Despite government subsidies, Canadian innovation wanes

Burdensome regulation, limited competition and unfavourable taxes hold Canadian companies back

Despite government subsidies, Canadian innovation wanesStudies show that innovation is the driving force behind long-run increases in incomes in developed countries. But Canada is falling behind. The implementation and adoption of new methods of producing goods and services, along with the introduction and use of new products and new ways of organizing businesses, remain critical to improving living standards. Canada’s…

Five radical strategies to excel at collaboration

Working easily and fluidly with others is simply how things get done in the 21st century

Five radical strategies to excel at collaborationThe ability to collaborate with others is a must-have skill to be successful in work. It doesn’t matter if you’re a project manager, a self-employed editor or the chief financial officer, part of your success is probably going to hinge on how well you can work with colleagues. Our work world is a complex system,…

Sweet music for business: setting goals and reaching them

Establish ways to be accountable and do the same for your staff and the benefits will follow

Sweet music for business: setting goals and reaching themDo you play your guitar at work? In 1988, business was so slow that I would go to my office at the back of our store, close the door, take my guitar out, put my feet up on the desk and start strumming. While it was soothing for the soul, it wasn’t very productive. After…

Using social media to make connections with customers

Ernest Barbaric of Ernest Media talks about adopting an agnostic and agile approach

Using social media to make connections with customersErnest Barbaric is a digital marketing strategist at Ernest Media, lead designer and instructor for digital marketing strategy at the Canadian Marketing Association and founder of the Social Media for Business program at Calgary's Mount Royal University. What's your feel about how businesses today have used social media to better their bottom line? Barbaric: Social…

Ten questions to power up your “Leadership Presence”

Leadership presence is far from mysterious. At its core is a set of practical skills that you can learn, employ, and improve

Ten questions to power up your “Leadership Presence”I was once asked to coach a senior-level manager from a technology firm in Silicon Valley. I learned that this man’s work was of the highest calibre and that his advancement had (up to this point) been fast-tracked. But now his career was stalled. When I asked why this high performing manager needed coaching, here’s…

Why coaching makes sense for every business team

Cheryl Dyck of MSI Action Group and CASS Consulting talks about moulding leaders who inspire success

Why coaching makes sense for every business teamCheryl Dyck is president and CEO of MSI Action Group and CASS Consulting Inc. Tell me what you do? Dyck: At a high level, we work alongside business owners and their teams to build their success, like business advisers. We become confidantes of the business owners and help them plan their business future, growth and…

Can your leadership take your business from good to great?

When leaders work through pain points and create an inspiring vision for the future, companies can thrive again

Can your leadership take your business from good to great?The ice on my neighbourhood skating rink is good but it’s not great, and that’s totally my fault. There have been years where the ice has been fantastic and people from all over the city came to skate on the rink. It even got nominated for best outside rink in the city one year. But…

How we deal with conflict is all a matter of perspective

When you change the context in which a behaviour occurs, the behaviour itself is transformed

How we deal with conflict is all a matter of perspectiveHow we deal with objections and problems is often just a matter of how we frame those problems. Our ability to quickly thin slice information can keep us alive by allowing our minds to make rapid assessments. But although this ability to spot patterns unconsciously has evolved as a valuable gift to communication, it has…

Just say no to sugarcoated communications

Got a bad taste in your mouth? Maybe it's from all those sugar-coated messages you keep getting

Just say no to sugarcoated communicationsSugar-coated messages are in bad taste. In survey after survey, people ask for straight talk on all issues. They don't want artificially-sweetened words that supposedly will help the medicine – that is, the tough messages – go down. When you sugarcoat communication, you're superficially making something attractive or palatable. That's inauthentic, which can cause more…

The year of living to the fullest

By giving the year ahead a motivating label, and keeping that label front and centre, you can achieve great things

The year of living to the fullestA couple years ago, I was invited to speak at a conference where the hosts encouraged the attendees to “name their year.” The purpose was to come up with a name that would inspire and motivate the attendees for the next 52 weeks. When they were finished, people were asked to go to the stage…

‘Bah humbug!‘ to business owners who act like Scrooge

We don’t appreciate enough what our business creates in the community through wages, jobs and donations

‘Bah humbug!‘ to business owners who act like ScroogeHave you ever felt like Scrooge? I have. I went to the local production of The Christmas Carol and was thoroughly impressed. Often with great acting, the characters remind me of people who I’ve come into contact with. This was no different. The script is set in the 1800s but could have easily taken place…

This Christmas, resolve to go device-free one day a week

Starting this Christmas, have the guts to turn off the phone for a few days – okay, start with one day – and contemplate what you have to celebrate

This Christmas, resolve to go device-free one day a weekSomeone once asked me if I missed the mayhem of owning a business at Christmas time. The truth is, I do. While I don’t miss taking inventory, all the extra hours, the squeeze of trying to find enough time for family and customers, figuring out if there should be a Christmas bonus or another program,…

5 successful strategies to doing more with less

Are you feeling pressure from your boss to deliver, deliver, deliver?

5 successful strategies to doing more with lessDo you find yourself suddenly being asked to do more with less?  Did there used to be someone in the office beside you whose job responsibilities have suddenly become your responsibilities?  Are you feeling pressure from your boss to deliver, deliver, deliver? It isn't as if you were slacking off before. Between the meetings, the…

Can you work less and earn more?

Thinking differently, delegating more, and strategically planning are key to earning more and worrying less

Can you work less and earn more?“You just learned in a year what most MBA students never learn in a lifetime,” I told a client this week. He had just responded to my question: “What did you learn in the past year?” “I learned that I can earn more by working less!” he answered. Not only had my client doubled his…
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