On sunday night I went to dinner at the Mango tree in London. Nice thai spot. Tough job I have. The guests at dinner were really fascinating though. Hans-Dieter Scheuermann, my boss, has been at SAP since the 1970's, Adrian Furnham, the most published psychologist in Europe and Jose Estrada, the man running Shell's SOX compliance strategy.
I've known Adrian for sometime, and we are both from Pietermaritzburg, a small town in South Africa, (made briefly infamous in a Tom Sharpe novel, Riotous Assembly). Adrian produces a book a day and an academic article in about the time it takes you to read this post. Google him and you will be amazed by the volume and quality of his output. I've arranged for him to speak at our next CFO roundtable meeting, and Dieter wanted to meet him to explain the event and the sort of talk we want. He is an excellent speaker.You can hear him talking about a book on amazon.
Jose has been at shell for 33 years. Jose has been all over the world with Shell, including a stint as CFO in South America. I'll write more about his compliance plans shortly. We discussed alot about management, compliance, ethics, wine and what it is like to live in different countries.
What was really interesting though, was to hear them talk about blogs, social networks, search and podcasting. Those of us in our 30's and 20's sometimes think we are the internet generation, but there are lots of older folks out there getting just as much out of it as we do.
Dieter has a really deep understanding of enterprise applications. He used to lead finance development, and was a key lead for R/3 He now runs a network of SAP customer CFOS and finance types, helping them get more out of their SAP investment.
The compliance and risk workshop was hosted by Jose from Shell with 9 other senior compliance and risk types. I moderated it, and presented SAP's solution strategy. I'll post more about compliance and risk workshop later, still getting to grips with the stuff I learnt there.
There is no better content than experience, and there was heaps of it at dinner on sunday.