Von Armin Meier zu Werner Augsburger: die Referenten an unserer Tagung

Dear reader

2 weeks ago we organized a

One day seminars  on leadership pressures, stress and burn-out (May 31, german: Gesunder Umgang mit Leistungsdruck, Stress und Wettbewerb)

This highly successful one day Speed, Action: Results workshop featured 7 expert speakers. We published a few pictures  on our Facebook pinboard.

The seven speakers, whom I would like to thank again for their lectures, covered the following:

Armin Meier, speaker at the Business School Lorange Institute of BusinessArmin Meier – Managing Director Boyden Global Executive Search, Zurich, covered the major tasks of the executive search function. He stressed, among other things, the importance of fit between a prospective candidate’s priorities and the culture of a given corporation.


Alex Antonitsch, speaker at the Business School Lorange Institute of BusinessAlexander Antonitsch – Owner Institut of Leistungsmanagement (ILM), stressed methods / tools to measure impacts of stress on humans, e.g. heart rates, skin density, etc. Much of this was pioneered in the fields of sports, above all tennis.


Matthias Burisch, speaker at the Business School Lorange Institute of BusinessProf. Dr. Matthias Burisch – Owner of the Burnout Institut of Northern Germany, outlined several ways to detect burnout, and also gave several examples of this – one focusing on an individual’s feeling of too high and uncontrollable work-load, another on too heavy focus on superior performance, a third on extreme loneliness, and so on.

Werner Augsburger, speaker at the Business School Lorange Institute of BusinessWerner Augsburger – Head of Swiss Volley with a 10 years Olympic experience, focused on the role of potential stress among athletes in sports, perhaps being particular associated with the need to perform at extremely high expected levels. The role of team affiliation was emphasized as a key ameliorating factor.

Ronnie Bachofner, speaker at the Business School the Lorange Institute of BusinessDr. med. Ronnie Bachofner – Owner of the FMH Clinic, focused on several of the key symptoms in our bodies, and how stress could lead to lack of proper functioning of these – sleep being a key example.


Beat Kunz, speaker at the Business School the Lorange Institute of BusinessBeat Kunz – Head of HR and member of the Management Board at ABB Turbo Systems AG, outlined the so-called SWING approach to detecting and managing stress at ABB Turbo Systems AG. The “early warning” benefits from this approach seem particularly helpful. Secondary benefits, such as development of a more participative style in workshops were also highlighted.

Matthias Mölleney speaker at the Business School the Lorange Institute of BusinessMatthias Mölleney – President of ZGP, highlighted recent shifts in workforce attitudes, of key importance for how organizations of the future might look – less hierarchy, less bureaucracy, closer to the customer.


General: The Lorange Institute of Business Zurich is focusing on what make today’s executives more effective and how corporations are reorganizing themselves to cope with added turbulence and new realities. More on this was discussed at our workshop on Organizational Design on June 14 and 15, conducted by Professor Svein Andersen.

Peter Lorange


How to handle chaos or new order in tomorrow’s world?

Dear reader

a few weeks ago 52 students graduated from our business school: an important step in the personal and professional development of all graduates!

My faculty fellow Bill Holstein held a terrific speech I would like to share with you.

Download Graduation Remarks – March 30, 2012
by William K. Holstein, Professor of Strategy and IT, Lorange Institute of Business Zurich

He compared the current economic situation with the weather forecast and concluded that we’ve entered an area of unpredictability, which has a lot to do with the increased speed of communication.

I quickly summarize a few of his statements:

“In 2005 there were 134 million mobile phone users in Africa. In 2011, only six years later, there were 660 million – an average growth rate of more than 30 percent per year. (…) Such explosive growth in such a chaotic area of the works spells opportunity for those who can spell correctly.”

Bill Holsteins Graduation Speech (Graduation Remarks – March 30, 2012 William K. Holstein, Professor of Strategy and IT, Lorange Institute of Business Zurich) at our Business School“Sales on eBay conducted over mobile phones amounted to $600 million in 2009 and over $5 Billion in 2011. More than an 8 times increase in two years! And eBay expects the percentage of sales over mobile phones to grow 100 percent more in the next few years. (…) This changes the business model for a traditional retailer dramatically. Many will not be able to respond fast enough to survive.”

“U.S. workers tenure in their current job is 4.4 years. The average number of jobs in a lifetime: 11.4 for men, 10.7 for women, not three as for me.”

Bill summarized his speech in one word: chaos. Chaos is the opposite of the idea of order.  Or as Bill put it: “when conditions are chaotic, you must apply different techniques. “ This is the true challenge.

Peter Lorange

Tools of a Revolution?

By Gordon Adler

We recently witnessed history being made in Egypt. But the role of the Internet, particularly  social media,  remains unclear – wild generalizations litter the blogosphere. Was it really Revolution 2.0?

