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Travelling abroad, one may gain new perspectives... both above and below the clouds.
 
Surprise at the Mountaintop
 
Unused Speech. Following a few more weeks of round trips 
 from Munich to Krakow and from Berlin to Moscow  I would unexpectedly find some time to draft a speech proposal on the occasion of a major project launch, which remained in a drawer later on. Making use of leftovers, some unused (not useless) thoughts have been collected below. They incorporate an interesting analogy that had been inspired by a recent graduation party.
 
 
 
Goals Ahead! Over the years, the implementation project had been compared to many things. Among them were sports. Sometime ago, a flagship had been navigating through turbulent waters, and more recently it had been called a contact sport to emphasize the close cooperation among IT and business partners. "This is no sprint, it's a marathon," had been heard. Lately, it had turned into a weight lifting exercise.
 
Overseeing the clouds, high above people, process, and mountaintops be it on a plane or hot air ballloon (we had won a ride for a few years back), one may catch him- or herself in reflection of past achievements and future goals.
 
International Hiking Challenge. The comparison of an international rollout to mountain climbing, taking one peak after another, was only natural. Both would require a lot of preparation, dedication, and discipline during their execution. Organizing the international hiking challenge would begin with getting the right people onboard, the equipment in place, and establishing a base camp, respectively a base solution. Crucial qualities the ability to persistently carry load; a precondition to accomplish the ascent. The first mountain peaks were taken very successfully. But the wind did blow heavily into the face, as the team prepared itself to rise to even greater heights and scale up efforts by implementing more and bigger markets at a time.

Looking Back And Forward. Along the way, new people came onboard to support the hiking crew and some left the rope team to pursue different goals. But most of all, it was a matter of growing with new challenges. And then the seasoned Alpinists crossed the Ural Mountains only to see a new world of challenges unfold in front of them. There were moments, where they almost turned back. But in the end they overcame the headwind and the snowstorms and reached yet another mountaintop. Standing up there and looking back, one could feel the relief of having accomplished the goal. Then looking around, one could see the next peak, an even higher one, in front. In an ever changing environment, one has to prove himself every day anew!
 
Team + Commitment = Success. It had taken people some time to adapt to the most intense project schedule of a phased multi-country rollout. Team-building around wine and cheese surely helped them to cope with the amount of time spent on the road. As the successful completion of our journey came closer, voices of sadness were heard. Some noticed our efforts to recognize people, who were carrying quite some weight on their shoulders  a pressure to deliver. In retrospect, the time could be best described with a variation of the program's motto, which had garnished numerous t-shirt that we had handed out on the occasion of yet another go-live: Together we succeeded.
 
Frankly, I Am No Mountaineer. Instead, I am a pale theoretician and no climbing enthusiast, in German "Schreibtischtaeter (desk perpetrator)" rather than "Bergfex (mountain buff)." And so, if I wave to you from that cross on the summit of a mountain, it is most likely a photomontage. Still, a few thoughts on mountain climbing would find their way into a recap of past achievements at the end of the year with a team that had gone the extra mile. Reaching that mountaintop – surprise – one may realize that there is a next level to elevate to: A deep breath, then getting ready for new heights, even if they are, as you say in China: "Yao bu ke ji, yuan zai tian bian – Far, far away, hard to reach."
 
Moving things – such as a "wobbly stone" in Lower Austria, where the Czech border is just a stone's throw away at a place being called Blockheide resp. Block Heath.
 
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