The Three Biggest Ironies in Business

Alanis Morrissette said it well – isn’t it ironic. The things in life that just don’t seem to jive… the contradictions that leave you startled, uneasy, even puzzled.

As an entrepreneur, I have noticed a few in business – and they might matter more than you might think. As the book “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits” by Verne Harinish said, a successful business is about 1% vision and 99% alignment. The ironies challenge alignment because of their inherent contradictions. The key is being aware of them so you can manoeuver accordingly, rather than implicitly fight against them.

Here are three ironies in particular that stick out the most. Continue reading

How We’re Thinking Outside the Box for Earth Day

As I sat in a Sustainable Hamilton meeting on Tuesday, I got a wake-up call.

We were asked to score each of our management’s commitment to sustainability on a score of 0 to 9. I thought we’d score especially high – yes, I recognize I do happen to be the CEO – but we’ve embraced sustainability into our company culture.

We’ve printed our business cards on recycled paper two-thirds’ the size of regular business cards. We’ve printed our marketing materials on seed paper, so that they can grow wildflowers after. We have repurposed materials into furniture in our office, which has recycled paint on the walls. And much much more.

I was humbled to find out we were nowhere near the score I thought we’d be on the sustainability assessment. And it is not because we are lacking in environmental effort. Quite the contrary. It is because systemically as a world we lack the practical options to make more sustainable choices. Continue reading

“Be the Change You Wanna See”: Lyrics to our Rap Spoof

In the lead up to Earth Day, we’ve released a rap spoof on why reuse is so important. We’ve titled it “Be the Change You Wanna See.” Here are the lyrics.

We all got it
Cell phones, computers, laptops, TV’s,
Use it for a while and then we wanna see
The next version of technology
What we do with the old is a mystery

There’s so much more than the stuff we use
Businesses have surplus and it’s not refuse Continue reading

The Best Advantage of Being a Start-up

Launching a start-up is hard work – very hard work. It is not for the faint of heart. From dealing with funding issues to creating a proof of concept to getting customers, the tasks at hand are daunting. The constant sense of insecurity and consistent lack of resources only adds to the challenge.

But being a start-up has a certain freedom to it – freedom to experiment, do things differently, and set new standards. This can represent a tremendous opportunity to create valuable products and services that customers will purchase. To tap into this opportunity, it is all in the approach. Continue reading