Ford headlines make Toronto a tougher sell: Business community

The scandal surrounding Mayor Rob Ford – and council’s inability to deal with it – is a “big turn-off” for those looking to invest or do business with Toronto, experts warn. . . . The situation makes the city a tougher sell to prospective investors who much prefer doing deals in places that have a stable government and political environment, said Alan Middleton, marketing Professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business, in the Toronto Star Nov. 7. “Decisions about location (of where to do business) are very professionally handled across the world,” said Middleton. “It’s a very competitive marketplace, and this is the kind of thing that might tip the balance to the competition (another city),” he noted. Read full story.

‘Fashion Unlimited’ looks to make a statement
Paul Sych, founder of Fashion Unlimited, a new title launching mid-November from publisher Flash Reproductions, says Toronto lacks the design-focused fashion mag it deserves. . . . I think that if you want [to launch a print product] in a web-magazine saturated market, the only way is to do something way more premium, way bigger, and not just something that you recycle and throw out,” Sych said in Masthead Online Nov. 7. Sych is a long-time designer, operating his Faith studio for more than 20 years, and also an associate professor at York University. He’s confident the mag will find its place as a Toronto-flavoured high-end title on international newsstands when it expands beyond Canada following the first issue. He says what sets the mag apart is a combined focus on fashion and art, and its commitment to supporting new talent. Read full story.

Police need judge’s specific permission to search computers, Supreme Court rules
Police entering a home with a search warrant have no right to examine any computers they find unless a judge has given them specific permission, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled unanimously. . . . Benjamin Berger, a law professor at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, called the ruling a “strong and appropriate protection of privacy rights in light of the reality of the way we communicate and store information.” Even highly intrusive searches of a home may not reveal as much personal information as a search of a computer, he said in The Globe and Mail Nov. 7. Read full story.

The work-life balancing act
When electronics retailer Best Buy announced in 2005 that it was adopting something called a “results-only work environment” (ROWE), a program that takes the concept of work-life balance to the extreme by letting employees decide when and where they want to work, they were lauded as a company blazing a trail into the workplace of the future. Employees would be accountable for achieving measurable results. How, when and where they did that was their business. If they succeeded, they would likely be promoted. If they failed to meet expectations, they would be fired. . . . “We can’t look at these policies as being an entitlement, or a right, that we have,” said York University human resource management Professor Souha Ezzedeen in Maclean’s Nov. 7. “They’re not always appropriate. Does it suit your business? Do you have the culture for it? Do you have management systems in place to support it? If not, you might want to take that very gradually.” Read full story.

What Toronto’s crack-smoking mayor can teach us about political science
Toronto mayor Rob Ford has admitted to smoking crack while in office. . . . Yet he remains surprisingly popular – and refuses to step down. How is this possible? . . . “To me as a political scientist, it’s been interesting to see how people have reacted to Rob Ford’s ability to just keep bulldozing through various scandals,” said York University political science Professor Dennis Pilon in the Washington Post Nov. 6. “Other politicians might be embarrassed or even resign, but Ford has discovered that you can just keep pushing and no one can stop you. Unless he’s charged with criminal offense, he can’t be removed from office. He knows this, and he’s kept pushing through. And as a result, his approval numbers have gone even higher among Ford Nation.” Read full story.

Training teachers at the world’s largest refugee camp
In recent years, the town of Dadaab, on the Kenya-Somali border, has captured the attention of an innovative consortium of universities, including York University and the University of British Columbia from Canada and Moi University, Kenyatta University and the African Virtual University from Kenya. The consortium created Borderless Higher Education for Refugees (BHER), which aims to provide formal training to the dozens of uncertified volunteer teachers who already teach in the camp, reported University Affairs Nov. 6. Read full story.

Memorial skating event draws to a close after 13 years
After 12 successful years, Helena Stahls has raised about $125,000 for the Peel chapter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation through her annual fundraiser, surpassing her initial goal by nearly $25,000, reported Mississauga News Nov. 7. . . . A recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, Stahls is thrilled by her achievements – but there’s still a heavy feeling that comes with organizing the event every year. It’s a weight that she’ll carry for the rest of her life: the loss of her daughter Donna Zampieron, a former professional figure skater who had Crohn’s disease and bipolar disorder, and took her own life in 1999. Stahls started the fundraiser as a memorial tribute to her daughter. . . . Last night, the Mississauga resident was at York University to share her story. Read full story.

CEU Business School home to one of the world’s greenest MBA programs
According to a survey Corporate Knights conducted to examine how universities are faring at integrating sustainability into the academic experience, CEU Business School’s full-time MBA program is among the world’s top 30 green MBA programs, reported Nov. 5. Among the schools joining CEU Business School in the top 30 green MBA programs are Schulich School of Business at York University in Canada (#1), Korea Advanced School of Science and Technology in South Korea (#6), the School of Management at Boston University in the United States (#11) and the School of Management, Royal Holloway, at the University of London in the United Kingdom (#26). Read full story.

14 signs your perfectionism has gotten out of control
The great irony of perfectionism is that while it’s characterized by an intense drive to succeed, it can be the very thing that prevents success, reported the Huffington Post Nov. 6. Perfectionism is highly correlated with fear of failure (which is generally not the best motivator) and self-defeating behaviour, such as excessive procrastination. Studies have shown that other-oriented perfectionism (a maladaptive form of perfectionism that is motivated by the desire for social approval) is linked with the tendency to put off tasks. Among these other-oriented perfectionists, procrastination stems largely from the anticipation of disapproval from others, according to York University researchers. Read full story.