on this.

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Alexa – die neue Mitbewohnerin

Seit 2 Wochen leben Alexa und ich nun zusammen und ich ziehe eine kurze Bilanz für alle die, die sich noch nicht sicher sind, ob sie sich einen Sprachassistenten bestellen sollen. Als Prime Kunde erhielt ich die Einladung von Amazon, nun den Amazon Echo für Deutschland exklusiv bestellen zu können. Ich hab´s dann einfach mal gemacht. Aus einer  Laune heraus. Und – das ist mein erster Tipp – genauso sollte man es auch herangehen. Die Frage “brauche ich das” sollte man sich nicht stellen. Es ist ein Gadget, das braucht man nicht, mit dem spielt man herum.

In der Box befinden sich außer Alexa noch ein Netzteil und ein kleiner Quick-Start-Guide der vollkommen ausreichend ist. Die Einrichtung erfolgt entweder über die Alexa App (Android) oder für IOS. Wie ich später über den Support herausfand, ist es auch etwas bequemer über die Alexa Website möglich.

Wer bin ich und wo komm ich her ?

Die deutsche Version vom Echo ist gerade mal ein paar Wochen auf dem Markt. Man sollte sich darüber im Klaren sein, dass man hier ein Produkt in seiner Beta – oder Testphase kauft. Immer ganz rund läuft es am Anfang nicht. In der Grundeinstellung ist ein Alexa mit Amazon Music verbunden. Man kann sein Spotify account verbinden und auch seinen google Kalender. Das Abspielen von Musik klappt mit Sprachkommando einwandfrei. Etwas umständlich ist es, wenn man über Spotify Musik hören möchte. Dann muss der Sprachbefehl “Alexa- Spiele Spotify – Rolling Stones” ausgesprochen werden. Über Amazon Music funktioniert es einfach mit “Alexa – Spiele Michael Jackson” Auch die Radio Funktion über die TuneIn App funktioniert einwandfrei. Hier muss kein Account verknüpft werden. “Alexa – spiele EinsLive” und der Radiosender wird einwandfrei abgespielt. So weit so gut.

Nun wollte ich mehr und Alexa ein paar zusätzliche Skills hinzufügen. Als Skills werden die verfügbaren Apps bezeichnet, die im Store kostenfrei zur Verfügung stehen. Vorweg gesagt – die meisten sind wirklich sinnbefreit oder haben extrem umständliche Sprachbefehle. Das geht besser. Doch am Anfang kam ich gar nicht soweit. Mein Amazon Echo empfahl mir beim Aufrufen der Skills immer hartnäckig, zum US-Store zu wechseln. Das wollte ich natürlich nicht, denn dann würde meine Alexa ja Englisch sprechen und verstehen. Des Rätsels Lösung – vor Uhrzeiten benutzte ich die Android Kindle App auf einem meiner Smartphones. Diese App sorgte dafür, dass meine Einstellungen für sämtliche Inhalte immer auf Englisch angezeigt wurden. Kein seitens Phänomen, wie ich in einigen Foren las. Der Support konnte mir hier schnell helfen und die Umstellung klappte reibungslos.

Wie schon oben erwähnt, war die Skill Auswahl ziemlich ernüchternd. Am Ende habe ich mich entschieden die Tagesschau Skill sowie die Gelbe Seiten (Kino) Skill zu installieren. “Alexa – wie sind meine News?” spielt die Tagesschau in 100Sekunden vor und liefert eine Nachrichten Zusammenfassung.” Allerdings ziemlich leise. Doch die Basics wie “Alexa – lauter” beherrscht Alexa wirklich gut. Sagst Du “Alexa – Gelbe Seiten” passiert gar nichts. Sagst Du “Alexa – öffne Gelbe Seiten” – nennt Dir Alexa die aktuellen Kinofilme in Deiner Region. Man muss sich daran gewöhnen.

Wo komme ich her Teil 2 ?

Nachdem ich also Alexa erfolgreich beigebracht hatte dass sie nicht US-Amerikanisch sondern Deutsch sei, konnte ich auf einmal mein Spotify account nicht mehr verknüpfen. Bei der Verknüpfungsaufforderung wurde ich immer auf ein Britische Amazon Seite umgeleitet. Auch hier erbrachte meine Recherche dass ich bei weitem nicht der Einzige war. Die Geräte wurden von UK auf den Deutschen Markt ausgeliefert. Somit die automatische Umleitung. Die Lösung ist einfach. Man ruft die oben genannte, deutsche Alexa Website auf, verknüpft sein Spotify account hier und es funktioniert. Wie oben erwähnt, man muss gewillt sein solche Anfangsschwierigkeiten in Kauf zu nehmen, denn Alexa steht noch ganz am Anfang seiner Möglichkeiten. Auch die Alexa App läuft manchmal nicht sehr rund und stürzt häufig ab. Hier sind noch updates notwendig.

