Niels Pflaeging

Who are you ?

One way to answer this: I am a German who lived in Brazil for 12 years, as well as in several other countries. I speak four languages fluently. From 2013 to 2017, I was a director of the Beyond Budgeting Round Table, Since that time, I have tried to help organizations around the world adopt „Beyond Budgeting, or „Beta“ principles: By overcomming command-and-control, or management as we know it.

What do you do for living ?

I speak for and advise to organizations, internationally, in the sphere of leadership, organizational development, change and learning. I very much like to reflect and to conceptualize. Which led me to writing six books on these subjects so far. The latest one is called Complexitools, the previous one was entitled Organize for Complexity.

I also wrote many articles (some of them were translated into French,, and quite a lot of white papers. Here is one in French: Organizer pour la Complexité.

What do you want talk about at Lean Kanban France?

I will talk about the difference between the Blue and the Red;

about why we cannot solve Red problems with Blue method;

and about why we should throw most organizational methods & tools onto the garbage heap of history. If we want to create lean and agile organizations.

What will make you say « wow » at the end of the conference ?

A conference is « wow“, for me, personally, if there are three or four great sessions, three or four interesting new people I meet, and three or four things that I learn.

What will make you think that attendees have learnt something during your session ? 

When they tell me about their individual learning or learnings, afterwards.

What is your favorite word? 

Recently, the term democracy has become my favorite word. Because it is something we took for granted for such a long time. Now it is under attack in many countries – also in France and Germany. We have to re-learn how to defend it against right-wing populists and fascists. As individuals, we have to be way more political: Not just privately, but also in our work–lives. We should acknowledge that work also has a political side.

What is a word you hate?

There are many! Talent is an example. Comfort zone is another. Both these things do not exist!

What is a sound, a noise that you love?

I think I´d choose the sound of acoustic guitars.

What is your favorite swear word or blasphemy?

Blasphemy requires a shared understanding that god exists and that faith in god requires protection. None of that makes any sense to me.

Swearing is culturally important, though. And from my favorite satirists and comedians, like Ricky Gervais, I have learned that swearing, especially in situations when others wouldn´t, can be quite funny…

Who is the man or woman to illustrate a new banknote?

Probably the illustrator of my two most recent books should do it. Her name is Pia Steinmann. Some of my favorite graphic designers should design banknotes, too: Like Stefan Sagmeister, or Neville Brody, for example.

What is the job that you would not have liked to do?

Taxi driver. Or cruise ship animator.

What is the plant, tree or animal in which you would like to be reincarnated?

I do not believe in reincarnation.

If God exists, what would you like, after your death, hear him to say?

Another question on god? Interesting!

He would probably say: « Pal, you always figured I do not exist. And you were right.“

What is the missing question ?

I missed something that would have given me the opportunity to mention my twitter account. I share a lot of stuff on Twitter!

Now that I mentioned it, here is the link to get to my Twitter feed: @NielsPflaeging.

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