Leaders Overcome Confusion by Leading Creatively

“Confusion is a word we have invented for an order which is not understood” – Henry Miller

Feeling dazed and confused by the enormity of change that has swept past your doorstep the last few years? If so, you have likely had the realization that a new style of leadership is required to cope with the rising complexity of business models and rapid change in international markets. For rapid change, look no further than the ubiquitousness of smartphones, pods, and pads. R.I.P. old-style providers of music and books?

Confusion occurs for us when something or someone – perhaps an entire organization – conflicts with our normal expectations. We’ve been expecting a certain outcome, but this new reality doesn’t fit with our familiar pattern of doing business. It is easy to hypothesize that such confusion will be the norm in a fast-changing world. Our old order and systems cannot be easily restored and this leaves us feeling both puzzled and struggling for new answers. The resulting confusion is an awareness that past skills might not work any longer and what we need for the future has not yet been proven, nor even identified yet. Let us examine how one can get beyond confusion by engaging the creative process while amidst a state of chaos and change.

Confusion can be turned to advantage

Facing change and confusion in the past we have likely reacted negatively through:

  • Act/react: We sought control of the situation by doing more of the same
  • Ignore/Downplay: We ignored the change and derided its significance
  • Resistance: We showed signs of helplessness/paralysis

However, in psychological terms, confusion or irritation can be a very productive moment for us because old patterns are being doubted, albeit without having the right answer yet! So, how is this an advantage when in the minds of most organizations and leaders there is no place for this seeming contradiction. “Not knowing” has been synonymous with being unprofessional. I am writing to point out that we needn’t fight confusion, as it can be the starting point for a very creative process.

We need to accept that what were success factors in the past, perhaps are no longer valid. New approaches to success will come from knowing how to deal with yesterday’s success factors and yet having the capacity to know when to disregard and maybe even drop them. Awareness of such paradoxes and making use of them is a creative process.

A Most Ingenious Paradox

  • Paradox#1: Understand the rules but be able to break them constantly.
    Even when our business models are breaking down or challenged by new competitors we tend to ignore them or play them down as if they will eventually go away. Already established rules for success can have a “sticky” quality that can leave us stuck and unable to respond to an on-going situation.
  • Paradox#2: To be more productive, practice doing nothing regularly.
    Productivity and efficiency are key parameters for running a business. Output can be measured , while the art of doing nothing hardly seems appropriate in daily business life. However, taking the time to re-focus by briefly shutting out multitudinous distractions and breathing deeply can provide direction and productivity. In short, a leader needs to take time out by perfecting the art of doing nothing.
  • Paradox#3: Listen to experts, but know how to disregard them.
    Experts tend to prolong the past, instead of challenging current opinions. Thus, when everything seems to be too right, we need to question it.
  • Paradox#4: Create many ideas, yet most of them are useless.
    New ideas have to be examined from all sides, nurtured and treated like a seed ready to be planted. Similarly, there is a time when an idea has to be dropped – a limit that is either specified or implied. Finally, once an idea has either been successful or dropped, there comes the time to again stimulate new ideas.
  • Paradox#5: Look at the same thing as everyone else, yet see something different.
    There’s often more than one “correct” answer and the second or third answer that we come up with might be better than the first. A mental block can be turned around to reveal ways to find more than one answer to any given problem. The first approach to mental blocks is to accept that we are blocked. Once we realize and appreciate it, we are able to look more broadly, see alternative solutions and overcome our cognitive fixation.

The 2010 IBM Global Study asked 1500 CEO’s from 60 countries the following question: How will leaders have to respond to a competitive and economic environment unlike anything we have as yet encountered? The common denominator in their answers was: creative leadership and described future leaders as “creative leaders“. In the midst of chaos and change, such leadership will have to consider previously unheard-of ways to drastically change the enterprise for the better. A most ingenious paradox.

It's only fair to share...Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Commitment in Organizations

Much of my work with organizations involves creative review of one or more issues and then developing a strategic direction. Often the situation is complex, or is subject to regular change and is one where no single answer will suffice. Complexity is a function of our society today and is difficult to avoid when strategy-making. Complexity can be countered by crafting something that we call guiding principles. These are key to helping the organization to act in a consistent and coherent manner in situations of complexity or change.

Guiding principles complement, not displace, an organization’s detailed strategy and business plan. The detailed strategy and plan are the systems (or the outline for systems needed), while guiding principles are the commitment. Guiding principles can help a collection of people to understand the very essence of an idea, interpret it for their situation and then act on the idea in their own way.

Guiding principles can help us make sense of things through our own, personal lens. They keep us consistent and aligned to an overall identity or strategy and to do this they must hold particular meaning to you or your group. They are willingly applied by a collection of people. Principles help us to understand a general direction, then personally interpret and apply them to situations that arise afterward.

A good guiding principle has the following characteristics –

  • It achieves a great deal with very few words.
  • It is applicable across a range of situations, but interpretable at an individual level.
  • It is memorable.
  • It uses straightforward language.
  • It will often begin with an action verb to help decision-making.
  • It is one of a small number of principles. Having just one is probably not enough. More than six and you reduce their effectiveness of being memorable, straightforward and so forth.

