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Ken Aber and Ian Chamandy

Founding Partners, Blueprint Business Architecture

Ken Aber and Ian Chamandy are the founding partners of Blueprint Business Architecture in Toronto, Canada. Blueprint uses its unique planning model to help corporate and philanthropic clients with corporate strategy and business model development. They are also regular contributors on CTV News Channel.
Management Lessons From The Leafs' 'Winning'

Management Lessons From The Leafs' 'Winning' Season

Ever since Brendan Shanahan was hired as team president, he has chanted the same mantra: The Leafs will rebuild the franchise in a slow, disciplined way, developing young talent from within, giving them time to mature in the minors, and not being distracted by any shiny penny, over-the-hill stars being dangled in front of them by other teams looking to dump big salaries.
05/06/2016 03:31 EDT
Authenticity Determined This Election's Winners And

Authenticity Determined This Election's Winners And Losers

Todd Rundgren's song, "The Verb, To Love," speaks to authenticity -- the antithesis of the packaging of a candidate for public consumption during an election. Both Trudeau and Harper were authentic to who they are in the campaign, while Mulcair showed up as a packaged pretense of what he wanted people to think of him, not who he truly is.
10/29/2015 12:28 EDT
How to Create An Agile Business

How to Create An Agile Business Culture

The reason most companies are so deeply affected by disruptive technologies is their cultures resist adapting until it is too late. They are so entrenched in their current paradigms that they can't see the future iterations of what they are as a business.
12/15/2014 06:11 EST
Why Canada Is Headed for a Retail

Why Canada Is Headed for a Retail Bloodbath

These companies are going to have to counter a major disruption with a major disruption of their own. Most of the retailers who are in trouble are tinkering around the edges: a few more glitzy end aisle displays here, another rebrand there. Stripped down to its simplest form, these stores are glorified shelvers of stuff.
12/08/2014 01:14 EST
Does Your Company Have The Emotional Intelligence To Be A

Does Your Company Have The Emotional Intelligence To Be A Leader?

The key word here is "achieve", because the company can be motivated toward a lot of other things, both positive and negative, but a single focus on achievement is what contributes to emotional intelligence. Are your people able to ignore or suppress internal politics in order to work together toward a common, compelling and well defines goal?
05/28/2014 06:00 EDT
Why Knowing Who You Are Is So Important To Your

Why Knowing Who You Are Is So Important To Your Business

Doing the hard work to create a clear, concise and compelling definition of who the company is -- what business it is <em>really</em> in -- is a tiny investment to inoculate a company from this potentially fatal disease. Steve Jobs was such a remarkable leader because he was constantly fearful of the threat of founder's dilemma, even as he was basking in the glow of Apple's amazing success.
05/15/2014 05:26 EDT
The Enemy of Your

The Enemy of Your Future

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.
04/08/2014 06:05 EDT
Is Your Successful Business on the Road to

Is Your Successful Business on the Road to Extinction?

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.
02/11/2014 05:45 EST
Blueprint's Top Trends for 2014: Part

Blueprint's Top Trends for 2014: Part One

Wearable tech products speak to our increasing needs for self-awareness, instant gratification and sense of belonging. They will help us sleep better, stay fitter, manage our time more effectively, maintain our health more proactively, engage with more people who share our passions.
01/15/2014 05:51 EST
Blueprint's Top Trends for 2014: Part

Blueprint's Top Trends for 2014: Part Two

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.
01/15/2014 05:22 EST
What CEOs Can Learn From Lululemon's

What CEOs Can Learn From Lululemon's Fiasco

When Lululemon thumbed its nose at empathy by blaming women's thighs for its own mistakes, customers started saying in droves "You don't actually get me at all." It is like discovering your spouse has an alternate personality that you don't recognize. Where did Lululemon go wrong? In our view, two places.
01/06/2014 01:23 EST
Businesses Must Be Prepared to Walk the

Businesses Must Be Prepared to Walk the Walk

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.
12/10/2013 12:33 EST
Dove for Men Lacks

Dove for Men Lacks "Real Beauty"

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.
11/28/2013 05:22 EST
Why RIM Never Really Understood What a Blackberry

Why RIM Never Really Understood What a Blackberry Was

Too many people at RIM thought, and still think to this day, that a Blackberry was about security in communications and a whole host of other features and benefits. This is a classic case of looking at a product from an engineering standpoint rather than a psychological one. Unlike RIM, Steve Jobs era Apple has always understood exactly what people are buying.
11/19/2013 05:18 EST
Run a Business? Set Out a Clear Plan for Your

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

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.
11/12/2013 05:51 EST
Is a Lack of Clarity Slowing Down Your Business? Take This Simple

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

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.
11/05/2013 12:28 EST
What Justin Trudeau Could Learn From Rob

What Justin Trudeau Could Learn From Rob Ford

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.
10/30/2013 05:42 EDT