John S. McCallum

John S. McCallum is Professor of Finance at the I. H. Asper School of Business, University of Manitoba. He is a regular contributor to the Ivey Business Journal.

Articles by this Author:


FOLLOWERSHIP: THE OTHER SIDE OF LEADERSHIP
by John S. McCallum |

The link between leadership, management and enterprise performance is widely understood and accepted.  Improving leadership improves management and raises the probabilities of better performance.  That boards often change leaders when enterprises are slipping confirms the importance placed on leadership. The flip side...

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Thanks for the Memories
by John S. McCallum |

John S. McCallum is Professor of Finance at the I. H. Asper School of Business, University of Manitoba. He has been writing a column for the Ivey Business Journal for 35 years. This is his last column. I have...

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The economy: Still a slog
by John S. McCallum |

There comes a time in the affairs of a nation and its business leaders when the status quo, though not desirable, is preferable. Reluctantly perhaps, Canadians will take that option for the next two years or so. Readers of...

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The power of habit: Good executive reading
by John S. McCallum |

Habits affect every relationship an executive has. Even how a CEO approaches decision-making reflects a habit, either a tendency to act crisply or to procrastinate. For many, it is the latter, and like many bad habits this one too...

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One-liners for Executives
by John S. McCallum |

One-liners are very short statements that purport to capture the essence of a situation.  At their best, they can bring clarity and precision to complexity and confusion. They can also focus decision-making.  The knock on them is that they can oversimplify and...

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Executives should monitor central bank pronouncements
by John S. McCallum |

The task of divining the economy’s direction may confound managers, but monitoring the pronouncements of the institutions responsible for monetary policy is in itself a policy that makes the job less taxing. Knowing the direction in which the economy...

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Thinking, fast and slow: A must read for executives
by John S. McCallum |

One of the best business books of 2011 has some excellent and original advice for business executives. This IBJ regular contributor distills the advice into seven suggestions.   The executive’s job is straightforward:  judge situations and make decisions; execute; evaluate...

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Making the Best of a World Slowdown
by John S. McCallum |

Sluggish economic growth is hardly desirable, but as this author points out, it may be a blessing in disguise. In this article he outlines eight steps that executives can take to help their firms survive a slowdown and emerge...

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Don’t count the U.S. out
by John S. McCallum |

Ingenious and resilient may be appropriate adjectives for describing the people – and national economies – of the handful of countries that have staved off the current global slowdown. But the two adjectives understate the resiliency and ingenuity of...

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The Social Animal: A good book for executives
by John S. McCallum |

Over the years, regular contributor John McCallum has recommended numerous books that can help executives be an effective leader. The Social Animal appears to be one of the best. Good executives have the ability to read how people will...

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Two terrific books for executives
by John S. McCallum |

In no small way a CEO’s ability to connect with people is based on how he or she writes and behaves. The two, near-classic books recommended by this IBJ regular contributor set the standards for writing effectively and behaving...

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Executives should monitor household debt
by John S. McCallum |

Executives closely monitor the course of high-profile economic variables like growth, unemployment, inflation, the stock market, interest rates and exchange rates.  They do so because there is a direct connection to running a business successfully.  It is time to add a not...

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Competing in baseball and in business
by John S. McCallum |

Playing to win in business is like playing to win in baseball. Or at least it should be. The team that knows how to compete will be the team that wins, as this long-time baseball fan and management thinker...

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CANADIAN EXECUTIVES, THE CANADIAN ECONOMY AND U.S. JOB GROWTH
by John S. McCallum |

Anyone who thinks that the Canadian economy is not dependent on the U.S. economy need only look at the prospects for job creation in the United States. He or she will then see the prospects for job creation in...

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Don’t expect too much from the economy
by John S. McCallum |

Patience and prudence are bred in Canadians’ bones. Perhaps never will those characteristics, sometimes derided, serve the country and its people so well as in the year or two ahead. It is now two years since the spectacular financial...

