Is Hard Work too Hard?

by Trudy on September 9, 2011

I was on reading the Toronto Star last Sunday and came upon an article that inspired me.

It is the story of JR Digs, host of Man in a Van. You may have heard of him, his talk show airs on Global. The gist of what he does is, talking and picking up people/celebrities to interview…in his van.

What struck me about this article was this man’s pure tenacity, clarity of vision and relentless pursuit of his goal. He is not giving up until he simply cannot anymore. He even received a 2011 Gemini nomination for best talk series! The story shares that he has spent 10 years of his life and all of his savings in pursuit of his dream. He has rubbed up against big break opportunities, enough to keep him believing, but not enough to grab the ring. And yet he still keeps moving forward.

Why am I sharing this? Because I found this so refreshing to find someone who is so committed to where he wants to go that he won’t give up. In our minute-by-minute, attention deficit, throw-away world, here is someone who is really hanging in there and working every angle to make his future happen, even though it is damn hard.

I don’t know where he will end up, but I have got to assume that he is going to more than rub against opportunities and actually capture one soon. He certainly deserves it.

Hats off today to everyone who is up for the hard work, whether it is a new product idea, a new business, a new relationship, a personal goal.

Keep on, keeping on going.


Can you Handle the Truth?

by Karen on January 28, 2011

Effective and efficient businesses and organizations know who their ideal customer or client is, what problems they are trying to solve and why.  The ideal client values what you do, they are willing to pay you appropriately for your service and/or product and view their relationship with you (your organization) as a wise  investment that enhances their organization.  These clients have expectations that fit within your existing operating framework, and when their request is outside your framework, know it will cost extra.  The IDEAL client – – – oh, we all love them.

But what if there aren’t enough “ideal customers?”  Then it is time to ask some tough questions and look at your definition of the ideal client or at what you are offering.

For PROVOKE, the ideal client wants to hear the truth and is prepared to act on it, in fact is eager to look forward to design and implement an approach, process, service or product to better align with their ideal audience.

Quite often, the audience truths reveal that you are over-serving, and in the process increasing costs and stressing systems and people unnecessarily.  In fact, in the last four projects we were involved in, our client was over-reaching what their audience wanted and in the process, losing organization value.  In one instance, it meant adjusting organization goals.  In a second instance, it meant paring down the offering.  And in two instances it meant  amping up existing services for widespread consumption.

The truth may sting a little, it may even hurt a lot.  But the truth ALWAYs provides clarity and reveals opportunity.

Think you can handle the truth?  If you answered YES, then you are ready to take an important step forward.


CH-CH-CH- Changes

by Trudy on January 21, 2011

David Bowie’s (yes I know this is dating myself) catchy lyrics around change often run through my head. It is on auto play when I am thinking about something I need to change personally, when we are crafting a plan for a client that inevitably involves some kind of change, or when I am observing what is not working before my very eyes.

With it being early into the New Year, almost all of us have some desire to change something in or around us. I thought this was a good time to share a couple of key concepts of change that we have gleaned over the years as we have worked with our clients to help usher them through change of a minor or major scale.

  • The stage of things getting worse actually has a productive upside, it means we are getting closer to being ready to change. Options are running out to stay as we are, pressure is building to go a different way.
  • We need to clearly know what we are moving towards, and it needs to be super-compelling. If we cannot get excited about achieving the goal, it is not going to happen.
  • Small early wins are important to build confidence and sustain momentum. It is about acknowledging the successes along the journey towards the goal.
  • We can all easily identify what we will lose with change, but seeing what we will gain is harder – figure out what you stand to gain and focus on it. Otherwise the sacrifice is just not worth it.
  • It isn’t all sunshine and roses. If it isn’t uncomfortable at some point, we probably are not going far enough. Discomfort is precisely the moment NOT to give up, it is pre-break through.
  • We need to figure out what stands in our way of change and remove the obstacles.
  • And we all need to realize, it all comes down to behaviours – we personally need to act differently than we did before.

So here you have it, seven simple, but not always easy, concepts to reference when you embark upon change personally or professionally. Purposeful consideration at the start of change will set you up for better success.

Happy changing!


$#*! From the Boardroom

June 4, 2010

Ever noticed that the term innovation surfaces every spring? It’s in the news, it’s top priority for government, universities ponder the meaning of it and how to educate for it, organizations unveil new products and leaders are scrutinized for their ability to deliver it. The timing of this topic makes a ton of sense! Organizations […]

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