Social Networking – paradigm change from Push to Pull communication

Yes, I am convinced social networks bring along vast opportunities to optimize efficiency in collaboration. Nevertheless I am asked plenty of times, why I see it this way.

I would like to anchor my answer by referencing to the strong variance in statisics within my Tweets on Twitter.

Example1: Tweet on Altruism seems to have met interest of only few in my network (208 views).

Example2: Tweet on support for planning a Barcamp at Siemens reached more than 4.5k views.

How does this lead to the conclusion, that social networks increase efficiency in communications?

The two examples illustrate, that the recipients are not selected by the sender of information. Instead the reach of a tweet is the result of its relevance for the network. How come?

  • The reach of tweets majorly depends on the network’s response.
  • Readers can promote posts by liking or retweeting.
  • Any like or retweet leads to increased audience thanks to social network algorithms.
  • Hashtags help drawing attention from those interested in the tweet’s content.

I guess this effect can be named by the **paradigm change from push to pull communication,** which I identify as key advantage of social networking.

Accordingly – feel free to like, comment and reference to this post ;). Looking forward to the network response – Yours, Benedikt Pape

PS: How does the image of fishermen (source: pixabay) match the topic? I like to associate social networks to the ocean, where tweets swim around and readers fish them out if their hashtag matches.

Meine Gesellschaft – genau, wie ich. Mit Empathie gestalten.

Ich bin überzeugt die Gesellschaft zu gestalten, ganz einfach und ohne Mühe. Ich handle, wie ich es für richtig halte – und spreche darüber. Meine Kinder haben mir beigebracht dieses berühmte Zitat zu verstehen und auf das gesamte Leben anzuwenden.

Wir brauchen unsere Kinder nicht erziehen – sie machen uns sowieso alles nach. (Karl Valentin)

Ich möchte den Bogen hier spannen von der pädagogischen Erkenntnis hin zur Methode zur Gestaltung der Gesellschaft. Kinder zu haben ist eines der intensivsten Selbstentwicklungs-Treiber, das kann ich jedenfalls für mich sagen. Kinder geben uns unendlich viele Chancen zu probieren und den richtigen Weg zu finden. Unzählige Male bin ich mit meiner väterlichen Macht in kindliche Konflikte eingeschritten, um dann zu erklären, dass Reden besser ist als rücksichtslos durchzusetzen. Irgendwann habe ich begriffen, warum ich so wirkungslos geblieben bin – natürlich weil ich selbst das Prinzip der Macht vorgeführt und somit zum Vorbild gemacht habe.

Heute biete ich Schutz, wenn eins meiner Kinder von Geschwistern beleidigt oder verletzt wird. Ich biete ein Gespräch an und versuche dabei den Blick auf die Bedürfnisse auf der jeweils andere Seite zu schärfen. Damit zeige ich die, wie ich glaube, wertvollste und gleichzeitig mächtigste Kompetenz im Bezug auf Konfliktbewältigung – die Empathie. Mit ihrer Hilfe öffneten sich für mich immer sehr schnell Wege heraus aus der Gerechtigkeitsfalle (Auge um Auge..) hin zu gütlichen Lösungen mit Gewinnern auf allen Seiten.

Das vorzuleben ist nicht nur für meine Kinder wirkungsvoll, sondern genauso in meinem beruflichen Umfeld und in unserer Gesellschaft.

#PMaustausch – first online session for Project Leadership exchange attracted 55 within Siemens

My open invitation on SSN (Siemens Social Network) to exchange on project leadership by means of a monthly virtual session for 45 minutes has started successfully. All started with the idea to share my experience on Tools, habits and methods, that help me be purposeful in my daily business.

Inspired of the #Barcamp principle, I chose to invite openly to join an interactive session on the Siemens communication platform #Circuit.

Even my bare announcement of the idea for such session has drawn extraordinary attention within the Siemens Network. Besides many, who expressed their interest in participation, one has even offered to host one of the future sessions by presenting a new tool, that is helpful for him.

So I invited the first session with 3 workdays advance notice at an average morning time (where also part time jobbers can participate). Since the invitation on SSN contained a guest link for unregistered dialIn, I had no idea how many would come. And I am very satisfied with the number of 55 participants – as I have found afterwards in the logs of the session. The concept of exchange and interactive participation worked out – I would guess, some 10 people have contributed with comments and experience sharing throughout the session. Furtheron contributions and exchange keeps taking place on SSN even today, two weeks after the session.

