Canada Strategy

Digital Canada 150: The Digital Strategy Without a Strategy

Michael Geist | Posted 04.09.2014 | Canada Business
Michael Geist

Despite its successes, Digital Canada 150 ultimately suffers from some notable omissions. For a strategy document, it is curiously lacking in actual strategy. The government updates Canadians on what it has done and provides some insight into what it plans to do, but there are few new strategies articulated.

The Enemy of Your Future

Ken Aber and Ian Chamandy | Posted 04.08.2014 | Canada Business
Ken Aber and Ian Chamandy

Mark Twain was famously quoted as saying "I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead." The subtext of his quote is that time is the enemy of clear, concise and compelling communication. The same is true of strategy development.

How to Drive Sales via PR

Andrea Lekushoff | Posted 03.27.2014 | Canada
Andrea Lekushoff

Your company is about to launch a new product or service. It's been in the works for months, maybe years. You are convinced it will be a huge success....

Is Your Successful Business on the Road to Extinction?

Ken Aber and Ian Chamandy | Posted 04.13.2014 | Canada Business
Ken Aber and Ian Chamandy

There are two things that Blockbuster, Borders and Kodak have in common. The first thing they have in common is they all went bankrupt because digital technologies made their businesses obsolete. The second thing Blockbuster, Borders and Kodak have in common is that they all could be thriving today.

Blueprint's Top Trends for 2014: Part Three

Ken Aber and Ian Chamandy | Posted 03.18.2014 | Canada Business
Ken Aber and Ian Chamandy

The Fight For Control Over Our Lives Apple and Google will pull ahead of the pack in terms of its software controlling every aspect of our lives. Fi...

Blueprint's Top Trends for 2014: Part Two

Ken Aber and Ian Chamandy | Posted 03.17.2014 | Canada Business
Ken Aber and Ian Chamandy

Cloud-based services, also known as SaaS apps (software as a service), make more sense for everyone involved. SaaS apps are easier for customers to access, use and pay for, with the low subscription fee essentially amortizing what used to be a more onerous capital cost. They provide the developer with a consistent, predictable cash flow, and a far easier/cheaper development and upgrade process.

Businesses Must Be Prepared to Walk the Walk

Ken Aber and Ian Chamandy | Posted 02.09.2014 | Canada Business
Ken Aber and Ian Chamandy

One of the advantages of making a bold and compelling public statement about who you are as an organization is that you are now accountable for what you declare about yourself. In other words, you have to walk the walk because, if you don't, you will compromise your reputation.

Dove for Men Lacks "Real Beauty"

Ken Aber and Ian Chamandy | Posted 01.28.2014 | Canada Business
Ken Aber and Ian Chamandy

Dove's "Real Beauty" campaign drove product sales and created for the brand a dominant positioning within the women's beauty segment. Then Dove decided to extend its brand equity into the men's global market. And the men's campaigns actually erode the power and credibility the "Real Beauty" campaign has built so carefully and successfully around itself over many years.

Run a Business? Set Out a Clear Plan for Your Employees

Ken Aber and Ian Chamandy | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Business
Ken Aber and Ian Chamandy

When there is confusion about something, such as an organization's direction or strategic plan, there are many different interpretations of what it is. When there are many different interpretations, it usually means people aren't aligned with where the company is going and how it needs to get there.

Is a Lack of Clarity Slowing Down Your Business? Take This Simple Test

Ken Aber and Ian Chamandy | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Business
Ken Aber and Ian Chamandy

Board governance is becoming more and more stringent with each passing year and each new securities scandal (hello Sarbanes-Oxley!). The potential liability of individual board members increases the pressure on them to ensure there is accountability to shareholders and regulators.

What Justin Trudeau Could Learn From Rob Ford

Ken Aber and Ian Chamandy | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Politics
Ken Aber and Ian Chamandy

Is there any doubt about who Rob Ford is? There shouldn't be. From the moment he first ran for office, Rob Ford has been about "Stop the gravy train," even if he didn't articulate it that way in the beginning. What does Justin Trudeau stand for? There is no clear picture of who Justin is other than a good-looking guy who seems bright, has lots of charisma and speaks in generalities. Often politicians will say they don't want to reveal themselves until election time because they just make themselves a target for the other parties. But there is a difference between defining yourself -- who you are and what you stand for -- and revealing your specific policies.

The Future (According to Corporations)

Robert Bolton | Posted 11.17.2013 | Canada Business
Robert Bolton

Future scenarios should be thought of as being in perpetual draft form; they should be rewritten constantly and thought about critically -- always in the condition of workshopping. Questions about how things like new technologies ought to exist are matters of vital social consequence. They are political decisions; questions that we should all be engaging.

