The Bookshelf – The World Is Flat

img_5284By Monty Hagler

(Part of a continuing series on the books that made the journey to RLF’s new office space)

Think of The World Is Flat as business science fiction, circa 2005. Many of the concepts author Thomas Friedman chronicles were still in their emerging phases – the ease in which anyone could outsource research work to India, the blinding speed of digital communication connections, the seamless process of pulling into a McDonalds drive-thru and having your order taken by someone a thousand miles away.

If I recall correctly, I read The World Is Flat about the same time I got my first mobile phone with a camera that allowed you to easily snap a picture and then email it. I don’t believe texting and instant messaging from the phone were options, but on my laptop there was this new tool called Google to look up things without a staff of researchers and assistants tracking down information. And as someone who is paid to look things up and track things down, it was a wake-up call that I’d better up my game.

Read more

Learning and Leaving From Brussels

By Monty Hagler

Let’s start with the end.

There are remarkably few reminders of the March terror attacks in Brussels until you depart for the recently reopened airport three hours in advance of the flight home, laden with Belgian chocolates. Traffic jams and merges into a single lane on the approach, allowing soldiers at multiple check points to peer into vehicles as they slowly move forward. Taxis drop passengers 400 yards from the terminal. Hundreds of people drag their bags towards the base of the parking deck. Then up you climb, circling the spiraling car ramp in loops that make you breathe like the 30-minute mark in spin class.

Read more