Shares of Shopify (SHOP) surged to a new all-time on Monday. But with no breaking news to speak of, it might be time to take a look at what exactly the young Canadian company does that has investors hopping on board.
В шестом матче «Оттава Сенаторс» обыграл «Питсбург Пингвинс» // Второй финалист Кубка Стэнли определится в пятницу
Едва ли не в самой ожидаемой встрече в рамках Кубка Стэнли — шестом матче play-off Восточной конференции — в ночь на среду «Оттава Сенаторс» на льду Canadian Tire Centre в столице Канады победил «Питсбург Пингвинс» — 2:1. Таким образом, счет в серии между командами сравнялся — 3:3, и соперник «Нэшвилл Предаторс», который первым вышел в финал play-off НХЛ, определится в ночь на пятницу в Питсбурге.
The CEO of a large Australian company called me to relay a particular strategy development problem his firm was facing, and ask for my advice. The company was an eager user of my “cascading choices” framework for strategy that I have used for decades and written about extensively, most prominently in the 2013 book I wrote, with friend and colleague A.G. Lafley, called Playing to Win. My Australian friend explained that each of his five business unit presidents was using the Strategy Choice Cascade, and that all of them had gotten stuck in the same place. They had chosen a Winning Aspiration and had settled on a Where to Play choice. But all of them were stuck at the How to Win box. It is no surprise, I told my friend, that they have gotten stuck. It is because they considered Where to Play without reference to How to Win. I’ve heard variants of this over and over. Although I have always emphasized that these five choices have to link together and reinforce each other, hence the arrows flowing back and forth between the boxes, it has become clear to me that I haven’t done a good enough job of making this point, especially as it relates to the choices of Where to Play and How to Win. The challenge here is that both are linked, and together they are the heart of strategy; without a great Where to Play and How to Win combination, you can’t possibly have a worthwhile strategy. Of course, Where to Play and How to Win has to link with and reinforce an inspiring Winning Aspiration. And Capabilities and Management Systems act as a reality check on the Where to Play and How to Win choice. If you can’t identify a set of Capabilities and Management Systems that you currently have, or can reasonably build, to make the Where to Play and How to Win choice come to fruition, it is a fantasy, not a strategy. Many people ask me why Capabilities and Management Systems are part of strategy when they are really elements of execution. That is yet another manifestation of the widespread, artificial, and unhelpful attempt to distinguish between choices that are “strategic” and ones that are “executional” or “tactical.” Remember that, regardless of what name you give them, these choices are a critical part of the integrated set of five choices that are necessary to successfully guide the actions of an organization. I had to tell my Australian friend that locking and loading on Where to Play choices, rather than setting the table for a great discussion of How to Win, actually makes it virtually impossible to have a productive consideration of How to Win. That is because no meaningful Where to Play choice exists outside the context of a particular How to Win plan. An infinite number of Where to Play choices are possible, and equally meritorious — before considering each’s How to Win. In other words, there aren’t inherently strong and weak Where to Play choices. They are only strong or weak in the context of a particular How to Win choice. Therefore, making lists of Where to Play choices before considering How to Win choices has zero value in strategy. For example, Uber made a Where to Play choice that included China because it’s a huge and important market. But being huge and important didn’t make that choice inherently meritorious. It would have been meritorious only if there had been a clear How to Win as well — which it appears there never was. Microsoft made a Where to Play choice to get into smartphone hardware (with its acquisition of Nokia’s handset business) because it was a huge and growing market, seemingly adjacent to Microsoft’s own, but it had no useful conception of how that would be twinned with a How to Win — and it lost spectacularly. P&G made a Where to Play choice to get into the huge, profitable, and growing pharmaceutical business with the acquisition of Norwich Eaton, in 1982. While it performed decently in the business, it divested the business in 2009 because, in those nearly two decades, it came to realize that it could play but never win in that still-exciting Where to Play. Moreover, no meaningful How to Win choice exists outside the context of a particular Where to Play. Despite what many think, there are not generically great ways to win — e.g., being a first mover or a fast follower or a branded player or a cost leader. All How to Win choices are useful, or not, depending on the Where to Play with which they are paired. A How to Win choice based on superior scale is not going to be useful if the Where to Play choice is to concentrate on a narrow niche — because that would undermine an attempted scale advantage. Undoubtedly, Uber thought its How to Win — having a easy-to-use ride-hailing app for users twinned with a vehicle for making extra money for drivers — would work well in any Where to Play. But it didn’t work in the Where to Play of China. It turned out that Uber’s How to Win had a lot to do with building a first-mover advantage in markets like the U.S.; when Uber was a late entrant, the Where to Play wasn’t a simple extension, and it exited after losing convincingly to first mover Didi. Perhaps Microsoft felt that its How to Win of having strong corporate relationships and a huge installed base of software users would extend nicely into smartphones, but it most assuredly didn’t. As a Canadian, I can’t help but recall the many Canadian retailers with powerful How to Wins in Canada (Tim Hortons, Canadian Tire, Jean Coutu) that simply didn’t translate to a Where to Play in the U.S. Perhaps there is some solace, however, in retailer Target’s disastrous attempt to extend its U.S. How to Win into the Canadian Where to Play — turnabout is, I guess, fair play. The only productive, intelligent way to generate possibilities for strategy choice is to consider matched pairs of Where to Play and How to Win choices. Generate a variety of pairs and then ask about each: Can it be linked to an inspiring, attractive Winning Aspiration? Do we currently have, or can we reasonably build, the capabilities that would be necessary to win where we would play? Can we create the Management Systems that would need to be in place to support the building and maintenance of the necessary capabilities? Those Where to Play and How to Win possibilities for which these questions can plausibly be answered in the affirmative should be taken forward for more consideration and exploration. For the great success stories of our time, the tight match of Where to Play and How to Win is immediately obvious. USAA sells insurance only to military personnel, veterans, and their families — and tailors its offerings brilliantly and tightly to the needs of those in that sphere, so much so that its customer satisfaction scores are off the charts. Vanguard sells index mutual funds/ETFs to customers who don’t believe that active management is helpful to the performance of their investments. With that tight Where to Play, it can win by working to achieve the lowest cost position in the business. Google wins by organizing the world’s information, but to do that it has to play across the broadest swath of search. It doesn’t matter whether the strategic question is to aim broadly or narrowly, or to pursue low costs or differentiation. What does matter is that the answers are a perfectly matched pair.
