A Suggested Bid for Amazon HQ2

“My offer is this….nothing.”

Ever since Amazon.com announced that it was searching for a location for its “second headquarters,“ cities across North America have been falling over each other trying to make a case for their own sites.  In Canada, representatives from Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, Waterloo, Montreal and Halifax have all said publicly that they should be considered, and committed to submitting a “bid” for the privilege of hosting a company that promises tens of thousands of jobs, a new focus for technology-driven business, and bragging rights associated with hosting one of the world’s most valuable companies.

To those developing lucrative packages with possible tax holidays, direct incentives, subsidies, and other contributions, I suggest that they instead offer the Michael Corleone package…nothing. Continue reading “A Suggested Bid for Amazon HQ2”

The IKEA Effect: Why Going Digital May Not Be All It’s Cracked Up To Be

A few years ago police in Sweden were called to what they were told was a domestic disturbance.  Neighbours had heard all sorts of banging, yelling, screaming, swearing and crying coming from a house where a couple lived with their young son, and feared the worst. 

The police did not walk into a domestic disturbance; rather, what they found was that the couple had merely been trying to assemble a piece of IKEA furniture, and had run into some difficulty.  Hence the banging, the yelling and the swearing.  The young child was frightened by all the commotion, and started crying and screaming. 

That is the Ikea Effect. 

Well, actually it isn’t.  Continue reading “The IKEA Effect: Why Going Digital May Not Be All It’s Cracked Up To Be”

Do business leaders make better political leaders? A look at Kevin O’Leary

Kevin O’Leary has just announced that he is running for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada.  His qualifications?  He has built a business, understands business, has negotiated deals, and knows his way around financial statements.   This background, O’Leary argues, makes him uniquely qualified to stabilize the Canadian economy, deal with a newly nationalistic U.S. on trade matters, and address such varied and complex issues as tax policy, international relations, and climate change.  Mr. O’Leary believes that his business acumen, as well as his lack of political experience, would make him the right man at the right time to lead the country.

Since Donald Trump improbably parlayed his business background and his position as a political outsider to occupancy of the White House, many critics have focused on Trump’s temperament, his questionable policies, and his continuing lack of familiarity with facts.  Some have questioned the actual success of the Trump business empire.  Very few, however, have questioned his basic premise – that a business background produces good, effective political leaders.   Now that O’Leary wants to travel the same route as Trump, let’s look at that premise. Continue reading “Do business leaders make better political leaders? A look at Kevin O’Leary”

Transforming to Digital – Without the Drama

“I have one word of advice for you, Benjamin.  One word.  Are you listening?  ‘Digital.’”

Whereas “plastics” (the one word of advice for Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate) may have defined the future in the 1960s, “digital” is defining the future in the 2010s.  In a nutshell, digital can mean the reliance on technology and online capabilities to shorten and/or simplify processes, reduce costs, and reconfigure services.  It can mean the transformation of what we buy, how we buy, and how we interact with businesses.  Think online transactions, internet-driven automated services, remote call centres, and individualized marketing driven by personal data.  It’s a big deal. Continue reading “Transforming to Digital – Without the Drama”