Let's go Back to the River
Big Fish, Little Pond - Part 3 - Purpose is your final espresso shot
Is the Thames a great river?
For me, the river is an amazing natural treasure. I have walked its shores in quiet contemplation. I have biked along it both for commuting to work and for pleasure. I recall attending family reunions in Springbank Park as a child, playing with my cousins down by the river’s banks.
Local Matters at election time
There’s a small advantage to losing around 65-70% of your revenue almost overnight (as explored in Part 1): the important things become crystal clear.
Egos and CEOs
A few people have asked me for my opinion on both mayor and ward candidates. I figured I’d highlight a few ideas in one place. This year ranked ballots enter the fray. It will be fascinating to see how that works out.
Big Fish, Little Pond - Part 2 - We're going to need a bigger boat
At rTraction we do quarterly reviews. As the CEO of the organization, we have decided that the review will be a 360-style format conducted by our COO Rachel Berdan. A CEO performance review is different than other types of reviews. I think the main key difference is that everything is your fault as the CEO. The buck truly does stop here.
Using RPGs to show why incentives in politics are broken
So, you’ve landed that Big Fish. Congratulations!
Now what? We’re here to help you through the next stage of your journey.
Big Fish, Little Pond - Part 1: Landing in the Boat
’m about to delve into a strange place — a cross section of politics, economics and role playing game mechanics (both single player and massively multiplayer online roleplaying games lovingly referred to as MMORPG). You’ve been warned.
To be fair, it wasn’t exactly a secret.
Regardless, I suspect we weren’t supposed to overhear it. “We’re a big fish in their little pond.” A comment made by our primary contact at our Big Fish client to a colleague in the halls. Our client knew what this meant - that we would service them to the moon and back - and we certainly did.
Measuring what matters
For as long as I’ve lived here, London Ontario has had an identity crisis. The departure of the finance and insurance industry in the 60s and the collapse of manufacturing in the early 2000s caused part of the problem. Every time London tries to craft a new identity, the world changes and that identity crumbles.
I believe I may have found the brand for the City, and want to put together a multi-media experience to tell our story.
Vision for 2030 - More sustainable businesses
Here’s our philosophy around measurement at rTraction — feel free to borrow any of these ideas.
We had a Blast(er)! A Star Wars Recap
It’s an exciting time to be an entrepreneur. When I say “entrepreneur” I could just as easily mean a for profit business owner as a nonprofit leader, as the point here is entrepreneurial spirit vs. governance structure. I believe we’re just at the start of the sustainable business revolution, but I think there is more that we can — and must — do to accelerate that movement. Here’s why.
My Broken Brain
On December 30th we had the joy of sharing our love of Star Wars with a planned 600+ guests (to read the why please visit Sharing Star Wars). We were treated to a festive environment, with characters in costume greeting the kids to make the event extra-special.
Communal poetry: Disappointment, Anger, Love and... Pride
We don’t know exactly when it happened, or even what happened, but I have a pretty good idea of why it happened.
The importance of Drama in High School
The community fundraiser to support “Prom Queen” at The Grand Theatre was an outstanding success. We nearly doubled the goal of $30,000 - ultimately raising over $58,000. Many people cheered the success of the financial results of the campaign - but I’m afraid an important part of the narrative was missed.
Sharing Star Wars
In 2014 we received news that the my daughter’s high school was canceling Grade 12 Drama. This is an excerpt from an email I sent to the Principal of the school. It highlights why I think the arts are an important part of our development as people, and in particular, young adults.
Part 2: How to avoid (mitigate?) being a terrible leader
This year, we’ve forgone some of the typical activities you’d see from a business around a holiday season. Instead, on December 30th, we’re taking 700 people to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi. We are inviting children from all different backgrounds (and their families) who may not have the means to experience the wonder and joy of the films as I did as a child. Here is the why.
Pillar Accelerator - Day 1
This story may appear, at first glance, to be about me. It is actually about the team that I have built. Truly, it is a team of superheroes. I can credit one overarching skill that has brought me whatever success that I have had - my greatest skill is hiring good, smart people. To be clear, I don’t mean ‘good’ just from the technical skillset perspective; I mean ‘good’ in a far more impactful way -- I mean good-hearted.
Part 1: Pondering your Purpose
Since starting rTraction, we’ve always had a community lens and a strong corporate social responsibility program - but we have only recently looked inwards to see how we can use our assets, skills and people to focus on making a positive impact in our community versus a separate program or values set. The businesses at the accelerator will start with their social purpose firmly entrenched.
Part 3: Changes to rTraction Leadership
I recently wrote about our change back to using the rTraction brand, and the outcomes of the process that led to that decision. What I did not write about, at the the time, is how damned hard it was to come to those conclusions.
Business and Baseball
I have some exciting news I would like to share about some organizational changes at rTraction.
I think that one of the great revolutions of modern business theory is the shift from getting the right people on the bus to getting the right people on the bus and in their right seats.
Baseball references are often applied in business situations. Our President, David Billson, shares his take on how the two are more similar than we might realize.