Гонка серии NASCAR на пикапах, проходившая в канадской провинции Онтарио на трассе Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, завершилась дракой. Шедший вторым Джон Хантер Немечек в последнем повороте перед финишем атаковал лидера гонки Коула Кастера, автомобили спортсменов столкнулись, после чего гонщики сошлись в рукопашной.
How good is your safe? Maybe not as good as you think. "Anything you buy in Home Depot, or any safe in Walmart, Costco, Staples, Canadian Tire -- it's all crap," Terry Whin-Yates (a.k.a. Mr. Locksmith) of Vancouver, Canada, said in a video posted online last week. "We can open them in less than 10 seconds." Last year, security expert Jim Stickley showed how to open a hotel safe in less than two minutes. But with the magnet trick, it takes Whin-Yates about two seconds to access a popular type of safe he bought at Staples for $250: "Different types of magnets will open up most hotel rooms, most inexpensive safes and most apartment buildings," Whin-Yates said in the clip. "There's very little security." Whin-Yates said he's been threatened with multi-million dollar lawsuits over his safe-cracking demonstrations. "We have lawsuit parties now if someone's going to threaten me," he said in the clip. "It's kind of fun -- especially if you're right." (h/t digg) Also on HuffPost: -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
По сведениям из осведомленных источников, канадская компания Canadian Tire, оперирующая одноимённой сетью магазинов товаров для дома, планирует привлечь около C$260 млн ($251 млн) или C$10 за каждую бумагу путем проведения IPO своего инвестиционного траста недвижимости. Стоит отметить, что проведением IPO займутся банки Royal Bank of Canada и Imperial Bank of Commerce.
George Osborne to argue that remaining in the UK would boost real incomes in Scotland by 4% over the next 30 yearsScottish households will be about £2,000 better off and freer to work and trade with the rest of the UK if voters reject independence, George Osborne will claim on Tuesday.In a speech to oil industry executives in Aberdeen, the chancellor is expected to argue that Scotland would enjoy far greater benefits from staying within the UK economy than by putting a new border in place after independence.Osborne is also due to release a paper from the Treasury estimating that remaining within the UK would boost real incomes in Scotland by 4% over the next 30 years, equivalent to £5bn in cash terms, through extra trade, labour migration and cross-border investment.The paper suggests that even under EU trade rules, a new border would introduce regulatory, tax and legal differences that could cut trade between Scotland and the rest of the UK, currently worth £85bn, by as much as 80%. Labour migration might fall from about 40,000 people a year to as few as 10,000.In a conclusion provoking derision from the Scottish government, the paper says even if the two countries share sterling and the Bank of England, as first minister Alex Salmond proposes, there would be a significant drag on growth for Scotland.It will state: "Replacing the current relationship between Scotland and the rest of the UK with a relationship similar to that of euro area member states would create significant headwinds to Scottish growth."Salmond and the Scottish government insist that independence would have immediate and significant economic benefits, allowing it to tailor its taxes and investment policies to domestic needs and benefit Scottish businesses.Nicola Sturgeon, the deputy first minister, said the chancellor's claims about the long-term economic benefit of the union were laughable, given that the Institute of Fiscal Studies had said Osborne's austerity drive would cut each British household's income by £1,800 by 2015.Describing the Treasury figure as a "fantasy promise", Sturgeon said: "People are growing increasingly tired of the no campaign's 'Project Fear' approach and will not take kindly to being lectured by a deeply unpopular Tory chancellor."A majority of people in Scotland want to see economic decisions taken in Scotland for Scotland, not by Westminster governments that Scotland did not vote for."As an independent country, in a single market not just with the rest of the UK but with the European Union – a position threatened by Westminster – we will finally be able to make our own decisions, to support our key industries, our workforce and to counteract the economic imbalance caused by London-based economic policy."Scottish ministers also point to Scotland's significant inward investment record under Salmond's leadership. It is now the UK's second most successful region for foreign investment, after London and the south-east.UK ministers counter that these investments take place because Scotland shares in the UK's open and heavily integrated markets, and are helped substantially by the UK's international diplomatic reach and influence.The Treasury report, the latest in a series of analyses by Whitehall civil servants challenging the merits of independence, argues that international experience proves that even a loose and open border like that between the US and Canada stifles trade.One study estimates that trade between neighbouring US and Canadian states is 44% lower than it would be without a border. Canadian provinces trade 20 times more with other Canadian provinces than they do with neighbouring US states.It is also expected to produce similar evidence of a "border effect" on German trade with its immediate neighbour Austria, which shares close ethnic and language ties with Germany and is also part of the EU.Scottish independenceScottish politicsScotlandGeorge OsborneEconomic policyAlex SalmondScottish National party (SNP)Nicola SturgeonSeverin Carrelltheguardian.com © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
(Reuters) - Canadian Tire Corp , best-known for its namesake automotive and homeware stores, said it plans to create a C$3.5 billion ($3.5 billion) real estate investment trust through an initial...