Fazit

Je nach Nutzungs Präferenz, fällt ein Fazit natürlich unterschiedlich aus. Meine Präferenz ist ganz klar der Faktor Musik. Natürlich ist Alexa kein Ersatz für eine High-End Stereo Anlage. Das ist auch nicht der Anspruch. Alexa ist ein sprachgesteuerter Lautsprecher mit ein wenig mehr Intelligenz. Ich wollte in erster Linie einen Lautsprecher der meine Musik streamt. Kein lästiges Verbinden meines Smartphones via Bluetooth / NFC was noch dazu meinen Akku leer lutscht. Kein Aufklappen meines MacBooks um Musik zu streamen. Mir geht es um schnelles, einfaches Starten meiner Songs. Das klappt hervorragend. Der Sound liegt aus meiner Sicht im Okay Bereich. Er ist gut – aber nicht sehr gut. Ein Bose Soundlink Mini zum gleichen Preis hat sicher einen besseren Klang – aber dafür ist er eben  auch nur ein Lautsprecher ohne Intelligenz. Ich nutze die Basis Sprachbefehle zum Starten, Skippen oder Stoppen der Musik. Ich lasse mich von Alexa verlässlich wecken “Alexa – weck mich Morgen um 6.30 Uhr” und ich lasse mir die Nachrichten, das Wetter und die Uhrzeit vorlesen. Das funktioniert einwandfrei. Web Recherche mit Wikipedia – “Alexa – wer ist Donald Trump” läuft sehr oberflächlich.

Es steckt noch viel Potential in dem Gerät – aber es ist ja auch nur ein Gadget. Für mich ist das Preis – Leistungsverhältnis okay.

 

 

Living the European Dream – in Dublin and beyond

When the opportunity came up to move my career from Malaga to Dublin, I knew I had to take it. It was a difficult decision in some respects – I had a job that I enjoyed in Malaga, and I did make a few jokes about moving from “Spain to the rain”. However, I also knew, as everyone else working in technology in Europe knows, that Dublin is where things happen.

This city is the technology hub for our region. Around this corner, there’s Facebook; go around another and there’s Google; up that street is Twitter; up that one there’s Airbnb. And then, of course, there’s LinkedIn. I knew that I’d be taking my life in exciting new directions when I moved to Dublin. But it was only when I connected with an opportunity at LinkedIn that I realised just how transformative the experience would become.

Busting the Dublin myths

By then, I’d already bust the myths that I had in my head about Dublin as a location. For a start – the rain. Okay, it’s not quite as dry as the south of Spain, but it’s certainly doesn’t feel any wetter than where I grew up in Germany. It’s certainly not stopped me cycling to work pretty much every day for the last three and a half years.

I had expected to find different types of people in Dublin – but the extent of the difference really surprised me. The presence of all of those companies in a city that still feels like a community is a very special combination. It makes me feel like I’m living in a true global village. It’s diverse and dynamic but hugely warm and welcoming as well.

That came home to me when I decided to run my first marathon shortly after arriving in the city. It was a way of showing my commitment to my new home and getting to know the city a little more as well. I’ll never forget the feeling of people lining the street to support myself and the other runners. When we went through the suburbs, there were people offering us bowls of fruits and sweets on their doorsteps. It reflects the attitude of people here – and also how extremely fanatical they are about sport.

How LinkedIn took my Dublin experience to the next level

In no time at all then, I’d started to feel pretty settled in my new city – and very happy with my life working in Europe’s technology hub. I was what we at LinkedIn Talent Solutions call a ‘passive candidate’. I wasn’t actively looking for a new job; I wasn’t frustrated in my current role or desperate for a new challenge. However, when the right opportunity came up I could see immediately why I needed to take it – and that opportunity was LinkedIn.

In some respects, LinkedIn was on my radar already. I knew that it was an exciting business – and one of the reasons for Dublin being such an exciting place for a tech career. However, I hadn’t fully grasped the mission and sense of purpose it had until a recruiter from LinkedIn reached out to me and I began the interview process.

A mission that matters

I’ve always had an interest in the purpose of what I’m doing. I’ve been interested in politics for the last 20 years – and a lot of my passion for social media comes from the way it can be used to get a message out and further a cause. That’s why LinkedIn’s mission to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce really resonated with me. There was an aspect of coming here that felt like taking on a role with an NGO – and that really appealed.