There’s some truth in every analysis I’ve heard: social media enabled the revolution, propelled and accelerated it, but protestors would have toppled Mubarak without the Internet. The killer app was people demanding their freedom.  And so forth.

In a well-known New Yorker piece, Malcolm Gladwell claimed that social media – Facebook and Twitter – can’t create the strong bonds social activism requires. “People with a grievance will always find ways to communicate with each other.” So maybe Facebook and Twitter are useful tools, but not the tools of revolution.

Maybe the tools of the Egyptian revolution are the Egyptian people themselves. Maybe if Mubarak had been forced to step down five years ago,  we would have been celebrating the power of cell phones.

But then again, maybe the Egyptian protests were not only a Facebook event, but an Internet uprising. As a post from the communications Edelman Digital suggests, if the Internet didn’t matter, why did Mubarak’s cronies pull the plug?

Until the fiber optics went dark, the Internet served as a kind of communication cloud – where the cell phones, satellite phones, land line phones, fax machines, Facebook and other tools like Google and Twitter’s collaborative phone-to-twitter application Speak2Tweet basically created a huge flashmob (some say eight million) on Cairo’s streets.

Maybe we need to see the social media, not as the cause  of the revolution, but as the accelerator.  The propellant. The leaflets of the 21st century.

One thing is sure:  social media made the events in Tahrir Square into an international public spectacle. This increased pressure on the Mubarak regime. And empowered those with their feet on the ground near idling tanks.

Another thing is sure: Facebook and Twitter have become one of the ways many people communicate. Twitter has 600 million users. The Internet has an estimated 2 billion users. We should have been surprised if social media had not been used.

If you were amazed by the apparent power of social media in Egypt, you should be asking what took us so long to open our eyes. Grade school children wouldn’t be surprised!

All the arguments I’ve heard are probably right – in some degree.  Twitter and Facebok probably helped. They weren’t the only fuel. And certainly not the cause. I’m betting the revolution would have happened without the tools. But the tools are here to stay.

As I write this, images of protesting Libyans fill my TV screen. “Khaddafi out” read the signs on the videos uploaded from mobile phones. Keep your eyes on Libya, Iran, Oman, Jemen, Bahrain. We need more facts. In the meantime, events we thought impossible now seem possible.

Dr. Gordon Adler,

is member of the facutlty at the Lorange Institute of Business.

He is the managing director of Adlerway, his communications and consulting company.


Get connected!

Facebook engineering intern Paul Butler has created the stunning map of international human relationships above, using a ten million friend pair sample size from Facebook social graph data. The result is stunning. From an optical point of view. But also what it’s distribution is concerned.

Paul Butler: I defined weights for each pair of cities as a function of the Euclidean distance between them and the number of friends between them. Then I plotted lines between the pairs by weight, so that pairs of cities with the most friendships between them were drawn on top of the others. I used a color ramp from black to blue to white, with each line’s color depending on its weight. I also transformed some of the lines to wrap around the image, rather than spanning more than halfway around the world.”

Gratis MBA?

Die London School of Business and Finance (LSBF) will künftig gratis MBA Onlinekurse anbieten. Das kündigte sie im Oktober dieses Jahres auf ihrer Webseite an. Man mag sich fragen, ob die Engländer durch die grassierende Wirtschaftskrise verrückt geworden sind?

Fast in allen westlichen Ländern wird zur Zeit über Bildungsbudgetkürzungen und höhere Studiengebühren verhandelt – und die LSBF will Gratiskurse anbieten? Im Pressetext nimmt LSBF-Gründer o Stellung und zitiert Bill Gates, der gesagt habe, dass in fünf Jahren die besten Vorlesungen gratis im Netz abrufbar seien. Die LSBF hätte also nur dessen Vision als erste aufgenommen und umgesetzt.

Der Studiengang mit dem Name The LSBF Global MBA ist ab sofort verfügbar. Die Betreiber erwarten allein im ersten Jahr 500’000 Nutzer. Die Onlinekurse werden über eine Facebook-Applikation bereitgestellt, da dies einerseits das grösste Online-Kontaktnetzwerk ist und andererseits die traditionellen Business School Plattformen verbraucht und fad seien.

Unbeantwortet bleibt die Frage, wieviel eine solche «Ausbildung» wert ist: Ohne direkten Kontakt zu Mitstudierenden und dem Lehrkörper. Und schliesslich: Erwerben tatsächlich jährlich eine halbe Million Menschen einen Gratis-MBA, was ist ein MBA in drei Jahren noch wert? Und würden die Business-Schulen nicht in den selben Strudel geraten wie die Zeitungen, die vor zehn Jahren Ihren gesamten Content gratis ins Internet gestellt haben?