Blurring the Boundaries

May 15, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Agility, People 

We have been running our own small business for more than 7 years now, and from most accounts, everything is running quite smoothly. While the pipeline has thinned a little as training budgets are slashed, there are indications that even this is turning around. Receivables have been very good, something that I would attribute to personally knowing who cuts the cheque in most places (the biggest challenges have come from the biggest vendors, where I am an anonymous ‘little guy’ with no apparent clout, but I have my ways to get things done there as well…). There remains one area that I struggle with – the traditional boundaries of the workplace. Read more

Improvement Cost?

March 25, 2009 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, Process, Teamwork 

I was talking to a couple of people last week about the situation in their organization. To cut a long story short, suffice it to say that there were plenty of symptoms of trouble, and management had settled in on the expectation that it was going to cost millions of dollars to clean things up. Once I got up from the floor, we talked about why I believe that an attitude like that will almost surely lead to disappointment. Read more

An Outdated Investment Model

February 25, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Leadership 

For a number of reasons, I believe that the model used by many venture capital firms is in dire need of a retread. While the model has shown to be profitable in the past, this appears to be more a lucky, accidental result of circumstances rather than through proactive application of sound business principles. These thoughts here are based on my somewhat limited exposure to working with venture capital firms, certainly talking to others and following the news, but also sitting down with a couple of VC’s and walking through this. Read more

Don't Spend, Invest

January 29, 2009 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, Project management 

There is no shortage of indicators that we are in for in for a rough stretch ahead. While there are some that are still debating whether to call what we are going through a recession or a depression, it is clear to everyone that this is no time for frivolous spending. I would argue that we should always be aware of where we spend our money, and always spend with an understanding of the return we expect. Read more

When the Going Gets Tough

December 28, 2008 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Leadership 

In many sectors, 2008 has been a tough year. There are very few people that expect that 2009 will be much better, and most indications are that the foreseeable future will be at least as challenging, if not worse. How people and organizations deal with these difficult times is a strong indicator of how well off they will be as the situation improves – or whether they are still around at all. Read more

Are We a Software Company?

November 30, 2008 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, Project management 

Particularly for small, startup organizations, it is important to come to grips with who you really are. From my perspective, too many startups see themselves as software companies, or end up accidentally becoming software companies, and this can get them into serious trouble. Read more

Planning Cycles, Thinking Rhythms

July 15, 2007 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership 

I was running a training session with about a dozen executives a couple of months back. These were all people from relatively small companies, so even though by title and role they may face strategic issues most of the day, they still have at least one foot firmly planted in day-to-day issues, and many of them remain more comfortable in a technical environment than a boardroom. Read more

Unintentionally Non-profit

June 10, 2007 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Leadership 

I have been recently exploring different ways of contributing to the community where I live, and there have been a couple of times where I have had discussions with people involved in non-profit organizations. Read more

Why I Write

June 3, 2007 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Process 

People are often surprised when I explain that I put out a weekly (once a week, if not always on Sunday) newsletter, and have done so for almost 5 years now. It is admittedly a difficult effort to sustain at times, and there are times when I wonder if there remains value in continuing. Read more

Zero-Sum Lunacy

April 22, 2007 by · Comment
Filed under: Leadership, Process 

It has been fashionable for quite a while in business circles to study competitive philosophy. Whether from the ancients such as Sun-Tsu’s The Art of War (I know my wife and I each had a copy before we met each other), Machiavelli’s The Prince, any of the hundreds of variations of these that are available, or some other source of military doctrine. There are all sorts of interpretations and translations to choose from, and I expect the niche will remain healthy in the future. Read more

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  • What’s Happening

  • On The Road Again

    Jim frequently travels across Western Canada for engagements, and welcomes opportunities to meet, run a workshop, Diagnostic or Lunch and Learn session.


    Contact Jim if you would like to connect around any of the upcoming dates:

    • Blissfully at home in Vancouver, BC over the summer!
  • What People are Saying

    I learned a lot from Jim, and will always be grateful to have had him as instructor and client. Jim’s class lectures reflect how knowledgeable and well rounded he is – as a person, software developer, and project manager. As a client, Jim is great because he understands the issues that obscure most projects. He made sure we both achieved our goals. It will always be a pleasure working with him.

    — Donabel Santos