CMC-Canada Blog

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By: Cal Harrison and Ben Shelton How can a buyer of management consulting services find the best consultant when they are not themselves a subject matter or consulting expert? When buying commodity goods or services, it is easy to select between vendors as the price is often the only factor differentiating factor.  However, when low-price is a selection criteria (even if only weighted at 10%) when hiring professional services firms such as those in management consulting, the research clearly illustrates that buyers pay more by forcing proponents to focus on reducing the initial price at the expense of long-term value, user satisfaction, safety ...
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Vital Smarts , a group who introduced the Crucial Conversations concept to the world, conducted a survey of 2,000 managers regarding “financial agility.” What they found was remarkable, in the words of study authors Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield. “We found four critical business moments that predict with incredible precision how well and how fast an organization responds to economic threats.” The way executives responded to these situations determined how the company was positioned for future success. These are the four crucial moments:  1.  A senior team is first confronted with financial data that may indicate a crisis. 2.  Really ...
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I despise the flippant attitude and approach of many people in a customer service role. Or am I being too harsh? If you run a business, how do you know what the customer service approach is for your employees? Do you: Watch them in action? Listen on their calls while sitting beside them? Read customer comments? Travel with a sales rep to observe a client visit? Use a mystery shopper? Conduct research on your customers to improve your understanding of them? Talk to all departments that interact with a customer? Other? You need to answer a very important question: Would you buy from you? If you want ...
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From late 2017 until the spring of 2018, I was pleased to be engaged by CMC-Canada to help update one of the core documents that defines our profession – the CMC Competency Framework . Why an update? Well, the previous framework was created in the late 90’s, and had a mild refresh in 2005 – and the expectations of our clients and the dynamics of the industry have changed significantly since then. Other Institutes worldwide have updated their competency frameworks to reflect these changing industry dynamics, and the National board deemed that it was the right time to update ours. The result is a Framework that describes the competencies that ...
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Trending: Authenticity

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Authenticity, as demonstrated by words and actions – often shared, discussed and judged on social media - is the standard of trust and the determinant of whom we wish to do business . Dulling the senses and reducing the impact I admit an obsession with news and opinion that goes back throughout my entire adult life. However, as the sheer volume of available newsfeeds has jumped and after significant exposure to newsfeeds, aggressive telemarketing pitches, engineered fundraising scripts, political and product messaging and ubiquitous product promotion, I must admit that I have become suspicious or deaf to what I see and read. It seems that as my ...
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The darkest nights produce the brightest stars.”  - John Green In 2017, the BC Ombudsperson, the chief arbiter of fairness for the Province of BC, published a report on the BC Ministry of Health that can only be described as damning. Misfire: The 2012 Ministry of Health Employment Terminations and Related Matters  contains over 600 pages of information related to one of the darkest and most consequential periods of history for BC residents and ministries. Compelled to respond to, and ultimately address, the issues identified in the report, the Ministry of Health might have chosen to do so using an approach that is all too typical for some large ...
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Strategic Mergers & Acquisition: Seeking a solution to a business problem An Entrepreneur’s Mind My time in and around the business world dates back to when I was young. When I was 18 years old, I would organize social events and sell tickets to classmates and friends. They were humble beginnings, but it was exciting, and I was inspired by the success I was achieving. This inspiration led to an interest in expanding my skills into the world of business, and so the next step in my growth was getting some real world experience – selling products door to door – and then entering university. University was where I needed to be at the time, but ...
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I am not a true soccer fan, I am a sometimes fan that is in awe of the physical condition and skill of the players and the structure and tactics of the game itself. I also truly enjoy the British announcers that know how to use the entire English language to describe a match, and not just calling every second play “awesome” like most North American announcers do. I have watched parts of matches from the current World Cup because TSN replays them in the evening. I have a fondness for England and Germany because I watch the odd Premier League game and used to watch Bundesliga on Sunday nights on PBS after Monty Python. With Germany not making it out ...
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How much does it cost your business to bring in a new business opportunity? How many leads do you need to reach your sales target? Calculating the lead acquisition cost is an age-old question, and its solution holds the key to the successful growth of every company. Can you remember the last time when any of your lead generation campaigns showed a clear ROI (return on investment)? Too many businesses are put off by this calculation – not because it’s considered irrelevant, but rather because the process looks like a complex challenge.   Analyzing the cost of acquiring new leads does require you to know, inside out, certain key performance ...
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I am not certain about this. I don’t know who said this, too many different and unverified attributions. But the author is not the point today. Strategy has often been touted as the necessary item to shape the direction of the organization. A good strategy actually solves a problem with a coherent set of actions with the appropriate set of resources made available. A strategy is not what you want your revenue target to be next year. That is an operational objective. Then people started to say that the culture of the organization was more important than the actual strategy. This appeared to take root when discussing organizational culture and Edgar ...
