The harmful ban on single-use plastic products

A ban will impact some 93,000 jobs in the plastics industry. Most in Ontario

The harmful ban on single-use plastic productsAll signs point to the federal government going ahead with a ban on certain single-use plastic products, which would be a mistake. This restrictive measure will likely not have the effects hoped for, and even if it does, you can be sure that the Canadian economy will suffer from those gains. The Canadian plastics industry,…

Raising capital while working on your startup

Always be raising, always be closing, always be talking about the business

Raising capital while working on your startupBeing a startup CEO is tough. Work life balance, as nice as it is, is not easy. Many leadership gurus – who invest in or mentor startup founders – often find CEOs struggle with the pace. One of the biggest challenges startup founders faces is balancing the continuous need to raise capital while running the…

Timing is everything in investing and business … or is it?

While timing is important, action is more important. From action comes the fundamentals of success

Timing is everything in investing and business … or is it?Peter told me about his latest and greatest idea to improve his business. He was so excited because this new revenue stream was going to ensure his organization had stable income and would thrive again. This particular business seemed to have had its glory days 40 years ago. But this new leader was adamant that…

Trudeau looking at a wealth tax to pay for soaring spending

Its impact on the overall economy means everyone will suffer

Trudeau looking at a wealth tax to pay for soaring spendingPrime Minister Justin Trudeau is eyeing a wealth tax to pay for his government’s spending spree. Heavily redacted documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation show Trudeau asked for an analysis of a $60-billion wealth tax. With indefinite deficits looming, it must be tempting to grab that cash. But a wealth tax would inflict economic…

Seven key areas to focus on to increase profitability

Getting more of your ideal customers is key

Seven key areas to focus on to increase profitabilityJerry reached out to us because he wanted to get out of his business. The business, he said, was “too stressful,” and he “was tired of struggling.” During our discussions with Jerry, we discovered that while the business was doing several million dollars in sales, it was only marginally profitable. Jerry had to work extra…

Playing the game of business to win

Running a business is much like coaching a team

Playing the game of business to winAl Erricson was my basketball coach in 1982 – he’s learned a lot about coaching since then. If only Al knew then what he knows now, we might have won a game or two. What Al knows, and every business owner and manager should know, is that being successful is not all about skills. It…

Five things you should leave your successor

... if you want them to succeed

Five things you should leave your successorThe great resignation is being talked about by people around the world. Not only are baby boomers retiring, but many people who have suffered from pandemic burnout are also changing their positions, selling their businesses and moving on to follow their passions. However, having invested time and energy into our positions, organizations and companies, we…

Strategies for successfully reopening after COVID-19

We’ve learned a great deal. Now we can start to put our new knowledge to use

Strategies for successfully reopening after COVID-19Thoughtful executives will prioritize planning for fully reopening their organizations now that the COVID-19 pandemic is subsiding. The new normal won’t be the old normal. The differences go well beyond customer and staff expectations for personal safety in places of business. Successful organizations in the post-COVID-19 world will proactively think through what: continuing work will…

How to deal with insubordination among your staff

Do nothing? Fire the staff member? Throw in the towel and sell the business?

How to deal with insubordination among your staffGeorge has a small manufacturing plant he bought six months ago because it had good revenue and came with some real estate. However, he didn’t know much, if anything, about the industry. The previous owners kept everything in their heads and had very little documentation. George quickly realized that customer orders were being lost, there…

Startup 101: Building and expanding your startup team

Building your team the right way is essential for your company's long-term success

Startup 101: Building and expanding your startup teamThe three most common reasons startups fail are having the wrong product, running out of capital and having the wrong team. Today, I will focus on building your startup team. How do you attract, build, and expand your team as a startup? How do you keep them engaged, creative, and focused on tasks? How do…

How savvy negotiators read body language

Here are my top four strategies

How savvy negotiators read body languageBecause I’ve trained them to do so, I know that many negotiators have learned how to read body language and use the resulting insights to their advantage. But I also know that other negotiators miss valuable opportunities simply because they don’t pay attention. They get so wrapped up in what’s being said or in the…

With high inflation, capital gains are overtaxed even more

High inflation distorts the application of the capital gains taxes that many of us pay

With high inflation, capital gains are overtaxed even moreBy Valentin Petkantchin and Olivier Rancourt Montreal Economic Institute The 5.7 per cent year-on-year inflation Canada registered in February has not been seen since the early 1990s. Expansionary monetary policies and the economic sanctions accompanying the Russia-Ukraine war suggest that significant inflation is here for a while. High inflation not only erodes our purchasing power,…

Are you affected by business traumatic stress disorder?

Many owners are traumatized by insistent bankers, creditors, suppliers and landlords

Are you affected by business traumatic stress disorder?Jim was visibly upset when he sat down for our coaching session. He told me that, the previous day, one of his staff had yelled at him during a meeting with his team members. He, too, lost his cool when the staff member “freaked out at him,” but he eventually walked away. This wasn’t the…

Startup 101: I’ve been funded… what now?

The journey for your startup is just beginning

Startup 101: I’ve been funded… what now?Yipee! Your startup has been funded. You suddenly have sufficient capital to put in motion the plans your pitch deck promised your new investors. Term sheets negotiated, first wired funds received, shares issued. So, now what? The world of startups is filled with cautionary tales of startups which can’t seem to navigate the new world…

What is the purpose of your mission statement?

Is yours a yawner? Or is it snappy – with empty words?