A good example is the following – Everything in moderation, nothing in excess. This phrase can have a number of interpretations for different people. Some will see it as the need for a steady approach. Others might see that within this phrase, extreme peaks and troughs are fine – on occasion, but not regularly. In all cases, users of the principle will interpret its overall meaning to suit their specific situation. In brief, they will be able to commit to the general idea, in a unique way that has the most relevant meaning for them.

The key aspect of guiding principles is that they help a collection of people to commit on a personal level. They are very helpful in generating strategically-aligned momentum with a variety of stakeholders. This is important. Strategies and plans are written regularly, but it is rare indeed when a strategy is enacted with no interruptions or hiccups along the way.

German Field Marshall van Moltke, who was a brilliant military strategist, once said, ‘No battle plan survives contact with the enemy’. Moltke did not avoid the discipline of making strategic plans; indeed, he was apparently a very meticulous planner. What he did recognize, however, was that battle plans do not remain static. Any engagement is an emergent activity and strategies should be capable of dealing with emergence.

Guiding principles, I believe, are the bridge between outlining a system of strategic direction and building strategic commitment among those who will make the strategy a reality. Guiding principles give momentum to strategies by providing a clear way for individuals to make a commitment. The key connection of commitment, change and principles is the ability to receive the gist of a direction and to apply it personally. This makes sense. Regardless of the systems provided in each environment, it is individuals who must decide if, and how, they will personally commit and engage.

I am not advocating the end of strategy-making. No set of statements, principles or otherwise, should ever completely displace detailed strategic planning based on evidence, insights and genuine needs. However, I have seen how far-reaching the concepts of principles and individual commitment can be. The idealist in me asks if it is possible to ascribe or co-create a set of global guiding principles that serve fundamental concepts and which could be interpreted and applied by individuals? If whole regions, like Europe can do this, then perhaps there is hope for a global perspective to develop.

What would a global set of principles look like? How could they possibly encapsulate the enormous complexity of the planet we live on and yet be memorable and applicable for everyone (or those willing to participate) to embrace? Is it naïve or hopeful to think that agreeing to a set of world principles is possible? We will not know the answer to this, unless we attempt the debate. Below is a set of six principles which if applied at a personal level by individuals, might sharpen global focus on some significant and persistent issues of our time. These are suggestions* – the beginnings of a conversation about committing to key principles and working together to make them a reality.

  • 1. One Earth.
  • 2. Reduce, Reuse,Recycle.
  • 3. Treat Others as You Would Have Them treat you.
  • 4. Good Parenting is Priceless.
  • 5. Knowledge is Nothing Unless Shared.
  • 6. I Can 2.
It's only fair to share...Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Changing Our Minds

“The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them.”
– Einstein (attr.)

Most of us have heard this quotion which says that we are limited by the quality of our own reflections. That is, the paradigm we live from and the language we use determine what we see and do. Our conceptual framework constantly shapes the questions we ask, the targets we set for ourselves and the way that we measure success. While our language empowers us to create successful systems and to change them, our language also limits our thinking and perpetuates the problems we want to solve – if we are resorting to ‘reflexive fixes’ and failing to address the fundamentals that created the difficulty. Thus, the linguistic-mental framework that created our success becomes a prison locking us into actions that feed the problem rather than solve it. What we need is a new type of reflection.

Among the daily challenges for leaders should be the development of a new level of thinking that is not at the same tier where the problems were created. This applies to the leader as an individual, as well as to the organizations they manage. I would argue that due to the deep, systemic nature of current global problems, a ‘third order’ change is called for — beyond doing the same things more efficiently (1st order) or slightly changing the rules (2nd order). We need change of a fundamentally different nature.

Organizations need to be able to create that change and leaders are the essential catalysts in such a process. Leaders need to develop the ability to appropriately respond to rising complexities by creating the conditions that will stimulate fundamental change as it is needed. From business thinkers come suggestions for developing leadership competencies in the areas of ethics, aesthetics, and wisdom in response to early 21st century needs. In the brief space of this article I would like to touch on the merits of giving attention to the middle quality – aesthetics – as a leadership compentence.

Aesthetics and Business

There are at least three different ways that aesthetics and business meet: in the tactical importance of design and aesthetics for products and services, in attention for aesthetic leadership as a personal quality and as the strategic application of an aesthetic paradigm to rethink business and economy. “The MFA is the new MBA” is probably the most concise way of introducing the growing importance of ‘the right brain mind’ in business. Daniel Pink made this comment in the 2004 Harvard Business Review, when remarking on large corporations hiring promising arts school graduates in a market placing increasing importance on creativity.

Design and the ability to ‘create experience’ increasingly determine the value of products and services and this requires new competencies for key employees and managers. They must be able to identify, stimulate and organize the creative and narrative powers that shape these products and services. Already such competencies moved from ‘nice to have’, ‘need to have’.

Aesthetic Leadership

During the 1990’s, Pierre Guillet de Montoux started unlocking the deeper potential of aesthetics at the Stockholm School of Business. In Aesthetic Leadership- Managing Fields of Flow he talks about “aesthetic management” and describes how companies and managers can use their aesthetic abilities to envision their future and inspire their organizations. His treatment makes clear that aesthetics is part of a long historical development:. “Arthur Schopenhauer extended philosophy into a new market for metaphysics where art could work. Joseph Beuys extended art into society. Now the time has come to expand the art firm from … theatres to business on a vast aesthetic field…”. This trend is found in other business schools – Helsinki, Copenhagen, Oslo and Insead who are all adopting programs or activities researching the promise of aesthetics, while companies themselves are engaging in practical programs that draw from art appreciation in order to stimulate creativity and innovation.

Strategic Aesthetics and Third Order Change in Business

Matthieu Weggeman of the Netherlands identifies aesthetics as one of the distinguishing characteristic for a possible “Rhineland model’ of doing business, offsetting it against the Anglo Saxon approach. Back in 2006 and 2009 Göteborg University School of Business organized a conference “The Design of Prosperity: The Driving Forces of Our Present Future” and the Borås summit on “The Design of Change and Innovation”. The underlying question on the summit’s announcement asked “The dream of modernity of over: what happens to prosperity?”. During its lectures and workshops, Scandinavian CEO’s met with European artists to discuss possible relationships between art, design and new roads for prosperity, economics and business. Their aim was to see whether using a humanistic, cultural paradigm allowed new questions to be asked and new solutions to be formulated. This sort of development may seem elusive, but there is nothing trivial about aesthetics in business. Its development can mean the difference between success and failure, while its adoption might completely transform organizations. For leaders to benefit from this trend, however, they need to first be aware of it and able to distinguish its different levels/possible effects as well as having the competency to engage its support when necessary.

Ideally, leaders will be encouraged to develop their ‘rhapsodic mind’ and be able to think like a Leonardo da Vinci, or at least emulate this sensitivity with its requisite ability to respond appropriately and from a place of depth. To do so we will need to identify new sources of inspiration, develop new qualities of reflection in order to develop that potential into practical solutions for business and society at large.

It's only fair to share...Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Humanistic Leadership

Right now I am sitting at the airport in Copenhagen where I just watched a TV broadcast with Nelson Mandela, squeezed in between the football stories. Mr Mandela has been granted a long life; a significant life, a life of contribution and service to mankind. He serves as a beacon for all of us in terms of a great fellow man, a great leader and a great humanist.

It causes me to think of Europe today. Where are we heading? Who is our Nelson Mandela? Who serve as our lighthouse and provides our hope? Maybe this vacuum is actually the greatest leadership challenge we face in Europe today: We lack leaders that truly inspire our aspirations and who offer a sense of community and who facilitate a direction.

The European Union has been in many ways the great project of our generation. After a thousand years of wars and tragedies , Europe decided to start a project that would effectively prevent us from killing each other off again. A project that through trade, cooperation, mobility and economic growth would make Europe peaceful, as well as financially better off. But like all projects and organizations, we need a rationale – a purpose – that is legitimized and possibly renewed through coming generations otherwise its cohesiveness and coherence will run the risk of evaporating.

We have witnessed support and faith in the European project sliding. The economic crises, with the collapse in Greece as the most visible example, has put our faith and our capabilities to the test. What we need to see are leaders emerging, rising over the polarising rhetoric and articulating a common vision for us all to strive towards. This is the leadership deficit we are experiencing. What we need is an emergence of leaders with strong ethics and endowed with a purpose focused on positive change. Beware – this is not needed only for appointed leaders –  it is needed for us all. We must be the leaders we want to see in others. Now, there is an opportunity for us to re-examine what the European project could be about. We can identify the promise yet to be fulfilled of bringing the human side into the equation, setting our eyes towards the horizon and knowing that there is still more to be found.

Humanism + Leadership

Historically, humanism has taken root in times of turbulence, stress and upheaval.  Consider the eras  when  the  Renaissance and the Enlightenment emerged. Today’s upheaval comes in the form of the financial crisis we are experiencing, or, at the very least, its effects.  Is it just a financial crisis that we are experiencing or  is it not also a crisis in our societal order?  If so, then, this could be the time for a new humanism to take root.

Humanism as a philosophy places humans and humanity at the center, but it is not an egocentric concept. It is a deep personal conviction that by living an informed, conscious and compassionate life we realize our potential to do good for ourselves, others and mankind at large. This is something we can do and indeed have a duty to do. Leaders and leadership are central in the welfare, well-being and happiness of people
Leadership is itself  a timeless and universal idea no matter how differently it has been understood and applied.  Leadership is a way of making sense, making decisions, getting things done and of providing meaning, community and direction for others. It is also happens to be one of the most researched areas within business, one of the most common themes in management literature and one of the  most strived-for outcomes of MBA programs: the production of future leaders.

Getting things done through others takes leadership and it requires inflicting one’s will upon people and extending influence. However, leadership also has to be accepted since one is a leader  only tby the acceptance of others.  Someone cannot become a leader without having followers since it is the others that constitute the leader.   It is the course of action of others and  the result of their efforts, that is the true measure of leadership.

Humanistic Leadership

This form of leadership should be understood as humans having a value in and of themselves, not just as resources that can be calculated in relation to productivity.   Indeed, results without human growth are undesirable. Results, such as productivity and profit, are ways to measure human growth and not an end in themselves as not everything which is countable is accounted for when making up today’s balance sheets.

That which does comprise the philosophy of humanistic leadership rests upon and is guided by the following principles:

All individuals have the ability to be:

  • Value creators
  • Collaborators
  • Sensitive
  • Responsible

Furthermore, humanistic leadership has as its guiding principles that all individuals want to:  grow,    do good, live well, and create a better tomorrow. Bringing humanism into leadership means that it still needs to be be effective, deliver value and be competitive.   However, humanistic leadership recognizes that it is of and for the people and that it is about serving.  At its heart  it is about treating everyone with dignity and recognizing his or her significance. Humanistic leadership is about active values, utilizing potential and creating opportunities. Humanism requires leaders to set forth and show the way, and leadership requires the same from humanistic principles.

It's only fair to share...Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Strategic Development and Project Management

Chris Parkhouse is an expert in business development issues, who has spent over 25 years with various high profile organisiations, operating both domestically and internationally. He has worked for groups such as Provident Mutual, GRE, Aegon, Virgin, Abbey/Santander, in roles such as Corporate Sales Director and Director of Strategic Alliances.

In 2005, Chris Parkhouse founded Deyton Bell to provide specialist professional business services to other organisations. Still led by Chris, as Managing Director, the business has grown rapidly since its launch and now operates across the UK and international markets, working with clients of all sizes and from all business sectors.

Chris’s areas of expertise centre around business development issues: sales development, building strategic alliances, proposition development, strategic development and project management. Chris has particular specialist knowledge of international business development, having worked with clients from Asia, Australasia, Europe and particularly from the USA.

Chris is a non-resident US citizen, who has been educated and worked in the US and who has resided in the UK now for 30 years with his family. Chris is also a very experienced speaker and has taken part at conferences/seminars in the UK, Europe, Far East and USA, as well as contributing to various publications, TV and radio programmes and participating in a variety of forums and groups throughout his career.

Away from work, Chris likes to keep fit and is a rowing enthusiast, who trains and competes in all types of boat and crew and enjoys any opportunity to be out on the river.

As well as running a successful business, Chris holds a number of senior roles in the wider business community, providing him with a greater depth of business experience, insight and contacts in both the private and public sector. These roles include:

• Chairman, East of England IDB Limited
• Chairman, Institute of Directors East of England
• Fellow, Institute of Sales and Marketing Management
• Member of the Worshipful Company of Management Consultants
• Member, Board of the Greater Cambridge Partnership
• Member, British American Business Council
• Member, Chamber of Commerce US and International Committee

For further information, please contact:
Chris Parkhouse
Managing Director
Deyton Bell Limited
Newton Hall
Town Street
Newton
Cambridge
CB22 7ZE
Tel: 01223 873033 (office)
Tel: 07730 718218 (mobile)

It's only fair to share...Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Achieve in Business Through Belief

Have you ever felt like starting your own business? One that makes money twenty four hours per day – even as you sleep? Great Idea – one of the best you’ve had. So what’s your big business idea? Have you thought of the specific opportunity you will be targeting. Have you thought about how much money you will make?

Of course you have – BUT, unless you really believe you can make a difference, don’t waste your time. Skip over this article – in fact ALL the resources on this site, and go back to what you were doing before. They’ll be of no help to you at all.

Why?

Well, the painful truth is…

Whether you think you can or you think you can’t – you will always prove yourself right

Yes – your beliefs will always win out. Have you ever noticed that trying hard to make a change in your life when, in your heart of hearts, you don’t really believe it, only causes you frustration and heartache?

The truth is you can only make a difference to your life if you believe you can. If you don’t truly have faith with all your heart and soul that you can do or have something in your life, then you won’t. Sure, you’ll have minor successes along the way, but you will abandon, sabotage, or even spoil them so that your demons (negative beliefs) will one-day say, “I told you so”.

How to STOP the ‘I Told You So’s

If you really want to start and run your own enterprise, then you must first change your beliefs in relation to it. Let’s face it, if you really and truly believed you could be a success in business – you already would. Why? – because you can only achieve what you believe.

That’s it, pure and simple. You need to go back to basics – back to the supporting belief. Just as if you’re building a house on the site of a toolshed. You’d be mad to simply replace the toolshed with your new house. No – you need first to clear the plot, dig down and put the foundations in. You need to support the development of your new construction. You need to make sure that the infrastructure is there – water pipes, waste collection, electricity supply, gas pipes and access to a road. Otherwise your house will quickly fall around you – if it ever gets completed in the first place.

So before you go chasing house-sized dreams, you’d better make sure they’re not supported by shed-sized beliefs. Otherwise you’ll end up like one of those lottery winners who can’t handle their fortune, and you’ll have to tell all your friends that success was the worst thing that ever happened to you.

How embarrassing would this be?

No, let’s start afresh and lay the foundations of a successful business here. Let us make the preparations that’ll support your success and happiness for the rest of your life. Let’s adopt the values beliefs that will serve you automatically. Remember that it’s just as much work to fail as it is to succeed – the only difference is in your mind. Change your mind, and you won’t have to ‘work’ at getting what you want – you’ll attract it.

The Law of Attraction is a powerful force

Have you ever noticed that certain people are somehow ‘luckier’ than others?
Did you know that the most successful people are headhunted while the rest of us are still reading the recruitment pages?

