Some of my unique learnings over the past few months

The purpose this update is to share my learnings and unlearnings, with the expectation that some will be of value to you.

Personal Update:

  • My mentoring program with 1st year Rotman Business School MBA students, for the 2022-2023 school year is underway. Many students in consulting hope to work for McKinsey, Bain, or BCG with a starting salary of over $200,000/yr.
  • Devoting significant effort learning about and be part of the Toronto startup ecosystem, which is global in scope. It is critical to understand how early stage companies are disrupting and destroying traditional established companies.
  • Mentored a startup this past summer at the University of Toronto Department of Engineering – Hatchery.
  • Being an advisor at the Holt Xchange, a global fintech fund and accelerator.
  • Being a member of the Angel One Investor Network, which is a member of Equation Angels.
  • Being a Patient Family Advisor at the Odette Cancer Centre – Sunnybrook Hospital.
  • Continuing my long-term fundraising for the Geoff Carr Fellowship at Lupus Ontario. Over the past 16 years family, friends, neighbours, and colleagues have contributed over $251,000. There is a contribution link at the end of this email. So far his year $7,300 has been contributed.
  • Continuing as: Member of the Angel One Investor Network, Advisory Board member at the Shaughnessy Group, and Board Director at Computer Aid Canada.
  • Continuing to share with you, and on my website, some of what I’ve learned with the intent that some of you will find value. The learnings are applicable to any size company, ranging from an early stage startup to large global enterprises.

My biggest learnings in the past three months

  • I don’t know the explanation for the following: the vast major of leaders of businesses that are struggling do not want to understand their potential customers. I keep advising them to talk to their potential customers to understand why customers are not buying and why customers are leaving.  Most leaders refuse to do so. I can’t figure.
  • There has been a fundamental change in the PE (Private Equity) world. In Wave 1, profits were made by cost cutting and financial engineering.  Wave 2 was M&A and operational improvement.  Wave 3 has been underway for the past 5+ years. PE portfolio companies are now threatened by the rapid growth of small firms and startups. The rapid growth is financed by the massive amount of capital available these days.  These growing companies know more about customer problems and needs than the existing companies.  In Wave 3, PE portfolio companies will have to also improve their understanding of customers.
  • Traditional approaches to business transformation, risk management, and governance often exclude the talent required at the board of directors and C-Suite. This is reflected  in the fact that most major changes destroy company value and most companies have poor or moderate performance and disappear within 10 years.
  • The core reason for company failure is talent. Success requires competitively differentiated talent.  It is very hard for most board directors and C-Suite members to recognize and admit that they are the reason for their company failing.
  • I learned the phrase “life style company”. It refers to founders who want to create (or have created) and early stage company that provides an income they are content with – and the founders have no interest in either growing the company or selling the company. As a result, investors avoid these companies, because the investors will never get their money out.  However, I’ve noticed that the boards of directors and C-Suites of many long-established established companies are “life style” leaders.  Often, these companies become prime targets for activist investors or end up disappearing.

 Sharing my learnings

My website ( contains my points-of-view regarding key issues and questions regarding value creation and growth in for-profit businesses. Each point-of-view is a brief article designed to enable discussion among founders, owners, shareholders, investors, CEOs, boards of directors, and advisory boards. I do not address not-for-profits, government, or other non-profit oriented organizations.

 Below are links to my website containing: new and revised points-of-view since my last update in July.

Links to my points-of-view artiles:

Traditional business transformation dooms your company to failure

Traditional risk management dooms your company to failure

Traditional corporate governance dooms companies to failure

Why will your company fail?

Society’s trust in corporate leadership and political leadership is low V2

 To support the Geoff Carr Fellowship at  Lupus Ontario

Link to my Geoff Carr Fellowship fundraising page

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