Monday, May 12, 2014

Global Negotiating in Full Swing

We are camped out in Paderborn and immersed in the week of Global Negotiating.  Today included lectures, exercises, and actual bargaining.  We continue with that pattern all week.  I will try to remember to snap a few photos.  But if you are wondering how we are doing the answer is we a productively and happily busy sharing our negotiation and cultural learning experience with the 24 Uni Paderborn students enrolled. 

Catching Up .... Koeln (Cologne)

Our last official evening of GBC 2014 was spent in Koeln and we had a great visit to the famous Koelner Dom (Cologne Cathedral) and a great dinner at a tradition Koelscher Resturant.  We also had the highly anticipated reveal of the Happy Videos the student teams produced.  They worked hard to capture the trip in video set to the Happy song.  I will post or link to those videos when I get a chance.  A few quick photos...

Catching Up ..... Bacharach

We spent Friday learning about Bacharach (am Rhein) from a history, tourism and wine industry perspective.  It was perhaps the perfect embodiment of the German Business & Culture approach.  Bacharach is an old, and one time very important city on the Rhein which has been the center of commerce for a very long time.  Currently Bacharach's primary commerce is tourism and wine (and the combo of both).  We got a walking tour of town and discussed how the city functioned in its different eras.  Then we got a glimpse into how Bacharach markets itself via a presentation by the Tourism Office director.  Lastly we took a gorgeous walk through the vineyards and met Cecelia Yost in her family's vineyards and learned about wine from a production and a marketing perspective.  Her passion for her family's business was contagious and inspiring.  They are considered a young wine maker as they have only been in business since 1831. 

Special Thanks to Dirk Scherschlicht (and his wife Ellen) from the Bacharacher Hof Hotel in Bacharach who organized one of the absolute highlight days of the trip!  Visit them at

 a few photos....

Here is the link to Toni Jost:

Catching Up ..... The Rhein!

We had a great day on Thursday pretending we were Germans doing a little Wandering (hiking).  We alos visited the Neiderwald Denkmal that commemorates the unification of Germany as a modern nation state in 1871 (Yes the USA is an older nation as modern nation states go).  We had a great day.  A few photos....

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Rhein, Bacharach & Team Morning Hike

We had a long travel day yesterday.  Two trains to Koblenz, cabs to the waterfront, and then a 4.5 hour boat ride up the Rhein to Bacharach.  And when you go up the Rhein you are traveling south as it is one of the only rivers in the Northern Hemisphere that flows north.  We had a wonderful dinner at our hotel and this morning we are getting ready for our Rudesheim - Assmannshausen hike.  A few of us got an early start... 6am!  Team Morning Hike!  We were rewarded with a fabulous breakfast at the hotel.

Case Competition Wraps Up

We had six great presentations on the Leiber Light case and then all gathered at the Paderborner Brauhaus for a great celebration meal.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Universitaet Paderborn - Great Intercultural Learning

We are in the midst of day 2 at Uni Paderborn.  Yesterday we had our first Global Negotiation course session and today we are doing the Customer Value Case Competition.  Both have involved great intercultural interaction.  A few photos to bring this to life...

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Safe & Sound in Paderborn

I forgot to take any photos to prove it, but we have arrived safe and sound in Paderborn and have cchecked in and got settled at our hotel.  It is a new location for us, so it was a new experience for everyone including me.  We went to Paderborn's Fruehlings Fest (Spring Festival) and had a nice dinner while roaming around the festival.  The group is playing cards and relaxing tonight as we start the Global Negotiation course early tomorrow (one day this week, all of next week is the course).

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Reichtag Tour / Final Night in Berlin

After a day where students shopped and saw the sights of Berlin we had a great group dinner and then visited the Reichtag - Germany's Federal Capital Building.  It has an amazing history and the tour was wonderful.  I will let the photos do the talking....

The Group outside the Reichtag.  The glass dome on the top / middle is where out tour ended.  It is an amazing piece of architecture and the building itself has so much history

The chamber where the Bundestag meets - this is equivalent to our House of Representatives.  Our guide shared the similarities and differences in the way the German government works

On May 3, 1945 Russian soldiers captured the Reichtag and many wrote graffiti on the walls.  this has been preserved, and 69 years later we got to see it on May 3, 2014.  The "3-5-45" in the photo is the European way to write the date: day-month-year.

