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”