Archive for April 2009

Back From Dubai, on With Collaboration   Leave a comment

Our regional and global business owners for our first joint focus domain have met in person. We shared scope of this domain and what is new in our new global and local direction that will help drive this. From earlier case-specific contacts and experiences we derived expectations for programmatic cooperation. Finally, we have agreed to fulfill them going forward.

Earlier experiences indicate that to achieve the results we envision we will need special resources, more than each of our teams currently expects.

In this perspective, the main result we have achieved so far is clarity, even more than agreement, on what we want to do. This will help us request and obtain the resources we will need whenever we will discover that need.

What of all this may have been specific of the local context, so that meeting in Dubai has made and will make a difference?

  • The history of earlier local contacts, and the opportunity to clarify what is being consistent and what is being different from earlier experiences
  • Individuals, who will be engaged in our cooperation today and have established personal rapport that will help us going forward
  • Business practices of this region, that some individuals engaged know thoroughly, on both sides, and others perceive.
    Meeting in person in Dubai implicitly leverages these specifics as part of the common ground to build upon.

The ultimate measure of the value of meeting in person, and in the region, will be how these points will help us overcome the barriers we will find, when they will surprise most. Time and our actions will tell.

In terms of personal experience, I see two factors that have helped us establish this starting point:

  • a perception of overall stability and consistency in how Dubai and Emirates have evolved over the last few years – at least from my own extremely limited perspective
  • the peculiar kind of hospitality that I perceive as part of business practices in the region

Originally posted on


Posted April 16, 2009 by Gianluca Marcellino in Uncategorized

Diving into Diversity, Due Dubai   Leave a comment

An important, long-planned business trip starts today for Dubai.

The purpose is to leverage the new focus my company has in this region to help the alliance I am responsible for to reach a new level.

Diversity is a key for our mutual business value, all the more so in this region.

Diversity begins with the travelling, really:

  • planned and managed as a one-time opportunity, making the most of available resources, and feeling all the better for it
    a great way to take routine and bore out of travelling
  • ground airline staff kindly agrees to provisions that are fully consistent with the spirit of regulations, and meet today’s business constraints;
    only last year, they would have deemed such provisions ruled out by regulations
  • many fellow passengers on the plane taking benefit of the holidays in their host country to visit their own – and there’s at least half a dozen such countries represented
    with young children sometimes using my native tongue as lingua franca among them
  • most others exploiting the newly established vocation of the Arabic-Persian Gulf region as a global traveling hub
  • the mountains of southern Anatolia, marginally south of Sicily, capped in snow to my surprise – hapless me, Aetna is probably snow-capped, too, these days
  • newspapers, even the airplane menu and airline magazine help me acquaint a little bit to a different environment
    • greater emphasis on international politics obviously conveys close attention and proximity with Indian Ocean and South-East Asia countries that I feel as far as they are famous,
    • opinion and commentary striving for a balance among positions I can only surmise
    • even a view of facebook that’s complementary to those I am familiar with
  • Perfumes, as basic as the plane’s refreshing towels’, feel deeply different – sandal wood perhaps, instead of musk and citrus
  • Our route obviously drives us around Iraq. I look forward to free circulation in and over that country, and to the current business crisis ushering a more balanced, forward-looking management of natural resources such as Iraq’s.

Truly, globalization has smoothed differences. Still, so many remain as significant as ever, and almost as obvious.

Looking forward to these hints of diversity helping me make the most of my new acquaintances and meetings.

Originally posted on

Posted April 12, 2009 by Gianluca Marcellino in Uncategorized

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