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Failure is the Flipside of Innovation

True ingenuity and innovation require organizations and their people to have the courage to fail.  Albert Einstein once said, “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new”.  To continually fear making mistakes is detrimental to success and progress.

Most of us are comfortable with the notion of experimentation under controlled conditions, “in the lab” where the archetypal great inventor works amongst his or her test tubes, the contents of which sometimes must blow up on the road to producing the perfect formula.  Yet, outside of the science lab or classroom setting, where not every experiment is expected to succeed, people tend to want to avoid the potential for failure. Continue Reading

More than Good Intentions: Resolutions to Keep in 2016

Despite the fact that many people feel as if September marks the true beginning of a “new year” in the sense of returning with fresh energy to work or to one’s studies after a relaxing summer vacation, January is still the time when people traditionally form new year’s resolutions.

On a personal front, we may resolve to become more fit, to read more “serious” books, to spend more time with family and friends, or to finally clean out the basement. The resolution bug usually hits around January 1st but, with the possible exception of one or two positive new habits which may be formed, by February or March our busy lives overtake our good intentions and it is business as usual once again.

Business as usual may be the preferred option for those of us who would just as soon put off eating more vegetables or going to the gym, but it is not a sound option for any organization that aims to stay on the competitive cutting edge in its field. Business leaders know that good intentions are never enough. Continue Reading

Have Your Say on Closing the Gender Wage Gap

Nearly 30 years after the introduction of pay equity legislation, it is apparent that Ontario still has a significant gender wage gap.  The gap in question is more complex than the original 1980s-era proposition of equal pay for work of equal value, and it will be more difficult to address.

But the Ontario Minister of Labour is on record as saying that there is a need to “close the gender wage gap and eliminate inequality for women in the workforce”.  New policies affecting private sector organizations as well as government departments and agencies are likely to be developed as a result of this initiative, and your organization should be prepared to offer its input. Continue Reading

Six Practical Steps to Avoid Workplace Age Discrimination (Part 2)

In the previous blog on how to show good judgement by preventing age discrimination in the workplace, these three tips were covered: (1) define age discrimination, develop a policy and distribute it to all employees; (2) emphasize your policy’s importance by having senior leaders facilitate training sessions; and (3) nurture a culture of non-discrimination, support and mutual respect. We continue with a few more tips. Continue Reading

Six Practical Steps to Avoid Age Discrimination in the Workplace (Part 1)


The word “discrimination” has what seems like conflicting definitions.  It can mean the unjust or prejudicial treatment of people on grounds such as their age.  But it can also mean having the ability to exercise good judgement and taste.  If one considers that engaging in discrimination based on older age reflects both prejudicial treatment and bad judgement, then the definitions can be easily reconciled.

The following are three practical tips on showing good judgement by preventing age discrimination in the workplace.  A few more suggestions will be addressed in the next blog.  More detailed discussions regarding legislative and regulatory requirements are left for another time (though the tips will help to meet such obligations).

The aim is to enhance everyone’s experience in the workplace.  The increase in the average age of the overall workforce makes age discrimination a critical issue for most organizations.  Since aging is inevitable, younger employees also have a stake in the matter.  Young workers may also have parents or other people in their life who are dealing with getting older while still working.  (The issue of discrimination based on youth, while possibly less of a problem in the workplace, is something that may be considered in a future article). Continue Reading

The Science Behind Employee Engagement

Employee engagement goes above and beyond having employees who are committed to their company’s goals and motivated to contribute to its success. It’s also about having employees who feel they are able to achieve their own professional and personal objectives through their engagement with the company.

The fact that employee engagement is a top concern for organizations was demonstrated by the enthusiastic turnout at our breakfast seminar on “The Science of Employee Engagement” early this spring. It was hosted by Craig Dowden, Ph.D., Verity Executive Advisor, Coach, Author and Keynote Speaker.

Craig presented an overview of scientific research to showcase the most effective strategies to motivate employees. He also provided attendees with practical and evidence-informed ideas and strategies which they could apply within their workplaces to enhance employee engagement and performance.

According to Craig, while the traditional approach to engagement has focused on financial incentives, research indicates that increasing monetary rewards can negatively impact performance and impair our ability to make ethical decisions. If employees receive what they perceive as an equitable wage, non-financial factors become more important to maintaining or improving their engagement. At the top of the list, people need an emotional attachment to their work. Continue Reading

Succession Planning and Transparency (Part 2) — Why You Should Inform Employees of Their Part

The first part of this series examined some reasons why organizations might not want to let employees know about their part in a succession plan, but it also discussed how the potential negative consequences of disclosure can be avoided or lessened.  This installment will examine the reasons for telling employees about their part in a succession plan. Continue Reading

Succession Plan Transparency (Part 1) — Why Not To Inform Employees of Their Part

Organizations tend not to disclose details of their succession plans or inform individual employees that they may be chosen to take on critical roles in the future.  The discussion below examines a number of reasons why organizations elect not to inform candidates about their part in the succession plan.  However, the discussion also touches on how the potential negative consequences of disclosure can be avoided or lessened.

A subsequent installment, “Succession Plan Transparency (Part 2): Why You Should Inform Employees of Their Part”, will examine the reasons why companies should tell employees about their part in the succession plan. Continue Reading

Five Leadership Development Tactics of Top Companies

Five Leadership Development Tactics of Top Companies

While we cannot accurately predict the future, we can make an attempt to invent it.[1] Effective leadership is an essential component in a company’s planning for a successful and profitable future. In a complex and competitive globalized environment where change is a constant, leaders have to establish a clear path for their company and staff even when the indicators are vague and uncertain.

Studies and surveys have been conducted to identify the characteristics and strategies of companies or organizations which have the best leaders.[2] These studies confirm that there are several core tactics that any company must adopt if it wants to effectively navigate the future. The following are some of the more important ones. Continue Reading

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