As a topic I introduced the self-management methodology #GettingThingsDone (#GTD) of David Allen. To be precise the introduction including link to a relevant podcast was already contained in the invitation. So during the session, the introcuction was kept to a minimum, until I started sharing concrete personal measures, which I have found to increase my productivity in my everyday live. And it turned out, that many asked for more details, which were easily presented by simple screensharing and showing tools and tricks on my everyday working environment. Further on, other participants shared their experience and how they implement GTD successfully for themselves.

Concluding, I can say that

I am very happy to have found a way of learning and develpoment for myself, which apparently also attracts many like minded employees in my company.

Looking forward to the development of this series of sessions and of course to your feedback and contributions on this blog post.

Yours, Benedikt Pape

Further information:

  • Why german name PMaustausch: I currently plan to host these sessions in german lenguage, since I believe exchange takes place best in native lenguage.
  • Why limit to Germany, if Siemens acts internationally: My plan is not to offer sessions for all project managers of Siemens with one session. What I believe is, if this session proves to work well, further series of sessions will follow – hosted by other people, who will also contribute other methods, other approaches. This is how the diverse learning requirements of a diverse staff within Siemens can be covered.
  • What is GettingThingsDone? Stay tuned to this blog – I promise to give some insigts in my experience with it soon. In the meantime consider listening to David Allens Podcasts and

WorkingOutLoud initiative at Siemens – an employee based movement for open communication

WorkingOutLoud has reached Siemens. After 200 engaged employees have gathered in Erlangen November 3rd for an intensive experience of WorkingOutLoud it can be said, that WOL reached Siemens indeed. 200 employees took the decision to leave their workplace and followed the open invitation of five WOL-enthusiasts around Claudia Mayer. Participants originated from all over Germany and even several worldwide Siemens affiliates.


How could WorkingOutLoud draw the attention of so many and why would employees even engage to organize an event in their company. I think the reasons are twofold:

  • On the one hand WOL meets a core human desire, which has been oppressed for too long: WorkingOutLoud promotes the spirit of collaboration based on gracious appreciation, which is the foundation of human networking and the development of individual potentials.
  • On the other hand the movement has reached a critical mass of companies already and the picture has a clear message: WorkingOutLoud can unleash a dynamic movement within companies. The movement is directed towards the desired mindset for the digital transformation.

Enterprise culture in german companies and even the culture in our modern society in my eyes has been shaped by the everlasting approach towards higher efficiency within the last decades. The increase in efficiency in the past however came along with the need to transform human work along machine compatible processes and interfaces. The consequence was a trend towards precisely defined job profiles and work packages, leaving little room for unfolding of individual potentials. Appreciation was widely deemed sufficiently expressed by the monthly paycheck.

What WorkingOutLoud aims for, is much more than that. WorkingOutLoud is a method to guide people towards open exchange, thus creating purposeful networks. Creating networks, where individual strengths can be uncovered and developed – networks to uncover potentials through exchange with experts from diverse disciplines. Gracious contributions are encouraged, which form the start of appreciative networking. Appreciation then comes naturally and will be associated with individual purpose and fulfillment for the employee.


WorkingOutLoud fosters core competences to prepare employees for the digital transformation. While machine compatible work will be conducted by machines, it is time for humans to focus on human strengths, which are diverse and individual. For companies to employ humans, it will be necessary to encourage employees to thrive in their individual strengths and to support the unfolding of full potential within the job.

Five intrinsically motivated employees have organized the WorkingOutLoud Kickoff at Siemens in Erlangen and 200 followed the invitation. For me, this is the essential message of the whole initiative – because it shows, that our company has already implemented an open-minded enterprise culture, where engagement across sectors and job profiles is possible. Further it has shown, that attention and awareness for the need of change is present. And not only that, but also the readiness to take action and consider behavioral change is proven. More than 100 participants have been registered to start WorkingOutLoud in circles of five for twelve weeks. A start, which will be meaningful for each of them, but even more meaningful for the company, when their working becomes more interconnected and employees unfold full potentials.


Accordingly I wish for the company that WorkingOutLoud – the method, but even more the associated mindset will unleash a valuable development – preparing ourselves for the company of tomorrow.

