Why didn’t Franklin just call an Uber?

In 1845, Captain Sir John Franklin set out from England with 129 men in two ships to traverse the Northwest Passage. Both ships got stuck in the ice and every single expedition member eventually died of scurvy, lead poisoning, starvation, or hypothermia. Over the last 40 years or so, a fairly comprehensive understanding of the expedition’s demise has emerged, 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 …

Urdang Academy | Leading UK Performing Arts School

Founded in 1970, Urdang Academy was established as a response to the lack of diversity in ballet. The academy is now one of the UK’s leading performing arts colleges with a deserved reputation for its inclusive approach and its high-quality training for a career in musical theatre and dance. The school is unique in its approach to breaking down cultural …

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 …

Islington Refugee Centre | The Heart of Progress

Last summer, my children’s school in Highgate, north London hosted the launch event of a new organisation called Highgate Has Heart. We couldn’t have known walking in that our heartstrings would be pulled into what became an incredibly meaningful pro bono project. Highgate Has Heart was set up by local people, including the actor Juliet Stevenson. The group seeks to …