My friend Justin takes me out to dinner each decade for my birthday. I have my 50th next month and we went for a nice meal at a place between Piers 6 and 7 Walsh Bay.
This year he gave me High Financier: The Life and times of Siegmund Warburg. We both did history together at Sydney University and spent some time reading Thomas Mann historical novels like the Buddenbrooks – which is referred to in the book. I would not normally buy, let alone come across, books like this. So it was a good heavy book for me to read instead of the surface reading I tend to do on the web. I finished the 400+ pages in a week which is really good for me. I actually turned the computer off and went to bed to read.
I digress again.
The book, like university history did for me 20 years ago, has lessons for what I do today and it has nothing to do with the title High Financier.
Generally for me there is the message to take a step back and fit the fast new moving trends into a broader historical and geographical context. Geographically I need to be more mindful of what else is happening in the world and not just my immediate world of my school or even just Sydney. Historically I need to keep track of emerging technologies in the frame work of broader historical trends.
I am not digressing.
Specifically, the book describes five defining characteristics for a bank which I want to apply to education in general and ICT integration in particular.
- Moral standing
- High quality personnel
There is no really need to elaborate upon these ideas. They just ring true for me and stood out in my reading of the book.