Encouraging Disruptive Voices

Several years ago, I was doing a three-month check-in with a new employee. I had been working closely with him, and he had already shown great initiative and ability to help us in a variety of new and unexpected ways. As a result, the feedback on his performance was glowing. Thus, he was a little surprised when I told him … Read More

The Importance of Organizational Values

Here is a scenario I have seen played out multiple times: Someone from leadership, human resources, or the board has decided it’s time to create or update your organization’s value statements. As a way to get people excited about talking about values, a date is set for meeting off-site at some high-end retreat centre – golfing and spa fees are … Read More

Lessons on Purpose From Patagonia

I love outdoor activities. Throughout the year I regularly canoe, mountain bike, and hike. In fact, I’m writing this a day after hiking up to a mountain peak. Connected to these activities is my fondness for quality outdoor clothing purchased from companies who are conscious of the environment. Over the last few years, I have narrowed my focus to one … Read More

Supporting Mental Health in the Workplace

Prior to founding ACHIEVE, I worked primarily as a Social Worker in the field of mental health – both in hospital settings and in the community, providing support to those living with mental health concerns. My role in supporting people’s recovery would regularly involve conversations with their employers about ways to best support their return to work. I was often … Read More

Better to Over-Communicate Than Under

[Excerpt from The Culture Question] Throughout the entire culture change process, it is imperative that you communicate what is happening! Risk over-communicating rather than under-communicating. A common theme in our survey responses was a lack of communication from leaders. One participant wrote about the impact of poor communication: “Management could do a better job of communicating with other levels. When … Read More

2 Keys When Giving Affirmations

My direct reports will rarely hear multiple “Yay for you!” declarations weekly, monthly, or even yearly. It’s not that I don’t think validation and affirmation are important – it just doesn’t come naturally to me. I lean towards the mindset that employees should assume everything is going well unless they hear otherwise. Of course, when I analyze this belief, I … Read More

Lessons Learned From Our Leadership Transition

I am no longer the CEO of the company I founded close to 15 years ago. Earlier this month, we announced that I would be stepping into my new role of Chief Vision Officer and our Managing Director, Eric Stutzman, would become our CEO. With this change, he will provide regular support to the rest of our leadership team and … Read More

Why I Support the Anti-Racism Movement

Last week I was driving home and saw a lone teenage protestor holding a sign in support of the anti-racism movement. Upon seeing her, I had an immediate feeling of solidarity – I only wish I would have been bold enough to stop the car and say so. I was inspired by the site of a young teenage girl who … Read More

Leading With a Sense of Urgency

Due to the impact of COVID-19, in the last several months I have been leading with a heightened sense of urgency. However, this isn’t entirely new for me as I have always lived my life with a level of urgency. As a teenager, I was antsy to leave home to go to university, and by my second year I was … Read More

Building Resilient Organizations

For businesses and organizations that survive the impact of COVID-19, resilience is a required attribute. The definition of resilience is “the ability to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.” Right now, we are all in “difficult conditions” – I know my organization is, and I’m sure yours is too. Whether we come out of this intact or not will … Read More