Refections of Our CEO: Numbers Really Do Lie

“Maybe it’s time to throw in the towel,” I said. To this day, I’m not sure if it was the words that came back, or the instinctive speed with which they were said, but the response was quick and perfect. I was sitting on the cold, hard steps behind our office, looking across the park to downtown Vancouver, the city I call home. …

Elements of Strategy: Agility and opportunism….

Many of our clients are focused on solving complex social or environmental challenges. In this context, and in every competitive arena in business, the best laid plans can be outmoded as soon as they’re written. So how does a team or leader respond when the context changes? This is the third in a series of posts about elements of strategy. …

Reflections of Our CEO: Valuable Feedback Can Be Hard To Hear

A group of us was saying our farewells, when a woman approached me to share a heartfelt message. “You know, when you first introduced yourself to the group, I thought you were really arrogant.” I’m sure the colour rushed from my face, because I felt it all land in the pit of my stomach. This woman was a recently retired …

Elements of Strategy: Focus your mission….

Strategy can be a highly complex process, involving myriad diverse stakeholders, numerous possible futures, and a dizzying range of possibilities. Yet in the end, strategy is also simple: It’s a plan of action to achieve a desired goal. In our last post, we talked about the first element of strategy—a clear, compelling, aspirational and actionable vision. A well-developed vision answers …

Elements of Strategy: Start with Vision…

Ask any group of entrepreneurs if they have a strategy and most will quickly say they do. In fact, they probably have a hiring strategy, a marketing strategy, a social media strategy, and inevitably an exit strategy! Is this really ‘strategy’ at all? Early stage entrepreneurs—particularly first time entrepreneurs—typically put together a jigsaw puzzle of ideas that aren’t quite assembled …

Reflections of Our CEO: Rethinking the Shape of ‘Success’

Recently, my wife and I were reflecting on my decade and a half as an entrepreneur, and found ourselves talking in a very objective way about the costs of this career path. Costs paid not in money, but in currencies a younger me never thought were finite. I never intended to start my own business. In the echoes of the …

Social Entrepreneurship and Reconciliation: Why the Narrative Matters

RECODE Dialogues bring together Canada’s community-engaged post-secondary institutions to investigate and discuss issues of importance to Canada and the world. RECODE is a program of the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation that provides social innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities for College and University students to become drivers of progress and change. On the day before the 2016 Indigenous Innovation Summit, in partnership with …

Reflections of Our CEO: Inspiration for a Bold, New Year.

I’ve had Blackstar on repeat all week. Can’t get enough of it. “Challenging and disturbing,” in a characteristically David Bowie way, it was released a year ago today, and just two days before he succumbed to the cancer he’d been fighting while writing and producing his last album. In many ways, Blackstar is a raging lament at the death Bowie …