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Archive for February, 2012



Being austrian by birth is not an easy thing. Once you are born and you open your eyes, they force you to say thank you and please in 8 languages. And at the age of 7 the music comes in the game. I remember my parents and grandparents to discuss what would be the best for me.

Hello, i want to decide also, this is not possible, no because it belongs to the tradition, the famous viennese tradition.

 Which tradition please?

They decided to let me go for the violin. And 5 years from then on I walked with this ridiculous suitcase like a mafiaboss to  school in the afternoon. And not mentioning the exercisetime. I did my best when I started to drive our neighbours crazy but they were too nice, and also austrian. Austrian people did and sometimes do everything for music.  And even I tried so hard i did not manage to make my parents decide to have me stopped. Immagine how you feel when you are 13 years old and you want to be important and you play a violin. This is like you are making a short cut in your entire life, from child to grandmother. I hated my violin and only when I was more interested in parties and school called for my decreasing performance my parents give in, finally. The last time I played the violin was 3 years ago and still i remembered a little bit.

The good thing is that i can hear very good since this and not only the music, or maybe this is the bad part. I can hear the wrong tone of a singer and know when tact is not correct. It made me good in timemangment, believe it or not, but the violin was a teacher in life.You conquer your inner self when you exercise hours and hours to find the right tone.  If you play in an orchester you have to finish your part otherwise this has an impact on all others. Etiquette is important, being polite is the key, even till this behaviour of saying million times thank you and please, answering the emails within minutes and send birthdayflowers to whom ever just to be polite. And then you expect the same back – but here comes the problem. This does not happen. In these busy times, people in business or private do not have the capacity to respond and waiting one day for what to write makes your email ranking on position 120 even for people being not so busy like my mum. 

The flood of information has to be managed some how and if you want to be polite you end up becomming crazy but never late with a response. Maybe it happens that when you respond the people do not even remember the origin of your mail and are again confused. You have to swim with the tide. And just cope with the new rules in communication. Keep the things running as much as you can and forget the feeling of being too much or too less. We kissed the hand of our grandmother and now sometimes women have to pay for their coffee being accompanied by a man, no they have to even pay for his coffee:-))

Welcome to the new modern world. Come in and enjoy and adjust to the etiquette that means grab what you want without asking and if someone is taking something from you – then shout. Eye to Eye,……already the bible knew how to handle it.

I witnessed a conversation recently on the frankfurt airport (really could not escape) when a woman called a man- obviously. The man was sitting beside me.  He was very formal and tried to end the conversation after 2 minutes wishing all the best. As he held the newspaper in his hand, I suppose he wanted to continue reading instead of continuing this particular conversation. This incredible professional communicationexpert (the woman) was able to bring him always back to the talk. At least I remember him saying more than 15 times “ok, thank you I will call you then, by, by, ok”……………… austrian etiquette alarmsystem made me feel already bad, i would never stand this …………………when the flight was called, he said, “ok, i think we should meet today, see you soon, big kiss”

My lection, polite is not always clever :-))



In my industry many people seem to be similar, although they think that they are very different. In one thing they might resemble each other strongly- they believe that every bad year will be the last and the market will pick up soon.  This is where we have the same opinion or at least we hope so and another thing is  we all are tempted to have a fast rigorous judgment about abilities of others, our self-reflexion and we end up not objective enough to find a way that it is proved. Small and cosy industry where everybody knows everybody, you feel, or you believe you visit your cousins on Sunday on these big conferences, or maybe you are wrong…

This is what Mr Kahnemann has to say about it, that…..our intuition and judgment…

. . .  it’s a completely unreliable guide to decision making. Yet we tend to trust it implicitly, in ourselves and in others. This insight belongs to psychologist Daniel Kahneman – Nobel Prize winning cartographer of the human mind, and the author of Thinking, Fast, and Slow.

Kahneman’s decades of research, much of it in collaboration with his close friend and colleague Amos Tversky, has mapped out two systems of thinking: the fast (intuitive) and the slow (deliberative). Experts in a subject – chess, for example – tend to make pretty good snap judgments in their area of expertise. This is because they’ve internalized and automated whole chunks of knowledge and patterns of thought through years of practice. If a Grand Master in chess is confident in a move he’s made quickly, there’s a good chance he’s right.

