What to do when your board members go rogue

Some board members think their position gives them extra power and privileges

What to do when your board members go rogueJenny was in tears. As the executive director of her organization, she was at her wit’s end and said she was ready to quit. She confided in me that one of the directors was going directly to one of her staff members, telling him he would be fired unless he complied with the director’s request,…

How to increase your personal business performance

Performing at our best all the time can seem like a challenge unless we move the goal posts and focus on learning, fun and clarity

How to increase your personal business performanceThere were only three days left before I had to have the program ready for my team. I had been putting off working on the project until it seemed like the last minute. I could feel the pressure building internally and I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to deliver. Working to deliver…

Are you suffering compassion fatigue?

In the midst of the pandemic, a great deal of pressure has fallen on managers. Here are some tips to help deal with the increased stress

Are you suffering compassion fatigue?Lucy is a manager who oversees a large team of sales reps. Like many other organizations, hers quickly made the transition to work-from-home. It was a new experience for a team used to working from their downtown office. Lucy used to be able to monitor her team with regular walk-arounds and check-ins. She had a…

Screwed up? It’s okay to be honest

Our mistakes in judgment help us learn and hopefully grow

Screwed up? It’s okay to be honestWhen I was a brash and self-assured 21-year-old, I announced at a family dinner with my aunt and cousin that I would be a millionaire by the time I was 30. I had found investors and had just started a business. I thought I was invincible, living in the big city, and figured I could…

Second time’s the harm when it comes to lockdowns

It’s not the headlines that kill, it’s the many burdens caused by lockdowns that render small businesses unprofitable

Second time’s the harm when it comes to lockdownsAcross Canada, as COVID-19 cases surge, there’s talk of locking down again or of tightening second lockdowns. Of course, we haven’t even settled whether lockdowns were the proper solution in the first place, given the enormous collateral damage in unemployment, bankruptcies, and the physical and mental health of millions, amid a virus that overwhelmingly targets…

Hammer home business success with the right tools

Without the right tools, people and plans, your business will suffer. You’re going to have to work harder and that will affect your bottom line

Hammer home business success with the right toolsIt was almost the final straw. I was laying on the ground after falling off the roof of the house and the carpenter, John, was standing over me yelling. He was mad because his sawhorses had been broken in half because of my stupidity, while I was just wondering if I had broken anything in…

In desperate times, business owners must shift strategies

Leaders who make quick, smart decisions in times of difficulty and follow through are significantly more successful than owners who waffle

In desperate times, business owners must shift strategiesIt was an especially nice Irish day, which means it wasn’t raining. Emily, Isabel and Aisling had just been dropped off by their uncle at a train station in the middle of the country. The girls proceeded to the ticket counter, where they realized they were 10 euros short of what they needed to get…

Mentoring helps entrepreneurs navigate the unknowns

Guiding researchers and scientists to commercialize their intellectual property

Mentoring helps entrepreneurs navigate the unknownsA little more than 20 years ago, MIT developed a mentorship program that challenged notions about competition in the world of business. They called on local titans of business to volunteer to guide the school’s researchers and scientists in commercializing their intellectual property. Within a decade, this in-house service was drawing so much praise from schools around…

Synthetic modelling helping solve future problems

Synthetic modelling helping solve future problemsWhen RunWithIt Synthetics set out to apply synthetic modelling to predict the impact future disruptions might have on energy grids – such as uptake in electric vehicles, greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, energy efficiency, better battery storage, cybersecurity threats, photovoltaics and even disasters – they turned to the University of Alberta. More specifically, they turned to electrical…

Why business owners need to get serious about sales

No one just buys stuff. You need a concrete sales model based on what the product does, what its advantages are and the values it brings to the marketplace

Why business owners need to get serious about salesMy first sales experience was in high school, selling chocolate bars door to door as a fundraiser for a school club. Not much interested in the club but interested in the prizes for top sellers, I hit the pavement. Each day after school, I knocked on doors and sold chocolates to starving mothers and their…

Seven things business owners fear

To be successful, you need to determine what causes your fear and figure out whether that fear is holding you back or pushing you forward

Seven things business owners fearThe day I got married was the scariest day of my life. I walked up to the altar shaking like a leaf. At 31, I would have thought I was too old to be afraid of getting married. But I was afraid. Each month, I talk to a business owner who expresses their fears to…
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