36 Hours / 15 Talks Expert and Inspiring Speakers

October 23-24

October 10, 2017 Xcelerate Summit

The World Economic Forum states that we have now entered the 4th Industrial Revolution; one where life as we know it will change more significantly in a shorter time than we as the Human Race have ever experienced. What this means is that regardless of the technology we integrate, and the speed we adopt it, we’ll always be a little bit behind, and will always have more to learn than we could possibly imagine. While this might be scary for some, here are three things to consider as the world as we know it starts to leap forward rather than step:

  • Businesses must be rooted in empathy and trust

Though it is tough to say exactly, what we do know is that people are subject to more advertising now than ever before. So much so, in fact, that we see between 4,000 and 10,000 advertisements in a single day. The result? Whether we like it or not, we’ve become great at filtering noise and desensitized to messages that aren’t authentic. Skip using buzzwords, only talking about the best parts of the job, and start really caring about people. No, I’m not talking about accommodating and catering to anyone; I’m talking about really building trust and being upfront about the experience in and outside of the job.

  • What works for them might not work for you

A best culture doesn’t universally exist. What works at Google, might not work for your people. Comparing apples to oranges is dangerous when it comes to building great places to work and establishing a strong culture. Unless the employees are truly understood, and the environment they work in enables them to do their best work, workplace culture will never be as strong as it could be. Don’t know what that looks like? Ask them. Chances are they’d love to have their opinion hear. This leads me to my third point.

  • Every team member must be heard

We’re long past the days where all decisions are made in the boardroom without consultation of the team. Imagine being in a room full of people only to have a select few come up with the ideas that shape and drive the next actions of the company. We simply can’t afford to not hear from the people that are ‘in the trenches’ when it comes to refining best practices and moving forward as an organization. Sure, the C-suite may make the final decision, but limiting the knowledge base isn’t affordable when competitors are using all of the resources (people) they have to be the best they can be.

The Future of Work has seemingly shifted from something that we were all excited about to something that we now seem to have started to fear. Change is inevitable and if we want to be able to do our best to not only keep up with the times, but create a great place to work, we have no choice but to get and use all of the help we can.

And while it may seem that we have to speed up to keep up, I’d invite you to consider that the best way to speed up us to slow down, be intentional, and ensure there is care and trust rooted in every decision made.

Eric Termuende

August 10, 2017 Xcelerate Summit

Building a startup can often seem like a constant battle between David and Goliath – big companies have bigger budgets, more resources, and existing market share, and trying to go up against them can seem insurmountable. But startups have an innate advantage over large companies because they’re nimble, fast-moving, and willing to take risks. If you’re an entrepreneur looking to grow your company, here are a few ways thinking like a startup can make you a better marketer: 

Startup mantra #1: expensive marketing doesn’t mean effective marketing

Startups may have less marketing budget than their corporate counterparts, but that doesn’t mean they’re at a disadvantage. By virtue of having small budgets, startups are resourceful and often find new channels or ways to promote their business, and startups are more willing to test new tactics vs. spending marketing budget on what they’ve done in the past. As Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner commercial showed, even million-dollar campaigns flop. The key is to test multiple tactics – whether it’s Facebook ads or an Instagram influencer campaign, measure the impact, invest in what’s working, and discard the rest. 

Startup mantra #2: use speed and creativity to your advantage 

As a small company, your biggest edge over your established competitors is speed, and the ability to take risks with your marketing. Larger companies can take months to approve just one social media post, since they have to go through multiple approval levels and risky ideas often get squashed when they pass through the legal team. Startups have an opportunity to react quickly to current events, and to craft riskier marketing campaigns. One example of a startup that used speed to their advantage is Waterloo’s Sortable, which launched a recruiting page on their website in 2016 inviting Americans afraid of a Trump presidency to apply for their open positions. The move resulted in lots of free PR for Sortable – and it likely wouldn’t have shown up on the recruiting page for a large company. Another example is BuzzBuzzHome, a real estate listings site, which capitalized on Ashley Madison’s data breach in 2016. After users on the popular cheating site were exposed, the site launched ads that read “spouse found out about your Ashley Madison account? There’s no better time to check out these new homes.” A larger real estate site likely wouldn’t launched those ads – both because of cheeky tone, and because of slow response times.

Startup mantra #3: focus on personal brand, not just company brand

Many of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world have extremely strong personal brands, not just strong corporate brands – think of Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, or Elon Musk. You know them as well as you know their companies, and it’s not something that’s true of big companies – can you name the CEO of Pepsi or McDonald’s, for example? As an entrepreneur you are the face of your brand, and investing in growing your personal brand is investing in growing your company’s brand. Whether you’re sharing your entrepreneurial story at conferences, writing articles for media publications, or speaking with the press about trends in your industry, growing your personal brand can be an extremely effective way to grow your company – especially because you have that “aha moment” story about why you decided to start your business, which is something that corporate executives don’t have.

Interested in hearing more about how startup thinking can help you grow your business? Join me at Xcelerate Summit in Barrie on October 25th-26th 2017.

Erin Bury


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