January 2, 2018

I had the opportunity to read a very interesting case on Coca-Cola© and their efforts to assist in achieving the Millennium Development Goals, one of which is to eradicate poverty and hunger. The initiative they have in place has been touted by the World Bank and the United Nations as a leading 'Inclusive Business Model'. Here’s how it works. To get their produc

ts into the far reaches of rural Africa, they created Manual Distribution Centres whereby a local community person purchases...

November 18, 2017

November is Diabetes month.   A shocking 9 million Canadians live with diabetes or prediabetes and 371 million people globally are living with the disease (although it is estimated that an additional 187 million people have no idea that they are suffering from the condition).  Estimates predict that one-third of Canadians and 552 million people globally will have diabetes by 2030.  This number is shocking considering that diabetes was largely non-existent only decades ago....

November 10, 2017

This year, CIBC celebrated its 17th anniversary as the title sponsor of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure.  In 2017, they raised over $3 million in support.  CIBC’s homepage invited people to join them on October 6th to “Invest in a future without breast cancer”.  They play a significant role in encouraging local and national communities to raise funds for “the cause”. 

The objective of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation is to...

September 9, 2017

Tom Szaky, CEO and Founder of TerraCycle, a company that sought to eliminate the very idea of waste, was wondering what he should do in light of ongoing financial concerns that were threatening the survival of the enterprise.  The recipient of numerous awards and a poster child for eco-capitalism, TerraCycle had redefined the limits of what a business’ vision could represent.  But the ultimate test was whether a company with such ambitions of eliminating waste could do so in a way tha...

July 7, 2017

Alissa Hamilton, author of the book “Squeezed: What You Don’t Know About Orange Juice” describes the undisclosed process by which orange juice is produced. If you look at the ingredient list on an average Tropicana Orange Juice container, you would think that you are getting the equivalent of freshly squeezed oranges. “Pure and Natural” is what the ads tell us. PepsiCo and many other processed food companies are only required by law to list the ingredients in their foods and beverages...

April 6, 2017

Shoppers Drug Mart is no doubt an iconic brand here in Canada.  With over 1200 retail outlets across the country, Canadians can count on this leading drug store retailer to provide us with the vital medicines we all need to survive and flourish in the modern age.  Founder Murray Koffler’s ambition was to “build a national organization of pharmacies without sacrificing the personalized service of the local community pharmacist”.  Yes, indeed, it’s that personal touch we get from those...

March 14, 2017

CBC’s recent revelations about employee aggressive sales behaviour at the big banks represent a significant crack in the golden halo that has mysteriously persisted over top the Canadian banks.  But this revelation is only the tip of the iceberg of irresponsible behaviour that more generally shatters several myths that undeservedly prop up Canadian banks as a pillar of Canadian sovereignty and socio-economic welfare.

The Mysterious Golden Halo

What is extremely odd about the Canadi...

November 18, 2016

Many of us are interested in explaining and predicting why organizations behave in the way that they do, and how that behavior influences and is influenced by their external environment. Complexity theory offers one way to accomplish these tasks. The fundamental idea behind complexity theory is that individuals, groups, and organizations make up systems of highly interdependent actors that interact in nonlinear ways. As these actors adapt to their local environment, they influence how...

September 10, 2016

Business strategy scholar Michael Porter recently presented a TED Talk entitled “Why business can be good at solving social problems”.   While I admire his optimism, he tends to ignore some very fundamental business strategy frameworks that not only contributed to the social problems he’s talking about but would ultimately usurp any ambition to resolve them.  I present three of his main messages and then discuss what I believe he fundamentally overlooks.

1.  Business as Sourc...

July 9, 2016

The scientific community has reached a consensus that the build-up of heat-trapping emissions from burning fossil fuels and clearing forests is changing the climate, the result of which imposes significant risk to our well-being. Yet as conclusive as these studies are, we continue as a society to accelerate our emission levels putting us on a trajectory of temperature increases well in excess of the two degree celsius target established by the international community in the 2009 Copen...

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