A Great Day In Stockholm

I've had a great day in Stockholm; very busy and very thought-provoking. 

The theme of our conference is growth through innovation. We started the morning with a presentation by Bertelsmann's CEO, Hartmut Ostrowski, who talked about why innovation and growth are important for Bertelsmann. Following Hartmut, there were presentations on managing innovation (by a professor from HBS) and on the evoluton of the web from Web 2.0 to Web 'New Generation' (by a board member from Nokia).

Following lunch and some breakout sessions, we had two more terrific presentations, both of which addressed how technology is totally disrupting media businesses and forcing the development of new business models. Though I didn't hear anything fundamentally new, the presentations were interesting as they confirmed a lot of the ideas and issues we've been discussing in our day to day work. As I've written about before, we're in the middle of a transformation of how media businesses operate, and it's super-exciting to be in the middle of it. Though we face a lot of difficult challenges, I found the conversations today to be more possibility-oriented than pessimistic.

After the conference session we had a cruise of 90 minutes around Sodermalm and had dinner at the Vasa Museum. The  museum is home to a beautiful ship that sank within minutes of starting her innaugural voyage in the early 1600's; the ship was salvaged more than 300 years later and now stands as a great example of innovation and project management gone bad. At dinner we were treated to roast reindeer (a first for me) and a three song performance by the winner of Sweden's version of American Idol (Marie Picasso). The reindeer was actually quite good, and according to info I found on google, is high in vitamins and good fatty acids and low in fat.  

We finished the night with a glass of aquavit, a traditional Swedish drink.

A highlight of conferences like this one is the chance to spend a lot of time with coworkers in a setting other than the office; it gives everyone the chance to discuss opportunities and common challenges outside the hustle and bustle of daily business. There was also a lot of time to connect with Random House colleagues from other locations outside the US (the UK, Germany, Barcelona, Canada, and Mexico) and with people from Bertelsmann divisions all over the world. All in all, a great day.

I have pictures, music, and video to share and will try to post tomorrow.

1 comment:

Katherine said...

Sounds like a great conference and an enlightening, fun day. Missing you!