Time to change something

We are permanently changing something, adapt ourselves to external and internal conditions but from time to time, changes are more visible to our audience.
cocoate.com was started in February 2007 as the successor of a German consultancy, established in 1997. The main fields of our activities were quite the same, our project activities, cooperations and the geographical area changed with our relocation to France.
We continued with adult education projects on a European level, software trainings, management and organizational consulting, but I reduced very much my coaching activities. That was attributable to the distance to Germany, even though I tried some online coaching sessions, it's not the same. We increased our other activities and found ourselves very soon under the same time pressure as we have been in Germany. There was/is never enough time to realize all our ideas ;-)


Consumption patterns

Happy Home Wallet project aims to rediscover sustainable ways of living and to make it practically, we will deliver some workshops about a range of topics covering that aim.
In preparation for our international workshop in Ostrava about "Private consumption patterns and its impact on the local economy" we were researching about consumption patterns and we did a survey in our area to find out how "the average person" behaves.

To balance the family budget, it is probably necessary to rethink our consumption, minimize waste and reorganize our resources.

This turned out to be more complex than thought at the beginning, but very interesting ;-)

The family business project

Last month we finished a two year European project for small family businesses with up to 9 employees maximum.

Together with partners from Lithuania, Latvia, Turkey and Wales, we wanted to point out the strengths and development potential of such small businesses and thus help to preserve this unique business culture which deeply impacts our local economies. By interviewing businesses representatives and recording their stories we learned about their specialities, problems and needs and also how aware they are of their local markets and clients. We organized case study presentations were business representatives had the possibility to discuss their situation on a European level.
Our business representatives profited most from the informal atmosphere which enabled them to share knowledge and learn from each other. The biggest surprise for them was to realize how much they could profit from each other even though their businesses and business environments are very different.

We also realized that governmental and institutional training offers are very often just adapted from programs for larger companies and do not really target the needs of small businesses nor do they meet their availabilities. In personal interviews we assessed business representatives' needs and wishes and based on these results we developed targeted workshops which were delivered during our transnational meetings.
44 European family businesses participated in the project activities and 34 representatives took the possibility to attend our international project meetings.


Family business meeting in Kaunas

Akmeniu DvarasI am just back from the family business project meeting in Kaunas.


Love, Peace & Leadership

Museu DaliIntroduction

Leadership – is the art to support and encourage others to achieve common goals.
Good leaders are enablers, helping people and organizations to perform, develop and master changes.

Leadership requires strong emotional intelligence and empathy to reflect people's needs and necessary changes. Reality shows that this is easier to understand than to apply in practice.
The acting, direction and success of organizations depend decisively on the competencies and maturity of those people who are in power.
When talking about leadership, you can quickly get into very controversial discussions about power and the misuse of power, social responsibilities and justice, free spirits, community sharing and declination of authorities, something between peace & love and authorities.
It’s an emotional topic because as written above, its appearance depends on the personality of human beings.

In this article, I’ll explain, by using Transactional Analysis models, what leadership means, what makes someone a leader and reflect on leadership styles and complementary behaviour.


Proposal for a new Joomla project structure

Joomla LogoOver the last few weeks I was working with Allen Langford (@FxNxRl), Jeremy Wilken (@gnomeontherun), Javier Gomez (@JAVI_GOMEZ) and Peter Martin (


The need to belong

My point of viewIndividual versus group needs and where do I fit in?

The Joomla Day New England was the second Joomla Day I attended and the first where I gave a presentation. It seems that I hit the nail with my topic as there were lively discussions during and after my session and I was asked to write everything down.

So here it is ;-)

I consult and coach different kind of companies regarding their organizational structure and guide them to develop and implement necessary changes. Doing this I use the methods of Transactional Analysis (TA), a psychological theory, based on psycho-analysis and psychotherapy.

It is used in counselling, organization development, education and psychotherapy. There is a set of models which helps to understand why we think, feel and act like we do, to trace behavioural patterns and ways of thinking, reflect on these and learn to develop alternatives, that will lead to a change of the everyday (working) life.

I am not directly involved in the Joomla project nor do I have strong relations to many members, I just got in contact with some of them and, from my outside standpoint, I was looking with my TA eyes at the visible processes of the Joomla project.


The first Joomla!Day in Iran

366/100April 12th Christine and me attended the first Joomla!Day in Mashhad, Iran.

The JoomlaDay team around Saeed worked one year to make this event possible. Due to ongoing sanctions against Iran it was not possible for Open Source Matters to support the event with 500 US$ as they usually do for an official Joomla!Day. I announced the event personally in several chats, meetings and JoomlaDays (last time in New England) but people had concerns about the political situation and often fear to get involved in that. For our company cocoate which is based in France exists regulations too that make it impossible to support the event financially. At the end of the day we decided to have a look by ourselves, fly to Iran and attend the event.

First problem was to figure out how to get a visa. For getting a visa you need a confirmation of a hotel reservation with a price in. Especially in Mashhad the hotel staff speak Farsi and Arabic but very little English. Confirming a price longer than a few weeks/days is hard for them because of a rising inflation in the last months. At least we found the Bahram Hotel which is located near Iman Reza shrine and near the house where Ali Khamenei سید علی حسینی خامنهای  was born.

We had to add our names to a list of the German "Auswärtiges Amt" and they told us to be very careful, don't take personal computers, cameras and other equipment with us and several more security advices. It is not possible to use our credit cards in Iran so we had to bring in cash for the hotel and our expenses. The money has to be changed somewhere (be careful when carrying high amounts of cash in your pocket ...).

We got more and more unsure whether it was a good idea to go to Iran but the curiosity and the hope that people are nearly the same in the whole world was still bigger.


Lost in Translation :)

The frontpage of cocoate was in the past a mixture of different languages.

Today I separated the content of the frontpage depending of the language you have configured with the language switcher.

The default language of cocoate is English. If your browser is tied to a special language these language should appear as default for you. E.g. if your default browser language setting is French, the French cocoate frontpage should appear.