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I recently got a chance to sit down with   Dr. Ann Cavoukian ,  Distinguished Expert-in-Residence – Privacy by Design Centre of Excellence at Ryerson University, as part of my  CanInnovate podcast . Dr. Cavoukian gave us the low-down on the European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that came into effect May 25th, 2018 and what it means from a global perspective. In addition to GDPR, she discuses  Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PET) ,  International Council on Global Privacy and Security by Design , and even how Steve Jobs avoided being tracked! She’s just a fountain of knowledge  –  here's an overview of the conversation: ...
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Customer experience is rapidly gaining momentum as a strategic pathway to optimizing business results for many organizations in a variety of industries. Companies are recognizing the benefits of customer-centric strategies, including: higher revenues, lower costs, and stronger employee and customer loyalty. Along with these positive results, there is also an added benefit; a renewed emphasis on engaging all employees, regardless of their position within the organization, toward this customer-focused transformation.   Progressive organizations with customer-driven leadership and culture understand that a superior customer experience strategy goes well ...
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Management consulting done differently John’s story:  John is one of our royalty clients since 2007. He is involved in plastic recycling, manufacturing, and also invests in two other businesses.  Business Challenge : Accounting/Finance/Tax Improvements Going back to June 2007, John told me he received a CRA letter for auditing tax and needed us to check his accounting/finance/tax situations. Our accountant and I went to his manufacturer and found his manufacturer didn’t set up accounting procedures, policies, and also used an unappropriated accounting system. He hired a bookkeeper who didn’t understand accounting well. What we did: ...
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We are halfway through Spring and six weeks away from Summer. It’s hard to believe but we are getting close to the half-way through 2018. Doesn’t it feel like we were just saying Happy New Year? I’ve finally stopped accidentally writing 2017 in my notebooks! It’s time to do the six month check-up. Are you where you want to be? What goals did you set in Jan 2018? Any new years resolutions? Here are a few tips to get yourself back on track! These are some tips that I offer my own coaching clients...simple and fun ways to re-energize your career.   Refresh the Resume What a great time to reflect on the past few months. Have you gained new skills, ...
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While we were having a late dinner the other night the door bell rang about 7 PM. Trappar was busy gnawing on his nightly chew and leapt up and ran down the hall barking with his big dog voice. As I sauntered towards the front door I noticed the outside door was open. I could not see anybody through the window on top. At first I thought it was my brother or neighbour playing a joke. Wrong on both counts. It was a young man holding the door open with a sheaf of papers in his hand. “Hi, I am “Zach” from Student blah blah” “Why did you open my front door?” This was in my deep “angry dad” voice. “Sorry”, and then a couple of mumbles. ...
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Disruption isn’t a new idea. Just ask Henry Ford, who changed the world with his assembly-line-built Model T. Disruption has always been unfolding and reshaping our world. The financial services sector is no exception. Technology, globalization and demographics are shifting rapidly and changing the future with their impact on businesses, economies and societies. Their interaction is fueling a new wave of convergence that’s blurring lines between conventional banking and other industries in a way we’ve not witnessed before. And it’s having tectonic impacts on the way today’s businesses operate, grow and plan for the future. Technologies such as cloud ...
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And your eyes facing forward. In most sports, at least the ones I played in, you are taught to create a good base as the foundation for any movement. In football, feet are shoulder width apart and slightly bent. There are other variations depending on your position. In basketball, you are taught a very similar stance so you can be in the triple threat position – pass, shoot or dribble. In hockey, you want your feet in a similar position so you can skate, pass or shoot. And so on… And your eyes are also important. Where your eyes look is where you will go. Try running in the snow with your eyes closed towards an object in the distance, and ...
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I watched Swamp People about 8 years ago and was amazed at the show featuring English-speaking Bayou folk requiring subtitles because of their heavy accent. The show features a real cast of characters: Troy Landry – the King of the swamp, and his sons Jacob and Chase RJ and Jay-Paul, a father and son from the Houma tribe Willie and Junior Daniel and Big T (I mean BIG) Bruce with the overalls and no shirt (you cannot “unsee” that) And also includes some fascinating life lessons: father and son fights and then caring and supporting each other neighbours helping neighbours family squabbles and then having to count ...
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This content is linked to the upcoming Strategic Change by Design Certificate Course ( Learn More / Register ) Customer experience is changing the way that business leaders are leading their people, processes, and systems to meet the needs of arguably their most important asset, their customers. Smart business leaders must understand, embrace, and champion strategic change management  – this will help  ensure that customer experience initiatives succeed and have the desired impact for their organizations, employees and customer. Strategic change management can help organizations control the potential implications (such as resistance and concerns) ...
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Some people call a logo a brand – it is just the visual identity of your overall brand. Your brand is defined as what people say about you when you are not in the room. Some people define marketing as digital media. Marketing is the sum of all activities that are used to find and keep a customer. Branding is what happens when you are a good marketer. Let’s examine some of the foundational steps to become a great marketer. I read a couple of fascinating articles last weekend and the detailed report they were based on. The focus was a massive study in the U.K. about what agency heads think is the most effective media choice and what is actually ...
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