Jeff checks out, now check in

by admin on September 13, 2006

in Innovation

I don’t write personal stuff but this is an exception. Jeff Nolan is checking out of SAP. For those that don’t know, Jeff has been the vanguard of thought leadership at SAP for the last few years. That’s my opinion, disagree if you want but remember this is my place, my attention.

A man of grace, vigour and deep thought, SAP will be the poorer for his leaving. Having said that, there are others who will step up to the plate. For me, his stand out remark concerning an interview with SAP co-founder Hasso Plattner:

…the remaining 45 minutes was consumed talking about surfing in South Africa, sailing, and what my favorite windsurfing spots in the Bay were. It was only some time later that I realized he wasn’t’ assessing my capabilities but rather my character.

Character – that’s what marks out the greats from the runners-up. I’ve not met Jeff in person though I know we will do so at Office 2.0. We have ‘met’ through jousting sessions on his blog and in private email. I’ve offered to supply the 16oz boxing gloves if he pays for the beer :) An offer he’s accepted. Oh dear – I really am in trouble. Me and my big mouth.

Jeff has never been anything other than gracious in his responses to testing questions. I wish I could say the same. Nevertheless, I learn from this man whom I’m proud to call a ‘colleague in arms.’ I’m looking forward to the next chapter in the unfolding enterprise story. Jeff will unquestionably be at the centre. As he richly deserves.

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