Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Our Drivers DELIVER!

This morning we hosted a Driver Appreciation Breakfast form our awesome drivers (and courier people). Just a small thank you to let them know we couldn't do it with out their.......awesomeness.
Nabil and I manned the waffle maker and whipped up some tasty concoctions of bacon INSIDE the waffle. Something Shawn and I first was while in Vegas a few months ago. Each driver received some gifts including candy, water bottles and $50 Costco Gift Cards followed up with an early morning massage. We thought the drivers may not go for a massage from a guy or early in the morning but we were so wrong. Drivers LOVED IT! Some booking a second session because it did such wonders.

Josh the massage guy with Cindy, Hailey, Lisa & Alysha
Josh from Total Relief Pain Solutions brought in a massage chair and everyone got a relaxing arms-and shoulders chair massage. 

Looks like all the staff also enjoyed the breakfast and massages. I wanted to get a few more pics of our massage guy but during the 4 hours we had him booked he didn't have a single breather. I don't know how his hands held up!!

Anyway, great weather, great morning, smiles all round.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Happy Birthday to ... me!

Time again for another birthday lunch with the CEO. This month I get to host all our June babies Brian, Hailey, Chris, and Shawn, along with Sandy and myself (we have our birthday on the same day, June 21).

As usual, it was lunch at the Boulevard Casino in Coquitlam. Conversation is always around the question "What was your favorite birthday?" We had lots of great stories and most seemed to revolve around turning 19 ...... Hummm. We followed up lunch with some free cash from Uncle Calvin for some gambling. Looks like Brian was the big winner today. 

Happy Birthday everyone.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

All Aboard!!

I'm on the Rocky Mountaineer train back from 2 days in Whistler. Our EO Chapter  left North Vancouver early morning on the 15th for a leisurely train trip up the Sea to Sky... train tracks.

It was my first train trip up to Whistler and the scenery didn't disappoint. I highly recommend the trip as a local or as a visitor. I have been on the Rocky Mountaineer to Banff when Sandy worked at the company many years ago - and this trip with the dome cars and gourmet 5 star food is a not to be missed trip to add to your bucket list.

Our EO event was sold out and featured copious amounts of camaraderie, laughs, food and yes, drinking. The connections from this group have made a serious positive impact on my life and business and this event was no exception. I was able to rekindle old acquaintances and make new connections. One such connection has helped open my insight into database management and will be instrumental in our future growth.

As many know I'm a bit shy in large social settings, choosing instead to stick to people I know. But at the event I tried an idea a friend told me about. Just ask people you don't know "So, what's new?" and people will open up and chat for hours! Works like a charm.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Coach Ron Returns

Today we brought in Ron our Corporate Coach for another intense day long session. Nabil, Shawn and I had a mountain of homework from our Seattle coaching sessions May 30th- June 1st.

Today, we focused on the final touches to our short and long term strategic plans by boiling all the data into what we have named a "One Page Strategic Plan". In this document we have clear goals, defined by who, what, how and most important - by when. It can be scary to put your ideas, then goals, down on paper, and then commit to them. It makes it so real.

We all came away from the day totally burned out, but relieved we were able to create a plan we all could buy into and commit 100%. It makes the future look so exciting knowing where we will be in 2/5/20 years.

 Thanks to Shawn and Nabil for all the hard work and to Coach Ron for guiding us through the process and pushing us farther than we thought possible.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

IRC 2012 in Chicago

Chicago is the destination for this years IRC Internet Retailer Conference  and is becoming our top conference to attend every year. This year over 9300 attendees and 45 vendors geeked out about all things eCommerce.

If last year's focus was Social Media, then this year it was all about Mobile. Mobile shopping will exceed Desktop shopping in the next few years and why not? Smart Phone sales have long since eclipsed desktop sales. Optimizing websites for mobile and pad are top of mind for web developers to create a smooth shopping experience on all devices. Companies like Facebook are severely challenged on how to offer the same customer experience while somehow fitting advertising on the screen too. My prediction is this problem will be the demise of the Facebook revenue model and steep stock decline over time.

What I find most interesting is the total convergence of online and offline commerce into just one seamless way to shop. It was John Donahoe, the CEO of eBay, who spoke about how the word eCommerce is being dropped from their corporate vocabulary and replaced with just Commerce. As more and more offline retailers add online components like dressing room checkout, in store mobile coupons and QR Codes on the price tag, where does online and off line actually meet? I say the line is so blurred now that eBay is right - it's just commerce. My thoughts are that we buckle up and get ready for a fantastic ride as retail and ecommerce transform shopping into an amazing new customer experience. The word of warning as always from these conferences is the retailers who wait too long will be left behind.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Miracle Weekend

It's that time again for the BC Children's Miracle Weekend. This was my last year as the Chair of the Retail Wholesale Committee and the pressure was on to top our incredible record breaking $5,152,815 fund raising amount from last year. In addition I was the MC again for the Retail Wholesale party. I flip-flopped on which one I was more nervous about - beating our fundraising record, or public speaking in front of a few hundred people. 

I'm happy to say we set another fund raising record of over $5.2 million, and as for the public speaking, a strange thing happened. First, when I picked up the microphone to get everyone's attention the volume was set to an ear splitting level that made everyone jump when I spoke. Not a good start. But as I started reading off the script, I got to a part where I was to give thanks to the Miracle Weekend Chair John Ridley. The words written on the page by someone else just didn't square with what was in my heart, so I told the audience "I'm going off script" and tossed down the papers I was reading. Instead I said what was in my heart and thanked John with true gratitude. It felt great, and later the people from the audience said it was a memorable moment - including John. I don't do much public speaking but learned a great lesson; Talk about what you know from your heart and you can't go wrong.

Thanks to all the donors who helped make my Miracle Maker Phone Panel the best year yet.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Sleepless in Seattle

Nabil, Shawn and I just returned from an executive retreat in Seattle with our corporate coach Ron Huntington. Having a corporate coach has been instrumental in our growth, vision and planning. I must thank my close friend Ken Sims, the co-founder of Nurse Next Door, for introducing Ron to us.

Ron has been instrumental for many years in helping Nurse Next Door grow and now has been a key part of our executive planning. What a corporate coach does is helps the executive team work thru concepts and problems with challenging questions and exercises designed to push us to areas we may not reach alone. With out him, I fear we only drink and eat BBQ on our retreats.

This retreat was very exciting for our team as we were able to push thru some roadblocks around our Human Resources policies. H/R is becoming more important than ever to our growth and building a team of A players needs a solid plan. After several 15 hour days we came away from the retreat with solid methodologies and a unified executive team. Something I know we would not have been able to develop as well on our own.

We plan to have Ron visit us in Vancouver in a few weeks to work on our 10 year vision.

Arrrggghhh - he gave us TONS of homework till we meet again. I guess that's what coaches do.
Thanks Ron.

Calvin Johnson
Chief Energizing Officer