Thomas Watson

Biography:

Thomas Watson (Twitter: @NotSocrates) is a veteran business journalist, management consultant and communications professional with experience spanning executive education, thought leadership development, institutional storytelling, strategic communications, public and investor relations, and media production. As a Financial Post Magazine columnist and Editor-in-chief of Ivey Business Journal—one of Canada’s oldest business publications published by the prestigious Ivey Business School at Western University—Watson is recognized as an expert commentator on topics ranging from leadership and governance to managing disruption and the evolution of capitalism.

At Ivey, in addition to managing IBJ, Watson helps promote best practices in management by developing custom case studies and executive development programs. As a guest lecturer, he also shares his experience as a young VC executive who risked his career and reputation to expose the stock manipulation of a Canadian tech market darling during the dotcom boom. Watson’s insider account of this mind-blowing international scheme was featured by Canadian Business as a cover story in 2002. Entitled “The Man Who Ambushed Open Text: And How I Helped Him Do It,” Watson’s first long-form magazine article garnered comparisons to Liar’s Poker by financial journalist Michael Lewis. This led to an award-winning investigative reporting career. Highlights include: “Abandoned at the Altar,” an exclusive account of why Bay Street’s GMP Capital got cold feet when helping Ashley Madison’s corporate parent go public in 2010; “Shell Games,” an exposé of criminal boiler rooms that financed the Canadian expansion of Ben & Jerry’s during the 2008 financial crisis; “ABCP: Hunter and the Hunted,” a profile of the retail market rebellion sparked by Bay Street’s unethical marketing of high-risk asset-backed commercial paper; “The Trials and Tribulations of Brian Hunter,” an exclusive account of the 2006 implosion of the Amaranth Advisers hedge fund; and “An Apology for Eleanor Clitheroe,” a profile of the sexism and hypocrisy that derailed Hydro One’s attempt to go public with a female CEO in 2002.

Watson holds undergraduate degrees in history and political philosophy. As a graduate student, he studied journalism, political theory, international politics, public finance, and macroeconomics. Post-graduate studies included securities and market regulation.

Surviving the Workquake

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Why dealing with turnover requires understanding how the traditional foundation of the workplace has been cracked by a seismic shift in the employer-employee relationship
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Betting on Web3

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Alex Tapscott explains why believing in a decentralized future is as deadly practical as Blaise Pascal’s wager on God

MindGeek’s Risky ESG Makeover

by Issue: May / June 2023

Why Canada’s Ethical Capital Partners should read the Ivey Business School case study on Bay Street’s rejection of Ashley Madison

Guiding Corporate Sustainability

by Issue: July / August 2022

Canada’s ambitious Innovation North initiative aims to save the planet (and capitalism along with it) by disrupting traditional approaches to innovation

Mobilizing Character

by Issue: March/April 2022

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy is a skilled actor, but that’s not what makes him an invaluable leadership role model for his people and the rest of our troubled world.
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Plugging in Canada’s EV Ecosystem

by Issue: November / December 2021

If Canada wants to lower GHG emissions by building an electric-vehicle ecosystem, it needs to seriously address skilled-labour issues
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Fighting Privilege Blindness

by Issue: July / August 2021

Effectively leading EDI typically requires some serious reflecting on why it has taken so long to make something that improves performance a real priority.
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BlackNorth Rising

by Issue: July / August 2021

Bay Street power broker Wes Hall talks about fighting systemic racism, offering practical advice on how corporate Canada can achieve generational change.
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Report from the Front Lines of Workplace Disruption

by Issue: January / February 2021

Working in HR today is like climbing a steep mountain, on your own, in the dark, without a rope, during a perfect storm.
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How to Govern, Manage, and Work Amid COVID-19

by Issue: March / April 2020

Navigating today’s uncharted waters won’t be easy, especially for startups, but best practices for crisis management and virtual work can keep business afloat.

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