O’LEARY’S SPORTS BAR, KØBENHAVNS LUFTHAVN KASTRUP — I’m sitting on a big stool at the counter of O’Leary’s watching an ice hockey game on the big screen. I am too tired to see who’s playing. I may or may not have a very large, hops-based beverage in front of me.
The menu is tempting me with a “Bobby Orr Burger”. How many people in the world will know what that means? How many will care?
(Bobby Orr was a hockey successful hockey player for the Boston Bruins in the 1970s. A nice guy and a great hockey player… He was the Zidane, Phelps, or Nadal of his day, and the day was more than 30 years ago… in Boston.)
But it makes me immeasurably happy.
So that’s what you can get in the airport in Copenhagen.
But the day didn’t start there. It started addressing the top 300 leaders of a big multinational. A company with many, many different nationalities, but two dominant ones. And you could not really imagine a more chalk and cheese combination… There are awkward hugs and groups assembled over lunch by nationality. It’s a fantastic study of national culture vs corporate culture…
When the issues are on the table there is nonetheless a great commonality… an impatience with theory and complexity… an appetite for discussion of new products and R&D…. and a monumental informality that had me presenting to the chief executive in a small break-out where he participated like everyone else.
The organisation is facing troubles like most others. But the sheer force of will, and inherent optimism makes you sincerely wish them only the best of results.
Wherever they may hang their skates.