Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Don't be too Different! - Ready for access on Vimeo

Creativity is all about making new connections between old ideas/objects/things. That isn't too difficult, there’s a variety of proven methodologies that enable us to mix and match ideas and objects at will. Obviously, not all of the results generated by these processes are of any use; a running shoe that does double duty as a Didgeridoo is definitely a ‘creative’ product – but I doubt there’s much of a market for this particular cross trainer.

The Creativity problem is two-fold: How can we generate new ideas when we need them? And, How do we overcome our reluctance to accept the risk of wasted time/effort/resources that is part and parcel of the creative process?

This session will present both aspects of the Creativity Conundrum.

1 – The obstacles we place in front of new ideas – What exactly prompts someone to state prior to a session on Creativity, “Don’t be too different!” – and what can we do to mitigate these concerns.

2 – Creating new ideas – we’ll focus on the SCAMPER methodology touched on briefly in the “Getting Unstuck” presentation.

The presenter is Peter de Jager. For the last few decades Peter has consulted on, and studied the connections between Problem Solving, Creativity and how we respond to Change. This presentation draws heavily on his experience and findings.

This webinar series is a de Jager & Co Limited ( and Interthink Consulting ( production.

Location of video on Vimeo:

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Online resources help develop career plans by Sheryl Smolkin

The basic building blocks of a career plan are an inventory of your skills, abilities and the activities that you enjoy.

When you need money to pay the rent, it is often necessary to take the first job that comes along, even if it is not ideal. However, if you don’t have a career plan, several years later you may find yourself in the same dead end position.
The basic building blocks of a career plan are an inventory of your skills, abilities and the activities that you enjoy. Then you need to research the kinds of careers that are consistent with your aptitude and any further education or training you may need to qualify for the career you have chosen.
Most college and universities have career centres that offer counseling and resources to graduates and alumni. The websites below can also help.
Read more here.

Monday, August 19, 2013

‘If you like your field, don’t give up’, says engineer Paul Frasie

“In my life I’ve learned not to have big expectations in the beginning,” says Paul Frasie, a designer engineer from Romania. “Because I don’t want to be disappointed later. So the only thing I thought about on my way to Canada was that since you leave everything in your country [when you emigrate], you have to somehow succeed in the new place. If you come to Canada and in six months return to your country, you will have nothing left – just frustration.”
However, Frasie did have plans – he intended to find a job soon after his arrival to Canada, to work and to buy a house. He had no idea of the challenges internationally trained engineers face when they come to Canada and start searching for professional jobs. Frasie didn’t know anything about the highly competitive job market, the “Canadian experience” requirement and the specifics of applying for jobs in Canada. He had prepared a Curriculum Vitae (which is used more often in Europe) and when he arrived he found some resume templates. So Frasie started sending his resume to companies he assumed would be interested in his qualifications and skills. “The first six months I sent tons of resumes and didn’t receive any feedback form anybody,” he says. “So at this point it was very tough and disappointing.”
To make matters worse, the global recession had impacted Canada as well and many engineers were losing their jobs. Frasie had already felt the recession in Romania, but he didn’t expect to find a similar situation in Canada. It was hard to stay positive and to figure out what the right thing to do was. He didn’t want to change careers or do survival jobs as many professionals did at that time when they faced unemployment. He loved his profession and wanted to work in his field.
What helped him stay optimistic was a meeting with the founder of the Association of Romanian Engineers in Canada (AREC). He introduced him to other engineers from his country and Frasie started building a network of acquaintances and friends with similar backgrounds. “Everybody helped me somehow,” Frasie says. “They didn’t find a job for me, but they gave me some sources, some useful information and shared their experiences with me.”
Read more here.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Waking Up a Business Means Waking Up the Little-Known Secret of Success... by Kevin D. Crone

Waking Up a Business Means Waking Up the Little-Known Secret of Success...

It is puzzling to study business and try to determine the best path to achieve personal success as I have for 48 years - and then realize that knowing what to do isn't as important as we make it out to be. Yet, you and I are constantly looking for answers. We think that when we find them, everything will be better.  Really?  Applying what we already know is what really matters. Why is it that we don't always do what we know we should do? puzzlepeople-edited

What also occurs to me in my study is that attitude is responsible for about 80 percent of our success. 

Enthusiasm is the little-recognized secret to success.  It is such a critically important attitude that we should become masters at applying it in our business and our personal lives.  Dale Carnegie described it as vitality, belief in what you are doing, and the demonstration of spirit and energy in all that you do. Why do some people keep going and growing, even in tougher times, and others simply wilt?  The answer is: enthusiasm.

Some people think it's cool to just know the answers to what is wrong so they can complain or cynically challenge every new plan.  But people with enthusiasm define and play the game of business - while others are just spectators or commentators. It really doesn't matter what is wrong with the world; the focus should be on how we are dealing with the world in relationship to the life and business we want to have and that we're creating.

Read more here.

Read past issues in the Monday Morning Mentor Blog

Friday, August 9, 2013

5 steps to develop your unique personal brand for lasting career success By Murali Murthy

New to Canada and at your wit’s end trying to land a job? Amazed and dismayed at the difficulty of the entire job search process? Shocked that you are not even receiving email acknowledgments, let alone a call for an interview? Been there, done that.
The many challenges that you face while seeking job openings can be resolved by developing a strong, unique personal brand. A personal brand makes you noticed for all the right reasons, reinforces your strengths and give the employer ample reasons to hire you. It takes understanding and some work to develop your brand, but the payoff is highly rewarding, as has been proven by thousands of successful immigrants in Canada.
Read more here.