Why you should take a vacation

Breaking away from work in a meaningful way, for a significant period, is critical to our health and well-being – as humans and as workers

Why you should take a vacationI just returned from a two-week road trip in Newfoundland with my sister, a trip I highly recommend. Being away, really off the grid, gave me time to reflect on all the reasons it’s important to take annual leave. That’s how vacation used to happen – annual leave where you left the office, packed up…

Ford introduces its enhanced SYNC 3 infotainment system

Newest-customer centric update developed in-house with major contributions by Ford’s Canadian software teams

Ford introduces its enhanced SYNC 3 infotainment systemA secure, functional, seamless and enjoyable customer experience with in-car infotainment is an absolute necessity given technological advancements and the need to keep people safe on the road. That’s why Ford has delivered its latest version of SYNC 3, which will first be featured in the soon-to-be-released 2020 Ford Explorer. “People expect systems to be…

Canadian business leaders recognizing need to invest in staff

HSBC survey also says 79% of Canadian businesses expect to grow in the next two years

Canadian business leaders recognizing need to invest in staffA new Canadian survey says the majority of businesses expect to grow in the next two years while increasingly adopting new technologies, and at the same time they’ll be investing in their people. The Navigator: Made for the Future is a survey by HSBC of over 2,500 companies in 14 countries and territories, including Canada.…

How to put your inner workaholic to rest

National Workaholics Day is no reason for celebration. By working smarter, you could work less – and have more time for family, friends and fun.

How to put your inner workaholic to restJuly 5 is National Workaholics Day. But is this something we should really be celebrating? According to Forbes, the average Frenchman works 18 hours a week; the average Italian about 16.5 and the British work 21.5. But in North America, our idea of full employment is a standard 40-hour week. And in some locales, that…

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…

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…

Eight ways leaders build collaboration

Leadership is now a blend of personal and interpersonal skills that allow a leader to impact, include and inspire others

Eight ways leaders build collaborationMost leaders agree that effective collaboration is more important than ever in today's turbulent business environment. A company's very survival may depend on how well it can combine the potential of its people and the quality of the information they possess with their ability – and willingness – to share what they know with their…

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,…

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…

Putting networks to use to help your business thrive

Kerry George of the Canadian Imperial Business Network on the kind of game-changing information you get when you make connections

Putting networks to use to help your business thriveKerry George is CEO at Canadian Imperial Business Network. What’s the Canadian Imperial Business Network and what does it do? George: The Canadian Imperial Business Network or CIBN is a business networking organization that brings business owners, entrepreneurs, and professionals together for networking and knowledge. Our mission is to help Canadian business owners to thrive.…

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…

The biggest mistake most small business owners make

We need to develop systems of hiring and monitoring our employees to ensure we have the right people

The biggest mistake most small business owners makeBob was frustrated, stressed and upset. One of his key employees, Keith, had just left to start his own business and had taken another staff member with him. I wasn’t surprised. I’d been working with Bob for several months and had met Keith several times. My impression wasn’t favourable and I had discussed this with…

The painful – and necessary – lessons that losing teaches us

Losing gives you greater clarity and insight, adds a little humility, and builds resilience

The painful – and necessary – lessons that losing teaches usI’ve been called a loser more than once. Often it’s by my kids, who don’t like some stupid joke I just played on them. But I’ve also made a bucketful of mistakes in my time on this Earth and have lost everything from money to employees to elections to friends. I’ve even lost the trail…

Five things your business could learn from Starbucks

Customer service, exclusive products, ambience, pricing and systems are all important to the coffee giant – and you

Five things your business could learn from StarbucksMy wife Margaret likes Starbucks but when I ask her what she likes about it, she can’t quite put her finger on just what it is. She tells me that the coffee is good (I don’t drink coffee so I wouldn’t know) but I have friends who say that McDonald’s coffee is even better. She…

Your business might be losing money on first impressions

Many companies spend more fixing their mistakes than setting up the systems that could prevent them

Your business might be losing money on first impressionsI want to tell you three stories about first impressions that happened in one recent week. First, my friend Freddy was mad. Freddy took his wife’s car into a dealer and had a terrible experience. The worst thing for the dealer was that it was Freddy’s first time dealing with them. If they were trying…
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