The women of GBC 2014 standing in from of the most powerful woman in the world's office: German Chancellor Angela Merkel.  Cool on many levels including that we literally were standing outside her office on the tour.  Perhaps one of these woman will be the US's first president.

The group on the roof with the dome in the background.  The dome was part of the 1995-1998 renovation of the building to allow it to once again become the capital building for Germany after the reunification of Germany about a decade earlier.  It serves both a practical and symbolic function and it is very cool to walk to the top off and see the city around you and the legislative chamber below you.

Some of us continued seeing the Berlin sites after the tour and I took this nighttime shot of the Brandenburger Tor.  It is such a great structure.

Generator Hostel Berlin-Mitte

We have been staying all week at the Generator Hostel in Berlin-Mitte.  Mitte translates to "Middle" and it is a centrally located neighborhood in East Berlin, just over the river from some of the most popular attractions in Berlin and a short walk from the Hackesher Markt train station.  We have been here all week and have taken advantage of the great facilities and the great location.  Visit the hostel at

A few photos...

Tyler Plude getting a little work done in one of the nice alcoves for relaxing and working

The Reception Area

Space outside for a beverage and to watch the people of Berlin go by

The Generator has a bit of a functional / whimsical vibe going on

The breakfast room - also used for working - great wifi throughout the building

Negotiation Day ay Uni Potsdam

We had a wonderful day hosted by Universitaet Potsdam.  It was the second annual Negotiation & Culture Experience and it was a huge success.  We headed to Potsdam on the S1 Train and meet our counterparts at the Uni for a day of interaction.  We were greeted by Dr. Uta Herbst and her team (Melanie, Jonas and Timo) and the day started with a lecture on Culture and Negotiation and then the students were split up into buyers or sellers and the did a "Speed Negotiation" experience where they negotiated three consecutive deals with shorts periods inbetween in order to prepare.  The day finished with a group dinner and a great group dinner at Ulf's Bistro on the campus. 

Grant Heselschwerdt preparing for the first interaction

Sydney Lammers and Rosie Orchanian hard at work

The top buyers for the day including Kristen Kinney, Sydney Lammers and Brian Yarmak

The top sellers for the day including Natalie Cook, Grant Heselschwerdt and Erika Fojtik

The entire group proudly holding our WMU Flag! (Thanks Erika for bringing it!)

The Organizing Team: Jonas, Melanie, Timo, Dr. O'Reilly and Dr. Eckert
(Missing are Dr. Herbst  and the #1 organizer Birte, who was away at a wedding)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Erste Mai and a bike tour of Potsdam

Today is Erste Mai in Germany, which is the first of May, and known as May Day in much of the world. Worker rights and such are celebrated (like the US's Labor Day) and it is a national holiday.  Most of the group took the opportunity to go to Potsdam and learn a little Prussian history, see the beautiful grounds and palaces of the Prussian royalty and learn some WWII history.  OK, and we road bikes and had a great visit to a lakeside Biergarten for lunch.  Tomorrow we, and most of Germany gets back to work.  We head to Uni Potsdam for our 2nd annual negotiation experience with the faculty and students of Universitaet Potsdam.  A couple photos from today.

San Souci (without worry)
One of the Prussian Palaces

The facility that hosted the Potsdam Conference where Churchill, Stalin and Truman figured out what to do with German after WWII.

More San Souci

Volkswagen is fantastic (again!)

We had another great day at the VW World Headquarters in Wolfsburg.  We visited the manufacturing plant and saw the Golf 7 assembly (including some sweet models not available in the US).  That was followed by a great Brand Value Strategy lecture from Dr. Stefan Hoernemann who is with the Volkswagen Group's top marketing team.  We finished the day with a relaxed visit to the Autostadt and a great German Specialties dinner in the Savigny Platz area of Berlin.  A few photos... (none inside the plant as that is not allowed)