Are we focussed on how our company is stepping in to help soothe that pain?
What we provide - Debate of the Year between a CTV anchor, a financier, a corporate strategy officer and a management consultant with Ivey Asia Dean/ Former Sun Life China CEO as the moderator. It is an event to be filled with great insights, business opportunities and funny comments!
What you need to prepare - Sharp questions, healthy appetite (for drinks and hors d'oeurves) and a mood for networking with high profile alumni!
Ivey Debates: Canada Has Missed the Boat in Asia, a question raised by Dean Kathleen Slaughter's November 2nd statement in the Global & Mail newspaper: "Canada Has Missed The Boat in Asia."
- Andrea Mandel-Campbell, CTV Anchor, Journalist and Author of 'Why Mexicans Don't Drink Molson'
- Jacoline Loewen, Partner, Loewen & Partners Inc, panellist on BNN The Pitch, author of Money Magnet: Attracting Growth Capital to Your Business
- Dev Srinivasan, Vice President Strategic Initiatives for Capital Markets, BMO and Ivey 2010 Emerging Leaders Award Recipient
- Gordon Perchthold, Managing Partner, The RFP Company
- Moderator: Janet De Silva, Dean of Ivey Asia and Former Sun Life China CEO
- IAAT Supporter*: $20 ($22.60 HST)
- Current Students and Recent Grads (2010/2011)**: $20 ($22.60 HST)
- Renew for or become an IAAT Support and attend this event - for alumni who graduated in 2009 or before: $70 ($79.10 with HST)
- Renew or become an IAAT Support and attend this event - for alumni who graduated in 2010 or after: $50 ($56.50 with HST)
- Ivey Alumni: $40 ($45.20 with HST)
- Non-Alumni: $50 ($56.50 with HST)
When I ran the strategy process in a big business, I did several plan-budget things every year from department to division to business unit. In one sense these were all a lot of hooey - the ink would still be soft when the first 15% was being changed. Some of that was stupidity but as it turns out, most of it is what "planning is all about. The planning success was the process because it kept everyone focussed on who is the target client, what do they want to see and how could you help them do their work better. The quick analysis done around what was the business offering that competitors could not, is almost a subconscious check on getting done the essentials to delight the customer.
In a finance business I have worked with for the past 16 years, I look back on its strategy-the early plans-and remembered how I did have to force the managers to go through a strategy process. At the time, some entrepreneurial types laughed at their irrelevance.
"What did it matter to know we were not trying to be everything to all people?"
"What is the point of having three objectives to achieve this year?" "And how can you set just three that apply to everyone?"
The strategy process chewed over the amount of money they needed to keep in their piggy bank to ensure survival through the black swans. Back then, the governments were dropping the level of reserves required and there was political pressure to not red ink "no lend zones" for real estate. The bank was accused of not wanting to do deals as they refused to do the derivatives and swaps every other bank was now allowed to do with the reduced legislation.
Although they grossly mis-timed and mis-sized the recession, recovery is strongly underway. When I recently hosted the head strategist for this bank which is now global, he talked about the discipline of having a formal, tough process of doing a one page plan even. The process is what made the company conversation keep going back to sanity during the go-go years. He said to me that those old, goofy plans are priceless.
I wrote a book called The Power of Strategy about the process I used. It became a best seller and is still available on Amazon.
It is true that for the entrepreneur, the business usually starts with a half-baked idea and a written plan seems restricting and premature. If the venture needs to raise money beyond a good friend's budget or your uncle's finances, then you will need to find an Angel who may be an executive with extra cash, a group of professional investors or a Venture Capitalist.
Then you absolutely need the plan as a key indicator that you are serious. It is selling your financial competence.
Here is what a financier will be thinking:
1) How do financiers know it is credible, or profitable?
2) How seriously will I take you as an entrepreneur if you believe you don't need a plan?
3) Show me your cash flows, and explain when I get my money back.
4) What is your organic/inorganic growth plan?
5) Explain your competition's strengths, opportunities, technology, and the role of offshore outsourcing options.
6) John Smith has exactly what you are proposing - why should I fund you instead of him?
