When dean Roger Martin (The Design of Business, The Opposable Mind, Fixing the Game) of University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management casually mentioned to me a few months ago that I should launch The Laws of Subtraction at Rotman, I’m certain he had no idea just violently I would jump at the opportunity.
Roger is a friend, colleague (we both consult with Edmunds.com and Toyota), and contributor to The Laws of Subtraction. But more than that, he’s someone I’ve admired for a very long time…he’s by all measures one of the most brilliant business minds in the world–#6 on the Thinkers50 list.
What an amazing trip! First of all, Rotman purchased 200 books, which is a very generous thing indeed. They publicized the event, part of their Creativity in Business Speaker Series, and filled the room to capacity. They put me up in a top hotel nearby.
But beyond all that, they made my trip as easy as pie, thanks to the genius of Steve Arenburg, Executive Director of Strategic Events. Steve is hands-down the most responsive individual on the planet. For example, I asked him via email if he had any suggestions for ground transportation to and from the airport, and within 5 minutes he sent a reply containing fully comped limos for both trips. He reminded me of the service I once received at The Ritz in London, where they seemed to know what I wanted and needed even before I did, and delivered it flawlessly.
Steve gave me the grand tour of Rotman’s amazing new building, made me feel like a celebrity…He introduced me to Richard Florida, on staff at Rotman, whose book The Rise of the Creative Class is one of my favorites. I met Karen Christensen, editor of The Rotman Magazine…I’ve written three articles for her but never actually met until now.
Roger introduced me, and away we went. I gave a one hour talk, answered some questions I’ve never been asked before (which I LOVE), personalized some books, then had a wonderful dinner with Roger.
Amazing. Loved every second. Need to spend more time in Toronto! Off to NYC…