One minor Canadian publishing event of note this fall was the release of Anthony Lacavera’s How We Can Win (or possibly, Kate Fillion’s How We Can Win, since it’s fairly clear she’s the one who actually wrote it). Lacavera is a minor celebrity in Canada for having been a serial CEO, most notably of WIND Canada, which briefly challenged the Bell/Telus/Rogers telecom oligopoly. Since the book is about innovation policy, it sort of falls into the ambit of this blog, so here we are.
Capitalism without Capital is the title of an intriguing new book from Jonathan Haskel and Stian Westlake. The book documents the rise of an economy where more and more value resides in intangibles rather than tangibles (note: intangibles doesn’t necessarily just mean digital products and services – it can also mean things like branding, design, and business processes). This isn’t the first time someone has made this observation – Charles Leadbetter’s Living on Thin Air comes to mind – but it is the … [ Read More ]
In the last couple of weeks, I have discovered an entirely new category of book: ones which you enjoy reading and contain plenty of fantastic information and insightful observations, but whose central thesis is demonstrably wrong and does not hold up to scrutiny. The first was Masha Gessen’s The Future is History, about Russia’s transition from Gorbachev to now, and the second – more relevant to this blog – is Christopher Newfield’s The Great Mistake: How We Wrecked Public Universities and How … [ Read More ]
In his excellent book about the American higher education system A Perfect Mess, David Labaree makes the following point about how the American university system came to be so hyper-competitive.
Its origins were remarkably humble: a loose assortment of parochial nineteenth-century liberal arts colleges, which emerged in the pursuit of sectarian expansion and civic boosterism more than scholarly distinction. These colleges had no academic credibility, no reliable source of students, and no steady funding. Yet these weaknesses of the American … [ Read More ]
The week before last, Deloitte – that redoubtable home for “Big Thinking” management consultant types who are nevertheless not big-enough-thinking for McKinsey – released a paper entitled The Intelligence Revolution: Future Proofing Canada’s Workforce. To call it as dumb as a bag of hammers would be deeply unfair to hand tools. Do you remember Otto, Kevin Kline’s character from A Fish Called Wanda? The one who thought he was an intellectual despite his evident vacuity? This paper is the literary embodiment of Otto.