Planning brings structured thinking to the business, and helps to ensure that key questions are posed for discussion. Everything in a business is connected. A decision to take a certain action will also produce re-actions. They need to be accounted for, and, if necessary, mitigated. The planning process helps to tie the pieces together, and keeps the pieces focused on the current objectives.
The inference in the article is that a plan will make a company less nimble and flexible. It might do that, if that's how planning is approached. But it doesn't have to be that way, nor should it.Planning brings structured thinking to the business, and helps to ensure that key questions are posed for discussion. Everything in a business is connected. A decision to take a certain action will also produce re-actions. They need to be accounted for, and, if necessary, mitigated. The planning process helps to tie the pieces together, and keeps the pieces focused on the current objectives.
- • Andrea Mandel-Campbell, Journalist and Author of ‘Why Mexicans Don’t Drink Molson’
- • Jacoline Loewen, Director, Loewen & Partners Inc
- • Dev Srinivasan, Vice President, BMO
- • Gordon Perchthold, Managing Partner, The RFP Company
- • IAAT Supporter*: $20 ($22.60 HST)
- • Renew for or become an IAAT Support and attend this event – for alumni who graduated in 2009 or before: $70 ($79.10 with HST)
- • Renew or become an IAAT Support and attend this event – for alumni who graduated in 2010 or after: $50($56.50 with HST)
- • Ivey Alumni: $40 ($45.20 with HST)
- • Non-Alumni: $50 ($56.50 with HST)
Register for Ivey Debate
Inflation is not to be measured by traditional metrics, but rather by the changing living standards around the world, and the changing GDP of major country influences around the world – in essence the drop in economic standing of the US and Europe, and the unstoppable move forward by China, then overtaken by India.
Loewen & Partners hosted a event last week in Toronto where Dr. Michael Power of Investec Asset Management gave a presentation. Dr. Power is a noted advisor to Hedge Funds and travels extensively giving presentations internationally to Hedge Fund managers and others. His presentations on current trends and matters of interest are widely followed and respected. He pointed how US debt and changing demographics were inexorably shifting power and influence to China and then to India. Essentially I agreed with his presentation.The Unpredictability of Predictions: My first response to anyone who is a futurist, or who has the ability to spot major trends, is to thank him for the insight. However, I also have a theory that is proven by history. “What we as humans will never master, is to predict with accuracy the future.” Recent events, sometimes described as Black Swan events, are a vivid example. Who could have imagined that government surpluses of a few short years ago in the US, would turn suddenly into massive deficits that everyone is running in fear of?
The inevitability of the inevitable is flawed: Interest Rates. While in an overall sense, I cannot disagree with the thesis, there is also the effect of interest rates. We currently live in this delusional world where we think that inflation is something that can be controlled by government. Governments have many tools, but the total control of interest rates, continues to elude us. Once the Genie is let out of the bottle, interest rates have a way of running away ahead of all attempts to restrain them. The result is a massive shift of wealth. The speaker felt that this massive shift would inexorably be to the new Eastern economies. However another way to look at the issue, is that the massive accumulated reserves of the new Eastern Economies, would be reduced in value by 20% in a single year, if inflation was 20% for that entire year.
Read Cymor Fund Blog
When the tech sector gets bubbly, consumers are often the biggest beneficiaries, notes Harvard economist Edward Glaeser.
Because investors fund ideas that help the general public, from wireless communications to solid-state data storage to the Internet. So it was in the 19th century with the railroad boom. Today's speculation in tech is concentrated in social networking.The question is whether the new investments will live up to the greatest hits—and productive busts—of Silicon Valley's past.
In the Bootstrapper’s Bible, Seth Godin teaches us that a product focused business owner sells their talents. While they may have a few employees, they’re doing a job without a boss, but not running a business. There’s no exit strategy or pot of gold, but they make their own hours and be their own boss. Examples include layout artists, writers, consultants, film editors, landscapers, architects, translators, and musicians. Seth writes:
An entrepreneur is trying to build something bigger than themselves. They take calculated risk and focus on growth. An entrepreneur is willing to receive little pay, work long hours, and take on great risk in exchange for the freedom to make something big, something that has real market value.