That wasn’t the only LinkedIn difference that I found inspiring. Reid Hoffman’s principle of the ‘Tour of Duty’ was another idea that really resonated with me: it’s the idea of there being a contract between yourself and LinkedIn whereby you both aim to transform each other for the better during your time here; you may not be here for ever, but if you do leave here for another role, you’ll definitely be leaving better equipped than when you arrived.

Transformation with a difference

Transformation is a really important part of LinkedIn’s values – and the focus of that transformation culture is really unique. At other businesses, you’re often encouraged to think about your weaknesses and ways you could improve them; here the focus is firmly on your strengths and how you can leverage them more effectively for both you and the business. It’s very empowering.

I’ve been able to apply the principle of transformation to my approach to leadership. The result I’m most focused on as a manager is being able to develop people for their next play – that’s what really makes me proud. It’s part of how my team motivates me every day. When I come into the office and see people already at their desks, making calls, working at their laptops – the buzz that gives me is very powerful indeed.

My transformation journey at LinkedIn is now bringing my ‘Tour of Duty’ in Dublin to an end. I’m making the move to manage one of our enterprise teams in LinkedIn’s Munich office. I was right in thinking that moving to Dublin would take my career to places I hadn’t imagined – and how, thanks to LinkedIn, it’s led me to a new city, a new stage of development in my career – and more new experiences. To me, being able to open up new horizons like this is part of the European dream – and LinkedIn and Dublin both embody that dream.

Das Paket

Das PaketDas Paket by Sebastian Fitzek
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Für mich das bisher schlechteste Buch von Sebastian Fitzek. Es liest sich wie in Eile zusammengefügt und geschrieben. Jedes der kurzen Kapitel giert nach Effekten und Spannung und möchte sehr aufgesetzt dramatisch enden. Wie ein RTL Krimi. Aus meiner Sicht hat der Autor den Spannungsbogen extrem überspannt und um im Bild zu bleiben reisst irgendwann der Faden und lässt mich gelangweilt zurück. Ich habe 3 Tage für das Buch gebraucht. Es hat unterhalten, ein wenig.

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Das gibts in keinem Russenfilm

Das gibts in keinem RussenfilmDas gibts in keinem Russenfilm by Thomas Brussig
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Für mich mein Buch 2016. Dieses Buch ist so intelligent verknüpft zwischen plausibler Vergangenheit und fiktiver Wirklichkeit, dass ich als Leser manchmal meine historischen Kenntnisse der DDR anzweifelte. Thomas Brussig schafft es ohne Mühe die DDR als Vorreiter der Windenergie und Elektromobilität zu konstruieren. Bis hin zu einem Deutsch-Deutschen WM Finale. Einfach grossartig.

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Tschick

TschickTschick by Wolfgang Herrndorf

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In vielen Bestseller Listen ganz oben. So ist es in mein Auge gesprungen. Ich mag Roadmovies und die Inhaltsangabe klang vielversprechend. Die Handlung findet dann auch auf der Straße statt, irgendwo im Umkreis von Berlin. Die Hauptdarsteller sind in diesem Falle aber Minderjährige Schüler die nicht in mein Bild vom klassischen Roadmovie passen. Das ist natürlich Geschmacksache. Ein unterhaltsames, leicht zu lesendes Abenteuer dass ich aber eher meinen Kindern geben würde. Für mich ein bisschen zu viel Schülerromantik.

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The T-Shirt Factor, or how Rock’n Roll is your Company ?

 

Quick thing which came into my mind. What´s your t-shirt history ? Can you remember it? I do. When I was fourteen or fifteen or so, I desperately wanted to have a black tour t-shirt from my favorite rock band AC/DC – Back in Black. I saved all my pocket money to get it and when I finally have been able to buy and wear it, you can hardly imagine how absolutely proud I was. From my point of view from that day on, I was the coolest guy on the schoolyard ever. This shirt meant so much to me, because it was the ultimate expression of my hard rock feeling. That fact that my parents did not like it, convinced me even more. Additionally to that, it was as well an expression to belong to a specific group of people who had the right sense of music – in my opinion. The t-shirt was our common sense, a movement and our way, to see and recognize ourselves in the streets of my hometown. Long story short – wearing this shirt was not just a piece of garment – it was a belief.

Over the years the t-shirts and its messages changed. I remember names and bands like Motörhead, Depeche Mode or Pearl Jam – I even called a Che Guevara * shirt my own. The latest ones have been Cake and The Eeels. But apart from that, I increasingly noticed, that I am wearing a Linkedin t-shirt more and more often. Having a look at my suitcase for my next business trip and realizing what kind of clothes I considered to carry with me, I experienced that some Linkedin t-shirts are my natural choice. And this brings me to the beginning of my post. Why is that so?

