Special Coverage

Convergence

How Swede It Is

Swedish players are belittled in the National Hockey League (allegedly) for being less-aggressive than their North American counterparts.

But in the business arena, “the Swedish mentality” affords invaluable benefits, says Magnus Lindahl, managing director of Sweden-based software supplier QRtech AB.

“We are good at collaborating,” he says. “We are not too worried about loss of prestige when involved in projects, which in turn helps our cooperation.”

That attitude didn’t hurt the Detroit Red Wings last year. They won the Stanley Cup with seven Swedes on the roster, including team captain Nicklas Lidstrom.

It should be noted execs from Sweden-based supplier Mecel AB, visiting the Motor City for Convergence, attended Saturday’s Red Wings home game vs. the New York Rangers. Who did they cheer for?

The Swedish players, says Kent Eric Lang, Mercel’s managing director. Between the two teams, the game featured nine Swedes.

Show Me the Way to San Jose

Saul Berman, a leading consultant at IBM, humorously breaks today’s marketplace into three segments during a panel discussion on the auto industry’s changing business model.

First there are the “cool kids, who don’t do 'Facebook’ or email,” he says. “Then there are the 'gadgeteers,’ and you know you’re one of these people if you paid $600 for an iPhone.”

The final, and perhaps most comprehensive group, is the “massive passives.”

“You know these people,” say Berman. “When you go into their home, they still use a VCR and the clock still flashes 12 o’clock.”

Unsafe Bet

How dangerous is multi-tasking behind the wheel?

Thomas Dingus, of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University’s Transportation Institute, shows a video at Convergence of a tractor-trailer driver performing the unthinkable: steering his rig with his knee while talking on two cell phones simultaneously.

The driver also negotiates a construction zone and runs a yellow traffic light while chatting on the phones. “Maybe he’s on the phone with his bookies,” offers Dingus.