October 26, 2014

Tim Horton’s is an iconic Canadian brand, known for its doughnuts and signature coffee that I’ve recently learned is a top secret recipe known only by three people.  Indeed, it’s critical for Tim Horton’s to keep this intellectual property out of the hands of competitors especially given the fact that many visitors to  Canada liken the coffee to the liquid that would ring out of soaked dirty dress socks. 

This past week, I attended a presentation by the manager of sustainabil...

April 11, 2014

I’ve had a few emails/comments asking me to further comment on my views related to business school education. Let me start by saying outright that, in my view, the present business school education is unsustainable and in need of a revamp. A majority of business school courses are predicated on the rather narrow worldview of maximizing shareholder value. This is so engrained in these courses that business professors tend not to think twice about it. This extends beyond the classroom t...

May 25, 2012

Up until a month or so ago, I hadn’t heard of an organization called ALEC (the American Legislative Exchange Council).  According to their website, ALEC’s objective is to “advance the fundamental principles of free-market enterprise, limited government, and federalism at the state level through a nonpartisan public-private partnership of America’s state legislators, members of the private sector and the general public”.  This certainly reads as a noble mission and until...

February 9, 2012

Those of you following the circus surrounding the US Republican race likely noticed the recent criticism of frontrunner Mitt Romney on the empire of wealth he created through his firm Bain Capital and a favourable tax environment for investment income. Before democrats even had the chance to launch an attack on the candidate, Romney’s Republican opponents blasted the frontrunner using rhetoric that would be considered blasphemy within Republican circles. They were essentially attackin...

December 18, 2011

Recently, two of Quebec’s asbestos mines shut down amid noisy political debates and a dramatic anti-asbestos news conference Thursday on Parliament Hill. I find this to be an interesting illustration of how fast-moving a relatively recent ballooning of criticism can turn into the dramatic stoppage of operations of an industry that has been left relatively untouched for years.

The growing interest was partly spawned by the Daily Show with Jon Stewart where Asaaf Manvi, one of the s...

November 30, 2011

I was fortunate to take part in a panel discussion today at the Ivey School of Business on the relevance of the Occupy Movement to business schools. While there were some heated discussions, I think all four panel participants agreed that change is needed in business schools to produce leaders who can make decisions that consider a wider range of interests. There also appeared to be agreement that the old adage that profit maximization is how business contributes to society is outdate...

June 11, 2011

Barrick Gold has interestingly managed to escape relatively unscathed in the mainstream media thus far for its complicity in the massacre that is unraveling in its Tanzanian operations. Although several people have died and dozens have been injured and/or wrongfully imprisoned, the media seems to be quite silent in covering the story. Those who have paint the local community trespassers as “invaders” implicitly sympathizing with the corporation’s perceived innocence, quoting the appar...

March 31, 2011

With a philosophy of “Food with Integrity”, Steve Ells, the founder and chairman of fast-food chain Chipotle Mexican Grill believes that it’s really important that people know where their food is coming from.

Ells is a certified chef trying to defy the definition of fast food for the many consumers visiting its 870 restaurants. Chipotle buys no pork from factory farms and 100% of the chicken they serve is grown on a vegetarian diet, free-ranged with no antibiotics.

Steve’s main supplier...

March 22, 2011

“Give it your best shot” says a frustrated and annoyed Dean of Columbia Business School as the interviewer in the Oscar winning documentary “Inside Job” questions him about a potential conflict of interest. The Dean, as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under the Bush Administration, advised the deregulation of the derivatives market while earning hundreds of thousands of dollars as a consultant and director of financial firms that would ultimately benefit financially if th...

January 16, 2011

Throughout the last week or so, there has been a lot of debate about whether individuals should be expected to control their actions or whether they are at the mercy of the society in which they live. Pundits on both sides of this debate have put forward some interesting arguments in trying to explain the behaviour of Jared Loughner in Arizona the Saturday before last. Whereas Sarah Palin in the quoting of Ronald Reagan implies that society should not be blamed for the acts of an indi...

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