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 …

Think Global, Act Local with your Business

As our news feeds are filled with the worst of nationalist and protectionist rhetoric, I’m inspired by the positive stories that highlight the ways communities are working to foster equity, social inclusion and economic resilience. What does it mean to “think global and act local” in your business operations? Whether it’s the co-operative movement, new ways of thinking about community …

Social Venture Institute Impact Bio: Merissa Myles & Scott DiGuistini

Co-creators of Tree Island Yogurt, Merissa Myles and her husband Scott DiGuistini make grass-fed, artisan yogurt at their production plant in the Comox Valley, BC. They’ve earned a reputation as champions of the local food movement—while also shifting the thinking of farmers, retailers, and even the Ministry of Agriculture. Tree Island uses 100% fresh whole Canadian milk, and is committed …