Month: July 2013

Do Men Need Women To Call Them Out? Some Thoughts on Adam Grant’s Controversial Article

Last week, the New York Times published an article by Adam Grant that set off more than a few firestorms of debate. The article, titled Why Men Need Women, proposed that women have a “warming effect” on men, causing them to be more generous and compassionate. It cited a number of research studies suggesting that men behaved more selflessly when they had female relatives or co-workers, and concluded,

It’s often said that behind every great man stands a great woman. In light of the profound influence that women can have on men’s generosity, it might be more accurate to say that in front of every great man walks a great woman. If we’re wise, we’ll follow her lead.

The article received more than 300 responses on the New York Times website, and was the subject of a lot of harsh criticism on Twitter. From my reading, there seemed to be several major themes in the criticisms (more…)

Vancouver Sun Story Has Similarities to Other Online Sources

I wasn’t planning to have “Bash the Vancouver Sun Week” here at All About Work, but it seems like many questionable things are slipping through unnoticed at the beleagured daily Vancouver newspaper.

The July 19 edition of the Sun includes an announcement of a Sun-sponsored “architecture tour” to New Orleans. Accompanying this announcement (on page C9 of the print edition) is a sidebar story with the headline “A guide to the storied architecture of New Orleans“.  No writer’s byline is attached to this guide. And no sources are credited for the information in it, either in the print or online versions.

If you Google “New Orleans architecture”, the second link that comes up (more…)

Good Content, Bad Design: Not What A Struggling Newspaper Needs

When I last wrote about recent events at my former place of employment, the Vancouver Sun newspaper, I commented on the leak of a doom-laden memo from newly appointed publisher Gordon Fisher, warning of financial crisis, threatening staff layoffs, and telling employees to be “part of the solution”. Since then, 62 Sun employees have taken a voluntary staff buyout and left the paper, while Postmedia (the Sun‘s corporate owner) reported a financial loss of $112 million in its most recent three months of operation.

On July 3, Fisher issued another memo, this time to the print subscribers of the Sun and the Province, the other Vancouver daily newspaper owned by Postmedia. In full-page ads published in both papers, Fisher announced that on August 1 print subscription rates would be “adjusted” – as in, increased – and promised “platform-specific content”. He wasn’t too clear on what exactly this would look like, or how this “content” would be produced with a significantly reduced workforce. But I’m really hoping that one part of last Saturday’s print version of the Sun is not representative of what the Sun’s print readers will get in the future – especially if they have to pay more for it. (more…)

Reflecting on Glass: the Dale Chihuly Exhibition in Montreal

I’ve written before about different types of interactive displays at art museums, and the pros and cons of different ways museums get their visitors to think about and react to what’s on display. This past weekend, at the Dale Chihuly exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, I had the chance to experience yet another type of art museum interaction: a show (more…)

Poll Used to Support Bill C-377 Was Flawed

A poll that was allegedly the basis for proposing Canada`s controversial “union transparency” legislation, Bill C-377, is now being reviewed by a professional standards organization.

The Vancouver Sun reports that the Canadian Labour Congress has filed a complaint about the poll with the Market Research and Intelligence Association. The complaint, based on research by two University of Regina professors, alleges that the results (more…)

Unions, Feminism, and the Fortress Mentality

When a movement for social change is struggling, what’s the best strategic response? Is it to protect and nurture what’s been achieved? Or is it to attempt to become even bigger, and risk undermining the progress that’s already been made?

A few weeks ago, former union organizer Rich Yeselson  wrote a provocative article titled Fortress Unionism. In the article, (more…)