Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Summer Is At Hand!

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Ready Set, EEPK!

Events are one of the things we like to think we do quite well at ED. One of the reasons for this is that we always come to our events with our very own patented (well maybe not) Event Emergency Preparedness Kit or EEPK (we never claimed to be great at acronyms).

Included in our Event Emergency Preparedness Kit are items that will pretty much get you through anything that could, and usually do, could go unexpectedly wrong. Here’s what we like to have:

  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Printer (if you think you might need it)
  • Pens
  • Paper
  • Clear Paper Display Holders
  • Glue
  • Computer
  • Sharpies
  • A little imagination

With these items in tow you will be able to get through almost any emergency at your kid’s birthday, parents’ anniversary, or your Fantasy Football draft. Let us know if you think there’s something we’re missing!

 

Have YOU Started Planning Your Company Christmas Party?

We want you to start thinking about company Christmas party. It may seem a bit early but venues are filling up and entertainment is being booked. So give us a shout and we’ll take the worry off your plate and help you plan your event.

Do YOU save lives? Daniel does!

Daniel, our Project Manager at ED, is an avid blood donor. Well actually not blood, Daniel donates plasma, which allows him to donate once a week. Plasma makes up the highest portion of the body’s total blood volume and is used to transport the other blood components throughout the body. Plasma donations are used to help patients with bleeding disorders, liver diseases, operations, and cancer and bone marrow therapy.

In the plasma donation process the blood is taken into a centrifuge where the plasma is separated from the rest of the blood allowing it to be collected while the other parts of the blood are returned to the donor. This allows the donor to go weekly versus every 56 days for whole blood donations.

As of July 14th Daniel has donated 118 times and he’s scheduled to go in again this up coming Thursday to take it up to 119. We here at ED would like to challenge YOU to do your part and to donate blood at some point this summer. Maybe if you go on a Thursday afternoon you’ll see Daniel there!

The number to book your donation is 1 888 236 6283

An Update: Canada’s Anti Spam Legislation

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Warning: There is a lot of information heading your way but before you skip it over does your business have $10 million to lose over an email? 

Canada

On Friday, May 30th I had the privilege of attending a seminar put on by Bishop & McKenzie LLP about Canada’s upcoming Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). Prior to the seminar I thought I knew the gist of what was in store starting July 1st but by the end I realized I barely knew the tip of the iceberg. This regulation is going to significantly change the way we do business in Canada from the largest corporations to our smallest proprietorships.

 

In less than a month the way businesses are able to exchange commercial electronic messages (CEMs) is going to be altered drastically. Many of you are probably thinking, “CEM… What’s that?” Well the scary thing is a CEM is anything that is sent by any means of telecommunications including text, sound, voice or image. This means emails, texts, tweets and anything in between.

 

CASL’s main aim starting July 1st is to prevent the transmission of CEMs without consent and without proper formalities. This means that you will need to prove that not only do you have the consent to send someone an email or a text in regards to your business but also you will have to be able to prove that you have that consent.  In this situation there are two types of consent:

  • Express – someone actively gives you his or her permission to send a CEM.
  • Implied – reasonable to assume you have permission based on prior relationships.

 

Moving forward express consent is always preferred because implied consent is much harder to establish and prove. Express consent can be done through sign-up on a website, sign-up at point of sale, snail mail consent form or something similar. A pertinent example is the feature like an email asking for your permission to continue to send you commercial messages. Getting express consent now is at the utmost importance because after July 1st you will not be able to ask for it through the use of a CEM.

 

Beyond consent, all CEMs must have certain information in them in order to comply with CASL. All CEMs must contain the following information:

  • The name of the business seeking consent and identify on whose behalf consent is sought if it is different.
  • Contact information (physical mailing address and either phone number or email address) of the party seeking consent.
  • A mechanism that allows the recipient to unsubscribe easily at no cost.

 

The best practice moving forward is to ensure that in all email signatures or other similar features that this information be included in your CEMs.

 

The reason that CASL is getting so much attention is the penalties. The administrative monetary penalties are a maximum of  $1 million for individuals and $10 million for organizations. While these numbers are turning heads due diligence is a defence so developing and implanting a compliance program is essential.

 

Here are some key points for the compliance program:

  • Review your processes as they are right now.
    • Who are you sending messages to?
    • Do you have the proper consents?
    • Can you prove that you have the proper consents?
  • Get consent for your current mailing list if you are not sure they’re covered.
  • Keep records of consent and determine how these will be managed.
  • Appoint a lead or a team to manage compliance.
  • Start including prescribed information in your CEMs.
  • Stop sending electronic messages as a first point of contact.
  • Stop sending CEMs without consent.

 

Again, I would like to thank Bishop & McKenzie and especially Tara Hamelin for putting on such an informative session. For more information please give us a call and we’d be happy to go over this in a little more detail. It seems like a lot because it is a lot. Let us help you out!

