Archive for February, 2013

Being a Class Act
February 8, 2013


This column first appeared in the January All Month Edition of the Friday AM

I’m not talking top hats, coat tails and Downton Abbey (though I do love Downton Abbey), I’m talking class as in old school learning.

In business, if you’re not learning, you’re losing – losing out on information, on innovation and on opportunity. Case in point, my recent re-entry into the education world. I’ve started teaching a course at the college on marketing and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m learning as much or more than I’m teaching. A lot has changed in college since my day – the internet, for one, online course manuals for another and interactivity with the students in between lectures. Do these improvements enhance learning outcomes? I’ll soon find out.

You don’t have to go back to class to go back to school (though there are great courses available here at OC), there’s plenty you can do from the comfort of your own office to keep up to date with the business of business.

On the Web

Got computer issues? Google them. Need to clarify a fact? Wikipedia is your friend. Want to understand that new business lingo? Investopedia is the way to go.

Still on the web – Twitter

Want to know the latest trends in your industry? Join Twitter. Follow anyone who is anyone in your business. If general business is your interest, I would recommend @GlobeSmallBiz, @FastCompany, @BloombergNews, @HuffPostCanada  and @bizinvancouver but there are millions of twitter accounts, you’ll be sure to find someone who can tell you what you’re needing to know.

On Radio

Likely my favourite, Terry O’Reilly, advertising guru, on Under the Influence on CBC Radio. If you’ve listened once, you’re still listening. If not, please tune in. You’ll easily fall under his influence.


The Lang and O’Leary Exchange on CBC can take a bit of getting used to but once you realize O’Leary’s heart isn’t made of coal, you’ll come to appreciate the perspective this seemingly opposites attract duo can offer. Dragon’s Den and the Big Decision are great learning opportunities as well. Over at the Business News Network, it’s pretty “inside baseball” when it comes to their shows, but there’s plenty to learn there too if you can negotiate your way through all the jargon.

In Print

And not to be outdone, the good old fashioned hard cover book. I recently picked up a copy of The Economics Book, Big Ideas Simply Explained. It’s a great overview of economics, with graphs (and yes, even pictures) covering the period from 400 BC to the 2008 Financial melt down.

On Film

And speaking of melt downs, if you have Netflix, stroll on over to the documentaries section. There’s plenty of insightful and shocking business news to take in. If you watch one movie this year, I’d have to recommend Inside Job. If you watch two, Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story is a doozy too. It could change the way you look at the world you work in.

And that perspective is ever changing is the business of business. Meet you in class!