The trouble, says Kahneman, is that we’re often confident in our intuitive judgments even when we have no idea what we’re doing. And to make matters worse, we tend to evaluate the reliability of other people’s decision making on the same basis – if they’re confident, they must know what they’re talking about.
This can become disastrous when taken to the national or global level. Given a choice between two presidential candidates, we’re likely to choose the one who appears more confident, regardless of whether or not she’s the wiser, better informed candidate. Leaders of nations, deeply confident in diametrically opposed positions, wage protracted wars with enormous human costs and no satisfactory resolutions.  Born in Nazi Germany and raised in Israel, Kahneman has ample firsthand experience of how this plays out.

So what are we to do about it? While Kahneman would be the first to admit that the mind’s habitual traps are deeply pernicious (how do you escape a labyrinth of your own making?), he has spent a lifetime questioning his own and other people’s judgment – asking “what do I think I know and why do I think I know it?” and testing the validity of those beliefs. We can do the same. Maybe not in he heat of the moment, but later, upon reflection, we can cultivate the habit of analyzing and evaluating our own decisions.  And while we’ll never be flawless, decision-making machines (even in those rare scenarios when we know most of the variables), with enough practice we can undermine some of our blind confidence in confidence.

Some few words to similarity, while walking in London I saw 5.212 duchess of chambridge (former Kate Middleton) and 3.201 madonnas – pls why do women not want to be individuals and have their own haircut and style. At least it has style to resemble more and more your dog, which shows that mind and soul grow together.

PS: this is what they also say about couples being together for a long time. Goodness….




Checkin  at  the hotel, packing the suitcase – unpacking it – angry about too many things i thought I will need. The yellow dress with the yellow shoes and maybe the black ones instead. At the end I had 25 kilos luggage for 5 days. But the computer charging cable and my little pillow I take everywhere, these things I forgot. I discover that I start to find myself lost in abundance. Choose the orange juice in case there are 32 different products that do not show you which one differs in which way from the other. When I was a young girl I just could not get enough of these bags and shoes but being asked what I will do with it I simply did not know. Using them and going out. And out what happens then – then the others see my bag – and then? Then I feel good because I have something that they maybe want and I have it. Just the fact that this moment will maybe make you decide to buy something overprized and honestly spoken useless. This is how the consumers behave in the luxury segments.

The madness is that we working in this “Happinessbusiness” have to find the way to trigger the behaviour of million of people to use our goods that are expensive and unique. And we should trigger it to that extend that the market is turning and we can predict the next change of behaviour for the next year or that we are able to forsee the downfall in order to be ready for it. But how will you be ready for it?

Luxury goods do rarely follow a certain pattern. It depends on the economy and the development of general mindset and it is filtered after discounting all necessary events and threats and finally the little grain of luxury stays there to be recognized and dealt with.

The last in the row.

 Funny enough I can see on all our events and conferences how smart people being ages in the industry talk in a passive way, not grammatically but semantic. We have to see what the market will do, we have to wait for the upstream. I think it is not all about passively looking at a development but to take some possible action for improvement. Abundance is the evil in every sense. Too much marketing or too many thoughts to not let you develop your natural instinct and act according to your gutt feeling. When Continental and United Airline are finalizing their merger they create 1/3 roughly more jobs to fire more people after the merger most probably and according to Bloomberg Magazine they both  a FIT department on each side that coordinates the merger. There is a group of 100 people who are responsible for the new coffee taste and public testings are done,while the entire industry is close to collapsing. The purpose of merging is to share interest and use all possible synergy effects, but the huge machine and the opinion of thousands of smart people let sometimes forget that there is a tree to be seen in an entire forest. Think simple, if ever possible. Try to avoid detours in everything to reach as fast and as effective as possible the target without too many scars. And finally the problem is that in bad times we cannot make real reserves . Reserve of time, spare money or simply a plan B. Life is trained to go on full speed, no space and no way to change course.  In critical times we believe that we have to go to the edge but we should remember what are the things we really, really have to do, believe and possess.

One handbag in black is enough for the entire mission of conferences