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What on Earth is Going on? is a podcast for the curious, where small talk is banned and tangents are prized. Strap yourself in for genuine dialogues with people who think deeply and are ready to tackle the big questions, such as broadcaster Terry O'Reilly, economist Miles Corak and journalist Jessica Vomiero.

Join Ben Charland to peel back the headlines and ask, what are the forces, people and ideas that shape the human story today? Have things always been this nuts, or are they getting crazier by the day? From the Mafia to the Beavertonwomen in politics to women in leadershiphistory to artificial intelligence, and entrepreneurship in the digital age to the art of wheelchair fencing, just what on Earth is going on?

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Dec 27, 2019

Do the problems we face today -- political gridlock, climate change, social upheaval, accelerating economic inequality -- stem from fundamental imbalances in our society and thinking? What role might the plural (or civil) sector play in rejigging our systems? And why should we be ditching 30-year plans to focus on ones just a few weeks out?

Ben sits down with world-renowned scholar of management, Henry Mintzberg, about these questions and many others.

About the Guest

Henry is a writer and educator, mostly about managing originations, developing managers, and rebalancing societies (where his attention is currently focused), also an outdoorsman and collector of beaver sculptures.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from McGill University in Montreal (1961), working in Operational Research for the Canadian National Railways (1961-1963), and doing his masters and PhD at the MIT Sloan School of Management (1965 and 1968), Henry has made his professional home in the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill. He sits in the Cleghorn Chair of Management Studies (half-time since the mid-1980s), and has had extensive visiting professorships at INSEAD in France and the London Business School in England.

Henry has authored 20 books, including Managers not MBAs, Simply Managing, Rebalancing Society and Managing the Myths of Health Care, also 180 articles plus numerous commentaries and videos. He now publishes a regular TWOG (TWeet 2 blOG), as “provocative fun in a page or 2 beyond pithy pronouncements in a line or 2” (@mintzberg141 to mintzberg.org/blog). A new collection is being published: Bedtime Stories for Managers.

I co-founded and remain active in the International Masters Program for Managers (impm.org) and the International Masters for Health Leadership (imhl.org) as well as a venture CoachingOurselves.com, all novel initiatives for managers to learn together from their own experience, the last in their own workplace.

Some consequences of all this have been election to the Order of Canada and l’Ordre national du Quebec as well as to the Royal Society of Canada (the first from a management faculty), two prize- winning Harvard Business Review articles, and twenty honorary degrees from universities around the world.

I may spend my professional life dealing with organizations, but I continue to spend my private life escaping from them, especially in the Laurentian wilderness of Canada, usually with my partner and sometimes with my two daughters and three grandchildren.

Learn more about Henry and follow him on Twitter (@Mintzberg141).

Mentioned in this Episode

The Quote of the Week

The capitalist credo is: “greed is good, markets are sufficient, property is sacred, and governments are suspect.”
Henry Mintzberg