Canadian Tire says it plans to create a C$3.5B ($3.49B) real estate investment trust through an initial public offering later this year. The company says it will hold 80% to 90% of the REIT.
Canadian Tire says it plans to create a C$3.5B ($3.49B) real estate investment trust through an initial public offering later this year. The company says it will hold 80% to 90% of the REIT. Post your comment!
My son couldn't wait to turn 16 because it meant he could finally get a job. On his birthday, last November, he started applying to companies. He has a strong work ethic; it must come from being raised by an entrepreneurial mother. He has seen me work hard, make my own luck and persevere in the face of adversity. I always taught him to never give up, to keep on trying and to be positive. He has a pet-sitting business which he started when he was eight. He has been a volunteer coach for his swim team. He is a good kid, well groomed and well mannered. He's always on time, is very reliable and wants to work. What more could you ask for? Apparently, you need more than that. My son has applied to McDonalds three times, Tim Hortons twice, KFC, Cineplex twice, No Frills, Loblaws, golf courses (to do anything), coffee shops, Canadian Tire, FreshCo, Pizza Pizza, Wonderland, and City of Toronto. He got an interview at Wonderland, took the math proficiency test and scored high marks. He was streamed into an interview for a job hawking games. Right there and then, he was told to audition. This was his first interview and I'm not sure he knew what a game hawker did. He flunked that. Given that he did well in the math test, he expected he would be interviewed for a job as a cashier or in one of the gift shops. But he was told better luck next year. In my quest to understand this odd situation, I began asking young people how they got their jobs. At Cineplex, the young ticket seller told me that he applied online. He was 16. At my local FreshCo, he handed his resume to the manager. He never got a call but there have since been new teens working there. The local McDonalds has had significant staff turnover. My son applied last year during the McDonalds national day of hiring. After his interview at the local store, he received a special code inviting him to apply online. That opportunity vanished into the ether along with the others. He never heard back from them, although he applied online twice after that. So what's going on here? What I keep hearing from people is that my son is lacking the most essential of life skills -- the powerful network. I have always believed in letting kids make it on their own. I vowed I would never be a helicopter parent, hovering over my precious offspring's every move and shielding him from life's tough lessons. I sent him out to the work world to learn its workings and mature from that process. What better lesson, I thought, than to learn what a jungle it is out there. Little did I realize that it wasn't a jungle but had turned into a glorified networking event. Time and again, I've been told that you have to know someone, that you have to have connections. Where does a 16-year-old get connections other than have parents make the connections for you? What happened to the philosophy of independence and striking out on your own? My son wants me to level the playing field for him and use my contacts. I can't say that I blame him for making that request. My son is feeling defeated by the job market and by how unresponsive these organizations are. I admit that I'm feeling defeated as well. I also worry about his future and the future of others like him. When I was his age, I simply walked into a few stores and asked for a job. I usually got one. My parents weren't involved and I certainly didn't need to be connected. Should my message to my son be to place less emphasis on getting good grades and doing good community work and more on knowing good people -- the ones who are connected? Is my son now to spend his teen years learning the fine art of networking so he can gain advantage over others? We hear endless pronouncements from governments and the private sector about supporting youth, advising them to get out there and learn the needed skills for the future economy. What is the point of that if you then throw a huge barrier to these students when they want to go out there, make a contribution and gain independence? The private sector is always trumpeting their youth initiatives... are these for the select few? It seems that we are creating a culture where those kids who are being coached and helped due to their connections are moving forward. The other kids who are trying to make it on their own, without help, are coming up against endless doors being slammed in their faces. Actually, they aren't being slammed because they aren't even being opened a crack.
