How mismanagement of B.C. forests is hurting Canada’s economy

Recent sawmill closures have exposed a raft of problems in the industry and government failure to ensure long-term productivity

How mismanagement of B.C. forests is hurting Canada’s economyRecent sawmill closures in British Columbia have brought to light the need for renewed focus on the mismanagement of B.C. forests over the past decades and what to do about it. That mismanagement is having a significant effect on the B.C. and Canadian economies. If you live in the B.C. interior, where more than 820…

Three things business leaders could learn from Donald Trump

Take some time off for pleasure, don't hesitate when you need to fire someone and above all, play to win

Three things business leaders could learn from Donald TrumpFew politicians in recent history have polarized people the way Donald Trump has. Chances are you either love him or hate him. But whatever you think of him, there’s probably something you could learn from the American president. So what’s Trump doing that most business leaders could learn from? Let’s start with the obvious and…

Doing little things right in business leads to something bigger

Sometimes leaders get so caught up in the struggles of their enterprises that they don’t realize the impact they’re having

Doing little things right in business leads to something biggerWe were going 64 km/h in a 50 zone on our way to bury Larry when we got pulled over. When the police officer asked the reason why we were going so fast, we told him we were on our way to Larry’s funeral. As he marched back to his car with my wife’s licence…

Why measuring is important for businesses of all kinds

Measuring shows our progress, provides targets for employees, gives us something to celebrate and helps us form strategies

Why measuring is important for businesses of all kindsI’m getting slower, there’s no doubt about it. I have been keeping track of my cycling times for the same routes for over five years and each year my times are slower. Since I turned 50, five seasons ago, my climbing is slower by a minute or two for the same hills, and my times…

Four things business owners owe their employees

A safe environment, fair pay, leadership and consideration for employees’ futures should always be at the forefront

Four things business owners owe their employeesI recently heard of a leader within an organization who was treating his assistant much like a slave. Not only was the leader verbally demeaning to the assistant, he would often bring his dog to work and expect his assistant clean up the mess his dog left in the building. Working in a non-unionized environment,…

Non-profit and charity executive directors too often isolated

What does a properly functioning board of directors look like and how can its members pull their weight?

Non-profit and charity executive directors too often isolatedIf you’ve ever sat on the board of a non-profit or charity, sports organization or even a company, you’ve probably noticed that most meetings are boring. Usually one person, the president, runs the meeting using Robert’s Rules of Order. After minimal discussion, the board votes on agenda items, provided a quorum has shown up. Without…

Poor customer service suggests Telus is doomed

After wasting hours of my life, I realized I was not the valued customer Telus continued to claim I was

Poor customer service suggests Telus is doomedOne of the first signs of a business headed for decline is poor customer service. When we fail to meet our customers’ expectations for our product or service, they generally start to leave us for other options. Business owners should always keep a close finger on the pulse of our customer service. For the three…

You’ll reap what you sow if you don’t bail on your business too early

As entrepreneurs we all heed our calls, we plant our seeds and hope they germinate. But we need to stay patient

You’ll reap what you sow if you don’t bail on your business too earlyI was driving through the Prairies last week and as I saw farm after farm for sale, my mind drifted to what it would be like to be a farmer. I imagined the rhythm of the seasons, the sense of accomplishment of seeing crops grow before my eyes and the reaping of abundance from seeds…

How to create a business that can survive a century

You need to create a foundation now that establishes strong communication and systems, and the ability to adapt

How to create a business that can survive a centuryA business in my community recently marked 100 years of operation. There was a party, celebrations and even recognition from politicians for their years of service to the community. I honestly don’t know much about the business except for the great service I’ve experienced as a patron over the years. What I do know, however,…

Is your time at the helm of your business running out?

We need to be prepared and to have considered our options in the event our lives change unexpectedly

Is your time at the helm of your business running out?What would happen if you had to sell your business this week due to illness? A man recently contacted me because his doctors told him that due to an illness, he had to stop working immediately. The problem was that he owned a business. How, he asked, could he comply with his doctors’ orders and…

Finding our way through the work maze to retirement

Business leaders need to create a culture where everyone contributes with passion and where everyone can plan for their future

Finding our way through the work maze to retirementA girl recently told me she wants to quit her job – she doesn’t want to work any more or go to school. “It sounds like you want to retire,” I said. “What would you do with all your time?” “I might want to do some travelling or play basketball,” she said. “I really don’t…

Turning away a sales prospect might be the best thing you can do

Instead of thinking about closing every deal, we should be thinking about creating long-term value

Turning away a sales prospect might be the best thing you can doI recently told a prospective client I didn’t think I could add enough value and wouldn’t take his money for business coaching. I did this even though it would have been a nice-sized account and generate thousands of dollars in revenue. He has 20-plus employees and does $2 million to $3 million in business. But…

The hard knocks of opportunity

If we invested in every opportunity that was presented to us, chances are we would be broke

The hard knocks of opportunityYou’ve probably never heard of Ron Wayne, but had he not sold his 10 per cent share in Apple Computer shortly after it launched, ultimately for US$2,300, he might now be as famous as partners Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. He could now be worth $40 billion. But he isn’t. Joe Green was Mark Zuckerberg’s…

Why an SNC-Lavalin failure would be good for Canada

Canada shouldn't tolerate bullies. And we need to stand firm in the face of business practices we find unacceptable

Why an SNC-Lavalin failure would be good for CanadaWhen I was in secondary school, there was a bully who had to have his way. He figured because he was bigger and stronger than most other kids his age, he should be able to do whatever he wanted. He coerced other kids to do his dirty work and sometimes even his homework. He intimidated…

Waste not, want not and your business will profit

When you need to find savings in your business, look at the areas of systems, energy, people and inventory

Waste not, want not and your business will profitI was eating breakfast with my son Caleb the other day and noticed he left his crusts on the plate. “Caleb,” I said, “do you know how many kids in the world would beg for scraps of food like you’re wasting?” Watching him made me remember my parents’ reminders about the millions of starving children…
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