Reflections 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. …

Is Environmental Sustainability Unsustainable?

Sustainable development is about “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” So said Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway. Until the 1980s, business leaders used the word sustainability to mean a company’s ability to increase its earnings, steadily through time. It wasn’t until 1987 and the UN Brundtland Report …

Your CSR Story: Five Steps to Engage Your Stakeholders

It’s often said that the goal of a Corporate Social Responsibility function in business should be to cease to exist. Can CSR be so embedded in the company that a separate CSR team is wholly unnecessary? It’s a useful question, in that it helps to avoid ‘silo’ thinking. And that’s essential when you’re developing the communications plan for your CSR …

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 …

Women’s Day 2017: Courage, Leadership & Equality

International Women’s Day on 8 March created a hook for discussion about women’s rights, with its theme of gender equality in the workplace. The UN called for all actors to “Step It Up for Gender Equality towards a Planet 50-50 by 2030 by ensuring that the world of work works for all women”. Did this convoluted call to action change …

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 …