- May 4, 2007
Its a beautiful sunny morning in Rome and Im writing this as I enjoy my first cappuccino of the day in this incredible city.
Im staying at the extremely modernistic SAS Radisson hotel, which is opposite Romes main rail station. My bedroom actually looks out over the side of the station, with a view of its many platforms and frenetic activity, that seems to carry on both day and night. The view from my room happens to be a very appropriate one for me personally, as the last time I was in Rome was actually over twenty years ago, when I was backpacking my way around Italy, and living on a budget of a pound a day. My first night in Rome on that occasion was actually spent sleeping at the railway station on platform eight Binario otto opposite the very fine hotel where Im staying now. But more on that and how I ended up sleeping on the platform later. So why am I in Rome this time around? Well Im lucky enough to be attending a two day seminar with re-knowned Finnish Philosopher, author and broadcaster Esa Saarinen. (http://www.esasaarinen.com/?kieli=en&etusivu).
Esas topic for the two day seminar is In search of the magnificent life. Much of the focus is actually about how to gain more – in every perspective – from both work and personal life and how to be sensitive to the sometimes small or micro behaviours, that can often bring about a dramatically enriched result.
My Rome week-end seems to not only be held in an appropriate location, but also at an appropriate time. Ive been traveling for the past 10 days, working with clients in New York, Washington DC and Munich. Its a good representation of our business focus – which is truly global and seems to be accelerating as our business grows and we acquire new clients. With broadband internet access, Apple iChat (see last Dowell//Stubbs e-magazine http://www.dowellstubbs.com/threeminutes/no1.html) global outsourcing and ease of international travel, business is increasingly globalising and companies such as ours find their business changing rapidly along with their clients. Id say there has never been a more exciting time to be in our particular business, as large, old fashioned advertising agencies become a thing of the past. Change is the name of the game. And change can be a frightening concept for some people.
So, what about that original night in Rome – over twenty years before? It was early July and I remember receiving an intriguing postcard from two friends who were backpacking their way around Italy at the time. The postcard held the simple message Italy magnificent. Give up job and meet us July 25th, Rome Central Rail Station, Binario otto (platform eight) – ciao. This postcard happened to change my life – mainly because I followed its advice. I gave up my rather safe, but boring job, in favour of a rucksack and sleeping bag and two weeks later I found myself on platform eight, waiting for my two friends – who happened to show up a day late – and hence my night sleeping out on the platform. The following few weeks touring Italy by train opened my eyes in lots of ways to both new and ancient cultures, and what can be learnt from them. It was a truly life changing experience, but most importantly it made me realise that often to make real progress, one has to make some dramatic changes and do something really different – to really push oneself to new levels of discovery.
Which brings me full circle to my current weekend in Rome. Professor Saarinen delivers both a moving and thoughtful two day induction into some of his thoughts of how to achieve greatly enhanced performance, in both a personal and work dimension. In some respects I feel like an observer of a fantastic performance, I feel again I have a room with a view. And again, to acheive new results, one has to consider making changes.
And we have some exciting changes coming up at Dowell//Stubbs over the coming few weeks, changes we feel will dramatically enhance our performance for our clients. Watch this space…
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