Have We Hit ‘Peak Entrepreneur?’

Unbridled ambition has become entangled with the definition of entrepreneurship. Anything less than “putting a dent in the universe” seems to be deemed “failure.” Even social entrepreneurs seem to be taking on more and more ambitious goals striving beyond the ‘progressive change’ that used to characterize the social sector. While any university that isn’t yet home to an incubator is …

Shift Your Thinking About ‘Growth’

Since our recent piece, ‘Where Do We Grow from Here?’ conversations seem to have been in the air about business growth. How should we grow? Where should we grow? What does growth even mean? We’re not the only ones asking…. In the past year, we’ve completed a number of large, stakeholder-engaged strategic planning assignments with a diverse list of clients. …

Catching a Runaway Train—Harnessing the Value of Vancouver’s Real Estate Development Boom

I’m getting priced out of living in Vancouver, along with most of my peers, and so naturally I’m interested in how the City redistributes the economic benefits of property development so that all citizens, and not just the owners and developers, share in the benefits. Vancouver is first among municipal governments in North America for the level of effort and …

Customers Come First! (Or do they?)

Recently I was at an event where a panelist declared the age of the customer to be “over,” favouring an employee-centric culture, because, “if your employees are happy, your customers will be happy.” It felt like a classic chicken and egg scenario: what comes first, your employees or your customers? Sure, people work with people, and if customers are interacting …

Elements of Strategy: Measuring Success

When you measure your business’s success, do you look beyond the bottom line? With 88% of consumers seeking brands that respect people and planet, social impact and sustainability are real imperatives in any measure of success. This is the final post in a four-part series about the elements of strategy. In the first, we talked about a clear, compelling, actionable and …

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 …