Monthly Archive: April 2011

And the winner is ….

With the election a week away, it’s a tough call. No one predicted the rise and rise of Jack Layton. The last time I saw this phenomenon was during the 1972 election when I was press secretary to Robert L. Stanfield, leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, as it was then called. As soon as the election was under way, and we began travelling, surprise issues began bubbling up from the street. There was an unhappiness across the country that almost cost Pierre Trudeau his job as prime minister. Trudeau ran a campaign that has similarities to Stephen Harper’s current...

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Don’t worry, be crappy

Everything I read about PlayBook, the new tablet from Research In Motion that’s about to be launched, says it isn’t quite ready. In technology, when did this begin to matter? Microsoft sold software for years that had glitches, fixing them on the fly. RIM has been through this before with the launch of the BlackBerry itself. Dave Castell, just recently graduated from University of Waterloo was put in charge of a team in 1998 to create what would become BlackBerry. Until that point, RIM had in essence been making two-way pagers. One of the books that Castell’s group found helpful...

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The four horsemen

I tried to watch the entire two-hour debate, I really did. Steve Paikin was a good host, the format was workable, the questions pointed, but Gilles Duceppe eventually drove me away. At times he spoke gibberish. Let’s cut off the Bloc’s public money. Canada has a history of regional political parties becoming national parties but the BQ has been around twenty years without showing any interest in growing beyond Quebec’s borders. All they do now is prevent a majority government. Without the multi-million dollar annual subsidies they would wither away as well they should. Jack Layton had the best one...

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The Amelia Earhart Syndrome

Why have force-fed mentoring and fast-track programs meant to propel women upward in their careers failed so abysmally? Aren’t women trying hard enough? Do they need more help? Or are forces beyond their control stopping them? As Marlo Thomas famously said: “A man has to be Joe McCarthy to be called ruthless. All a woman has to do is put you on hold.” The term “glass ceiling” was first coined in the mid-80s. That metaphor, which suggested a barrier through which career women could not rise, has recently been replaced. Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Alice H. Eagly and...

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