Monthly Archive: November 2012

Hotel helter skelter

The design problem with the new Four Seasons Hotel in Yorkville is obvious right from the forecourt. In the middle is a four-tiered fountain that could come from the Renaissance, the pad uses a mosaic of stone inspired by a Persian rug, and the glass canopy over the entrance has a floral pattern reminiscent of a nineteenth-century textile by William Morris. It’s as if they weren’t sure what to do so they did everything. The hodge-podge continues inside. A minuscule hotel lobby that could seat a dozen gives onto a room containing only a sculptural dandelion. The front desk is...

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A woman’s work is never done

There’s that number again, 21.7 percent. According to a study by The Council of Canadian Academies, women represent one-third of all full-time faculty, but only 21.7 percent of full professors. I say there’s that number again because if you look at other sectors such as financial services, law, and accounting the proportion of women in executive positions or partner roles is usually about 22 percent and has been for some time. On boards of directors, the share is even lower, about 11 percent, with no progress in recent years. Whenever I see a half-page advertisement for a law firm or...

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A modest proposal improved

Yesterday I spoke to a class of eager young business students at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University. They’ve been reading my BlackBerry book under the guidance of Professor Knut Jensen who issued the invitation for me to tell his class why Research In Motion started its sad downward slide right after the book came out in March 2010. Readers of my blog will be familiar with my thesis but I had a few new thoughts worth sharing. I told them I was dubious about RIM’s future and not at all convinced that the new BB 10,...

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Turning Magna into magnanimous

Frank Stronach’s plans to run for office in Austria sound familiar to me. In 1987 he hired me to write a book about his life that would also contain policy ideas for Canada. The story of his business career creating Magna was inspiring but his policy platform was a tad thin. The book was never published. Frank would have loved to be prime minister, particularly if he could somehow just be appointed to the job, but he was willing to go through the democratic process. He ran as a Liberal for Parliament in 1988 in York-Simcoe and finished second, about 7,000 votes...

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The big screen beckons

A story in today’s New York Times has set me pondering about pandering. On page one of the Sunday Styles section – the one with street fashion photos, society weddings, fundraisers for elites, and coverage of Kate Moss – there’s a story about Canada. The thesis is that left-leaning Americans will flock to live in Canada if Mitt Romney wins on Tuesday. But wait, there are no actual Americans saying they will move to Canada, there aren’t even any Americans commenting on who or how many might move to Canada. What writer John Ortved has done is contact a dozen...

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