Monday, 5 March 2012

The ‘Non-Plamen’ Book

Last week I travelled to Vienna to participate in Jürgen Appello’s Management 3.0 training. I liked it so much that I decided to enrol as licensed trainer for this course (which is not the topic of this post but I felt it is relevant)

I also thought that the Roving Coffee idea was brilliant so I joined the evening meet up at Coffee Day in Vienna. Now Coffee Day is an Indian company and I have actually visited the first CoffeeDay shop in Bangalore so I felt it is a nice coincidence. Couldn’t taste the coffee there obviously as it was past 8pm when I arrived so I had beer instead (and it was good Smile).

My taxi driver completely messed up the destination address and the poor fellow didn’t speak a word of English so it was difficult to guide him with my superior orientation skills (those who know me well will recognise the irony). So I missed the beginning of the meeting and on my entry I was clearly expected to bring some ideas which I did although perhaps they were of the wrong kind. Anyway it was a lovely chat in which we decided that it is not a very good idea to start changing the world from Vienna mainly for historical reasons – something to do with WW1 I think although later on reading through wikipedia I realised that it was not a valid reason.  Having in mind that most of us were drinking beer I guess it was sort of OK.

Now about the title.. just before finishing the meeting Jurgen asked who wants to have a copy of his Management 3.0 book (he only had one copy). Everyone declared that they already have the book including myself so the first round wasn’t very successful. And then I had this great idea that if nobody wants the book then perhaps I can take it and give it to someone who is unlikely to buy it therefore doing my bit to change the world. Everyone thought it is a great idea so there it was - I had the book. Next thing though – Jurgen asks me – do you want me to sign it? Now here’s a game changer. That brings a bit of hesitation so I am saying – well if you sign it then it is more likely that I will keep it (which I do not want to do)… Jürgen repeats the question to which I suggest – fine, then write something that ensures the book cannot remain with me.. and here’s how the ‘Non-Plamen’ book is born!  See the picture below:


The text reads:

“This is a non-Plamen book. Only people not named Plamen may own it. If your name is Plamen you must get rid of this book in 3 days, or it will self destruct.”

Of course I had no intention of waiting for more than 3 days to see if the prophecy will be fulfilled. I got rid of the book before the 4th full day and I hope it will serve well its new owner!

And finally just to prove that this was all real and not made up – here’s all the participants in Roving Coffee in Vienna. Note that while we’re all smiling Jürgen is demonstrating that the camera of his phone isn’t very good!

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