By the time Kai Nagata got out of the pool, the iPhone on his towel was vibrating out of control. A half hour earlier, before taking a night swim in July, 2011, at a public park in Kitchener, he had tweeted the following: After careful reflection, I've decided to leave my job at CTV. You can read more at www.kainagata.com— Kai Nagata (@kainagata) July 8, 2011 He linked it to his website, where he posted a 3,000-word manifesto explaining his resignation as the media company's Quebec bureau chief. The post – a musing on the moral shortcomings of TV journalism ("there was a growing gap between the reporter I played on TV, and the person I really am and want to become") – went viral. After publishing it, Nagata began receiving constant tweets, text messages and e-mails, some deriding him as a coward, others lauding him as a hero. By the time he had reached his next destination, London, Ont., and met a friend at a bar, his phone had died because of the non-stop vibrations. In the next few weeks, Nagata would receive 1,000 e-mails, 2,500 Twitter messages and 1,500 comments on his post, not to mention retweets from the likes of Margaret Atwood and Roger Ebert and personal e-mails from Elizabeth May and Michael Ignatieff. Nagata hadn't just quit his job at CTV, he had become the poster boy for the debate around Millennial attitudes towards the workplace. Millennials, loosely defined as those born after 1980, aren't afraid of quitting their jobs (full disclosure: I am one). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Generation Y is expected to stay in jobs for just over two years, about half the amount of time spent by the current average worker. Seventy per cent of recent graduates reported leaving their first jobs within two years, according to Experience.com's recent "Life After College" survey. While this tendency to flee may seem baffling -- considering that young people graduated into a job market devastated by the 2007-2008 financial downturn and are increasingly taking on more student debt -- economic turmoil actually helped spawn a generation of quitters. Many Millennials are forced to take jobs outside their field of study with which they quickly grow impatient and leave at the next best opportunity. Remember, this is a generation that has no company loyalty and was raised by boomer parents who told them "you can be whatever you want to be." Financial turmoil is just a bump on the road to the dream job they deserve. Story continues below slideshow When Rema Gouyez graduated from journalism school in 2011, she was terrified. She kept hearing from professors and journalists how it was the worst time to be job hunting. And they were right. Millennials were the group hit hardest by the latest recession, whose effects still taint the job market. According to #GenerationFlux, a study released last year by Community Foundations of Canada, more than half the jobs that disappeared during the economic downturn were for Millennials aged 15 to 24, and the youth unemployment rate is now 14 per cent compared with 11 per cent before the recession. A recent survey of Millennials commissioned by HuffPost Canada found that the generation's biggest challenges was the ability to find a quality job. Meanwhile, student debt levels continue to grow – in 2010, almost 60 per cent of university grads owed an average of $20,000 to 30,000 in debt. Gouyez, who was born in Britain, was even worse off: she had the Canadian equivalent of $50,000 in debt from the City University London and was having no luck finding work in her field. Her mother, a Moroccan immigrant who worked her way from a cleaner to a biomedical scientist after coming to Canada, was "a bit of a snob" about jobs. She would tell her daughter: "I don't want you to do anything you're not good enough for," which to Gouyez was looking increasingly more likely. After applying for jobs in London, she decided it would be easier to find a journalism job in Toronto, where she had done an exchange during her third year at school. That was just as hopeless. After a few months, Gouyez had heard nothing back, until a friend offered to help her land a job as an event planner for the historic distillery district in downtown Toronto. Gouyez jumped at the opportunity. "It wasn't even a case of I thought I could enjoy it," she said. "It was literally just to be able to pay the bills." According to #GenerationFlux, a third of 25 to 29-year-olds with a college or university degree move into low-skilled occupations after graduating, though they rarely stay in them for long. Although Gouyez at least wasn't working at McDonald's, after four months she grew bored of organizing events for small corporate clients, booking rooms and co-ordinating menus. "Once I learned [the work], there was nowhere to progress," she said. "I was losing my mind and thought ‘I can't do this anymore.'" Her mom was also hounding her to "stop wasting her time," so after four months, Gouyez started a job search, applying for three jobs a week. After two months, all she had got was an interview at a fashion magazine. Desperate, when an opportunity came up to be the marketing co-ordinator for a boutique merchant bank that funds resource projects, Gouyez took it. "I had no interest in the mining industry," she said, "but I thought it would be a great stepping stone into a marketing position. I just wanted that title on my résumé to further my career." She "hated it" and quit after three months to work as the digital marketing co-ordinator at Benefit Cosmetics, where she has been since July 2012. That's three jobs in just over a year and a half. Rema Gouyez is now working in her third job in a year and a half For many Millennials, giving themselves the pink slip is a golden ticket to career growth. According to research done last year by the Harvard Business Review, 95 per cent of high achievers around the age of 30 leave companies after 28 months and regularly watch for potential employers. Instead of staying at companies that dictate after how many years an employee can be promoted, get a raise and – gasp! – from where and for how long they must work, Gen Y simply looks for a new opportunity. With every career jump she has made, Rebecca Thorman has received a minimum 20 per cent wage increase (a typical raise is 2-to-3 per cent). Like hipster fashion, her résumé is cool because it is mismatched: Her first job after graduating in 2005 from interior design and environmental studies from a college in Madison, Wisc., was at an eco-consulting firm where she had interned. She lasted half a year before her next job as a fundraiser at St. Vincent de Paul. Thorman then decided she wanted to apply as the organization's development director, but her bosses said that at 21, she was too young. Wrong answer. Rather than wait, Thorman quit to work as executive director at Madison Magnet, a networking group of young professionals and a company that thought she was old enough for the title. In the past four years, Thorman has switched jobs twice more, first to work as director at Alice.com, an e-commerce site for household products, and most recently at Speek.com, a D.C.