The Boiling Point Podcast

Introducing Lisa Hrabluk

 

Decision makers of all stripes will eventually find themselves in a bind.  They will come across a situation where it seems there is no answer that will be pleasing enough to all stakeholders and the result is a deadlock of argument.  Lisa Hrabluk and her company Wicked Ideas is just the person you need in such a situation, as she has a passion for finding a way forward.

 

Lisa is a veteran journalist who knows that way forward is through humility and asking the right questions to stakeholders.  As a journalist, Lisa was always interested in finding unique ways to tell a story and this interest has lead her company to teach organizations how to have a two-way conversation with their public.

 

Lisa teaches a niche marketing approach to organizations, who until recently had been treating public affairs as a “sales job”.  The public demands that it not be force fed ideas, but engaged.  When you are in a position where you need things done, Lisa contends you need to listen and ask the right questions to draw out an answer that lets your opposition understand your problem rather than just argue your own point.  Listen to this week’s Boiling Point to see how this strategy could help your issue.

 

 

In this episode

 

  • Lisa explains how her strategy would help solve contentious issues such as fracking.
  • Lisa explains the four groups that show up in a contentious issue and which one we should be most concerned with.
  • She tells us what she means by having humility and asking the right questions to get the answers you want.
  • Lisa also explains how it is important to be comfortable in chaos.
  • She also explains how creating large projects used to be done versus how it is done today.
  • Dave is excited by the power of humility and how it can be the easiest way to eliminate conflict and get people cooperating.
  • Greg notes that every entrepreneur has a tolerance for chaos and is inspired by the fact that if you are still living today, you found a way out of all your past chaotic experiences.

 

Links

Wicked Idea's Website

Wicked Idea's Twitter

Wicked Idea's Facebook

Lisa's Linked In

 

 

Direct download: BP047LisaHrabluk.mp3
Category:entrepreneurship -- posted at: 12:07pm EDT

Introducing Tim Ryan

There are times in business when the demand for your work slows down or even grinds to a halt.  These situations can sometimes be completely out of your control, like when your region begins an economic slump.  However, just because there may be a lack of business in your own neck-of-the-woods, it doesn’t mean you necessarily will have to make the hard decisions in relation to your workforce.

Tim Ryan faced a very similar issue with Fundy Engineering when a number of their projects finished around the same time.  Tim is the principle at Fundy, and has worked with them for over 19 years.  During his time with the business, he saw the workforce build from five employees to 50 as a result of work primarily in the Atlantic Provinces.  As a number of significant projects came to a close, Fundy Engineering was seeing a drop in demand for their services and something had to be done to keep the company and it’s employees working.

So, Tim had a mission to find companies to partner with out west that would allow Fundy to provide services for them and for knowledge to transfer to his own people.  In the west, there had be an issue of employee loyalty and retention as the Alberta oil sands offered many high-paying jobs and workers had a choice of who they wanted to work with or who would pay the most money.  As a result, many companies seeking professional services, like the type Fundy was offering, were spending big bucks trying to find employees.  Tim took the elevator pitch for his company’s reputation of hard work, loyalty, and quality, and found companies who needed their services and had compatible company cultures.

Tim says that professional service companies need to start thinking more like entrepreneurs and be more innovative to grow their bottom line.  How you go about doing this is the thrust of this week’s episode.

 

In this episode

  • Tim explains his motivations for traveling west to bring back work.
  • He also tells us how he went about targeting the companies he thought would be a good fit for Fundy Engineering services.
  • Tim also tells us how smaller companies working collaboratively can deliver better service than the big guys.
  • He also tells us about how this affects smaller companies to make them look bigger than they are.
  • Tim also points out that if you don’t present yourself to other companies who need your work, they may not even know you exist.
  • He also speaks to the fact that Atlantic Canadian businesses in general have to become experts on a vast amount of subject matter and are very useful to companies out west who have the luxury of having a more narrow focus.
  • Greg tells us his plans to do something very similar with 30 different film production companies.
  • Greg is also reminded that there is always someone else out there in the world that is doing something similar, if not exactly, what you do and they could be fantastic partners with excellent alignment for mutual benefit.
  • Dave appreciates Tim’s mission and the importance of aligning with companies that share a similar vision and values in order to do great business together.

 

Links

Fundy Engineering Website

Fundy Engineering Facebook

Fundy Engineering Twitter

Fundy Engineering Linked in

 

Direct download: BP046TimRyan.mp3
Category:entrepreneurship -- posted at: 1:18pm EDT

Introducing Aaron Emery

Daniel Burnham, one of the fathers of the skyscraper, once said, "Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood... Make big plans, aim high in hope and work."  This quote resonates deeply with this week’s guest Aaron Emery.  Aaron is a B Corp lead, who is responsible for all B Corp certifications in Canada.  As mentioned in previous episodes, a company with a B Corp designation is one who subscribes to a triple bottom line.  This means that the company isn’t just responsible to its’ shareholders, but also other stakeholders, the environment, and society in general.

B Corp is a movement, which certifies that companies are effectively making positive impact across their supply chains, while also building a community of like-minded business leaders.  As Aaron would subscribe, the imagination of governments and non-profits pale in comparison to the imagination of business people and entrepreneurs to make change.  When you consider business interests control that 85% of global capital, imagine what can be achieved morally, and environmentally if even a portion of these companies ascribed to the B Corp mantra. 

So where was the inspiration of B Corp?  Surprisingly, it came from the world of basketball.  And 1 was a basketball apparel company that at its peak was the number two basketball shoe company in North America.  It was doing business the right way by being as ethical as possible with its supply chain, particularly with its employee within North America and overseas.  And 1 offered two weeks paid vacation, as well as two weeks paid volunteer time.  It has nursing rooms for new moms, as well as daycare facilities at work, not to mention a great benefits package. 

