Shake It Off and Step Up

Shake It Off and Step Up

I had this pop-up to me today from my list of inspirational items and thought it was worth sharing again. It is a great lesson on the power of learning to shake it off and step up. Shake It Off and Step Up One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.He invited all his neighbours to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone's amazement, he quieted down.A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back,...
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Start With Why and Remember It

Start With Why and Remember It

Simon Sinek started the Start With Why movement with his incredible TED Talk, "How Great Leaders Inspire Action". Every once in a while I see a great example of why "the why" is so critical. Today I came across one of those examples that I felt compelled to write about in an article "What Happened to the Internet's Favorite T-Shirt Company?" on Racked.com. The article takes a look at the Threadless T-Shirt company, their rise to fame, and their current struggles to remain relevant.Sinek's premise is that most organizations (and individuals) start by defining what they do, then move on to how they do it, and if they have time (infrequently), define why they do it. The what-how-why approach results in an undifferentiated company that has difficulty creating an emotional connection with their customers. Instead, Sinek pushes a why-first approach which connects to the emotional side of the customer by starting from the purpose of the company. Only after the...
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Leadership and Life Lessons from Gord Downie

Leadership and Life Lessons from Gord Downie

Last night Canada lost one of our favourite sons. With a letter from the Downie family, The Tragically Hip confirmed the passing of Gord Downie after a surprisingly long struggle with glioblastoma, a cancerous brain tumour. As a nation, we celebrated Gord and the band last summer with their final tour culminating in the national broadcast of their final concert in their hometown of Kingston. We gathered together in droves, joined hands, and celebrated as Canadians. Today we reflect on Gord's life. Today we take the time to learn the lessons from Gord Downie. (more…)...
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Recommended Reading: 15 Books Recommended by Top Leaders

Recommended Reading: 15 Books Recommended by Top Leaders

I'm always looking for great books to add to my reading list and I often get requests recommendations from friends and colleagues. I figured it was high time I put together a list of recommended reading from some of the top business leaders and CEOs of our time.Most CEOs and business leaders will tell you that a constant commitment to learning is one of the key drivers for their success. Reading is one of the easiest and most accessible ways to expand your knowledge or learn about new topics.Feel free to add your own thoughts and recommendations in the comments. For now, off to the list! (more…)...
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Cross-Industry Innovation – Seek Converging Trends

Cross-Industry Innovation – Seek Converging Trends

Every industry today is facing disruption and change at a speed that we have never seen before. E-commerce is challenging Retail. Technology companies are challenging banks. 3D Printing is challenging traditional manufacturing. Innovation is no longer a nice-to-have capability in your organization; it is a critical component of your future success. But the innovation of your products and services alone is not enough. You need to be looking more broadly at your entire business and industry to truly future-proof your organization. You need to look for cross-industry innovation and seek converging trends to lead your category and organization into the future. (more…)...
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Busy or Productive – Increase Your Productivity with These 8 Tips

Busy or Productive – Increase Your Productivity with These 8 Tips

Time is the one true constraint for all of us in our lives. We all have 24 hours in a day. We all have 60 minutes in an hour. You can't change the pace of time. But what we can change is how we use that time. Most people I know are busy within their constrained time. A few people I know are productive in that time. Are you busy or productive? Here are 15 tips that can help you highlight where you fall, and how you can improve your productivity, be more successful and reduce your stress.Not every tip will work for everyone. Individual work styles differ, and some people can optimize more or less in each of these areas. The most important factor to success in productivity improvement is to be conscious in your efforts. Take time to understand how you work today and how that could be improved. Then execute against that plan. (more…)...
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Problem Design – Look Before You Leap

Problem Design – Look Before You Leap

Probably the most common challenge I have come across throughout my career is the human tendency to jump to solutions. We are naturally inclined to solve problems. But sometimes we jump to solutions before we understand the problem we are solving. Problem Design is the structured approach I use to force understanding of a problem before starting to solve it. You can't solve a problem you don't understand. You need to look before you leap. If you can clearly define the dream or goal, start. -Simon Sinek While Simon refers to dreams and goals in his quote, problems are no different. Building clarity, understanding, and alignment around what you are trying to solve is the first critical step to delivering a working solution. (more…)...
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Look alive: You may be missing the point of contactless technology

Look alive: You may be missing the point of contactless technology

Tim Empringham was quoted in this article by Jasmine W. Gordon on Tektonika based on his keynote at the Bank IT Conference in Toronto highlighting the importance of driving strategy and innovation based on customer value rather than technology alone.Read the full article: https://www.tektonikamag.com/index.php/2016/11/08/look-alive-you-may-be-missing-the-point-of-contactless-technology/...
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