What is the purpose of your mission statement?Raise your hand if your organization has a mission statement. When I do that survey during leadership/culture presentations, almost every hand goes up. Mission statements are as common as a logo, website, or budget. Everybody has one. BUT...does it... Define the soul of your organization? Energize and engage? Align with leaders’ and employees’ personal purpose?…

How to prevent ransomware attacks on your computer

Never operate a computer without anti-virus software

How to prevent ransomware attacks on your computerRecent ransomware attacks highlight how appealing and lucrative these raids are to hackers. Ransomware is malicious software that installs itself on the computers on your network and encrypts all the files, making them inaccessible to your staff. On payment of the ransom, you typically receive a key consisting of a string of letters and numbers…

Can Elon Musk’s bid for Twitter succeed?

Purchasing Twitter is a huge risk for Musk’s net worth and investments

Can Elon Musk’s bid for Twitter succeed?A meme that’s been popular on social media for several years features two photos posted side-by-side. One is labelled “How it started” and the other has “How it’s going.” This meme has typically been used for light-hearted posts about relationships, marriages, children and so forth. It could be used for other purposes – maybe a…

What you can do to attract and hire better candidates

Competitive salaries, fitting benefits, flexible schedule, value-based hiring, and creativity

What you can do to attract and hire better candidates“We just can’t find anybody qualified to do the job for us.” This is a line I hear regularly in working with clients lately. In some parts of the country, there’s a drastic shortage of labour. That’s putting a strain on the ability of many leaders to fill spots in their organizations with qualified staff.…

Oil sands water reclamation materials put to commercialization test

Analysis tool could help companies decide which innovations are worth the investment

Oil sands water reclamation materials put to commercialization testEnvironmental reclamation is necessary, but sometimes it’s expensive for industry. What materials work best? Which ones are worth the investment? University of Alberta researchers are inching closer to answering those pressing questions through a project that looks at two reclamation materials with commercial potential: chicken feathers and biochar, a blackened byproduct created from waste like cow…

Seven things most business leaders and entrepreneurs fear

By understanding psychological barriers and working on them, we can achieve things thought impossible

Seven things most business leaders and entrepreneurs fear“One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.” – Henry Ford Take a look at most leaders and you’ll think that they have it all together. When they’re facing outward, many portray a sense of vision, assurance,…

How family businesses can weather generational shifts

The largest wealth transfer in history looms, and family-run businesses need to be ready

How family businesses can weather generational shiftsStories about bitter feuds in family businesses are everywhere these days. From HBO’s Succession and The Righteous Gemstones to the recent feature film House of Gucci to the true story of infighting at Rogers Communications, the popular imagination can’t seem to get enough of sibling rivalry and other forms of strife in business families. Our fascination with such conflict is hardly…

Wake up your employees to cyber security risks

Your employees can inadvertently be a cybercriminal’s best friend

Wake up your employees to cyber security risksWhen breaking through an organization’s security defences, employees who create vulnerabilities are a cybercriminal’s best friend. While technical security safeguards are essential, employees continue to be the weakest link when it comes to protecting corporate information from cybercriminals of various shapes, sizes and motivations. Cybercriminals regularly convince inattentive employees, through a phishing attack, to engage…

Five ways to get the most from supplier relationships

Your suppliers want you to succeed. When you're doing well, they’re more likely to succeed too

Five ways to get the most from supplier relationshipsThe relationships we have with suppliers are often critical to our success in business. But most business owners and managers don’t understand how to leverage those relationships for better results and increased profitability. Here are five ways to get the most from your suppliers: Invest in the relationship Your suppliers can make or break your…

Is big data success eluding you?

Are your big data scientists running amuck?

Is big data success eluding you?Some organizations think that big data can only produce significant business benefits if delivered through big projects that require big investments and include big risks. Nothing could be further from the truth. Here’s a look at how to respond to the frequently-discussed issues that create avoidable anxiety and cause big data success to elude you.…

Liberal-NDP deal will mean major tax hikes

When it comes to wealth taxes, Trudeau needs to draw a line in the sand

Liberal-NDP deal will mean major tax hikesNow that the years-long Liberal-NDP courtship has turned official, Canadians should brace themselves for an unwelcome raft of higher taxes and unsustainable spending. With Prime Minister Justin Trudeau inking a deal with the NDP to keep him in power until 2025, Canada’s finances are headed from bad to worse. To help justify overspending, the Trudeau…

The costs and benefits of letting your customer service slip

When we don’t care about clients, we create a culture of complacency that infects our whole organization

The costs and benefits of letting your customer service slipOne of my in-laws spent two hours on hold with an airline company last week after his travel agent had spent four hours on hold with the same company. When I asked him about the experience, he said he was happy he didn’t have to wait longer and said the person who answered the phone…

Revisit your web strategy to respond to trends

A makeover can produce practical benefits for your business

Revisit your web strategy to respond to trendsBusiness leaders often think about using the web to advance their business plans. While web strategy is hardly a new topic, recent developments and the surprising persistence of horrible bad practices suggest a little management engagement in a web strategy makeover can produce practical benefits. Here are the topics to consider as you improve your…

Canadian siblings moulding their own niche in the sport board industry

A six-year obsession finally pays off

Canadian siblings moulding their own niche in the sport board industryEver been in business with a spouse? How about a sibling? How about three siblings, all brothers? Daunting as that sounds, it is a successful business recipe employed by the Brothers Schroenn (Justin 56, Matthew and Gareth, 49) as they attempt to transform the world’s aquatic recreational market. The trio is inventor/creators of SWMBRD –…
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