That’s The Law of Attraction. People attract the fabric of their lives just as they attarct their luck. Tell me this – have you ever seen an advertisement for Rolls Royce Cars? No? Why do you think that is then?

Because Rolls Royce Cars are the best – they attract their customers without having to go out and advertise. We all know something about their inherent qualities. We all know that a Rolls Royce is a big-ticket item, produced with the best engineering and components money can buy. Consequently, it attracts the type of customer who expects this level of quality and who can afford it.

So your homework is to see yourself in the Rolls Royce bracket, and really believe you belong there. Not necessarily someone who drives the car, but someone who deserves that type of quality and comfort in their lives.

If you really believe that you are a desirable, premium, top-of-the-line ‘product’ – and I mean really believe it – you’ll attract more of the same.

Stay Away From NOS People

Just as some people attract ‘lives of quiet desperation’ using NOS (Negativity On Steroids), many others attract business success using the flip side of the same techniques. Don’t be the one complaining about how life has used and abused you, or how ‘unlucky’ you are. NO! Be the opulent optimist who expects the best. You have an onerous responsibility after all – you are in charge of programming the most advanced computer that evolution has ever produced. So program wisely my friend. Your future business depends upon it.

Here’s something that I’ve adapted from my NLP days. Use it wisely because it’s more powerful that Voodoo.

Are you changing your posture, your focus or your internal voice for this belief? I bet you are!

It's only fair to share...Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

The Little Movie Store with an Urban Edge

Upon entering Terri McGuire’s Take 5 Media in Gibsons, you know you’re not in your average movie-rental store. The distinctive colour scheme of pumpkin and split-pea green walls, dark floors and elegant chocolate-brown leather club chairs welcomes you to “a little movie store with an urban edge.”

McGuire, an outgoing woman with a ready smile, wanted a warm, contemporary space that customers would find inviting and relaxing. “This business is about people and developing relationships with them,” she says. “Customers can come in and sit down and visit, which is something I love about having my own business. I truly enjoy meeting and speaking with all the interesting people who stop by and, being my own boss, I can take the time to do that.”

A long-time resident of Roberts Creek and the mother of three young adults, McGuire opened Take 5 Media in September 2006. In discussing the store’s name she says: “It has different meanings to me. Take 5 as in coffee break, Take 5 in the movie world – Scene 2, Take 5 – or Take 5 movies for a deal.”

“I chose the word ‘Media’ rather than DVD or Video,” she explains, “because it leaves the door open for future changes. I don’t rent videos, and before we know it the DVD will be replaced by a higher-definition format. Who knows what we’ll be watching in five years, and I want to be ready for it.”

McGuire strives to offer a real alternative to the standard movie-rental fare, with an eclectic inventory of hand-picked new releases and a high ratio of independent and foreign films. “People are often reluctant to watch a subtitled film,” she notes, “but they’re missing so much of the world – other cultures and perspectives. It’s surprising; a few minutes into a subtitled film, the viewer generally gets so engrossed in the story they forget about the subtitles.”

McGuire takes pride in her exceptional customer service, saying, “We can order films for purchase and welcome suggestions for additions to our rental stock. If there’s a film you’re looking for, we can source it. As I get to know my customers’ tastes and interests, I can make knowledgeable recommendations. My customers know they can count on me to have films that have never before been available on the Coast.”

Over the years McGuire worked mainly in customer service, including 20 years with Visa and the past seven years in movie rentals and sales. But opening her own store has long been her dream and she believed in herself enough to make it happen. “I love people and have been a movie buff most of my life, so it was a natural choice to combine the two.”

For start-up advice, McGuire turned to the Aspire Self-Employment Program, which offers small-business training and assistance. “For me it was a fabulous support group; I got the help I needed in sorting out my niche business concept and getting it onto paper in the form of a business plan,” she says. “From conception to opening day took only six months, which was very fast. Everything just fell into place for me.”

Take 5 Media is a family-run business and McGuire expresses her gratitude for all the help she’s received. Husband Gary and son Tyler laid the flooring, Gary installed the track lighting and designed and built the sleek black shelves that line the walls. Brother-in-law Danny built and installed the impressive granite-topped counter, and a “wow factor” 42-inch plasma TV was mounted on the wall behind it. Everyone pitched in to apply the striking paint colours that were carefully chosen by McGuire. Daughter Megan, 16, assists in the store, and McGuire says of her: “Don’t let her age fool you. She grew up watching films and her knowledge is extensive. She’s a great help to me.”

In deciding to open her own business McGuire was inspired by strong, determined, courageous women who were willing to take a leap of faith and pursue their dreams. “No matter what happens,” she says, “I’m proud of the fact that I’ve given it my best effort and didn’t spend my time wondering what might have been. My definition of success includes personal fulfillment, independence, flexibility and the chance to help others, not just financial rewards. Just as I’ve been inspired by successful local business women, I would love to know that I made a difference in the life of another woman by inspiring her to follow her heart and take a chance on herself. That would be a source of real satisfaction and pride for me.”

Take 5 Media is located at Kerns Plaza.

