Last week, I was invited to attend a full-day community planning session with about 100 members of our small resort community (in Whistler, British Columbia). The Whistler Sessions: Possible Futures to Guide Us Beyond Recovery are important conversations for this tiny town. Our municipal leaders took a leap in a planning process that opens space for big conversations to address the challenges we are facing. Over the last six months, a diverse group of people from across Whistler and neighbouring First Nations in Squamish and Lil’wat were lead through a creative process to develop stories and scenarios about Whistler’s possible futures. The workshops were designed to unpack and grapple with these tough questions: What is happening? How do we see, from our different perspectives, the complex current reality in and around Whistler? What could happen? How could our lives unfold over the decades ahead? What could and must we do? How must we act
Put your hand up if you’re ready to simplify life? These days, it’s hard to stay focused and on track. We get pulled in different directions and get distracted by shiny objects. When running a high performing organization, you can bet that your team is also having a hard time staying the course. We’ve had too many pivots, shifting demands from our clients, and virtual meeting overload from work-from-home hot desks (the couch, kitchen table, bedroom…). What if you could inject simple, easy-to-use tools into your planning approach? Could your organization benefit from a clear framework that: clarifies where you want to go, focuses efforts on the things that matter most, and includes a roadmap to guide your team and board of directors? I’ve worked with a range of different organizations and I keep coming back to these tools because they can be implemented quickly and get results before the
Find a way through the chaos… I did a little shopping during a bitter cold snap (another case of extreme weather where I live). I decided to fill my mind with positivity, optimism and fresh thinking for the year ahead. Immersing myself in a good book (the paper kind, I’m old-school), is one way keep my head up from the downward spiral that follows from mindless doomscrolling. In case you’re looking for inspirational reads this year, here are my non-fiction picks: Green Swans: The Coming Boom in Regenerative Capitalism by John Elkington. If you’re looking for a manifesto for system change designed to serve people, planet, and prosperity – then add this to your list. The author is known for introducing the concepts of triple bottom line, people, planet & profit for business, and is an authority on corporate responsibility and sustainable development. Uncharted: How to Navigate the Future by
Hint… it’s all about measuring impact Are the leaders at your organization looking to measure its impact? Bottom line financials track performance and measure growth, but these are often lag indicators: they look back on performance last quarter or last year. What about measurements that consider the bigger picture? The broader, forward-looking contributions an organization can embed into their goals. How about taking stock on the impact your organization has on the world? The people and communities, the environment and species, the wicked problems we are all experiencing today due to globalization? How would your customers feel if they knew your organization took a stand on inequality, invested in clean energy, or promoted responsible consumption? Would your employees get behind company initiatives related to good health, quality education, or clean water? Impact reporting over the last twenty years It was two decades ago that I first worked in impact reporting.
When COVID-19 hit, my world slowed down a bit and I needed something to keep moving forward. I had a university course bookmarked for a while, then Dan Levy challenged me to be his classmate, so… I signed up! What is Indigenous Canada? Indigenous Canada is a 12-lesson Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) taught from the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Native Studies. Each module covers Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada. Taught from an Indigenous perspective, this course “explores key issues facing Indigenous peoples today from a historical and critical perspective highlighting national and local Indigenous-settler relations”. I decided to register through the Whistler Library since it offered a facilitated review and weekly dialogue about course materials. My cohorts included: a retired police officer and teacher, a nurse, environmental practitioner, and a few foreigners based in Whistler on a work visa. Our facilitator, who has hosted the coursethrough the library several times,
Whew! Who’s jumping into 2021 and trying to start fresh? Before you leap into anything, go back to your WHY; your organization’s purpose. Through 2020, every organization had to dramatically shift how they communicate and stay engaged with customers, stakeholders and employees. No matter the size of the company, every leader had to juggle changes in operations and customer service, health and safety protocols, and internal communications. As a communications and marketing professional, I’ve come across many cringe-worthy examples of what not to do, but I’ve also been encouraged by authentic, heart-felt messages about how companies are rebuilding and reinventing. How to Pivot with purpose PURPOSE: the difference you’re trying to make in the world. Conscious Capitalism I recently listened to Mitch Joel’s interview with Simon Sinek and was reminded of an essential lesson about purpose. Last year’s chaos changed everything we thought we knew about our organizations. Businesses everywhere were forced to pivot. Did