Showing posts from April, 2013

My lean (ugh) startup guru

I had my introduction to management consulting in the 1990s—the peak of the management fad era that had begun the previous decade. One of the biggest fads was "reengineering"—so popular that it became the euphemism of choice for "layoffs" which, in practice, was already a euphemism for job cuts. There were a lot of those in the 90s, and you couldn't go long without hearing about some company's new "reengineering" strategy.

Veteran consultants told me there really wasn't much that was new about reengineering other than the label—which they would often roll their eyes at. But it was new to me (just about everything was), and became one of the many management philosophies and methodologies I immersed myself in through the decade.

Somehow, I've now become one of the experienced guys, and today I think back to those times whenever I hear "lean" around startups. Eye rolling is often involved.

I'm a big supporter of many of the core…

Spinning the unemployment numbers

Statistics Canada releases its Labour Force Information report every month, and while each edition contains many new numbers, almost all of them play a barely-audible second-fiddle to the unemployment rate.

I live in part of Middlesex County that falls within the London census metropolitan area (CMA). This area had a panic attack when the March figures were released a couple of weeks ago. You'll quickly see why when you scan the unemployment rates of the 15 CMAs in Ontario covered in the report:

Guelph6.0%Ottawa6.1Hamilton6.1Thunder Bay6.3Kingston6.3Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo  7.2  Barrie7.3Brantford7.7Greater Sudbury7.8St. Catharines-Niagara7.9Toronto8.4Oshawa8.6Windsor9.0London9.6Peterborough10.2
You might think it would be hard to put out a positive spin when your number is second from the bottom (and as close to the bottom as it is to the one ahead of you). But when you look at the numbers—all of the numbers—it turns out that it's not so difficult to find a silver l…