It's only fair to share...Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Building Log Homes For The World

When commercial fisherman Andy Koberwitz faced a shortage of fish on the coast he observed there was no shortage of trees. Identifying an opportunity and calling upon his engineering education, Koberwitz decided to build log homes that could be shipped anywhere in the world. West Coast Log Homes (WCLH) started in 1999 with the display of its first home at the BC Log Home Show in Abbotsford. Koberwitz recalls, “My last penny was sunk and I had to sell that home at the show.” The log home was an instant success and sold before the show officially opened. Much to Koberwitz’s delight, more orders were taken during the show.

A key to West Coast Log Homes’ success was participation in the BCIT Venture Program where Koberwitz developed both a business plan and a mentor relationship with program director and Sunshine Coast resident, Peter Thomson. Koberwitz praises the program and from time to time still calls upon its expertise. Over the last eight years many typical business challenges have been overcome. He advises new businesses to take the business plan process seriously. Koberwitz explains, “Issues I didn’t anticipate arose quickly once the business started, such as the need for contingency funding, shareholder agreements and an employee handbook.” Koberwitz’s son Sven is a shareholder. Koberwitz proudly says, “West Coast Log Homes is a father-son business.”

To date WCLH has built over 150 homes that can be found in Canada, USA, South America, Europe and Japan. The farthest away is located in Punta Arenas at the southern tip of Chile.

Full Scribe, Post and Beam, and Fusion-style homes built by WCLH are sought primarily for second or third homes in rural areas for discerning customers with deep pockets. Prices range from $150 to $400 per square foot according to design features. The shipping bill alone came to $100,000 for a home recently delivered to Maine in nine truckloads. “There is a lot of trust developed between the client and us during the design and building stage,” says Koberwitz. “At one point we have both the home and the full payment.”

Koberwitz explains that a typical sales cycle from first contact with a client averages four to five months and includes receiving and completing their design in-house, hand selecting the logs, building, disassembling and shipping the home.

The majority of WCLH sales are generated from referrals and the internet. Koberwitz receives email inquiries every day from points around the world. WCLH’s website showcases the company’s team of 24 employees, unique production methods and environmental policies, and attracts attention from an affluent target market with photo galleries featuring the phases of creating handcrafted log homes as well as stunning exterior and interior shots of completed homes.

The company’s passion and pride is evident right from the start of a project. The plan is studied meticulously by the WCLH team and every production detail is anticipated and worked out on paper.

WCLH is partnering in Tumble Creek, a six-hundred-home resort community located east of Seattle, with post and beam “cabins” starting at $1.5 million. Tom Goett, project manager for the construction, was quoted in a recent press release: “Andy’s probably one of the most cool-headed people I’ve ever worked with, one of those rare people born to this industry. Andy just gets it.” WCLH solved technical, planning, architectural and engineering issues for the project.

WCLH’s commitment to quality is one of the reasons that Koberwitz is now capping growth to building about twenty homes a year. Koberwitz understands that WCLH’s niche of hand constructing log homes with uncompromising standards is not suitable for expanded production.

The business often sees Koberwitz on site seven days a week. As his vision and business goals are met, Koberwitz is eager to meet his next goal of spending more quality time with his wife.

It's only fair to share...Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Building Peace and Good Will

“Rotary International is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.” ~ www.rotary5040.org

Rotary club memberships represent a cross-section of the community’s business and professional men and women. Speaking with several Gibsons Rotary members, I heard a common refrain: People join Rotary because they are community-minded and wish to embrace the motto “Service above self.”

“You get what you give,” says Blane Hagedorn, who has been a member for 18 years. Hagedorn’s business is based in retail foods and the service industry. While Rotary membership develops business relationships, he said that is not why he joined. Fellowship and service to the community are uppermost in his mind.

Lynette Robinson, a top-producing realtor for 15 years, is excited about the good that is done by Rotary. She has been a member for just one year, but was involved with the organization for quite some time before that. Robinson greatly admires the positive differences made by members, both globally and in their own community.

Carol Doyle owns the unique Gift of the Eagle, a gallery that features the work of local artists. “Rotarians are from every walk of life,” Doyle says, “and so they offer a great deal of expertise and support, both to their members and the community at large.” Doyle looks forward to her weekly meetings where members work on common goals involving global projects or raising funds to put back into the Gibsons community. Some examples of projects the Gibsons Rotary Club has been involved in are the gazebo in the harbour, the stage in Winegarden Park, the first three computers at Gibsons Library and the change rooms at Brothers Park. Doyle feels that Rotary is like a family where everyone is equally valued.

Gibsons Rotary unites with other Coast clubs, particularly on international and joint projects. Additionally, each club has its own projects.

Gibsons Rotary has made young people in our community a high priority. The Beachcombers Gala and Auction set up an endowment producing thousands of dollars in scholarships annually. Interact Club, which involves local high school students in projects both locally and internationally, just celebrated its 15th anniversary. This was the first Interact Club in our Rotary District, which includes part of upstateWashington, most of Lower Mainland, Powell River, Whistler, and up to Prince George and Terrace. International student exchanges, Rotary Youth Leadership Camp and Sprockids programs all benefit from strong Rotary involvement.