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Riding Waves Is Like Building a Business

A few years ago I took up surfing. I know.  It’s a bit random for an Edmonton born and raised girl to take up surfing – but I started it, and can’t stop. It’s been a long time since I’ve been passionate about a hobby to the point of checking out gear and obsessively planning trip after trip to surf destinations on the off chance of catching a few waves. Surf Cali

In learning to surf I’ve also learned that surfing has a lot to teach us about business ownership.

1. Don’t Look Down - The second you look down at the water or your board that’s where you go… down. It’s true that sometimes you fall anyway, in business and in surfing without looking down, but in my limited learning experience, when you look down, that’s the way you go.

2. Look Across the Line – If you’re not looking down, you should be looking down the line of the wave. There you’ll see what’s coming and how you should react or when possible plan ahead.

3. Be Polite in the Line up But Paddle Like Each Wave is the Best One and You’re About to Miss It – When you surf, you wait in what’s called a ‘line up’. The surfer closest to the break of the wave gets the right of way. Catching waves is partially about reading the ocean and then always paddling to be where you think the best position on the wave will be. Business is similar. I find it’s less about what the competition is doing, and more about knowing where you are in the space of the ‘wave’. Always be paddling like your next move is your best one. (Notice it’s not the ‘last’ one…it’s the best one!)

4. Be Present – It’s not just for surfers and yogis, being present is a great business philosophy too. I find I have a terrible surf session when my mind is elsewhere. When I’m thinking too much about a hurdle I’m facing with a client’s project or whether or not I locked the car is when I miss opportunities and inevitably crash. When I think of nothing but what I’m doing I am calm and focused – it is after those times of calm and focus that I get my best ideas.

5. Commit – One way or the other in business and in surfing you have to commit. Commit to catching the wave. Commit to the project. The worst falls happen when one foot is on the board and the other is having second thoughts.

6. Breathe – Surfing is an adrenaline rush and often so is steering a business. There is nothing like the rush of catching a great wave or having your best year ever in business. But the excitement of the adrenaline can also cause rash decisions. Remembering to breathe through the excitement lets you maintain focus, and be aware of what is happening around you without losing the rush of adrenaline.

Christmas In June!36-Christmas-in-July-177895771-resized-600.jpg

Christmas in June? You may be thinking that we’re off our rocker but we have a point. Christmas and Holiday parties are going to sneak up on you…like they do every year.

Have you booked a venue? Because they’re filling up. What about entertainment? If you want a better band than last year you should make some calls ASAP! Or more easily make one call and we’ll take the gory details off your plate.

Planning events is just one of the things we do, so let us do what we do so that you can back to what you and your company does best. Heading into the third quarter you should be thinking about whether or not you’re going to hit or exceed your annual targets not about whether Santa’s going to show up on time.

To sweeten the pot a little bit more if you call us before July 15th to talk about your Christmas party we will give you 10% off of your quote. Ho! Ho! Ho!

 

Love! A Key Part of Today’s Business World

Monday, February 14th, 2011

You want to be influential in the workplace. You want clients to refer you. You want to be heard… Then learn to love.

At ED we share Tim Sanders’ philosophy that love in a business setting isn’t about inside jokes, nicknames or extra-long hugs. Author of Love is the Killer App, to Tim Sanders Bizlove is “intelligently and sensibly sharing your intangibles with your bizpartners, in an act of selfless promotion of the growth of the other.”

And what are your intangibles? Simply put, they are your knowledge, your network and your compassion.

Knowledge represents all that you’ve learned, are learning and continue to learn that is relevant to your bizpartners. Knowledge is an easy asset to acquire, it is simple to facilitate and the resources are endless. Accumulate knowledge with the intention of sharing it with others, enabling them to profit from what you’ve learned as much as you do. Bizknowledge is an intangible that lasts forever, and is not easily forgotten.

Your Network is your web of relationships, everyone you meet that could benefit from everyone else that you meet. “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” to a large degree is true. Imagine the impact of connecting two contacts in your network in a meaningful way, informing them why you thought they should meet and why they would be valuable to one another then disappear without the expectation of reciprocity, and allow them to form their own bond What makes networks so powerful is that when you begin to share yours, it increases exponentially. In other words, the more valuable bizpeople you meet and introduce, the more valuable bizpeople you’ll meet and introduce.

Compassion in the workplace simply means allowing oneself to be human, to connect on a personal level with empathy and warmth. Writes Sanders, “By expressing your compassion, you create an experience that people remember. And when people remember you, it’s good for your business.”

Sanders says that business love isn’t just about being nice though -it’s about being smart too. Acquire and share knowledge with bizmates – people you’re interested in helping succeed. Develop relationships that are relevant to your business and personal goals. Extend compassion to everyone, but don’t let bizmates walk all over you.