-based company that manages conference calls. "I've built a portfolio career because I don't perceive the employer as loyal anymore," she said. "I've taken that loyalty upon myself rather than rely on an employer that could care less about me or an elusive dream job to give me satisfaction." It wasn't supposed to be this dramatic. Two days before quitting his job, Nagata pulled out of his driveway in Quebec City to begin a six-week road trip during which he would contemplate his future. He had asked his boss for a leave of absence since after two years in the broadcast world – first at CBC and then at CTV – Nagata was feeling burned out. The then 24-year-old had started working in the industry soon after graduating in 2008, and caught a series of lucky breaks that eventually resulted in the job running political coverage from Quebec City. But Nagata had slowly been building up to a breaking point – exhaustion from overtime, deadline pressures and physical demands (he once herniated a disk in his back and was off the job for six weeks) and mental frustration with the way the corporate agenda of his company determined which stories were covered and how. Objectively, it was a dream job, but Nagata didn't feel right about his work. He had been driving on the highway for two hours in his 2007 Ford Ranger when his cellphone rang. It was his boss, calling to inform Nagata that he no longer had a six week leave of absence. CTV was no longer comfortable allowing him to soul search with no assurance he would stay with the company. Nagata had 72 hours to make up his mind. (Nagata's manager needed his decision in 72 hours.) After the call, he stared out on to the road and realized the corporate pressure made his decision easier: Did he want to work for a company that views its human capital purely as moneymakers? No. He thought about freedom. A life without HR and cubicles. As Nagata drove to his first stop in Gatineau, he contemplated how to make his exit. *** Believing that you would work for one company your entire career was the norm 30 years ago, but that was before "corporate" became such a dirty word. Growing up, many Millennials had family members who were affected by mass layoffs in the in the 1980s and 1990s and the erosion of benefits such as pensions, all of which planted the seed of distrust in youth. Stan Smith, who worked as the national director for Cross Generation Initiatives at Deloitte LLP for almost a decade, saw during a series of focus groups with 14 to 24-year-olds in 2006 how distrust of companies had spread like a pandemic among American Millennials. In both liberal-minded cities such as San Francisco and conservative places such as Greenville, S.C., all kids raised their hands when asked whether they had family members who had been laid off by companies. The kids said that, though they wanted to trust companies and ideally have multiple roles at one place, they were skeptical that employers could be loyal to them. "They had seen the way their grandparents and uncles and aunts were treated by corporations and they didn't like it," Smith said. "The pain it caused their families – they saw no reason to trust businesses." The fact that so few managers are willing to adapt in ways that accommodate Millennials' views means that Gen Y's negative attitude persists. INFOGRAPHIC: Expand There is no doubt that young people have high expectations of their workplace, a fact that often leads them to be dubbed "entitled." It's easy to mock this quest for meaning for its sanctimonious quality, epitomized by a line that Lena Dunham's character in the HBO series "Girls" delivers to her parents over a tense dinner: "...I am busy – trying to become who I am." Yet Generation Y has some concrete demands from the workplace that managers would be wise to heed. Smith's research found that 79 per cent of Millennials consider a "good" company to be one that invests in its employees, community and the environment. Forty per cent of North American MBA grads say they would sacrifice almost $14,000 a year to work at a company that prized corporate social responsibility, according to a study done by Stanford University. They also want to feel personally challenged. "A lot of workplaces just kind of put you into your spot in the system and expect you to stay there," Thorman said. "But I think Gen Y wants to have control and touch every piece of the workplace." The conflicts between Millennials and management have created a niche of literature filled with titles such as Motivating the "What's In It For Me" Workforce and >i?Not Everyone Gets a Trophy. According to a recent report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, 61 per cent of chief executives say they have trouble recruiting and integrating younger employees, a fact that does not surprise Smith. "Older bosses think they have to run a business and have no time to communicate with young people," he said. "They ask me how to work with kids, and I say ‘you have to talk with them.'" Beth N. Carver, a consultant who has delved into exit interviews, found the two biggest reasons young people leave their jobs are a lack of both training opportunities and mentors. When Craig Alexander, the senior vice-president and chief economist at TD (and a member of Gen X) interviews young people to work on his team of 13 economists, they inevitably ask about mentoring. While he has invested in coaching as a result, many managers that Alexander encounters are reluctant to invest in employees who are likely to leave. "My question is always: ‘What if you don't invest in these skills and they stay?'" he said. "If you only have them for a few years then you've had a smart person contributing to your output for several years. That's a better outcome than hiring someone mediocre who is going to stay with you for a long time." And a company's investing in those skills might lead to the unthinkable: a Gen Y employee might actually stick around. For the first time in her short career, Gouyez feels loyal to an employer. She now works as the digital marketing coordinator for Benefit Cosmetics, a job that satisfies many Millennial needs: "Before, I had managers yelling at me or telling me I'm doing this or that wrong," she said. "Here, I'm more like the manager of my own digital department. Knowing that is really encouraging and pushes me to work harder." She is allowed to show personality on the company's social media accounts and enjoys the positive work atmosphere – employees are given points for making each other laugh. When she thinks of career growth, it's within the company. As for Nagata, he is now working as a freelancer in his hometown of Vancouver and believes that leaving CTV was the best decision he has made. "The last year and a half has been a long, unbroken exercise in figuring out what I'm not good at," he said. "I can think with some realism now about what I want to do well and how I can apply that to my larger goals about who I want to be." He admits to having alienated some people in his profession with his blog post ("I burned ... no, I blew my bridges into the stratosphere," he said in a recent interview with Vancouver Magazine) but says most of the criticisms revealed people's own insecurities and anger. "I didn't like being used as ammo for tired attacks against young people for somehow being clued out to their own privilege or having the temerity to want to work for people they respect and respect them back," he said. "Just because most people don't find themselves in a position where they can make the decision to quit doesn't mean it's okay." Shortly after posting the blog, Nagata returned to Vancouver and became a writer-in-residence for the independent website the Tyee. He filmed a documentary that he released online about a blind lute player who jumped motorcycles. He grew a beard. He continued to maintain his website, where he voices the opinions he couldn't in mainstream media (see his ethical oil rap, for example). Late one morning on a weekday in January, Nagata was being picked up by his friend to shoot a film, the subject of which he refused to divulge. "I'm rattling around in a 1992 Ford Ranger with video equipment." he said. "It seems to be a theme in my life. Would I go back to an office job? Yeah. I mean, absolutely, if the conditions were right. I don't have some sort of philosophical opposition. If something comes along with people I respect and a job I think I'd be useful at then, yeah. Why not?"