The West’s political and financial elite is still a very long way from grasping the extent to which the global centre of economic gravity is now shifting – and the implications in terms of relative and absolute living standards.
There was a gold nugget of an idea pitched by Ken Seville, Guaranteed Interview, but the business model is not well developed yet.
Guaranteed Interview is for a recruitment website like Monstor.com, but focused on ex-military. What a great marketing vertical.
The company name is also not a catchy brand, and they need some private sector talent to drive growth. Great concept though and every trucking, security, logistics, aerospace company will be bookmarking the site. Ken did a great job presenting. Check it out HERE
Get hold of Ken: : email@example.com
For those of you who want to see the recorded version, you can see WATCH IT HERE
The event is at the bottom of the page listed under "Peer Diligence TweetCast". Click on the "Register For Event". When you register, you will be sent and email with the link to view to information.
We had a lot of non-registered participants last night, so if you know of anyone who showed up who was not registered, can you please get them to sign up for Peer Diligence at www.meetup.com/peerdiligence.
Canada comes in fourth.
Mexico makes the cut too which shows it's great to be around the top economy in the world, the USA.
Canadian stocks fell sharply for the second consecutive day on another violent pullback in commodities as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. told investors to take profits while warning of a correction in oil prices.
Markets also suffered after Japan’s acknowledged its nuclear situation had worsened and Alcoa Inc. showed disappointing results as the U.S. earnings season kicked off.
“For the last several weeks, world stock markets have taken every disappointment and uncertainty the world could throw at them and continued to drive higher,” said Colin Cieszynski, market analyst at CMC Markets Canada.
IKEA is a wonderful place to visit but their product does not look the same at home - for me, their book cases need to be secured to the wall. I am glad for modern technology as my books and CDs seem to be dwindling in volume. Mark Evans made me laugh with his return to IKEA:
After swearing off buying anything from Ikea as a rite of passage in becoming a real adult, I succumbed recently in an effort to refurbish the home office without pillaging the corporate bank account. The magic about Ikea is how wonderful they make everything look. You stroll through the showroom and the world seems like your oyster…until you get everything home and suddenly realize it has to be assembled.
So, you unpack all the boxes, pull out parts, which includes lots and lots of little pieces (screws, widgets, etc.) and hunt for the instructions. What’s amazing is the instructions haven’t changed in years; they’re still black and white, no-frills, step-by-step instructions that assume everything is just so easy to follow.
Needless to say, the assembly process is frustrating, time-consuming and a serious threat to relationships if you do it with someone else. And you end up with extra parts, which I’m pretty sure Ikea doesn’t supply as a convenience.
It struck me there are some easy things Ikea could do to make things a lot better and easier. First, it needs to colour-code its instructions and the parts to remove a lot of guess-work that goes into assembling things.
Second, Ikea really, really needs to embrace video.
Read more: Ikea, Where's the Video Instructions? | Mark Evans Tech
As we learn in most realms of life, the low-priced products aren’t always best for you. And with a greater number of private investors creating a growing company’s market for financing, many Canadian business owners are discovering there are alternative sources of capital. Probably, the most exciting news is that private equity deals are being done for as little as $500,000 – a sign that private equity is shifting from Bay Street onto Main Street. Read more (PDF) >
Wednesday, April 27, 2011, 6pm to 9pm
Rotman, University of Toronto
Jacoline Loewen, Author and Partner at Loewen & Partners:
Fuelling Growth: Technology & Social Media
After mentioning I had taken 14 pages of notes on Baker's book on Value Pricing, above, Jacoline Loewen suggested I share a few Aha's from these notes. Here they are: Baker presents the idea that professional advisers should keep in mind that we are (or should be) giving our clients (which he calls customers) a crowbar with which to open a treasure chest. If so, ten times the price would still be a bargain for our crowbar. We should not provide a cheaper price merely because, for example, we may have lower fixed overhead. Value drives price, not cost. If we have significant intellectual capital (as defined by Baker), offering it at a lower price devalues it and sacrifices a significant amount of profit.
