Lucky Fella

So what did I do to deserve all this?

After a presentation yesterday—and a followup all day seminar today—I'm exhausted to the point of collapse.

But I am also happy to the bursting point. I've had the privilege of working and arguing and cajoling and laughing with a wonderful audience in Dubai from all over the Middle East. (And beyond.) Lots from amazing Dubai. (Stat: 24% of all, as in all, the world's quarto construction cranes are at work in this wee flyspeck of an Emirate.) (And, good God, Emirates Air just ordered another batch of A380s.) Plus: Saudis. Bahrainis. Egyptians. Kuwaitis. Omanis. Jordanians. And so on ... and on. A conversation with a Palestinian who is now a Saudi citizen is an education all by itself.

I am hardly expert, but I do today feel like a true internationalist—enjoying the company of and sharing the challenges facing an exceptionally thoughtful group of public and private sector executives.

Lucky me. Lucky, lucky me.

(You'll find my presentation attached. Developing talent to support an agenda of radical innovation was my chosen topic. Amid a set of speakers with more or less formulas for success, I made my contrarian case, what else, for the inherent and irreducible messiness of all innovation efforts—and the implications of that perpetually chaotic state for organizing and applying talent. To me, messiness is no cause of despair—but it does call for an approach that accepts and exploits the disorder per se.)

(On the foodie front—true Arabic mezzeh is a gift of the gods.)