• Getting Out of Life What You Put into It

    by  • November 20, 2017 • 0 Comments

    “If you don’t write it, Grandad’s story will be lost forever.” Those were the words of my daughter 17 years ago. I’ll never forget the yearning in her eyes. Grandad was 80 at the time. He’s now 97. The family had heard his war stories over and over again. Fascinating tales of trials and tribulations. […]

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    From CEO to Novelist: Not without Perseverance

    by  • November 13, 2017 • 1 Comment

    When my business book Do Less Better was published, I had the pleasure of meeting National Post journalist Peter Kuitenbrouwer who interviewed me about the challenges facing an ex-CEO hell-bent on finding a publisher for his historical fiction manuscript. But the longer we talked, the focal point of Peter’s story evolved into a tale of how I went about re-inventing myself from […]

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    Living the CEO Afterlife

    by  • November 8, 2017 • 0 Comments

    Those who follow my blog have an idea of how I’m spending my time as a retired CEO. I’m working – not for money, for fun. Beyond my recreational life (weapons of choice being a tennis racquet and a pickle-ball paddle – on a good day I use both), I’m writing about business leadership, branding and life. I’ve also written a historical novel, The Circumstantial Enemy. After several years of trying, I have found a publisher who wasn’t afraid to invest in a newbie, grey-haired novelist in an industry going through substantial change.

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    Ditching the Corner Office for Good

    by  • November 2, 2017 • 0 Comments

    Six years ago, Fortune Magazine published my reflections on my rise to the corner office, my life as a CEO and how I coped with the years that followed my exit from the corporate throne. I’ll cut to the chase; my days in the CEO afterlife are as fulfilling as ever. Some of that contentment I attribute to the social network where I have shared my experiences in blogs on leadership and strategy. Frankly, I’m amazed that a fading memory has managed to unearth so many vignettes that were seemingly buried forever.

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    Corporate Entrepreneurship: Turn Irony into Opportunity

    by  • February 13, 2017 • 0 Comments

    (This post first appeared on the Ryerson University Alumni Blog)   

    Not too long ago, a business professor friend invited me to address a luncheon of university students enrolled in his class on entrepreneurship. I was honored to have been asked, but not sure I was the right person for the task.

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    Taking a Step Back Doesn’t Always Move You Forward

    by  • July 26, 2016 • 0 Comments

    be smart

    Think about this. You are engaged in a lively discussion with a group of business colleagues. Maybe there’s a problem that needs immediate attention, or perhaps the group is contemplating the best way to pursue a new opportunity. In your mind, the discussion is invigorating, and far from a standstill or a stalemate. Suddenly, you hear these words of wisdom: “Let’s take a step back for a moment.” 


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    Nabob and the Coffee Kerfuffle: How the 120-year-old brand managed to maintain its challenger status.

    by  • June 8, 2016 • 0 Comments

    Article was by Jennifer Horn, Strategy Magazine.

    Respect_new2Nabob, you’re a feisty fella. In the ’80s, you famously smashed the paper bags of rival Maxwell House in ads to prove your own superior packaging. Not long after, you took aim at the coffee bean itself, ruling out the seeds that didn’t quite fit your strict flavour and aroma standards. And today, you’re crossing swords with society’s (arguably) pretentious coffee culture.

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    Leamington, Canada: The Little Town That Could

    by  • May 6, 2016 • 0 Comments

    LeamingtonLeamington, a little town in the province of Ontario is the tomato capital of Canada. The town earned the honor by farming vast acreages of tomatoes in fields and greenhouses. Their tomato expertise caught the attention of the H. J. Heinz Company who erected a factory in Leamington in 1908. And for more than 100 years, the factory pumped out Heinz Ketchup and a variety of baby foods to markets in Canada and the USA.

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    The 2 Most Undervalued Factors in Social Marketing

    by  • April 13, 2016 • 2 Comments

    404errorWhen I was in brand management, social media did not exist. But I can tell you this: I would have had a field day with this exciting medium because I valued the power of ‘big ideas’ to infuse growth into the brands under my wing. Frankly, I had no choice, because I’d worked for small to medium-sized companies competing against giants the likes of Nestle, Kraft, and Procter & Gamble. By any comparison, my brands were under-financed. But, they sure as hell weren’t neglected. 

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    Work That Matters starts with Matters that Work

    by  • April 5, 2016 • 0 Comments

    GoogleEmployeesTo most of us, the phrase Work that Matters infers job satisfaction. The outcome is lower stress, lower turnover, and higher productivity – in business, a ‘win-win’ for employees, customers and shareholders. The logic is infallible. So, I ask you, why is there such a gap between the theory and the practice? Why are so many organizations and so many workers struggling to find workplace nirvana?

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    In Praise of the Fast Company

    by  • March 21, 2016 • 0 Comments

    InNOut_EmployeesShould every company be striving for the form of strategic advantage that has become the hallmarks of Amazon, Google and Facebook? For sure, in the tech world, it’s hard to imagine success without quick and continuous technology improvement. What about your world?

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