Image Credit: Mackenzie Stroh

A Long, Hard Look in the Mirror

Last week, I was in Berkeley, California for the Social Venture Circle conference, an annual event that convenes many of the pioneers and leading thinkers of socially responsible business. Many of us this year were most excited to hear from keynote speaker Anand Giridharadas, author of the powerfully provocative bestseller Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World. …

When the Going Gets Tough, Invest in Evaluation

As winter turns to spring, the charitable sector in Ontario is grappling with a new provincial budget that puts funding pressure on a range of public services and deepens the social deficit—the gap between what people need, and what charities and government services can provide. Many charities are already searching the landscape for new funding options, worried they will otherwise …

Turning Entrepreneurship Inside Out

For the last four years, I’ve had the pleasure of serving as an Entrepreneur in Residence at RADIUS, a social innovation lab and venture accelerator at Simon Fraser University. Like all entrepreneurs, RADIUS program participants face myriad challenges, but there’s one problem in particular that always piques my interest. In the first accelerator cohort, there was a young woman who …

Purpose and Accountability: The Carrot and Stick of Social Impact

Social entrepreneurs are about more than making money. We have loftier goals than mainstream, profit-maximizing business organizations—and that sense of purpose is powerful. New hires are attracted by purpose. Leading investors demand purpose. Purpose brings teams of diverse people together. It’s an essential part of leadership, culture, and storytelling, especially in times of crisis. Purpose sits at the heart of …

Unintended Consequences: B Corp Legislation in British Columbia

In a few weeks, the BC government will vote on a bill tabled by the BC Green party to create a new corporate form—the Benefit Company—based on the American model of benefit corporations. It’s a well-intentioned move, and has vocal support from several members of the local B Corp certification community, but it has some real and negative unintended consequences. …

Adding Value Through Impact Reporting

It took us a while to issue our own Impact Report but as vocal advocates for impact reporting we have to walk the talk! As the old journalistic adage goes: ‘Nothing like a deadline….’ Given we were invited to present a workshop on impact reporting at the 2018 Investor Circle – Social Venture Network conference on Bridging Profit & Purpose, we …

Finding Value in the Space Between Sectors

At each extreme of a pendulum’s swing, there’s a moment of pause. It’s the briefest possible moment of stasis, when movement halts, and all that’s left is potential. It’s mesmerizing to watch, trying to catch that moment before the pendulum falls again, and swings to its opposite extreme. It’s an apt metaphor for responsible business: If the business sector is set at one …

Seven Tips to Build an Effective Advisory Council

Every entrepreneur, sooner or later, runs into the limits of their own capacity. We all confront myriad challenges. Some we’re equipped to overcome. For others, we need support. As Peter Drucker famously said, “the measure of the effective executive is the ability to get the right things done.” Often, getting the right things done requires the support of others. And …

Engage to thrive!

“Engagement drives motivation. Motivation drives performance,” said every HR manager, ever. Because this truth lies at the heart of all HR programmes: engaged staff perform better. The data back this up. According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report, business units in the top quartile on engagement are 17% more productive and 21% more profitable than those in the …