Can anyone tell me why, exactly, Dick Cheney is on my television screen? Was there a shortage of cranky old Republican jingoist men this week, or what? Was John McCain too busy, or something? Sigh. The vagaries of the news media continue to astound me. I mean, some cruise ship passengers have to put up with some unsavory and unsanitary conditions for a few days, and it's the biggest story of the week? The same week as the "State Of The Union" speech, and a Republican nominee for Secretary of Defense being filibustered? Really? I guess that's the way it goes these days. "I had to poop in a bag" beats out "Congress is taking yet another week-long vacation with only two weeks remaining before the sequester," at least in terms of relative levels of disgust. I know which one disgusts me more, but apparently this thinking does not match with news program directors across the land. Maybe "a rock fell from the sky" will edge out the returning cruise ship tonight. I did find it humorous to hear of the emergency broadcast system getting hacked this week, to warn unsuspecting citizens of the start of the zombie apocalypse, however. While hacking our nation's emergency communications system is serious, the federal government can only blame itself for the message thus broadcast, since (as we pointed out way back in FTP 168) the Centers for Disease Control has already been spending our tax dollars to warn us of the upcoming zombie apocalypse (complete with -- you can't make this stuff up, folks -- zombie posters, a zombie blog, and even a zombie graphic novella). Pretty hard not to think "the joke's on you," when you factor that in, really. Canadian lawmakers apparently got in on the fun as well, which just added to the amusement. What will historians really think when they dig that parliamentary speech out 100 years from now, one wonders. And because it is Valentine's week, we'll close here with two subjects for you to search for, should you want to delve into some adult-themed humor (but we're not providing links, because we consider it beneath us... and also, because we're lazy). The first thing to look up is "Chubby Checker," if you haven't heard about his lawsuit against an app maker who took the two words a little too literally. To balance things among the genders in adult news, the other thing you can look up is "Hillary Clinton panda video," where a conservative political action group showed off... um... those "family values" they're supposed to stand for? It's hard to tell, even on the best of days, what those folks are thinking. Senator Elizabeth Warren seems to be wasting no time in getting under the skin of Wall Street bankers, which is the whole reason why she was sent to the Senate in the first place (and which makes it a joy to observe). She deserves an Honorable Mention for making them sweat into their tailor-made suits. Barack Obama's first State Of The Union speech of his second term was billed as a "bookend" to his earlier second inauguration speech (which was much more feisty). The bulk of the speech was an attempt to shame Congress into actually doing its job, or at least that's how I heard it. Over and over again, Obama's message was: "We should be able to get this done... How can this be a partisan issue?... Who could be against this?... Do your damn jobs, people!" It was, I thought, a utilitarian sort of speech. I wrote a column on Obama's speech and a column on Marco Rubio's Republican response already this week, if you're interested in my snap judgments in more detail (the Rubio article has an amusing headline, at least). So I'll give Obama a utilitarian sort of Honorable Mention, as I really didn't think the speech rose to the level of the coveted MIDOTW award. OK, all this typing has raised a powerful thirst... excuse me while I reach off-screen for a swig of water... heh. Sorry, couldn't resist. I (and millions of other Americans) are gleefully waiting to see what Saturday Night Live is going to do with "The Swig" of Marco Rubio, I have to admit. To his credit (and to be fair), Rubio was out there on the morning news circuit the next day, joining in the laughter about his awkward moment. Politicians who have the ability for self-effacing humor are a rare breed, so we at least have to give Rubio points for his good-natured response to all the kidding. Kidding aside, though, our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week was Representative Zoe Lofgren, who (with a Republican co-sponsor) this week introduced legislation to regulate the use of drones for domestic police work. Yes, police drones are coming to an airspace near you, if they aren't already there. Technology marches on. But, instead of letting the tech get way too far ahead of the law, Lofgren has proposed some meaningful restrictions on what cops will be allowed to do with their new "eye in the sky" surveillance. Restrictions like banning armed drones, for instance -- an eminently good idea on the face of it. Far too often, technology advances are ignored by lawmakers, and there is a Wild West "make it up as we go along" aspect to its implementation in society. The proposed law isn't perfect, but no bill really is. The main thing is to start this discussion now, and to get some laws in place which can be made better later, if needed. For getting out in front of this issue, and for proposing a legal framework for police departments across America to follow (using the federal power of the F.A.A.), Representative Zoe Lofgren is our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week. We encourage all congressional Democrats to support Lofgren's efforts. [Congratulate Representative Zoe Lofgren on her House contact page, to let her know you appreciate her efforts.] Speaking of drones.... The military is not really a valid target for us here, being non-partisan, but we have to at least toss out there the fact that the Pentagon is now ready to award medals to drone pilots. That doesn't seem all that controversial at first glance, but the really eyebrow-raising part of it is that the new "Distinguished Warfare Medal" will be ranked higher than either the Bronze Star or the Purple Heart. So sitting in a chair thousands of miles from the battlefield and piloting a drone -- where the only possible injury to yourself might be carpal tunnel or (to quote Mark Knopfler) to "maybe get a blister on your thumb" -- will now rank as a higher honor in the military than getting wounded in battle or showing valor in battle. That is beyond disappointing. Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta deserves at least a (Dis-)Honorable Mention for this decision. Jack Lew, President Obama's nominee for Secretary of the Treasury, also deserves a (Dis-)Honorable Mention, both for his Cayman Islands financial investment and for his million-dollar bonus for helping to crater the American economy (paid for with Wall Street bailout money). I bet if Obama had nominated Paul Krugman we wouldn't be having these problems right about now. Sure, the Republicans are flaming hypocrites for complaining about such things right after they backed Mr. Cayman Islands himself, Mitt Romney, for president. And sure, pretty much anyone from Wall Street is going to have some sort of embarrassing "tax haven" or "horse-chokingly-obscene bonus" problems, but isn't that really the whole point? Maybe we could look a little farther outside Wall Street in our pool of possible nominees, perhaps? But our Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week is none other than Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Three weeks ago, we awarded Harry a MDDOTW for agreeing to a "handshake" deal on reforming the filibuster. At the time, we just knew Republicans were, sooner or later, going to just laugh in Harry's face and take his lunch money on the issue (metaphorically, of course). We must admit, however, that we didn't think Harry would get "filibusted" this fast. The spectacle of Republicans filibustering a member of their own party for Secretary of Defense while we are at war was just breathtaking. The media largely shrugged, but then what do you really expect of a story that doesn't have videos you can run of actual human feces in a bag? I leave it as an exercise for the student to connect those two sentences, in whatever way you see fit. But the filibuster of Chuck Hagel isn't the point -- the point is Harry got snookered once again. And it blew up in his face within a period of three weeks. Now that Reid has tossed away any chance of filibuster reform until January of 2015, we're all going to have to live with the consequences until then. So, not for anything he did this week, but for the consequences of his actions three weeks ago, we're going to award a special Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week to Reid, where we're taking some red paint and writing in big letters on the award itself: "WE TOLD YOU SO, HARRY!" For ignoring good ideas for real filibuster reform when he had the chance, and for the fact that we've all got to live with the entirely predictable result of doing so, Harry Reid has more than earned another MDDOTW to add to his ever-growing collection. Maybe in 2015, Harry will see the error of his ways. Even better, maybe the Senate Democrats will see the error of their ways, and someone will launch a leadership fight for Senate Majority Leader. Until then, we're all going to have to live with filibusters-as-usual for the next two years. Thanks a lot, Harry. [Contact Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on his Senate contact page, to let him know what you think of his actions.] Volume 245 (2/15/13) Kind of a mix, this week, in our suggested talking points for Democrats to use in any upcoming media appearances (or just around the water cooler). The last four are themes from Obama's State Of The Union speech. The first three are just bashing those in Washington who we feel are in desperate need of some bashing. Let's get right to it, then, shall we? Hell of a way to run a country This one just frosts my cupcake no end. If I did a historical study of all 245 of these columns I've written, I would likely find that congressional work schedules is my number-one subject for abuse (or at least in the top three). I know it'll likely never change in my lifetime, but we all do what we must to draw the public's attention to it, nonetheless. "If you were in charge of a giant corporation and your business was in imminent danger of drastic changes to your business plan -- changes that will automatically take place in two weeks, mind you, and would have severe impacts on your company's future -- what would your response be? Would it be to announce that all your top management -- the people responsible for implementing any needed changes to your business plan -- will all be given a week-long vacation? Would you even consider wasting half the time left to fix your budgetary problems, when the clock is ticking in such a fashion? It would, quite frankly, be insane to give everybody a week off when you were facing serious upheavals that could impact your company's future in two short weeks. But that's exactly what Congress just did. They all took a whole week off for Washington's Birthday. When they return from their week in the sun, they'll have a total of four days to solve the sequester problem. That's a hell of a way to run a country." What would Republicans have said? This is an easy one to tee up. "For the first time in all of United States history, a presidential nominee to head the Defense Department has been filibustered by the Senate. This is a disgrace. Can you imagine for just one short minute what Republicans would be saying if the shoe were on the other foot? Can you imagine what they would say if Democrats were playing politics instead of confirming the heads of two key national security agencies while the United States still has troops fighting in an overseas war? My guess is that the patriotism of Democrats would be called into question, for playing politics with two nominees who are going to be confirmed in a straight up-or-down vote in the full Senate. Both these men will be confirmed, and Republicans know that, but they just want to score a few political points before that happens. While they delay two national security appointees. In a time of war. Just for one minute imagine what Republicans would be saying, if the party positions were reversed." Open warfare in Republicanland The news media did a huge favor this week for Republicans, by completely ignoring Rand Paul's "Tea Party" response to the State Of The Union. If this story had been given more airtime, it only would have spotlighted the deep, deep chasm within the Republican Party. "Boy, it seems like every time you turn around you see more and more evidence that the Republican Party and the Tea Party are in open warfare for control of the Republican brand. First it