When it came time to sell the company, its’ owners were not unlike any other capitalist--they sought the best price for the company.  Unfortunately, within three months after its’ sale, the majority of the mission side of the company had disappeared.  However, from the ashes came the desire to have more companies that believed in the principals that were present at And 1.

 

In this Episode

  • Aaron tells us what is involved with becoming a B Corp from assessment, to interview, to documentation, and changes to articles of incorporation.
  • We learn how any company with a score of 80/200 on B Corp’s assessment could become certified (the majority of companies score 52, so it can’t be that hard to get another 30 points, right?).
  • We hear a little bit about the 1,200 companies in 80 countries across 120 different sectors that have become B Corp certified.
  • Aaron tells us some of the policies that a few of the great new B Corp companies have been installing.
  • Aaron tells us why it is important to measure something if you truly care about it.
  • Greg tells us about his newly acquired B Corp status and about an idea for his new “Millennial Dream” documentary that gets Aaron “blinded by excitement”.
  • Dave is inspired by B Corp’s big message and how the process is broken down into easy steps.

 

Links

B Corp's Website

B Corp Canada's Twitter

Take the B Impact Assessment!

 

 

Direct download: BP045AaronEmery.mp3
Category:entrepreneurship -- posted at: 4:07pm EDT

Introducing Craig Norris 

There is a popular biblical analogy which says, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”  Perhaps there is something missing to this axiom however.  Our guest, Craig Norris would add, “Teach a man about fishing, and he’ll figure it out for himself.”

Craig is an entrepreneur and filmmaker, who previously spent time in the world of big business, but left due to a conflict of ethics and lifestyle.  He now runs his production company, Video Band, and also an environmentally friendly daycare called Earthlings with his wife out of their home in Moncton, New Brunswick.

Recently, Community Forests International approached Craig after their brain trust had seen a nature documentary that Craig had produced.  They wanted him to travel to Pemba, Tanzania in order to film a few instructional videos on agriculture, as well as a documentary about the work CFI was doing with the community there and their pursuit of sustainability.  Pemba is a small island in the Zanzibar Archipelago, which had been mostly deforested.  The deforestation caused more problems then just lack of wood and shade.  Without enough trees issues arose including lack of fresh water, and under performing farms due to lack of moisture in the ground.  CFI had started a program to reforest the area, and in the last six to seven years have planted over a million trees with the help of the local community. 

Craig was struck by Africa and the experience helped to dispel a lot of the stereotypes of the continent in his mind.  These stereotypes include a perception of helplessness, danger, and corruption.  In fact, Pemba was not hopeless at all; the only help they needed was a little information and a small investment of materials.

 

In this episode 

  • Curtis lets us in on how Earthlings stays successful by staying small
  • He also explains how he has cut the overhead on the daycare business.
  • Curtis tells us how the “Sally Struthers/World Vision” approach to aide often disenfranchises the residences receiving the aid.
  • He tells us how the focus of his documentary will differ from many about the region.
  • We learn way it is more important to “tell a man about fishing”, and let him figure it out for himself.
  • We learn the importance of turning your ego off and focusing on listening.
  • Craig also tells us how we can be ethnocentric even when we have the best intentions and about poverty of opportunity.

 

Links

Community Forests International's Website

Video Band's Website

 

Direct download: BP044CraigNorris.mp3
Category:entrepreneurship -- posted at: 4:25pm EDT

Introducing Curtis Kleisinger

It is incredible how one woman from the other side of the world can inspire positive change in your own backyard.

A number of years ago, a group of CEOs and businesspeople travelled to India and were granted an audience with the famed humanitarian Mother Teresa.  After hearing her speak, many in attendance were interested in how they could help her mission.  Mother Teresa was not interested in their money; instead she urged the group to return to their home community, identify a need, and to give their time and resources to inspire change.  Paul and Carol Hill were two of the people in attendance took this message to heart.  They returned to their home in Regina, Saskatchewan and started the process of creating a school in Mother Teresa’s name that would serve the province’s disadvantaged aboriginal community.

This is where our guest this week enters the picture.  Curtis Kleisinger is the executive director of the Mother Teresa Middle School and a former schoolmate of our host Dave Veale.  The Mother Teresa Middle School opened in 2011 and serves a small group of students from grades six to eight. 

Though the Saskatchewan economy has been fairly good over the last number of years, this good fortune had generally not extended to Regina’s aboriginal population.  Up until recently, only 33% of aboriginal students in the area would graduate high school on time, and many students came from backgrounds of poverty, foster homes, trauma, and abuse.  In fact, many current students will be the first in their families to graduate high school.  The MTMS seeks to end the cycle of poverty by giving these kids a chance, not only to learn but also to thrive.

  

In this episode  

  • Curtis tells us the difference between traditional schools and MTMS.
  • We hear about the school’s focus on developing strengths, networking, and a mentoring program that has a 1:23 return ratio.
  • Curtis tells us about the success stories from the school and how the students seek to fix world problems.
  • Curtis tells us about the admissions process and how building trust, particularly with matriarchs, is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome.
  • Curtis also tells us the importance of hope, engagement, and well being for students, businesses, and society in general.
  • Dave tells us how he was struck emotionally by the school and how being there really makes you “get it”.
  • Greg concludes that building trust with a few key influencers is so critical to fostering change.

 

Links

The Mother Teresa Middle School

Direct download: BP043CurtisKleisinger.mp3
Category:entrepreneurship -- posted at: 3:50pm EDT

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