Benedikt Pape

Further Information:

  • Who organized the #WOLkickoff @Siemens: Claudia Mayer, Harald Lauritsch, Nico Rander, Nicole Dierauf and Benedikt Pape with special featuring by Sabine Kluge. Thank you Claudia, for finding the team together and for starting the initiative! Thanks to the team for enabling the most productive collaboration, I have ever experienced.
  • Who invented the WOL-methodology: John Stepper, an ex DeutscheBank employee, who dedicated himself for the improvement of employee situations in companies. At this point: Thank you John, for being with us for our WOLkickoff in Erlangen!
  • What is WOL? Working Out Loud is a self-organized 12 weeks training for building purposeful networks that matter. The training is conducted by circles of five, which meet weekly for one hour. The program is guided by PDF guides, graciously made available by John Stepper at
  • Which companies have implemented WOL? The list is continuously growing, but comprises Bosch, Audi, ZF, Daimler, BMW, Continental, Bayer, …
  • How can I get started? Just find a circle of 5 and settle a regular meeting – online via video conferencing or locally in real life. Download the first guide and the rest will be self explanatory.
  • How can I find peers for my WOL-circle? Your company might offer support in dedicated communities in your enterprise social network. Within Siemens help is also offered at the designated Wikisphere page for WOL. Further you might want to just call for participants on your preferred network, i.e. by using the hashtag #wolwithme.

Meine Einheit – ich war 8 Jahre alt..

Wir fuhren auf die Grenze zu. Ein grimmig dreinschauender Mann mit dunkelgrüner Uniform kam auf unser Wohnmobil zugelaufen. Mein zwei Jahre älterer Bruder und ich, wir sollten ruhig sitzen bleiben, hatte mein Vater uns gesagt. Das Reden übernehme er.
Durch das heruntergekurbelte Fenster wurden unsere Pässe übergeben und der grimmige Mann warf einen prüfenden Blick in das innere unseres Wohnmobils. Er sah die verunsicherten Gesichter von meinem Bruder und mir und meine Mama. Außerdem sah er viele hölzerne Einbauschränke. Und er sah eine Holzverkleidung an den Wänden.
Mein Vater hatte das Wohnmobil vollständig selbst ausgebaut und die Wände mit Isolierung und Holz verkleidet. Auch wenn er nach außen die Ruhe in Person ausstrahlte – so war es vielleicht genau das, was den Grenzer verunsicherte. Aus heutiger Sicht bin ich sicher, dass mein Vater in diesem Moment schon vor seinem inneren Auge ausmalte, wie er sämtliche Verkleidungen demontieren müsste, um zu beweisen, dass wir keine Zeitungen schmuggelten.
Die Pässe wurden in ein Häuschen getragen. Wir mussten alle aussteigen. Nun sah ich, dass bereits weitere Männer um unser Wohnmobil herum standen. Sie hatten Spiegelwägen dabei – so was wie einen Sackkarren, aber mit einem schrägen Spiegel auf Bodenhöhe. Den Spiegel schoben sie von allen Seiten unter das Auto. Wie mir meine Eltern nachher sagten, um auch dort nach „Schmuggelware“ zu suchen.
Das ganze zog sich noch 1-2 Stunden, bevor wir dann zum Glück doch endlich weiter fahren durften. Wir hatten ja wirklich nichts dabei, was verboten war.
Wir wollten hier nichts riskieren, denn wir wussten, dass wenn wir hier an der Grenze einmal negativ auffallen, würde man uns vielleicht im nächsten Jahr keine Einreisegenehmigung mehr erteilen. Und das hätte bedeuten können, dass wir unsere große Eichsfelder Verwandschaft für lange Zeit nicht mehr hätten sehen können. Wo das Eichsfeld ist? Das Eichsfeld ist sowas wie das kleine gallische Dorf, dass den Römern einhalt geboten hatte – nur in Thüringen – und der Einhalt galt der russischen Besatzung.

Heiligenstadt und Bodenrohde – Braunkohlegeschwängerte Luft setzte das sichere Signal – wir sind angekommen. Herzlicher wurden wir wohl an keinem anderen Ort jemals empfangen als hier. Eine Großfamilie mit wohl für die Eichsfelder typischem unantastbarem Zusammenhalt.
Das kannten wir aus unserer noch immer „neuen“ fränkischen Heimat nicht „Passt scho“ ist hier ja bekanntlich schon das höchste der Gefühle – so sagt man. Hier wohnten wir ja erst seit meiner Geburt 1981.