was Karl Rove announcing he'll be leading a group who will be attacking Tea Party candidates in Republican primaries. This week, we had the extraordinary spectacle of not just the Republican response to the State Of The Union speech, but actually two responses -- because I guess the Tea Party folks can't agree with the establishment Republicans on how to answer Obama. Just the fact that a sitting Republican senator felt the need to give a second speech because Republicans can't even agree among themselves is stunning, when you think about it. Republicans seem to be in a state of civil war these days. Maybe they should just split the party in two, and fight this battle for control out at the ballot box." Why don't you ask someone? Enough bashing, let's get to a few items from Obama's speech. The first one would be useful for just about any interview where the pros and cons of raising the minimum wage were debated. "You know, there has been a lot of discussion about the merits or drawbacks of raising the minimum wage, ever since Obama's speech. But in all this pontificating I have yet to hear one single voice of a person actually earning minimum wage. I look around this panel today, and I see a lot of folks saying raising the minimum wage would be either good or bad. What I do not see is one single person who will be affected. Why is that, I wonder? Well, probably because anyone making minimum wage is working so hard they don't have time to come down to this studio and sit around and beat their gums. I'd like someone to ask a minimum wage earner: would you like to see a nine-dollar-an-hour minimum wage? Some say this might reduce jobs in your area, some say that's not true -- if you knew it was a gamble and you might even lose your job, would you still support an increase in the minimum wage, knowing that if you got fired and found a new job it would be at the new pay rate? Nobody has even bothered to ask such questions of anyone who would be affected. We all sit here in our expensive suits and theorize about what macroeconomic effects will happen, but nobody bothers to go ask a few workers what they think. Which is a shame, because their voice is certainly worth hearing in this debate." Path to citizenship This needs to become a mantra. A true "talking point." A bumpersticker phrase that needs to be repeated over and over again until you are blue in the face. Democrats are a long way toward winning the "framing" battle over immigration reform -- a rare victory in the "how to talk about the issue" category. But don't let up now. Hammer it home. "The most important words President Obama used in his speech last week on the subject of immigration reform were 'a path to citizenship.' Without such a path, immigration reform simply will not be comprehensive. There are only four choices when it comes to what should be done about the eleven million people who would be affected. Number one, deport them all. That's never going to happen. Number two, the status quo. Everybody is now in agreement that we cannot let this situation go on the way it is, so this isn't really an option either. Number three, allow them to become legal, but not citizens. This deprives them of ever having a voice at the ballot box in the society they are living in, and creates second-class status forever. Number four, a path to citizenship. I support the president's plan. I support the dreams of millions of people already here. I support a path to citizenship, and would strongly urge President Obama to veto any bill which falls short of this goal. Passing immigration reform this year is not only possible, but I would even argue probable. But it's got to have a path to citizenship in it. Period." Why is this a partisan issue? This was the overarching theme of Obama's speech, and it bears repeating. "What struck me most about Obama's speech was the basic question he asked over and over again -- why are things the two parties used to largely agree upon now considered partisan issues? How can anyone be against something they supported just a short time ago? Does everything need to be partisan? Really? Here are a few direct quotes from the president: 'Why would we be against that?' ... 'Act before it's too late' ... 'We can fix this' ... 'Let's get it done.' And my favorite, the president pointing out that the American people expect us to put our nation's interest ahead of party. Sure, there will be issues we can have big partisan battles over, but there are many other issues where we should be able to reach reasonable compromises and then hold up-or-down votes. The renewal of the Violence Against Women Act just passed the Senate with an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote. It used to sail through both houses because it wasn't seen as a partisan issue in any way. Why are important things like this caught up in silly partisan games? We can do better than this, and I applaud the president for pointing this out to Congress and to the public." Up or down vote This was the emotional highlight of Obama's speech, but while "they deserve a vote" was powerful rhetoric for all the gun violence victims, it needs to be more to the point. By changing it slightly, it can be used for all sorts of issues. "President Obama was right when he got people on their feet this week with the refrain 'they deserve a vote.' He was speaking of gun violence victims across the land, but there's a larger point in there as well. Congress needs to do the people's work. There are a whole lot of issues that deserve an up-or-down vote in both houses of Congress right now. I call upon the leadership of both parties to commit to allowing up-or-down votes on legislation that has garnered strong bipartisan support, such as the Violence Against Women Act. It deserves an up-or-down vote. The president's nominees for his cabinet deserve an up-or-down vote. The budget deserves an up-or-down vote in the Senate, for that matter. America is tired of parliamentary games. Let's vote on these things and see who supports them and who does not. Rather than not holding votes because of timidity, let's show the American people where Congress stands on important issues. Demand an up-or-down vote! The American people deserve no less." Chris Weigant blogs at: Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigantBecome a fan of Chris on Huffington PostFull archives of FTP columns: FridayTalkingPoints.comAll-time award winners leaderboard, by rank