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EXECUTIVES SHOULD TAKE NOTE OF THE AUSTRIAN SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS
by John S. McCallum |

The thinking of Frederick Hayek and his fellow economists in the Austrian school is sometimes seen as an antidote for misdirected government intervention. Whether you but into it or not, executives would do well to learn more about such thinking,...

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EXECUTIVES, THE ECONOMY AND A 17TH-CENTURY CATHOLIC PHILOSOPHER
by John S. McCallum |

Who would have thought that the works of a 17th-century French, Catholic philosopher would provided some insight into today’s economic situation, and, more unlikely, provide reason for optimism? Good advice is where you find it. Executives should cast a wide...

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EXECUTIVES SHOULD NOT BE INDIFFERENT TO THIS TIME IS DIFFERENT
by John S. McCallum |

Managing in a crisis, such as the one that now appears to be ebbing, will likely be more informed and even easier for those who read this highly-recommended book. Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff have written a...

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THE ECONOMY: ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
by John S. McCallum |

Where the economy is likely to go at any point in time is a crucial input into most important decisions an enterprise makes. This is especially the case now as the economy emerges from arguably the worst conditions since the...

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OUTLIERS: MALCOLM GLADWELL DOES IT AGAIN
by John S. McCallum |

If at first you don’t succeed, step back and try to understand “Why.” As well, follow some of the other suggestions this regular IBJ contributor has for executives. Executives will find Malcolm Gladwell’s new book, Outliers, (Little, Brown and...

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SLOGGING OUR WAY TO RECOVERY
by John S. McCallum |

Executives are busy, which is why short articles that make one important point are appealing. This article has been written in that spirit. The point is that executives should be very wary of the view that because the economy is...

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LOOKING FOR CLUES ON THE ECONOMY
by John S. McCallum |

Executives should always be monitoring the economy. High-profile variables like growth, employment, inflation, interest rates and the Canadian dollar are important considerations in decisions involving just about everything that matters to a business. As such, these variables always warrant serious...

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IN BUSINESS, THERE’S NO SUBSTITUTE FOR THE RIGHT DIAGNOSIS
by John S. McCallum |

Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. was president of General Motors from 1923 to 1937. He gets my vote for principal architect of the modern corporation and its professionally managed/decentralized structure. His book, My Years With General Motors (Doubleday, 1963), is a...

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IN WAR AND BUSINESS, IT’S THE TERRAIN THAT MATTERS
by John S. McCallum |

Add the dictum, “Know the terrain” to “Know your customer” and you’ve got the two most important principles that a manager needs to follow to compete successfully. At first, and perhaps even later on, the playing field may not be...

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EXECUTIVES BEWARE: CANADIANS ARE NOT SAVING
by John S. McCallum |

“Look at or into the personal savings habits of Canadians and you’ll see a few distant early warning signs. Those habits are unlikely to change anytime soon, which is why executives should take note and act.” Executives do not typically...

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THE BOND MARKET: WORTH EXECUTIVE ATTENTION
by John S. McCallum |

The behavior of bonds may mystify and even confound some, but not this regular contributor to the Ivey Business Journal. Says Professor McCallum unabashedly: “I just plain like the bond market.” Better still, he understands it better than many, which...

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PREPARING FOR AN UNCERTAIN ECONOMY
by John S. McCallum |

They’re neither the “best of.” nor the “worst of times these days but managers must be vigilant and prepared for certain small curves that events may occasionally throw at them. “It was the best of times, it was the worst...

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THE ECONOMY: HOPE FOR THE BEST; BRACE FOR LESS
by John S. McCallum |

As the other end of the economic looking glass becomes murky, managers will find some clarity and wisdom in the words of this regular Ivey Business Journal contributor. It is economic-forecasting season again. Executives should be paying particular attention. Economists...

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MANAGING TIPPING POINTS
by John S. McCallum |

The smash best-selling book, The Tipping Point, is full of astute observations and excellent suggestions for executives who must manage change. In other words, for all executives. Regular Ivey Business Journal contributor John McCallum links the book’s lessons with the...

