I am enjoying an amazing week in the UK, the first few days in London followed by a few in Cambridge.
As I boarded the (direct!) flight from Pittsburgh to Heathrow, the Golden Globes were in progress. I was happy to hear (as you might suspect from my earlier posts) that Quentin Tarantino won an award for Best Screenplay, and also for his movie Once Upon a Time..in Hollywood.
The bombshell news when I arrived in London was that Harry and Meghan (liked her in Suits) are “stepping back” (would Gwyneth call this consciously uncoupling?) from The Royal Family.
Digging deeper, it appears that they preemptively announced what seems inevitable: they are not in the plan in the Lean Monarchy blueprint (was McKinsey&Company the consultant?) that is in pre-execution stage, something evidently what Prince Charles, the presumptive next monarch, would like to implement as he prepares to enter his reign.
As a Lean Operations professor, and previously an LP in a private equity firm that used lean operations to turn around struggling firms, I was pleased to see that Lean has expanded, not only into entrepreneurship (Lean Startup), and but now into Monarchy. 😏
In London, I opened my first night with a Vesper at Duke’s (on the suggestion of the CEO of a 90B$ market-cap company 👍🏽; thanks Andy!), followed by a sumptuous Indian dinner at Chutney Mary. (The Gulab Jamun was divine.)
The next night I discovered Vagabond, with 120 different wines available by the glass! I explored a Turkish and a Czech wine (both Red) in addition to the safer choices from Italy and France.
It was wonderful to meet with the folks at UCL (thanks Ersin for the invitation) and give a talk at their spectacular offices in Canary Wharf. The views from their 38thFloor offices of London are breathtaking. This is a B-school that looks like they are a Business!
The lunch at the Japanese restaurant Roka was memorable (with Rouba, Siddharth, and Steve). Dinner at Benares (with Gizem and Ersin) did not disappoint!
Cambridge is indeed everything I expected. Spectacular architecture, narrow roads with charming storefronts, and history everywhere, in the bookstore and even in the pubs. Antione, Feryal and I had drinks in the exact table (at Eagle) where Crick and Watson regularly dined, and also where they announced their DNA discovery.
Of particular joy for me was to present my quantum talk in Cambridge (thanks Feryal for the invitation, Stelios and Antoine for a wonderful dinner at Ivy Brasserie, and Lidia – my academic granddaughter – for a tour of King’s College) as quantum computing relies on spin, something that emerged from the work of Dirac, the ne plus ultra of Cambridge professors.
One of the applications of GAMA that I mentioned briefly in the talk is in the area of Cancer Genomics, and so that was doubly joyful, paying homage to Crick and Watson as well.
Additionally, it was great to participate in their weekly informal Seminar on Healthcare and discuss several of my projects on Organ Transplantation with the faculty (Stefan, Houyuan, Feryal) and students (Katie, Lidia, Tom..).
A particularly unexpected treat was to visit The Fitzwilliam Museum across from where I was staying at Hotel Du Vin, and across from Judge, with pieces from Ancient Egypt to Rodin, and to relish the fine Indian cuisine at NavaDhanya; the Papadi Chaat looked like a work of art and tasted even better (thanks Stelios for the recommendation).
Decided against punting as the weather was too cold for me.