Tough times require tough bosses

Seven basic management skills to motivate your workers

Tough times require tough bossesFor over two decades we have been training leaders to manage people by empowering them. Leaders who were authoritarian, who behaved like a parent instead of a coach, were seen as dinosaurs at the end of their era. Times change. I remember how a conversation I had with a client, an enlightened and successful leader, unfolded:…

Five reasons why you may be losing sales

We need to care about our customers and why they came to us, train our staff, find strategies that work and then measure it all

Five reasons why you may be losing salesLast week, Natalie walked into a sports store to buy a swim cap. She found the caps in the store and a young man, the ‘salesperson’ on duty, walked over and asked, “Can I help you?” She told me she said, “Yes, I need a swim cap,” as she stood looking at the rack of…

Ten strategies to improve your odds of a better hire

If you take your time, and trust your gut, you are more likely to find the best candidate

Ten strategies to improve your odds of a better hireHiring is rarely something managers look forward to. It often feels like an arduous process that ends in a crap shoot. But there are strategies that improve your odds of hiring well. Don’t stay inside the box. In my experience, employers do not cast a wide enough net when they recruit talent. Human resources professionals and…

Majority of small business owners have no succession plan

CFIB says government policy changes are needed to ease the transition burden for businesses

Majority of small business owners have no succession planOver $1.5 trillion in business assets will be in play over the next decade as 72 per cent of small business owners intend to exit their business, according to a new survey released on Wednesday by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. “Successful business sales or transfers can save or even create jobs, keep local…

Corporate culture important in attracting and retaining talent

Focus on identifying individual motivations and promoting a work environment that puts employee engagement at the top

Corporate culture important in attracting and retaining talentWhen it comes to attracting and retaining talent, corporate culture is playing a much more significant role, according to a report by global staffing firm Robert Half. The report, Organizational Culture: The Make-or-Break Factor in Hiring and Retention, surveyed Canadian and U.S. senior managers and professionals. It found that 40 per cent of workers in Canada…

Getting it done is better than getting it perfect

Lessons for the world from the logging camp and why binding many individuals together in the common cause is so important

Getting it done is better than getting it perfectMy first job on my first day at Juskatla logging camp in 1969 was spreading gravel around a shed that housed firefighting supplies. I can still remember my old-school woods foreman, Ed Anderson, telling me how to do the rather obvious task. “You see that f---ing pile of gravel over there, and that wheelbarrow, rake…

Why raising kids and running a business are almost the same

Both take passion, discipline and determination, and both will cost you sleep

Why raising kids and running a business are almost the sameHarold is a wise old carpenter who was working on the stairs in my house this week. To be honest, in his mid-70s he doesn’t seem that old anymore, but Harold is wise. Over the past 20 years, Harold has supported me in fixing and building things for my businesses and homes. When I asked…

10 change management strategies backed by science

Science helps explain our negative reaction to change and also offers insights for helping people deal with it

10 change management strategies backed by scienceI've been studying change leadership for over 25 years, but only recently have researchers been able to use technology like functional magnetic resonance imagery (fMRI) to look at the brain and see what actually happens when we're facing a major organizational change. For example: Most of our daily activities including many of our work habits…

Picking the right team is essential to your business success

Have clarity on what the position is, go with your gut, have criteria to measure new staff, use the probation period correctly

Picking the right team is essential to your business successThis week, I’m picking my basketball team for the year. This isn’t a sports fantasy team, it’s a high school basketball team with 12 real people. The stakes are high for me. While I’ll be playing to win, I may or may not pick what seem to be the most talented players, because team dynamics…

5 sure-fire ways to kill your company’s innovation

Bottom line: get comfortable being uncomfortable, take the big risks and encourage your employees to do the same

5 sure-fire ways to kill your company’s innovationInnovation is difficult to come by. It is a fleeting concept that eludes most companies. In fact, the odds of a new product idea reaching full commercialization are less than four per cent. And that is the best case. But there are five sure-fire ways you can make certain innovation never sees the light of…
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