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THINKING ABOUT HIGH INTEREST RATES
by John S. McCallum |

With practically zero-cost money, there’s only one way for interest rates to go. This regulator contributor knows what a manger must feel like – and should consider doing. Interest rates are extraordinarily low. Executives should pay heed. Interest rates are...

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DEALING WITH THE CANADIAN DOLLAR
by John S. McCallum |

For Canadian companies, smart currency management has never been more crucial. It’s likely to become even more crucial, to the point where it may make or break some companies. An executive must do more than just keep his eye on...

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ONE HUNDRED ARTICLES AND COUNTING
by John S. McCallum |

On the occasion of his 100th column, this regular contributor to the Ivey Business Journal reviews some of the advice and wisdom he has provided readers. And, why shouldn’t he? Ever since he began writing this column, in 1976, John...

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MANAGING IN THE COMING ECONOMY
by John S. McCallum |

Executives do not control the economy, but they do control how they run their businesses. Which is why managers trying to divine the direction of the economy in the year ahead should look no further than how they control spending...

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JOHN PIERPOINT MORGAN ON ECONOMIC CONDITIONS
by John S. McCallum |

Successfully running a business in this economy is no easy task. Being an executive was so much more pleasant two years ago when growth, job creation, spending, confidence, investment, profits and productivity were booming, and the JDSs and Nortels of...

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MANAGING IN THE AFTERMATH
by John S. McCallum |

Actually and figuratively, the horror of September 11 came right out of the blue. What enterprise could possibly have had such an event on their horizon? But it is the job of the executive to manage whatever the business environment...

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ADAPT OR DIE
by John S. McCallum |

Dinosaurs are an apt and widely used metaphor today. After all, if a firm can’t or won’t adapt, it’s straight to the dustbin of business oblivion. A business enterprise is not totally dissimilar from a dinosaur, ignore rapidly changing circumstances,...

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THE NEW ECONOMY: PREPARING FOR A SLOWDOWN: A REVISIT
by John S. McCallum |

  In the September/October Ivey Business Journal of last year, I did an article entitled “The New Economy: Preparing for a Slowdown.” I argued that executives should be getting their enterprises ready for economic trouble. I have even more...

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MANAGEMENT AND LITERATURE: TWO BOOKS THAT SHOW THE WAY
by John S. McCallum |

As this Ivey Business Journal regular contributor points out, “the difference between success and failure is marginal, and executives need all the help they can get.” Literature may be an unlikely source for an executive seeking to establish a sustainable...

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AS THE ECONOMY TURNS: TEN QUESTIONS FOR EXECUTIVES
by John S. McCallum |

For executives of Canadian enterprises, the economic environment of the last few years has been about as good as it gets. The situation underscores the fact that an enterprise has to be really unlucky or really inept not to perform...

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MANAGING IN THE NEW ECONOMY: EVOLUTION OR REVOLUTION?
by John S. McCallum |

What constitutes proper management practice has been—and always will be—a work in progress. Until now, that practice has evolved with changing technology, business conditions, financial markets and the needs of people and organizations. Today’s executives might usefully ponder whether the...

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ECONOMIC FORECASTS: EXECUTIVES BEWARE
by John S. McCallum |

With this issues of Ivey Business Journal, we close a year, a decade, a century and a millennium. Because there was no year zero when counting started, decades, centuries and millennia actually end on the last day of years that...

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BUBBLE, BUBBLEOLOGY AND BUBBLEOLOGISTS
by John S. McCallum |

Bubbles are elastic too. The world “bubble” sends shivers up and down investors’ spines. It conjures up images of huge, out-of-the-blue losses in 1929-like stock market crashes. Executives, workers and policymakers do not like bubbles much either. To them, it...

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From the Editor
A takeaway from SNC-Lavalin: Long leashes are dangerous
by Thomas Watson

As charges levelled at former executives of SNC-Lavalin work their way through courts around the world, the corruption scandal that rocked investor confidence in the Montreal-based engineering giant appears to...
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