As a lover of food, and a tourism professional, the fall holds a special place in my heart. The summer air cools, the season's bounty is gathered and celebrations abound. This fall, I'm particularly excited because I'm also returning to Galway, Ireland for the inaugural Food On The Edge Symposium -- where I'll experience a second harvest, of an idea planted by Chef Jp McMahon.
Colleges in Ontario and throughout the country have been working with small and medium-sized businesses on applied research projects to help businesses grow and innovate, as well as create new jobs. Applied research that Ontario's colleges conduct in partnership with business and industry will be central to our success when competing with international markets.
The business world has always been a lot like the world of sports. You work as a team. You face off against competitors. You can win and you can lose. While there is no finish line or final buzzer in business, entrepreneurs require the same single-minded focus and determination to reach their goals. On the eve of the 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games, here are five tips small businesses can learn from the world's best athletes:
Medications are a mainstay for managing chronic diseases, yet Canada is the only country in the world with a universal healthcare plan that does not include pharmacare for all its citizens. If you are not fortunate enough to have a benefits plan through your employer, drug costs are a significant barrier to best practice care for chronic disease. Demographics are such that drug plans are becoming increasingly expensive and, as costs go up, businesses are forced to make trade-offs that impact covered employees.
The key to closing Canada's skills gap in the future lies in young people and according to a recent Randstad study, it seems that young Canadians are getting the message. There is a wealth of opportunity for career building within the various skilled trade sectors across the country, and people are taking notice.
If Toronto and Canada really want to compete in the new global economy we need to innovate; sticking our head in the sand or relying on outdated statutes doesn't cut it. If there are legitimate concerns about specific facets of these new business models, then legislators need to meet with the firms and address them. It's time to get on with it.
Developing skills in engineering, software development, analytics, security, behavioural economics, psychology, sales or digital marketing was a great first step towards that fulfilling in-demand career. Understanding how to apply those skills to help transform industries increases your employability and makes you an attractive candidate for the best employers of today and tomorrow.
The Uber / Lyft / Sidecar battle seems to be an increasingly prevalent theme where startups are focused more on fighting each other than responding to countermoves from traditional players. With statistics showing that the San Francisco taxi industry is steadily collapsing, it is no wonder that Uber is more focused on retaining market share against other startup competitors.
Simply put, rather than reinventing the wheel, entrepreneurs need to find the wheel-maker, and leverage the wheel-maker's expertise and experience. There are four key practices to embed this into the enterprise. First, build a network before it's needed. I'm convinced that the single most important asset any entrepreneur can build is their Rolodex.
The rules are changing in today's globalized, hyper-competitive economy and startups are attempting to keep up by maintaining their innovative edge. No longer can any established or traditional company afford to enter a period of ossification. Indeed, ossification in today's economy means death rather than stability.
The Canada-Israel relationship is often only viewed through the lens of politics, which unfortunately obscures the remarkable bonds being formed between Canadians and Israelis at the institutional and grassroots levels. As the admirable work of the AUCC has shown, there is much we can learn from one another.
With more and more attention focused on global environment and climate change, stakeholders (citizenry at large) are hungry for actionable solutions and real commitments. As companies start to more and more define their supply chains with sustainability as a core value, transparency and accountability in these efforts will be increasingly critical.
As much as engaging with traditional players is antithetical to Silicon Valley culture, it is increasingly a necessity to solve global solutions. Silicon Valley's recent successes have come under criticism due to the fact that they seem to be creating an "alternative" system that skirts existing established norms.