Trust, Accountability and a Brand in Crisis Control

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

The Maple Leaf Foods controversy over the Listeria illnesses and deaths is one that as business owners, we can all relate to- it is our worst nightmare to have a deadly incident or disease associated with our company’s brand. We may not agree with his actions, but we can imagine Michael McCain on that morning when he first heard that Listeria had been detected at one of his Maple Leaf plants. We can ask ourselves, when faced with a similar situation would our reflex reaction be to protect our company legally and take the “innocent until proven guilty” approach (similar to the Exxon Valdez debacle of 1989) or to take a risk and reach out to our customers, staff and the public and explain our plan of action and offer an apology?

These questions bring to mind the issues of financial and legal security and the importance of your brand- what sort of impact would either of the above decisions have on your company’s brand? Your brand is the essence of who you are as a company – it defines your business, relationships and products. For Maple Leaf Foods, as a processor of food for families across nation the most important aspects their brand needs to communicate to consumers are safety and trust. The Listeria outbreak created a major breach of trust among Maple Leaf consumers.

This past summer I had the opportunity to read the book The Speed of Trust, By Stephen M. Covey. The book focuses on creating trust in your personal and professional relationships and the benefits trust can have in the workplace and on your company’s brand. In the book Covey outlines the 13 Behaviors to Create Relationship Trust. As some of you may know, on August 23rd and 30th, open letters from Maple Leaf’s President and CEO, Michael McCain appeared in national and regional newspapers regarding the product recall and Maple Leaf’s Action Plan. Then on September 15th, McCain appeared on a prime time television ad speaking to Canadians about the Listeria outbreak and apologizing to those families who were directly affected. I noticed that McCain exhibited a number of Covey’s suggested behaviors while placing himself under the public spotlight.

ü  Talking Straight – McCain was upfront with the general public and his customers. He told the truth, erring on the side of disclosure and explaining what was being done to rectify the situation.

ü  Right Wrongs – McCain was quick to react and offered a public apology to everyone involved.

ü  Confront Reality – McCain was willing to discuss the tough stuff and confront Maple Leaf’s issues head on.

ü   Accountability – McCain held himself and Maple Leaf Foods responsible, resisting the urge to point fingers at others such as the inspection agencies or distribution channels. All of these behaviors are steps towards rebuilding trust in the Maple Leaf brand and served to make customers feel that their concerns have been acknowledged and that their safety is the highest priority.

However, what if McCain had taken a different approach and decided to focus on protecting Maple Foods financially? Openly admitting their company was at fault could result in legal and insurance liabilities, including lack of eligibility for coverage and controversy among investors. For this reason many business owners still believe that first and foremost it is their duty to protect the financial foundation of their company. However, if your customers no longer believe in your brand, is there anything left to protect?

Around the same time this summer another major incident occurred in Ontario causing a wave of negativity to spread throughout the community when multiple explosions ripped through the Sunrise Propane Facility in early August. The explosions left one dead, multiple injuries and forced hundreds families in the surrounding neighborhoods to evacuate their homes. Following the explosions residents and families of those injured were allegedly kept in the dark. Sunrise Propane offered up no explanation or information on the explosion, no public condolences and no information on what steps were being taken to increase safety measures. People across Ontario were outraged and while some of the fault may also lie with the city or the Propane and Gas Association, Sunrise Propane’s failure to publically address this issue could prove to be a costly decision in regards to the “trust capital” of their brand.

In light of the number of cases such as these Ontario’s government is currently reviewing a potential “Sorry Law”, if passed this law would make public apologies by organizations, groups and individuals exempt from evidence of liability in legal disputes. The benefits behind passing this Apology Act can be seen from both a legal and an emotional standpoint with the goals of acknowledging victims, promoting transparency and avoiding or shortening the legal process for all involved. Ontario wouldn’t be the first province to pass this law, B.C., Saskatchewan and Manitoba all have similar laws however Alberta currently does not. 

 

 

 

Campaign to Control Cancer

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

I wanted to write and thank you once again for your diligence and hard-work in ensuring the success of the 1st Cancer Day of Action in the Alberta Legislature. This grassroots social mobilization effort really challenged experienced leaders in provinces across Canada – but your efforts in Alberta were an outstanding example of leadership in action. Your willingness to undertake an innovative new project with minimal supervision and resources was remarkable – but your ability to search out, find and engage others around the event demonstrated skills in research, problem identification, resourcefulness, flexibility.You have a skill at “cold-calls” and marketing that makes conquering cancer through social change look easy.I look forward to a long and productive working relationship and I know our organization can rely on you high-energy, high-skill, low-maintenance services for many years!

Pat Kelly, CEO, Campaign to Control Cancer