He was discussing many things and was thoroughly entertaining, and at the conclusion of his speech answered some questions. I had my hand in the air to ask a question, and before he got to me, he launched on a tyraid about information technology:
“Ask yourself, what has information technology actually done ever done for anyone? Absolutely nothing..”. George proceeded to let rip and then asked for my question.
“Hi George, my name is Justin Davies from Ross Technology, a technology services company……”
Pause, and some general laughter….
“Well, now you mention it, the internet is pretty useful for research and I actually use it everyday…..”
George wasn’t at all wedded to a view that Information Technology and computers are useless; he just wanted a debate. He wanted to get stuck in and argue a point to get a better understanding. He particularly wanted people to think – he most certainly didn’t want people to just nod their heads. And he was also most generous, and I now have a signed copy of one of his books.
How does that relate to The Smell of Good Business?
In my view, not enough decisions or widely held points of view are actively debated enough. A bloody good heated debate, and judicious use of the F word does wonders in quickly test driving a proposition. But you must ensure it is the best idea and not the most strongest personality that wins.
So, I also invite debate. Let me know what you think….