Why I’ve Divested From The Oil Sands
Jeff Rubin, one of the world’s most prominent experts on the future of “black gold,” explains why the end of cheap supply means the end of easy answers to renewing prosperity—and the end of globalization as we now know it. Rubin was the former Chief Economist at CIBC World Markets (for almost 20 years), is a frequent columnist for The Globe and Mail, and is the bestselling author of Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller, and The End of Growth. In this new column in The Globe, Jeff writes about why he’s divested from the oil sands:
Adherents of index investing in Canada have had a rough month as falling oil prices have inflicted considerable pain on not just the energy sector but the entire Canadian market. After surveying the landscape I’ve finally thrown in the towel on the TSX and switched my investing allegiance south of the border to the less oily S&P 500.
Look back over the last few years and the biggest challenge facing oil sands producers would certainly seem to be the inability to get a major new pipeline project approved that would allow the industry to sell its ever expanding production to new markets. Now, however, falling oil prices are changing the conversation that Big Oil is having with the rest of the country about the need to build more pipeline infrastructure. At today’s oil prices, the expected doubling of oil sands production over the next decade just isn’t in the cards. If oil sands output isn’t going up then where exactly is the impetus to break ground on a new pipeline? Indeed, the more relevant issue facing oil sands investors at the moment isn’t about how production from northern Alberta might be expanded, but whether the industry’s current level of production is sustainable.
On Reverse Mentoring: The Untapped Resource for Innovation and Business Growth
Reverse mentoring is a concept that was first introduced in the 90’s by Jack Welch, then CEO of GM, who insisted that all senior leaders be paired up with young tech whizzes. Since then, companies such as Hewlett Packard and Cisco Systems are benefiting from the creation of reverse mentoring programs.
So, what does reverse mentoring look like?
Reverse mentoring is the pairing Gen Y’s or Millennials with Senior Leaders, who meet in a neutral environment with the focus of the meet-up on how the Gen Y or Millennial can provide ideas, support, or tools for the Senior Leader to increase knowledge on technology and social media. Often, the Senior Leader will share his or her knowledge on business with the Gen Y or Millennial, which provides the young mentors with added value.
Please look at me because eye contact makes you real and likable
Sawubona. This is the Zulu greeting for “hello” from my native South Africa. But the literal translation of Sawubona means ‘I see you’ and the response, ‘Ngikhona’ means ‘I am here’. Inherent in the Zulu greeting and our grateful response, is the sense that until you saw me, I didn’t exist. By recognizing me, you brought me into existence. A Zulu proverb clarifies this, “Umuntu ngumuntu nagabantu”, meaning, “A person is a person because of other people”.
So think about this: when you make eye contact with other people, you bring them into existence. You connect them to the world that you represent. By looking directly at people, you acknowledge their presence and make them real. Without that connection, they may feel isolated and even disoriented.
What Meeting Planners Expect From Professional Speakers
Leadership expert Michelle Ray helps people and organizations to take the lead, get out of their comfort zones, and develop the willingness to risk. Delivering her powerful message on self-leadership with insight, humour, and passion, Michelle’s engaging, interactive, presentations resonate with a diverse clientele who are seeking to inspire their teams and take personal responsibility for creating their own reality at work, in business and in life. Based on her observations from years of professional speaking, Michelle shares her ideas on what meeting planners need from the professional speakers they hire:
While preparing my presentation set-up for a keynote at a recent conference, the meeting planner ran toward me in a panic, apologizing for being pulled in ten different directions, simultaneously. She explained that there were several items demanding her immediate attention. Her committee were in a time crunch, trying to locate the whereabouts of one of the panelists due to appear in a morning breakout session. In addition, tensions were building amongst attendees as the registration software was inexplicably malfunctioning, resulting in lengthy line-ups and delays at the welcome booths. Boxes containing sponsors’ promotional materials were missing and presumed lost en route, as the conference facility’s shipping and receiving department and the planner frenetically exchanged text messages. Meanwhile, the banquet manager was waiting for her at the back of the room, needing approval to add seating for the luncheon, in order to accommodate a number of special guests who confirmed their attendance that morning.
As I reflect on the experience, it reminded me of several important factors that contribute to the success of a conference, from the perspective of a meeting planner. First and foremost, although speakers have the privilege of the performing on the main stage, we are not at the centre of the meeting planner’s universe. It behooves us to be mindful of their immediate priorities and ultimate objectives.
How to Think, Talk and Win in the Year of The Horse
According to the Chinese Zodiac, the Year of The Horse begins on January 31. Within the Chinese calendar, each year is represented by an animal that carries with it a profound set of principles that forecast how the year will unfold. Here are three that are central to all our wellbeing:
First, there is nothing in the universe that is not subject to constant change and transformation.
Second, there is regularity within change. There is nothing accidental within the system. Change and transformation take place by way of a pattern to the process, not by chance.
Third, The individual is a microcosm of the universe itself. What is inside is also outside. Peace is found in the harmony between self and society. In the terms of Yin/Yang theory, the secret is to align one’s personal yin and yang with the universal yin and yang.