Zuhause fühlten sich meine Eltern und mein noch dort geborener Bruder (damals noch) in BERLIN. Und auch um dorthin zu kommen, mussten wir zwei mal durch die Grenzen der DDR. Einmal an der Grenze von Bayern zu Thüringen und einmal an der Grenze von Brandenburg nach „West-Berlin“. Auf der „Transitstrecke“ hofften wir immer, dass das Auto bloß nicht liegen bleiben würde, denn man durfte nicht vom direkten Weg nach Berlin abweichen, sonst drohten harte Strafen… in diesen Fällen hatten wir ja nur ein „Transit-Visum“ und durften uns nicht weiter in der DDR aufhalten.

1989 – November, die gesamte Familie hatte sich vor dem Fernseher versammelt. Meine Gedanken waren bei unseren Eichsfeldern, zumal eine von ihnen bei uns war – meine Patentante machte sich Gedanken darüber, ob ihr Mann mit Familie vielleicht schon auf dem Weg zur bereits offenen Grenze nach Ungarn unterwegs ist. Und nun wurde live übertragen:

„Ja… wenn ich das richtig verstehe gilt das ab sofort. Die Grenze der DDR ist offen…“

So oder so ähnlich lauteten die Worte, die bei uns allen ein zunächst ungläubiges, aber dann doch zunehmend und unwiderrufliches Gefühl des Glücks auslöste. Telefon – das gab es nicht. Auch kein Facebook oder ähnliches. Sonst hätten wir wohl unserer gesamten Verwandschaft geschrieben: JUHUUU, WIR SIND WIEDER VEREINT. LASST UNS FEIERN!

Und das taten wir – ich weiß nicht mehr wie viel später das war, aber nachdem wir in Berlin an der teils schon zerklopften Mauer mit unseren Berlinern feierten, traf ich mich mit meinem Vater und meinem Eichsfelder Patenonkel und seinem Sohn an der direkten Grenze Bayern-Thüringen. Wir hatten ein bisschen Werkzeug dabei. Und ich habe noch heute die zutiefst bewegenden Bilder vor augen, wie wir gemeinsam den Zaun des „Todesstreifens“ demontierten. Nur ein Stück natürlich – aber von unvorstellbar riesiger symbolischer Wirkung für uns alle.

Liebe Eichsfelder, Liebe Berliner, liebe gesamte Familie und liebes vereintes Deutschland. Ich bin froh, dass wir zusammen sind und dass uns die Geschichten von Grenzern und Spiegelwägen heute nur noch eine zusätzliche Verbindung geben.

One year Networking – self-development at its best

Recently I celebrated my first networking anniversary. Twitter was my entrance to a whole new world of networking and personal development about one year ago. Since I didn’t ever believe, that Twitter would ever be so valuable for me, I feel it is a good time to look back and reflect what has happened during this year full of new inspiration.

My first Barcamp – setting up a Twitter account

My networking started out when I visited my first barcamp, the #PMCampMuc in Munich on project management. Standing together with other early arrivers in a bar the night before, I installed the Twitter App and created my account. I Still remember having some doubt, wether it is a good idea to use my realname as username, or if I should rather create something in the style of BenPM, for me to use it solely within the upcoming Barcamp, or within the PM-environment. Doubts I can gladly lay off today, answering them with confidence: Yes, having one accout and identity with full name has proven right for me. This gives me the benefit of being found simply with my name – my profile picture helps identification. More than one account? I wouldn’t have managed to keep track, and I’m glad I can just change topics without changing the account. There is one me and one account to it, and that feels just right.

Barcamp to kickstart tweeting?

During the barcamp I learned, that this would turn out to be a real booster for my social media activity. The physical, real life network emerging at the barcamp gave me purpose in sending tweets – to this crowd and the world. By using the predefinded hashtag #pmcampmuc, I knew meny of those, who would receive my post – this took away doubt in sending messages to an „unknown cloud“ open to the whole world. And since nobody can be in all sessions at a time, it turned out valuable to read key learnings of others from parallel sessions on Twitter. Of course it helped a lot, that there was a majority of participants, having lots of experience tweeting. So in a nutshell, tweeting on the barcamp gave picture of the recipients and removed doubts about the purpose of posting publicly.