The #1 Secret to Making Things Happen for You

Tanya Raheel | Posted 11.11.2013 | Canada
Tanya Raheel

Toronto has gone Hollywood as it does each September, gripped by movie and movie star madness as the Toronto International Film Festival enters its se...

How Being a Bully Made me Better at Business

Kelsey Ramsden | Posted 11.06.2013 | Canada Business
Kelsey Ramsden

Ten years ago when I started my MBA, I pulled up to the school thinking that everyone inside of it would be douchey. They were business people, after all, and all business people were either bullies or scammers of some sort. I was sure that I would be the only half decent reformed bully there. Turns out, I was the douchey one for assuming the worst of them. And the time of the bully has passed.

The Only Career Question You'll Ever Need to Ask

Sarah Vermunt | Posted 10.28.2013 | Canada Business
Sarah Vermunt

In our work lives, we are constantly asking questions, evaluating our options, and making decisions. This swirl of considerations can be overwhelming at times, and with so many questions to ask it can be hard to know which is more important. The most important career question you'll ever ask is only three letters long, but packs one heck of a punch. The question is...why?

How PR Is Extending Its Reach

Nick Cowling | Posted 09.16.2013 | Canada Business
Nick Cowling

The most common mistake companies make when engaging public relations in the marketing mix is trying to use it as a blunt instrument to simply sell to an audience. I want to issue a wakeup call on how to effectively use PR in a time where it's becoming increasingly more valuable.

Do You Suffer From Corporate Attention Deficit Disorder?

Nick Cowling | Posted 06.25.2013 | Canada Business
Nick Cowling

In a time where anyone with a smartphone can become a news aggregator or citizen journalist, corporations appear to following suit, and are coming down with a serious lack of continuity in their communications. I'm talking about how understanding what some companies are trying to stand for these days has become an impossible task.

Why Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast (Part II)

Tyler Elm | Posted 01.06.2013 | Canada Business
Tyler Elm

Every corporation has a culture. Some are more "in your face" than others -- such as those that kick-off meetings with a corporate cheer -- and, if you've never really worked anywhere else, you might not even realize it's there.

Why Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast

Tyler Elm | Posted 12.29.2012 | Canada Business
Tyler Elm

having a strategy is one thing, but being able to implement it is entirely another. After all, the value of a strategy is not what is written on the whiteboard or the back of napkin, it is the value unleashed by engaging the minds and hearts of motivated employees and suppliers.

The Benefits of Carbon Shadow Pricing

Tyler Elm | Posted 12.22.2012 | Canada Business
Tyler Elm

Placing a price on carbon of anywhere from $10 to $80 a tonne can have a profound effect on business planning. It can help a company cut costs, while dramatically reducing its risk and exposure to rising energy prices and a price being put on carbon. Which brings us to an important question...

A Little Less Cardboard Can Save You Millions

Tyler Elm | Posted 12.16.2012 | Canada Business
Tyler Elm

Using sustainability as strategy can drive change within a company's supply chain by engaging suppliers and service providers with the resulting savings running into the millions of dollars a year. A case in point: one of Canadian Tire's most popular products is a six-foot folding utility table, selling many tens-of-thousands a year. The company collaborated with its supplier on product redesign and packaging to use less raw materials to make and package the product.

In Business, Don't Waste a Crisis

Tyler Elm | Posted 12.01.2012 | Canada Business
Tyler Elm

During a poor economy, it can be a challenge for a business to increase profitability as competition for the "cautious consumer" intensifies and there is increasing pressure on margins. But a recession offers the perfect opportunity to question the way things have always been done -- and drive out waste and inefficiency. One of Jim's favourite slogans is: "a crisis is a terrible thing to waste."

You Are Better Off Investing in Sustainability Than Stocks

Tyler Elm | Posted 11.25.2012 | Canada Business
Tyler Elm

In just the energy efficiency (EE) field, $2 trillion can be invested by 2020 with an internal rate of return (IRR) of 17 per cent. To put that into perspective: that rate of return is better than investing in the stock market or in real estate over the long-term. Why aren't we executing some of these simple, economically viable -- in fact hugely profitable solutions?

How Sustainability Can Save Business

Jim Harris | Posted 11.18.2012 | Canada Business
Jim Harris

Decades of experience have shown that environmental initiatives pursued in isolation of the economic benefit are largely immaterial. But when environmental objectives are framed as business strategy and tied to business operations and measured in terms of cutting cost and increasing profitability -- significant environmental benefits are generated. And so we believe that environmentalism can save business, as the more powerful engagement tool that business has at its disposal to drive innovation.

Rescuing the Reality From Virtual Reality

James Riley | Posted 10.20.2012 | Canada Business
James Riley

When the iPad came along, instead of the stylus, the new modality is touch, whether to pinch, scroll or "click." So how should a brand think about this whole "touch" revolution? Touch is a powerful and special thing. There are five easy steps to consider for both tablet and smartphone development.