It's only fair to share...Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Interviews with Newly Appointed ILOL Fellows

Interview with:

  • Professor MUDr.Karel Pacak, DrSc. ILOL Fellow in health care

Chief, Section on Medical Neuroendocrinology, NICHD, NIH, Bethesda, USA

Research Topics: Neuroendocrine Tumors and Endocrine Oncology, Functional Imaging

1. What trends do you expect in your professional area in the coming three years?

In the next three years I expect changes in new therapeutic options for tumors based on new functional imaging approaches. New functional imaging approaches will detect the degree of hypoxia, apoptosis, angiogenesis, proliferation as well as tumor-specific markers. This will open a new therapy called “individualized medicine” and will efficiently target tumors by reducing cost and use of many ineffective drugs that cause serious side effects.

2. What do you consider the worst threat of the future development in your profession?

I see the worst threat as having a “gap” between newly gained scientific knowledge and its application into clinical practice in my profession. Even at present, clinicians are not able to apply more than 10% of new scientific knowledge available to them simply due to work load, complexity of patients and the lack of proper education in new clinical fields (proteomics, genomics, metabolomics, ethical issues sharing health related patients’ problem with 3rd parties).

3. What does desired quality of life mean for you – now and in ten years?

Desired quality of life is related to a so-called psychological wellness. Depression, anxiety, and nervousness derived from the inability to manage workload and multitask will significantly influence how we function, behave and obtain a sense well-being. If there is no change in attitudes and accesses towards work and evaluation of employees in the nearest future, the majority of people will take drugs and depression will be the number one illness.

 

  • Carlos Valiente, Ph.D. ILOL Fellow in health care

1. What trends do you expect in your professional area in the coming three years?

During the next three years I expect scholars to increasingly focus on the dynamic interplay between neural or physiological systems and environmental conditions when predicting key developmental outcomes. I further expect that family scholars will be motivated to pursue research agendas that are funded by organizations that have not traditionally played a significant role in shaping developmental science.

2. What do you consider the worst threat of the future development in your profession?

One of the most significant threats is the difficulty of disseminating scientific knowledge in ways that positively impact public life. The devaluation of scientific gains can undermine public support for future investments, particularly given policy makers’ needs to balance significant financial pressures from multiple constituents.

3. What does desired quality of life mean for you – now and in ten years?

There are individual differences in how one achieves and maintains a quality life. To me, a desired quality of life stems from an observance of basic human rights that allow individuals and families to balance working to meet their physical needs as well as the emotional and relational needs of the family members. Most precisely, fulfilling the purposes for my life is the best way to achieve a quality life. While the precise nature of these elements change over time, I do not think the fundamental premise changes.

It's only fair to share...Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

International Trade Services to Businesses

From April 1st 2010, East of England IDB Ltd will deliver International Trade services to businesses in the East of England on behalf of UK Trade and Investment (UKTI). The services will be delivered through delivery channels that include a business intelligence service gateway, events, digitally and via a team of highly experienced Trade Advisers, as well as face to face.

The services offered by these Advisers will include:

Passport to Export
Passport to Export (P2E) is an assessment and skills-development programme which provides new and inexperienced exporters with the training, planning and ongoing support they need to compete more successfully in overseas markets.

The programme offers up to £1,500 worth of match-funded support to carry out an agreed action plan, and includes up to six days of advice and support from an expert in the international trade team (or an external adviser), who will help the client to:

  • Develop an export strategy and tailored action plan
  • Possible use of the market selection process with overseas posts
  • Secure support before visits to overseas markets
  • Evaluate visits and review strategy
  • Determine and fulfil any training needs, for example, export marketing, administration, documentation, language and cultural awareness


Gateway to Global Growth (G3)

The Gateway to Global Growth programme is a new programme from UKTI to support SME companies that have between two and ten years export experience.

This programme brings together the existing UKTI services with some additional public and private sector support. There is no specific financial support for companies under this scheme.

The offer can vary in detail from region to region, but is based around the following: ·

  • A package of support over a 12 month period which includes, around three days of support from an International Trade Adviser, training, and access to private and public sector experts
  • Support may include intellectual property advice, tax planning, foreign exchange management, licensing, joint ventures, internationalising websites, international marketing consultancy, skills development and other government support (for example MAS, Train to Gain, Creative Accelerator Programme)


Export Communications Review (ECR)

The ECR helps exporters to evaluate the way they present themselves and their products or services to overseas customers.

The review provides companies with impartial and objective advice about addressing language and cultural barriers when trading with overseas markets, and helps to increase competitiveness and marketability overseas by recommending practical and achievable improvements.

The service is delivered for UK Trade & Investment by British Chambers of Commerce-accredited export communications consultants, who work with Trade Advisers.


Export Marketing Research Scheme (EMRS)
EMRS aims to encourage British companies to use export marketing research in the development of a market entry strategy for their overseas markets. It also ensures that companies undertake or commission marketing research based on sound methods.


Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS)

OMIS puts customers directly in touch with staff in UK Trade & Investment’s overseas offices and provides individually agreed, focused business advice, information and visit support to suit client need, as well as help with events such as in–market product launches.

OMIS is available in all UKTI posts on-line. Clients may work with an Adviser to commission an OMIS report or they may commission work directly with the post.

It's only fair to share...Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

The Truth About Network Marketing

It’s interesting to hear people’s opinions about Network Marketing. There are some people that think It’s a pyramid scheme, a scam, not a profession, or that it does not work. Shame on them. If only these same people got educated about the industry, they would think differently. The people that I’m referring to are the people who have been exposed to our industry either directly, they have been approached in the past or indirectly, they know of someone who was in Network Marketing, or was also exposed.