We should focus on the totality of our services our firm provides the customer or client and consider bundling them together into a fixed price agreement, not an hourly rate agreement. The billable hour becomes the floor, not the ceiling.
Baker outlines methods of qualifying the right customers/clients, the sins of hourly billing and ways to eliminate them, how to understand the value we offer that customers seek, key predictive indicators for knowledge workers, and eight steps to implementing value pricing.
In his section on developing and pricing offerings, the author identifies several elements, any or all of which a firm’s Value Council (explained in the text) may want to make part of a fixed price agreement, over and above the hourly rate, which is never mentioned:
- Fixed Price. (A guarantee that the customer/client will not be surprised by an invoice; that all work will be authorized in advance, so that the client will be able to budget his or her professional spend with certainty.)
- Change Orders. (This ensures customers that work will never be done without their authorization on price, terms and scope, giving them a choice on how to proceed.)
- Service Guarantee. (An overt statement that your project will create value three to ten times greater than the cost or the customer doesn’t pay.)
- Price Guarantee. (The customer may ignore any invoice they receive for which they did not authorize price, payment terms and scope. The customer will never be surprised by an invoice because all work is priced in advance.)
- Unlimited Access. (The customer is granted unlimited phone calls and meetings to discuss whatever the customer wants.)
- Payment Terms. (Financing plans.)
Posted by Robert R Dunford
Robert R. Dunford, Principal
1657-A Ramblewood Way
Snellville, Georgia 30078
United States of America
I particularly liked the advice from Michael McGrady:
I personally believe that it’s imperative to lead the preliminary discussion as a marketing professional and leave the tactical/technical for later. You provide knowledge, perspective, assurance and informed caution – your work helps to set strategic direction, inspires the development of deal structure, helps to craft strategies regarding earn-outs, reps & warranties, etc. and in some cases help prevent bad deals from happening. We have all been involved in or know of deals that went south solely because of poorly executed research and due diligence – the financial consequences of these bad transactions always eclipse the minor onetime expense your contribution would have provided. They clearly like your work; remind them, talked about the multifaceted value you provide and the consequences of a poor execution. And don’t lower your price; if you don’t value your time who will?The second thing to possibly consider is working on retainer or a combination of retainer and an hourly rate for overflow. There is more work involved on the front end to ensure you and the client understand the scope. I like retainers because I don’t have to manage a time sheet and if I am more efficient in some aspect of my work I don’t penalize myself with fewer billable hours. The client likes it because they don’t feel they are being nickel and dimed and it gives them a delineated line item for the budget. As I said it’s more work on the front end but so far I haven’t broken my pencil and I make more money than I would have by billing hourly (knock on wood).
There was recommended reading from Isabella Brusatti and the book inspired this quote - Baker's book qualifies as a "good book," as defined by Thoreau:
"Books, not which afford us a cowering enjoyment, but in which each thought is of unusual daring; such as an idle man cannot read, and a timid one would not be entertained by, which even make us dangerous to existing institutions––such call I good books."—Henry David Thoreau: A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, 1849
Jacoline Loewen, Money Magnet author, Mergers and Acquistions expert.
This is not another finance book that promises you to get rich quick. Instead, it offers a systematic approach to learn some essential finance skills and to promote good money habits. The book is geared towards musicians and artists but it is also full of vital information for a typical young adult entering the work force or about to head for college. If you are considering a career as a self-employed creative entrepreneur or in case you just wish to brush up on your basic financial literacy skills, you will find extremely good value in this book. The author is an investment advisor and a former musician. He can relate to the world of finance from an artist’s perspective and is therefore uniquely qualified to teach personal finance in a way that makes sense to someone who has little or no experience with money matters. The book is full of fun and thought-provoking examples showing you how to keep your financial house in order. Ultimately, you will learn the financial strategies that will set you apart from those who live from paycheck to paycheck.
About the Author
The Australian dollar is one of the strongest currencies in the world because it is a commodity-backed currency. That’s why it hit a 29-year high against the US dollar today – and it’s all related to the gold price