My network grows the more I tweet

What started in the real life community at the barcamp over two days, kept growing and expanding. My biggest learning about networking is, that my network grows the more I tweet. While I started out with the believe that I will need to spend time searching for relevant authors, I learned that sharing my experiences is the key to enable relevant authors and tweets to find me. This is when likes, comments and retweets come in. Whoever interacted with my tweets was usually interested in the same topics and therefore potential author to become part of my network. Particularly helpful of course, is the use of hashtags for the addressed topic. As an example I have shortly tweeted about #emobility, even though this is not one of my typical topics. Apparently due to using the respective hashtag, I achieved comments from other twitter users, obviously dedicated to #emobility. Accordingly a simple look into their timeline could give me quick insight to the topic and if I wanted to keep posted, I just needed to follow one of these enthusiasts‘ account. This is without any searching from my side. This is what I feel to be a revolution in networking and even in learning to be unleashed by social networks.

My Twitter timeline became my expert journal

Once my network was evolving in Twitter, I experienced a principle change in manner, amount and topics of received information. Scanning news and journals ment losing lots of time for me. Time for searching and quality evaluation, since authors were mostly unknown to me. On Twitter I can select authors, who write in „my lenguage“, on topics of my interest. Of course this selection of authors needs regular review and update. I remember times, where I felt it difficult to keep track with the amount of tweets in my timeline. Whenever this happened I unfollowed some authors with big amount of less relevant tweets for me, and reading the timeline was promptly more fruitful again. It’s not long ago that I felt to have reached something very valuable. When I went through my timeline I felt encouraged to either like or comment every single one of the shown tweets. I believe, this is what I will aim to maintain – keeping my timeline 100% relevant to my personal demand.

My benefit of networking – beyond platforms

Often poepole asked me, what is the purpose of spending time with social networks. And my answer is:

Networking means learning to me, and stimulating the development of own potentials.

My social media activity emerged to be the guiding source of inspiration for my personal development of competences. In a retrospective, I have started to develop some of my probably strongest passions or potentials only after I started Networking. Twitter and Siemens Social Network brought me in touch with people working on topics, that exactly match my passions and strengths. In a retrospective I recognize that I have only discovered some of my strenths through the feedback received on my networks.

In a nutshell, networking adds the following values to my life:

  • Building networks with people working on the same passions
  • Exchange and inspiration on topics of my passions
  • Bringing up own strenths
  • Fostering self development

If you got inspired to share your networking experience, I’d love to find posts and comments with the hashtag #networking4me on all platforms. I will also use this Hashtag to promote this blog.

Thanks for reading! Looking forward to any interactions from your side!

Yours Benedikt Pape

Communication at eye level is possible @Siemens – if I #justDoIt.

Last Friday I had the opportunity to join a Siemens wide live-streamed event on employee engagement, which unleashed a great personal experience for me on communication at eye level with Janina Kugel and Joe Kaeser.

During this live event our Head of Personnel and CEO have taken response to the results of the newly published Siemens Global Employee Engagement Survey (#SGES). Both, Janina and Joe have once more convinced me of their conviction, that ownership and speak up culture are key competences for the needed change at Siemens.

So I followed their advice and my principle to #justDoIt and submitted a question via our Siemens Social Network (#SSN, #ESN) using the pronounced Hashtag #letstalksges.

My question, how incentives can be handled not to obstruct the One Siemens mindset has been discussed on this prominent stage for several minutes.

Both Janina Kugel and Joe Kaeser have taken the issue serious and shared their thoughts on it. Now, convincing for me was, that they didn’t just drop some general statement, but they honestly showed their concern about the obvious ambiguity of currently installed incentive structures versus the desired and necessary spirit of “One Siemens”.

I am very proud that I have managed to place an issue, that I feel urgent for Siemens, not only right up to the top of my company, but also to the minds of thousands of colleagues. I guess I can say, Siemens has thought about my question – and of course I will use the present attention to further discuss and elaborate the topic on SSN. At the same time I am very #proudtobeSIEMENS, where such employee engagement is possible. The above experience convinced me, that Siemens is on a good track in the middle of its transformation towards a future of #newwork.

What a lucky guy I am, to have just set up my blog these days. I couldn’t have wished for any better input for my first post. Thank you, Janina Kugel and Joe Kaeser!

Willkommen auf meinem Blog!

Willkommen auf meinem Blog!

Ich habe mich heute entschieden einen Blog zu starten und die technischen Voraussetzungen dafür hiermit auch gleich geschaffen.

Habe schon einige Posts im Kopf und freue mich, bald den ersten zu schreiben. Wenn ihr mir dabei folgen wollt, umso schöner!

Bis bald, euer Benedikt Pape

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