The never-ending quest for the perfect next step

In business, it’s always about the next step. How can it be elegant, creative and strategically in sync while operationally successful? And from that follows: How can I cultivate the right frame of mind to be able to see the perfect next step?

As I’m approaching the latter years of my professional journey and starting to phase out managerial responsibilities, what I enjoy most is exactly that quest together with executives who value an experienced and multifaceted confidant by their side. 

In short: To be for others the person I wish I had known when I was in the CEO role myself.

The value proposition: By Your Side Conversations

The value proposition “By Your Side Conversations” is the result of many impactful interactions over the past several years and based on my business and personal journey, which has exposed me to a wide range of archetypal challenges. It has been intense and I have learned a lot.

As a leader, my nature has always been to be in service to organization and people. Buddhist concepts I have been taught and my tangible business experience as CEO/CFO on two continents are foundational, as is the affinity to the world of design, brands and technology. Planetary sustainability and regeneration has become my dominant focus in recent years – it is the defining challenge and opportunity of our time. When discussing particular challenges, I tend to look for understanding of context and big picture as a starting point.

The ambition of “By Your Side Conversations” is to produce breakthroughs and insights with significant strategic, operational and/or personal value potential at any given moment in time. They do so by thinking and sensing together and by activating knowledge that we have in us but currently have no access to. Establishing trust is vital. 

So how does the engagement work?

The straightforward engagement format consists of one to two 1.5 hour conversations per month. In special circumstances the frequency can be intensified. In addition, if it is called for, I can draw on my deep network for expertise on specific projects or initiatives.

It all starts with a pro bono call during which we will verify personal compatibility. In my experience, if compatibility exists, the value becomes immediately apparent and the decision to work together or not is easy.

Remuneration happens via a monthly flat fee based on a contractual agreement which can be terminated at any time.

Send me an email to start the conversation.

Testimonials

"Working with Hans was a game-changer. His guidance and mentorship always feels safe, supportive, and right on target with what I need in a given season. It’s almost hard to refer him as a service provider because his wisdom always resonates as genuine friendship coupled with a deep and abiding concern for the well-being of my growing enterprise—and my spirit. He really is the mentor many of us dream of having and often do not find. My work with him was so successful that I’m on track for soft retirement 5 years ahead of schedule and we are working on calibrating the next season of my life and businesses. I could not recommend Hans Krueger more highly. This is an investment in yourself and your business that you will not regret."
Dr. Tiffany Jana (They/Them), CEO/Founder TMI Consulting, Co- Founder Loom Technologies, Author, Teacher


"There is a deeper knowledge in all of us and with Hans’ life experience in business and the application of practical Buddhism, there is the opportunity to activate this deeper knowledge within.  In my experience, Hans is a pillar of strength and integrity and with his international business experience, he will be incredibly valuable as a trusted confidant.  What Hans offers is much more than a coach or consultant, with every challenging situation I seemed to have, Hans was able to relate, offer relevant advice, and most importantly, the support needed for insight to arise. As I focus on the question of what kind of legacy I want to leave in this world, it is an inspiration to have Hans by my side as I continue to navigate the peaks and valleys of my path."
Tracy Shinchok Rescigno
, Leadership Consultant, Teacher


"At a difficult point in my professional journey, Hans was the perfect thought partner to help me achieve clarity and confidence. His unique background in business, design, and spiritual practices brought many insights and resources to our conversations — I draw on them every day. I’m eternally grateful for Hans’ wisdom, his generosity, and his commitment for making the world a better place!"
Peter Coughlan
, Co-Founder Hasten Ventures, former parter at IDEO


"In the time I’ve known Hans — as a colleague, mentor, and friend — he’s helped me understand and manifest a rare and precious quality: equanimity. Hans’ deep understanding of the “human operating system” is grounded in timeless knowledge that will help leaders interact more skillfully with their teams, society, and themselves."
Jorge Arango
, Information architect, author, and educator


"Hans is a true gem. With all he has achieved, he has stayed present, humble and true to his values. His vast experience in fast-paced leadership roles, including leading a major design company, coupled with deep explorations into his inner self, his ability to see things fresh from various angles with sharpness and compassion, his honesty and service orientation, all this makes him an ideal thinking partner for anybody operating at the helm of a “boat” before, in, or after storms. Not only is he there for you, but also stands with you, equipped with immense experience to draw on and support you. I have no hesitation using Hans as a thinking-partner."
Mathis Wackernagel, PhD, co-founder of Global Footprint Network

