Mon, 30 March 2015
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
Direct download: BP047LisaHrabluk.mp3
Category:entrepreneurship -- posted at: 11:37am -04
Mon, 23 March 2015
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
Direct download: BP046TimRyan.mp3
Category:entrepreneurship -- posted at: 12:48pm -04
Tue, 17 March 2015
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
- Take the B Impact Assessment!
Direct download: BP045AaronEmery.mp3
Category:entrepreneurship -- posted at: 3:37pm -04
Mon, 9 March 2015
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
- Community Forests International's Website
Direct download: BP044CraigNorris.mp3
Category:entrepreneurship -- posted at: 3:55pm -04
Mon, 2 March 2015
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
Direct download: BP043CurtisKleisinger.mp3
Category:entrepreneurship -- posted at: 4:20pm -04