The Day of Reckoning

I recently spent a day and a half in our quarterly board meeting. Many more hours went into preparing for it. I have put more than 30 years of my life into pre-meeting stress and anxiety and post-meeting exhaustion and reflection. These meetings are almost miniature rites of passage. Days of reckoning. With business up 65% in the first two months of the year,...

Meeting a Remarkable Man

Recently, I spent the afternoon talking with David Suzuki, a man whose brilliance is matched only by his humility. Overlooking the St. Lawrence River in downtown old Montreal, we sat for several hours. David Suzuki is a rock star of the environmental movement in Canada, perhaps the US equivalent of Al Gore. His diversity of friends –from Anita Roddick and...

We Sold Our Eco-Dream to Timberland

Who wins when multi-national corporations acquire small, natural-products companies? The anecdotal evidence suggests it’s not the entrepreneur. While there are a few potential success stories, such as Groupe Danone’s acquisition of a majority stake in Stonyfield Farm and Estée Lauder’s purchase of Aveda, there are more stories of sadness and...

Monsanto: An evil company?

I have often wondered whether a company can truly be evil. Not a company run by evil people, but a place where decades of evil have seeped right into the corporate fabric. Almost ten years ago, at a Business for Social Responsibility conference in Los Angeles, I attended a presentation by Monsanto. The company made the case that genetically modified foods would...