Journey Highlights

1990

Co-Founder/CEO MetaDesign

From a small startup in Berlin/Germany to one of the leading global design firms in the brand consultancy space in 12 years. In terms of significant clients, MetaDesign has been the global lead brand design agency for VW and Audi (and several other brands within the group) since 1994. It also, for example, designed the brand identities of Germany, the city of Germany’s capital Berlin and the Berlin public transportation system with all its elements. During my tenure, we had offices in Berlin,  San Francisco, London and Zurich.

2002

Relocating from Berlin to the Bay Area

Both my German wife and I had lived in the US before in the 80s, and we had such a great time. So we wanted to come back. The opportunity presented itself and we went for it. Since then, it’s been a bit of an eye opening reality check, especially in recent years, but we have been in the Bay Area for 20 years now and are not planning to leave anytime soon.

2007

Meeting My Teacher

During a retreat in Brazil, the Buddhist teacher Arnaud Maitland taught two days on the subject of time. The resonance for me was instant. In subsequent years, I participated in many learning retreats led by Arnaud all grounded in Nyingma (Tibet’s oldest Buddhist lineage) teachings.

2012

Co-Founder/CEO Futuredraft

Conceived as a UX/UI design firm, Futuredraft specializes in complex transactional websites and backend systems with clients such as Charles Schwab, GE, Change Healthcare, Ford, Facebook and Google. During the seven years the founders worked together, we demonstrated repeatedly that collaborative processes in areas where they are usually not applied leads to excellent results. We always started with bringing the whole system into the room.

2019

CFO Now Partners

NOW Partners is a global decentralized consulting firm fully focussed on Regenerative Value Creation (RVC). RVC’s goal is to demonstrate that it is possible to run a highly successful company while at the same time healing the damage already done to the planet. Sustaining the status quo is not sufficient anymore. The client list includes Natura, Philips and Danone. NOW Partners is a Certified B Corp. Running the certification process was another highly instructive experience.

Education

Merchant banker (Germany), MBA (TCU, Fort Worth, Texas)

Play

Golfer and a drummer for more than 50 years (each:).

Looking back – 4 personal milestones

Self-confidence does not come easy for me, I tend to doubt myself more than others. That’s why the sudden realization back in the late 80s that I could evolve a tool like project spreadsheets to a company projection level was a big moment in my life. Now I suddenly knew “in my bones” how to build and manage a company, how to make the necessary decisions consistently. That self-confidence was the starting point for MetaDesign. At first a small startup, MetaDesign within a few years became one of the leading brand design firms in the world (which it continues to be today) and in terms of its design significance the European equivalent of IDEO in the brand space.
When success materialized, deep inner joy to my surprise did not follow. Instead I experienced a sense of being chained to what I was doing. It all became a burden – the company owned me. Throughout this phase I discounted the need to look at myself. There was no time for that -  too much to do. The result, after 12 years as co-founder/CEO, was a state of utter exhaustion and the need to walk away from it all in order to survive. But then, instead of experiencing freedom, what followed was a deep crisis lasting several years. My self-confidence had gone, and I felt alienated from the world.
The turning point came when I met my teacher Arnaud Maitland. What he taught me over the subsequent years put solid  ground back under my feet. The practice of cultivating my own state of being based on reliable conceptual frameworks changed everything, also and especially within my family. It meant taking refuge in knowledge that has been examined and reexamined for thousands of years in lineages of enlightened teachers. It also struck me pretty much immediately how the Buddhist understanding of the human condition (or one could say human operating system) applies to human-made structures as well, be it companies or countries. It is mind-boggling how underutilized existing knowledge is in this context.
Becoming CFO of NOW Partners and participating in the building of a global decentralized organization was my response to the ever increasing urgency of the climate crisis and the evolution of the way we work. NOW Partners defines its consulting work as Regenerative Value Creation. NOW has 120+ partners who collaborate on projects across 5 continents and more than 20 countries. In the last years I have learned a lot about running a decentralized organization and the massive challenge of turning around the climate trajectory we are on.

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