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Nov 19th, 2021 Share: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

Possibly the Most Important Skill of the Future – Neugier

During our sessions with audiences globally, we often get asked a simple set of questions: What are the most important skills for the future? What are the things we ought to teach children today to prepare them for the future? What are the things we need to learn/unlearn to be successful in tomorrow’s world.

Of course, there are many ways to answer these questions — with the most common answer being: It depends. 😏

That being said, I do believe there is one skill we all ought to cultivate, lean into, and exercise regularly. The good news is that every living human being has this skill in abundance. The bad news is that most of us had this beaten out of us when we went to school: Curiosity.

A curious mind allows you to ask questions and, maybe even more importantly, to stay in the question. And as Tina Seelig, Professor at Stanford University, once said: “Questions are the frames into which the answers will fall.”

Personally, I love the German word for curiosity: Neugier (and not just because it is one of the few German words which isn’t 26 characters long). Neugier is a combinatorial word — Neu and Gier. Neu meaning “new” and Gier meaning “greed”: The greed for new.

If there is one thing which prepares you for the future, it is your greed for new. New insights, new information, new opinions, new stimuli, new ideas.

Channel your inner child and start asking “why” again.

Nov 15th, 2021

The Weird World of COVID-19

This week marks the first time I found myself speaking in front of a sizable crowd again — 1,500 people at the EY Strategic Growth Forum in Palm Springs, California. It was an interesting insight into our very human desire to connect in person again. It also provided a fascinating peek into the “post-pandemic” world: The event had excellent COVID-19 protocols in place, which made most participants comfortable enough to be together in fairly close contact. Handshakes were the norm, hugs not uncommon.

It was a fascinating peek into our future — a future where we will live with...

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Nov 9th, 2021

Ten Things I Learned: No 11 — Encore

We have officially completed our series on “Ten Things I Learned” throughout my career (so far). If you haven’t seen it — check out the archive. And as every (good) thing which comes to an end, there should always be an encore. Therefore, I present you lesson number eleven from the ten things I learned: There Are No Maps.

There are no maps

Now, of course, there are maps. As a matter of fact, there are countless maps — and everybody presents you one (myself, I guess, included). Every business book is a map, as is every...

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Nov 4th, 2021

Ten Things I Learned: No 10 — Start Now

Wow! We (you!) have made it: We are at the end of our “Ten Things I Learned” series. From building things which are better, being faster, louder, focused, and being networked, your ability to be smarter, resilient, and ignorant — all geared to have you think big & build what matters. Now there is only one thing left for you to do:


It sounds cliché — and yet I found over and over again that the simple reason for people to not be successful at the thing they...

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Nov 2nd, 2021

Ten Things I Learned: No 9 — Think Big and Build What Matters

As we are coming closer to the end of our journey into the ten things I learned, number nine is a double-whammy — and a good reminder.

Think Big

Tracy Chou was a software engineer at Pinterest when she set up a shared document (technically a GitHub repository) asking tech companies to disclose the number of women they had in technical roles. Within a week — and for the first time ever — the document showed the gender data for fifty companies (today there are well over 250 companies represented). Her activism forced companies like Facebook...

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Oct 28th, 2021

Ten Things I Learned: No 8 — Ignorant

After talking about the necessity to increase your resilience (and being better/faster/louder/focused/networked and smarter), let us delve into lesson number eight of our “Ten Things I Learned” series: Being ignorant. And with this, I mean — not being ignorant as in “lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated” or in being “discourteous or rude” but rather the need to ignore the rules.

Greta Thunberg

I deeply admire Greta Thunberg, the Swedish environmental activist, who — as a 15-year-old — ignored every rule in the book to shine a...

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Oct 26th, 2021

Ten Things I Learned: No 7 — Resilient

We are getting towards the end of our Ten Things I Learned journey — after talking about the fallacy of our survivorship bias, let me remind you of the necessity to show resiliency. Now — this won’t come as a surprise: Of course you heard a million times that you have to push through when the going gets tough. And you certainly have heard Thomas Edison’s fabled thousand non-working lightbulbs tries he had to endure to get to the one lightbulb, which actually worked.

Resilient - Dr. Jennifer Doudna

When I think about resilience, especially in today’s...

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Oct 21st, 2021

Ten Things I Learned: No 6 — Smarter

Continuing our theme of “lessons learned”, and more specifically “lessons for leaders”, let’s talk about our sixth insight: Being Smarter.

And before you respond with a sigh and a muttered “duh”, let me tell you a story:


During the height of the Second World War, Britain’s Royal Airforce flew missions deep into German airspace — and suffered horrendous losses. At one point, the chance to make it home for a pilot flying one of those missions was less than 50%… truly a coin flip.

The commanders inspected the returning planes, most of which had bullet holes...

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Oct 19th, 2021

Ten Things I Learned: No 5 — Networked

After we dug deep into more of the organizational lessons-learned in our first four posts (quick reminder: be better, faster, louder, and more focussed than your competitors), let’s shift our focus and talk about you. The next couple of lessons I learned over the last two-plus decades of being in the arena are all about how you, personally, show up.

Our fifth lesson unlocked most of the opportunities I got in my life: Be networked.


I believe we all, intuitively, grasp the idea that it is not only what you know or...

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Oct 15th, 2021

Ten Things I Learned: No 4 — Focused

Lesson No 4 of “things I have learned over the years” is, in many ways, a continuation of and build on what we talked about in lessons 1 to 3: From building things which are better, to being faster, and the necessity to be louder — all of which doesn’t happen if you are not singularly focused.


Tia Claire Toomey, one of the most decorated strength athletes in the world with an undefeated winning streak since 2017 in the CrossFit Games, exemplifies focus. You don’t get to be that successful without relentless,...

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