The answer is that my current employer is an employer, who gives me a feeling of being proud as well. It is the same story like with my AC/DC t-shirt. I am part of something meaningful to me. Something where I can find a purpose and where I am part of group, which thinks the same way I do. It is a natural human desire wanting to belong to something. I feel privileged and it makes me happy that I am not the only one. Where ever I see people in public wearing a shirt of the company they work for I do think, that this should be considered as an index for a strong employer brand as well. Our talent brand index provides you a strong analytical view on how you are positioned among your competitors – but what is about the t-shirt factor? Not seriously asking, but do you know where I am coming from?

Do you wear with proud a t-shirt of your company just because you like it? Just because it makes you feel of being part of something big? What is your t-shirt story?

* – I used to play a song with my band on that topic as well

The Garden Cottage

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Having had the pleasure to live about 2 years at the picturesque Courtyard in Clonsilla, it is time to reflect and being grateful. Renting and living is not just about having a bed, freezer and a sofa for your disposal. It is about feeling where your heart is. The Courtyard is a nice location and hidden gem, where you can forget from one minute to the next about all the rush of Dublin city centre and relax. Still it is perfectly located to public transport as Clonsilla train station is just 500 m away.

It is a marvellous and mesmerizing place and I enjoyed every day I have lived there. It is not one of those boring bunkers without any soul or character. It is a special place for special people. Thanks Ethna for having us. It was a pleasure.

Line manager – the recruiter of today

How does your current hiring process work? Is it driven by strictly divided responsibilities and tasks? Operations, finance and senior management is focusing on strategy ? Line management puts that into headcount needed – and HR then starts to find the right talent to meet growth aspirations for the next fiscal year ? Sounds to me very re-active. In our latest research on Linkedin we found out, that 9 out of 10 really like to hear from you as a company. So far – so good.

But what is the right approach in reaching out to talents? We found out as well, that two-thirds of potential candidates are more likely open to respond, if they have been previously social engaged with you.That translates into the question you should ask yourself as a manager – are you really social?

Have you implemented it into your own recruiting strategy? If not – you should. To give you a bit of background and credibility. I am hiring as a line manager in a highly competitive environment for about 3 1/2 years. Dublin as the place of most of technology EMEA headquarters is growing rapidly in inside sales organizations, and therefore is in a high need of the best talent with the best skills. Waiting for talent acquisition to fill my seats would simply not work. Here is what I did.

Build up your personnel brand – but make it a strategy

I bet most of you would claim that you´re socially active on networks and media. But just simply having a facebook account for family and friend interactions and a Linkedin account for business purposes does not mean that your social. Have you ever looked at the word NETWORKING differently? It is the combination of Net (platform) and WORK (action). What I mean by that is, when you want to build up your digital brand which is key for hiring strategy of today, you have to put time and effort into it – and this means work. Pushing the like button or sharing something that you rather not have read before won´t help here. For all the work you have to do, you put time aside in your calendar. My advise is, do exactly the same for social media activity. Make it as a recurring event in your calendar. You need to have at least 2,5 hours for this per week, which means 30 min per day. Use the time for reading your timeline thoroughly. Interact with your connections on the basis of the content they shared and leave relevant comments which really show that you agree or disagree. Use news aggregators like google alerts, google news, flipboard or pulse to automate finding the content that you are interested in and you want to share. But always combine it with a personnel statement, because it is about your social identity and opinion. When you put 2,5 hours aside per week, you can even start blogging. This is work as well, I know – but it is now part of your strategy. You are all experts here – I bet there is a lot content and personnel views what makes you even more interesting to talk to.

Now you have a brand – what can you do with it

To me this is key and a change in recruiting strategy. Line managers must have a behavioral mind shift from re-active to co-active sourcing. You want to have the best talent for your team ? Go for it to find them. Linkedin offers you an excellent toolkit to find them easier than ever. The Next Gen Recruiter is such a simple and effective tool – it easily can transform a hiring manager into a successful sourcer. „We want to make the world´s professionals more productive and successful“ is the Linkedin mission and here it comes into reality. This is not a sales pitch – it is simply my reality and pragmatic approach. Line Manager and Talent Acquisition must build up a team to seamlessly streamline hiring processes to be faster and more efficient. This has a considerable impact of time to hire and quality of hire. Both sides have there expertise and hiring managers of today are needed to warm up the leads in HR´s pipeline. According to Gallups strengths based leadership, people follow a leader because of trust, compassion, stability and hope. This is exactly what your personnel brand should reflect in your digital identity because employees of today are motivated by soft skills and empathy. They are not looking for a job – they are looking for a purpose. The hiring manager can set the scene as he is able to to bring in a high level of credibility and trust while starting the process.

What are your thoughts on this? Tell me how you do it.L

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