Prof. Dr. Gunter Dueck – the “wild duck” among the digitization experts

31. August 2020 – Katharina Schlangenotto

He is regarded as a lateral thinker – this leads to the nick name wild duck – and after a successful career, including one at IBM, he is known for his sarcastic books, lectures and speeches. Among others, Prof. Dr. Gunter Dueck writes a blog, the Wild Dueck Blog, and describes himself as a man who deals with the “daily madness in work environments and in education and upbringing”. Always in a slightly polarizing-satirical way.

Gunter Dueck studied mathematics and business administration at the University of Bielefeld and worked at IBM for about 25 years, his last position was Chief Technology Officer. The books, lectures and speeches came later. In 2013, he was voted number 5 on the NEXT100 list of the “most important minds in the European digital industry”. Dueck is interested in “species-appropriate working environments”.

Prof. Dr. Gunter Dueck – Expert for Innovation, IT & Management, Bestseller Author

In his column of the online magazine Merton, he recently published the article “More anticipation for yourself”. Sounds promising, in my eyes. So does the introduction which says:

“Knowledge and skills alone do not make an educated person. In order to become an holistic educated personality, one should be prepared to face unpleasant truths as part of one’s own path”.

And he continues:

“It is really obvious: Coachings, assessment centers, honest hard feedback during seminar lectures (instead of silence of uninterested „lambs“ and an apathetic, empty-eyed professor), taking part in the Studium generale, working as a working student for personality development (not only to earn some money), psychological counseling (“You are too introverted”, “You seem stiff”, “You talk and talk and don’t pay attention to the audience”, “You give yourself too much of a priority”, “You hide your light under a bushel” etc.). ) – these experiences are hard to take in”.

He adds that he knows what he is talking about, as he has done several assessments himself.

In an interview with the Swiss Tagblatt he made it clear and criticized how helpless we deal with the digitalization. Dueck, who is a passionate cook, talks about so-called tiping points. In other words, moments when things change at a stroke. We are currently at just such a turning point again – and that is not always taken seriously. Another quote at Tagblatt:

“The young people who have already grown up digitally are currently becoming Heads of Departments or start building start-ups. They are tired of older people not taking the signs of the times seriously. I’m afraid that soon all blockers will be sent into early retirement. My generation did the same in the 90s“.

To him, digitalization means that we have to leave the existing patterns behind and listen to the customers. If a company wants innovation, it’s about learning, learning, learning. He is convinced that the „efficiency mania“ is making the big companies more and more rigid. “But there are the start-ups that want to make the world a better place. The big dull companies will lose, but the start-ups will start over with smart people.”

By the way, in one of his books, “Optimizing a Process Today?” he chose the subtitle very deliberately. It says “Management Eats Its Employees.”

Gunter Dueck

Expert for Innovation, IT & Management. Bestseller Author