This is sickening! Uncle Harry tells you It’s illegal and that you’ve been brainwashed into thinking you can be successful in Network Marketing. Your landlord thinks It’s one of those “pyramid thing’s and that Network Marketing doesn’t work, and your friend Marty says, “Your doing one of those things AGAIN?”

Two of the above situations happened to me. No, I don’t have a Uncle Harry. First of all, my landlord is closed-minded and doesn’t care to know the truth. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t say that to poke fun but to illustrate how there are other people like my landlord. I once heard that the truth shall set you free. Lets just hope they accept the truth.

As for Marty, that was a legitimate question. I’ve been in the marketing industry off and on for 5 years. My first experience was direct marketing traveling the East Coast, business to business, selling an all natural degreaser. I spent 3 months BROKE, living and mooching off the company, and only sold 1 case of 12 bottles the entire time. It was a very interesting experience and one I will never forget.

I did direct marketing again selling vacuums for about two months and sold NOTHING, then I tried once more selling a pendant and ID card that was used to retrieve personal and medical information electronically. I sold NOTHING.

So I tried Network Marketing. The first company I was with is over 30 years old and is on the NYSE. First I was a customer then I became a distributor, and I still use the service today. I have saved money using this service and will continue to do so. For about 7 months, I only sold one plan to my mother-in-law and that was that. It was with this company that I was introduced to self-development or self-help. The training, support and resources were ALL there but one thing was missing- my REASONS! So I ended up QUITTING.

During my next venture in Network Marketing, I was going to college to earn an Associates Degree in Computer Networking. I was learning to become a MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems
Engineer). I was doing great, fantastic and on my way until I let myself get DISTRACTED. Four months before the end date of college, I came across another company. The pay plan was awesome… the people were great and supportive… I paid a total of $600 to attend three seminars and I felt great. But something happened. I had a lot of products in my basement and was using the products, but I lost BELIEF.

I was off the path! Oh my God! I also had thousands worth of products that were just sitting there collecting dust! What the hell was I going to do? Well, I did NOTHING.

In between companies, I dabbled with Internet Marketing. Buying courses, ebooks, programs, websites, audios, videos, reports and almost anything learning how to have a profitable home based business.

Within a 5 year period I had invested $15,000 and felt lost, confused, aggravated, frustrated but more importantly shame. I was ashamed of myself because I was a FAILURE. I felt as if I failed myself, and others were there NOT to boost me up but to say, “I told you so? (in a nutshell). Though very few of my family and friends knew about my experiences, the few who knew was enough.

I was wrong!! I should not have felt ashamed even though I was confused, aggravated, lost and frustrated. With so many Network Marketing companies and Internet Marketing courses, how could ANYONE make an educated decision to learn ONE system and stick with it? Multiple streams of income? Which ones do I choose? The ad copy looks great and is compelling me to buy but should I buy ANOTHER ebook, program or course when I haven’t even APPLIED what I’ve learned from all the others? That if I took the time to read it.

I was blaming everything and everyone for MY failure! I fell VICTIM to the myth that all I had to do is position myself in front of a trend and the money would come to me. That all I had to do was sit in my underwear, on the couch, send some postcards every now and then and watch the money roll in. My victim mentality was getting me, my family, my dreams, my hope and future in Network Marketing NO WHERE!

Do not make the same mistakes I have made. If you are still reading this, thank you and god bless you. That tells me one of three things:

1) You have the victim mentality and you are still doing what I’ve done for the past 5 years.

2) you’ve been there and done that and have found the path.

3) You’re looking for a way out of the victim mentality and
have not found the path.

If you’re still confused, aggravated, lost and frustrated then I know how you feel. If you’ve been there and done that and have found the path, you’re a good student! If you have the victim mentality but are looking for a way out but have not found the path, this is what I’ve found out.

I used to feel that the more I knew, the more money I would make. What I found is that It’s NOT TRUE. The more you know about marketing from more than ONE PERSON, the more likely you are to be confused, aggravated, frustrated and lost. Why? Because you’re learning from more than person about the same subject when both of them give you completely different answers. How else would you explain buying all those ebooks, courses and programs about Internet Marketing? Have you read all of them? I was guilty of doing this to.

To be a good student, one must find a teacher or mentor and MODEL what they did to reach their GOALS. Notice I said “a teacher or mentor. This means ONE person, not two or more.

Very few people understand the concept of modeling and goal setting when it comes to a profitable business, whether it be Network Marketing or Internet Marketing. I know I did because I just wanted to know how to make money.

The SECRET to making money in Network Marketing, Internet Marketing or any business is a mandatory law that very few marketers know, or will share with the masses because this law will break their business or will change your victim mentality into a success mentality.

ALL successful people had a MENTOR and those who want to be successful in marketing, have to have a mentor. This is a law, a mandatory principle to your success. If you continue breaking this law, as I once did, you will have similar results in your marketing career as I once did.

For the sake of your confusion, frustration, aggravation and DEBT, either change what you’re doing RIGHT NOW or STOP what you’re doing all together because you will not succeed.

It's only fair to share...Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn