Tangible vs. Intangible

Compensation is typically viewed from the tangible angle. In our work life we consider compensation our salary, certain benefits, the bonus. I would always add to it as well the working tools which my company allows me to use (laptop, phone), where and how I can work and many more. There are other things which might be less tangible, for example, getting an internal promotion (moving up a rank). All of them are very important and also have a strong impact on how we feel about our job and how we feel regarded. Yet there is the intangible and hard to measure. For me this is how do my peers and colleagues view me.

I can say that I have been honoured to work with very talented people who have also become friends in many cases. I have announced to them that I will be changing roles within the company. The change implies a shift in region but also functions, thus my interaction with them will be strongly reduced.
The reaction is something which has overwhelmed me. I got very nice, very personal emails which were simply awesome and very touching. I have always tried to make sure that in my interactions with the people there was a reason to smile for them. Sometimes achieved by saying things in a way which probably few others would do, sometime by stretching some boundaries, but always!!!! with a smile! I wanted to make a shout out to Stefan Haertelt who has dedicated to me this beautiful Poem. It has blown me away every single time I read it.

“Dear Carsten, do not go gentle into the North,
old time should burn and rave at close of the day,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light in North.

Though Wise men at their end know dark is right,
because their words had forked no lighting they
do not go gentle into that good night.

Good Men in the PreSales & CoE wave by, crying how bright,
and wish you all the best on your way,
do not go gentle into the North”

It is based on the this beautiful Video

The words Stefan has dedicated to me have really moved me and are on what I call the intangible values. It shows me that I must have done things right with my peers to receive that sort of appreciation. It does humble and move me a lot and I promise to never got gentle and to continue to be who I am.

Thank you for the intangible compensation, thanks to Youtube it has become tangible!


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Don’t eat in the Office

The modern world has changed how life is being perceived a lot. 30 years ago when there was no cell phone people disconnected easy, driving home, being at home or even better being at lunch.
History has already proven that once something has been invented we will never be able to get back, the knowledge already exists. We live in a hyper-connected world and response times are every day a bit shorter. There is a general fear that Robots might take our jobs, and most likely they will for some of us but there will be new / different jobs.
Fear has never been a good companion or advisor for making decisions. It is good to have respect and certain fear but it is unlikely that the Sky will come down and we have a total apocalypse just because we did not respond to an email in less than 5 minutes. There is, and has to be time for everything during the day.

On my last years vacation I was Myanmar. I did not have phone coverage for 2 weeks. There was simply no way I could have been reached. Guess what… Nothing happened. Nonetheless I got asked.. “How did you do this?” Well it is actually quite simple. Where there is not signal / roaming agreement there is no phone. But I tend to respond with “If I had a bad accident and were to be in a coma, what would you do?” I admit it is a bit harsh but there is this analogy of us thinking we cannot miss a single second at work.

I titled this post Don’t eat in the Office, probably should have been more precise at your desk, yet it is still what I mean. Back in 2000 when I worked at Ariba I had some consultant from the UK come over to Madrid quite frequently. He was always amazed on how we not just said ” let’s go have lunch”, there was a social moment around it in which we decided what we would like to eat and then of course where. In Spain we still celebrate the moment of eating, and having a chat about things which can be trivial but very relaxing for the mind. I am a firm believer that a short disconnect, with good food and a friendly conversation increases the productivity.


In the last couple of years I am spending a considerable amount of time in the UK with my colleagues. There is a habit which I have never seen in Spain to go out (of course very quickly) and then grab something to eat and… now comes the worst eat it at their desk.

I am very gifted since my sense of smell is not very strong. However I find it unpleasant to be sitting at the desk and have somebody eat strong flavours next to me. There is no need to do that an the mixture of odours does not make it a lot better.

Eating is just so much more than just food ingestion (or injection in some cases)! This is a moment you are supposed to enjoy. It creates Oxytoxin… all good things do not waste a good moment of your life but pretending you are so important you cannot miss 5 minutes!


P.D. I am very sure that somebody might think now “Allright, he is having those 4 hour Lunches”. No that is not the point. I have lunch in Spain usually in 30 minutes!



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