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Interview with Julia Piccioni, and Heather LoPresti – Co-chairs of Focus 2040
Julia and Heather are both students at MG DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University.
This is the fifth year for the Focus 2040 competition. This program is open to college and university students across Canada from any field of study. No charge to register.
Students are challenged to envision and predict then convey their thoughts about the workplace of the year 2040.
Description from the Focus 2040 website…
“It’s 2040. As you’re getting ready for work, you glance out your bedroom window and you ask yourself, “Who would have ever predicted the world to look like it does now?” The answer? You. You are the business leaders of tomorrow. You have the imagination to bring forth new ideas. You have the potential to change the world. Together, we must focus… because you are the future.”
Prizes of $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000 for the top three winners.
Corporate internships will be offered.
Additional benefits to students:
Opportunity to develop and demonstrate their abilities to think creatively, research, support their ideas and convey those ideas in writing and orally before a group
Connecting and networking with students, professors and corporate representatives
A bonus differentiating item for your resume
Deadline for this year’s competition to register is January 31, 2014
The final phase along with the announcement of the top contestants will take place at the Burlington Convention Centre on March 20, 2014.
Register or learn more at www.Focus2040.ca
Learn more about the founding partner, The Strategic Capability Network at http://www.scnetwork.ca/
Learn more at DeGroote School of business at
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About Alan Bottomley
Alan graduated with an Engineering degree in Geo-physics then obtained his CA which led to a 31 year career as a partner with Price Waterhouse Coopers. With a solid education in working with “things and numbers” Alan reached an epiphany when he started to manage and lead people. He discovered his passion for working with people.
That same analytical mind that enabled him to understand the intricacies of engineering and accounting helped him address the challenges of understanding, managing and leading people.
Insights from this interview
Ownership Thinking is a methodology of encouraging employees to think and act like owners.
Compare the list of things that owners think about to what employees think about. They are different but not in conflict.
Implementing OwnerShip Thinking in a company results in both dramatic culture change and improved profitability within two to four hours.
The first major obstacle is for the business owner to give up control and reveal important information to the employees.
The second major obstacle is for the employees to realize that they aren’t being punished. They are simply invited to identify problems and opportunities.
Most problems are caused by management.
3 criteria for a company owner to participate in OwnerShip Thinking
- The owner must be a caring person
- The owner must be able to recognize the potential within others.
- There must be discipline within the company to implement.
Advice for startup entrepreneurs
- Be caring because this sets the culture
- MUST have fun (This one is critical for the next point)
- Establish highly visible expectations of performance
Click below to listen to, or download the audio file.
Interview with Fred Eisenberger, President and CEO of The Canadian Urban Institute and former Mayor of Hamilton.
Fred Eisenberger was appointed President and CEO of the Canadian Urban Institute in December of 2010. His career includes serving as a Councillor for the City of Hamilton and the Region of Hamilton-Wentworth for nearly a decade in the 1990s. In 2001, he was appointed by the Federal Government as the inaugural Chairman of the new Hamilton Port Authority providing strategic and operational leadership to one of Canada’s largest inland Ports and, in 2006, Eisenberger was elected Mayor of Hamilton and served until November of 2010. As Mayor, he championed a wide array of successful initiatives promoting sustainability, urban revitalization and economic transformation in a diverse regional city of more than 500,000 people. His private sector experience as Government and Community Relations President for ECS Consulting (2000-2006) was focussed on providing public and private entities consulting services in strategic planning, business development, public relations and communications.
What is the Canadian Urban Institute?
The Canadian Urban Institute is a not-for-profit organization that specializes in researching and championing urban issues.
Because so much of the world’s population lives in urban areas, the CUI helps Canadian and International urban leaders make more informed decisions about urban planning and economic development.
The Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) is a Toronto-based not for profit organization with a national and international reach. Through our work we seek to create a world of thriving, sustainable, harmonious and engaged urban regions
Some of the countries that CUI is working in includes Jamaica, Phillipines, Cuba and Ethiopia.
Insights from this interview
Two important questions that need to be addressed about regional economic development are:
How do you organize your assets?
How do you promote your assets to the world?
What under-valued asset does Iloilo, Iloilo have to offer?
Two big issues that urban centers need to review are their approaches to energy and water.
The Canadian Urban Institute provides clients with independent and unbiased data and advice. Their strength is that they will tell you what you need to know – not necessarily what you want to hear.
As a not-for-profit, the CUI has both advantages and disadvantages in the marketplace. But they still need to sell the value of their services.
Personal insights from Fred Eisenberger
Leadership is not about managing. It’s about taking the organization somewhere.
It all comes down to relationships.
On economic development: Give the people the resources and get out there and beat the bushes.
On politics as a career
There is always both the business side and the personal side to relationships.
Politics can be a career and business killer. It consumes you fully.
Make sure you are ready to take the slings and arrows of politics.
Have a plan B.
Interview with Fred Eisenberger, President of the Canadian Urban Institute, on the weekly radio show, Business in Motion with host George Torok.
Click below to listen to the podcast or download the audio file.
The Oakes Group provides career advice to executives and professionals. Beth Oakes has worked most if not all her career in the business of human resources and human capital. She previously held the positions of Managing Partner at Millar Dallas – an outplacement firm and Executive Vice President at DHR – an executive search firm.
Insights from this interview with Beth Oakes
In spite of her corporate experience, Beth has always seen herself as an entreprenuer.
Entrepreneurs can make their own decisions and they can fall by them.
This industry of coaching executives and managers is new within the last 5 to to 10 years and it is growing. Corporate executives and managers have much less time to mentor and guide their staff.
Coaching can be like being a parent…
As an entrepreneur you worry about the cash flow and you can be lonely.
Advice to an entrepreneur: Write a good business plan and create an advisory board.
Steel on the outside – cotton on the inside.
Buiiding a good network is much more than making friends.
Click below to listen to this radio interview with Beth Oakes
Interview with Steve Petrovic, Country Manager (Croatia) Pedersen & Partners Executive Search.
Steve Petrovic is an inspiring man in career motion. He graduated with a degree in science and became a government commercial specialist working on security and import/export issues. He went back to school to earn his MBA specializing in IT. That led to a few years in IT consulting.
A frank discussion with his dad and uncle encouraged him to start and run his own business in metal fabricating.
Later an interest in exploring opportunities in his family’s homeland of Croatia led him to accept the role as country manager for an international executive recuiting firm. That led to an opportunity to join a modernized 100 year-old steal mill.
Steve Petrovic’s story is inspiring and full of important insights.
Listen to this radio interview below
Interview with Walter Booth, Chairman of The Timberland Group
Walter Booth started at Timberland as a young Project Engineer more than 40 years ago. He rose to the rank of President, bought the company, sold the company and is now Chairman. He is an engineering graduate of McMaster University. He has donated at least $3 Million to the Faculty of Engineering.
The Timberland Group grew signifcantly during those years. Originally a company that manufactured winches for the logging industry, they now provide special winches and hoists for mining, power distribution, underwater exploration and off-shore oil.
Insights from this 30-minute interview with Walter Booth:
“The business still excites me after 40 years.”
“They hired me because I had experience in the ski lift business.”
“Buying the company – we worked on that deal for at least a year. You want it to move faster but it just took longer.”
“My boss encouraged me to join the Young Presidents Organization. I got to hang around successful business owners.”
“As chairman my chief role is mentoring and developing the new owners.”
“You have to bend the rules if you want success.”
Click below to listen or download this 3-minute interview: