Lessons Learned From Reading Götz W. Werner’s Autobiography “Womit ich nie gerechnet habe” Pt 1


Howdy folks,

already finished reading this book on my flight back from Russia in end of September but somehow postponed this post for sometime. But still feel like having to tell you about this impressively inspiring book… I can tell you, I folded one edge of every book page I found interesting and I was almost feeling like beginning to read one page, folding the edge and then finishing reading this page.

English: Goetz Werner, head of Cross-Departmen...

English: Goetz Werner, head of Cross-Department Group for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, at “Centralstation” in Darmstadt, Hesse, Germany Deutsch: Götz Werner, Leiter des “Interfakultative Institut für Entrepreneurship” an der Universität Karlsruhe, in der Centralstation in Darmstadt. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First of all, I want to briefly introduce Götz W. Werner to those of you who don’t know him. He founded the company I am working for, an originally German drugstore chain (now spread over big parts of Europe), in 1973. Today, he is a member of the supervisory board and is promoting an idea he really likes, a basic income for every citizen paid by one single tax on the consumption (he would remove every other tax because he thinks that every member of the industry is already calculating the taxes into the price we as consumers are paying for its products, so it is us paying its taxes). The drugstore chain he founded is quite well known, especially in Germany, for being a very social employer with some anthroposophical philosophy mixed into the corporate culture. I already told you about the process to get to a commonly accepted decision some time ago (see here if you want to) and this is only one example of a kind of different thinking.

Self Evident

Self Evident (Photo credit: matttrent)

The first thing from his book that hit me was his concept of what he calls “Evidence”: “Evidence” means to him that everybody is telling you that it won’t work but you somehow are just feeling like knowing they are all wrong because you know you are right, even if you can’t prove it now. But if you look back later at this decision, you might think that there was no other possibility to go on at this point.

He wants us to be attentive for the human beings and the world around us and to be able to be amazed or touched by the things and people that we meet. If we care for human beings and even feel amazed or touched by some of them, we still need to carefully think about them analyzing e.g. which impact they might have on our lives. So we need to be both proactive and reflective to be successful and to improve ourselves or even a part of the world/our environment.

November means an Intuition Boost (366/316 Nov...

November means an Intuition Boost (366/316 Nov. 11, 2012) (Photo credit: ConnectIrmeli)

Evidence is very much related to intuition for him. If you know you can trust your intuition, you are able to follow the “Evidence” you feel about something and are likely to be successful because the future is something you can hardly grasp by the measures of today (so analyzing the future by measurements of today will often lead to a rational but wrong decision).

World map depicting Africa Esperanto: Mondmapo...

World map depicting Africa Esperanto: Mondmapo bildiganta Afrikon Español: Ubicación de África (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He describes the spirit of entrepreneurship by a short but funny story: At the beginning of the 1950s, there were two shoe salesmen sent to Africa who should analyze the market and send a telegram (message) about their first impressions after three days. One of them found “no market, all the people are walking on their bare feet”, the other found “a huge market potential, nobody is wearing shoes yet”. The spirit of entrepreneurship is about making every problem an opportunity to create something to improve our personal and the customers’ situation (and maybe half the world are “our customers”).

One last thought for this part: His company was not always as anthroposophically influenced as it is today. It started as a very hierarchical enterprise like many companies were that time and only transformed by facing difficulties it could not handle as a hierarchically company. Will tell you more about this in Part two…

Hope you enjoyed reading, comments are very welcome.

May peace surround you and be happiness your friend,




22 thoughts on “Lessons Learned From Reading Götz W. Werner’s Autobiography “Womit ich nie gerechnet habe” Pt 1

  1. Pingback: I Wanted To Create Something Beautiful | On The Light Side Of Gamification

  2. Wow, I really like this post Chris 🙂 I like his philosophy and his words are very agreeable. It all relates to the concepts I’m interested in and currently learning about right now as I have loads of interest in the business world! His book also seems very interesting 🙂
    Have a good day!

  3. Pingback: Lessons Learned From Reading Götz W. Werner’s Autobiography “Womit ich nie gerechnet habe” Pt 2 | On The Light Side Of Gamification

  4. Hello Chris,
    Interesting read, thank you for sharing!
    Having been a entrepreneur myself I can identify with the business model expressed as challenges/opportunities and often contemplate the possibilities in a post “fractional reserve banking” system. Much of the good-will intentions are lost in this current global debt based (monetary policy) matrix.
    {See: http://ronmamita.wordpress.com/2013/11/15/there-is-not-one-single-national-economy-in-the-world-today-whose-people-are-free/ }
    The creativity and innovation that will manifest in a alternative community will be interesting to see developing as Free People adjust to diversity and abundance, in stark contrast to the current meme of monopoly/oligarchy and scarcity.
    I ask you to contemplate what was shared by a economist/ex-central banker:
    “Nobel prize restriction for economists – you are not allowed to explore an alternative economic model.” -Bernard Lietaer
    Thus everything is to tinker around the edges as modifications to perpetuate a flawed system.
    Bernard also said:
    “Money is like an iron ring we’ve put through our noses. We’ve forgotten that we designed it, and it’s now leading us around. I think it’s time to figure out where we want to go — in my opinion toward sustainability and community — and then design a money system that gets us there.
    The origin of the word “community” comes from the Latin munus, which means the gift, and cum, which means together, among each other. So community literally means to give among each other. Therefore I define my community as a group of people who welcome and honor my gifts, and from whom I can reasonably expect to receive gifts in return.”

    I was pleasantly surprised to hear a former central banker/economist say such a thing.

    • Hello Ron,
      thank you for your comment, you’re welcome!
      I am just reading 1984 by Orwell and I think you are quite true, we are making ourselves slaves to our financial and political (“security/being safe”) system. I mean how can it be that some guys are playing around with our future as in the cases of the bank crisis or in the way the governments react to the climate change?
      We surely need to wake up.
      Keep up your great work my friend 🙂

      • The Global Awakening is occurring at an ever increasing pace!
        The question for those of us who are awake, consciously and intentionally increasing awareness is what shall “I” do…
        A personal question that emerges from within. I am critical of others that tell people what they should do, but we can offer options and alternatives 😀

        The ability to say NO, I DO NOT CONSENT to officials and institutions is increasing as People exercise their creativity and implement alternatives that are opportunities to the many challenges that we as People on Earth are facing today.
        Non-compliance & alternative communities are trends to be aware of and share… This is the transition I see happening as we speak.
        After one wakes up, then the action begins and great things are made manifest from one’s intentional efforts.

  5. Very interesting blog about an interesting guy. I wonder if his book is available in English and whether it is written at a level the layman can understand (i.e.; those of us without a degree). I like how he likens intuition to evidence. I think intuition is our inner voice telling us that we already have the evidence in our minds that something is right.

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. Experience are necessary to learn to trust our intuition. But also a believe in ourselves to use the intuition.
    I don’t know the author, but have been studied philosophy years ago. He seems like a man following the evolution.

  7. Intuition is a voice that supports a decision that conscious analysis doesn’t find enough reason to back..and it gets better with learning..It also gets refined if we get objective in our evaluation..for the real issue triggers the approach. A very interesting theory for combining our efforts with others for a better tomorrow.

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