British actor/comedian turned business speaker John Cleese tread a fine line at Navision's World Partner Conference recently when he called on the ERP vendor and its international partners to make more mistakes.
Cleese began his opening keynote with the assertion that although he knew less than anyone at the conference about software - in fact, less than anyone who knows someone, who knows nothing about software - that he could speak authoritatively on the subject . . . so long as he was getting paid.
The former Monty Python and Fawlty Towers star claimed the making of mistakes is far more important than being accurate. That is, if the accurate decision really doesn't venture anything of importance.
"If you asked someone in the morning what time it was and they said it's sometime between 4am and midnight' they'd be right. But wouldn't you be better off if someone said 10.00am' when it was really 10.05am even though they have made a mistake?" asked Cleese.
In a "don't mention the war" moment, Cleese noted the merger between long-time arch rivals Damgaard and Navision. The meeting of former foes was a large reason for the conference after the two companies joined in a share-swap deal last November.
"I mean the organisers of this conference have made a mistake," Cleese ventured to a silent room. "They have put together a room full of people who hate each other."
Cleese, with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek, was well received by the largely European delegates, except for the Swiss, who see no point in jokes.