#StandApart: Jordan Eshpeter, Head of Client Engagement, Invoke Media

Jordan Eshpeter likes to spend his time in the future. He lives according to a “what’s next?” motto, trying to peer around corners, sniff out predictions, and think outside the box (in fact, we’re not sure the box is even in sight anymore). His attitude of leaning into the future pairs perfectly with his current role as Head of Client Engagement at Invoke Media. The organization focuses on accelerating and supporting established brands and startups (think Hootsuite and Foodee) to help propel revenue and presence; essentially, he helps define what a company can become.  On top of being an aspiring futurist, Jordan is also our upcoming presenter and speaker for our next LeaderLounge event, suitably titled “Why the Future?“. We asked him a few questions on his favourite subject so our LeaderLounge attendees can get to know Jordan (and his passion) before the event on June 24: 1. Why are you so interested in the future? My interest in the future is relatively new. I began my career in two industries that are in the midst of some disruption: live music and professional sports. Then, I transitioned to working at a digital agency. More than a crash-course in emerging technologies, it exposed me to what’s coming. Our role as a digital partner is to accelerate the adoption of digital technology into an organization’s internal processes and communications with customers. The evolution of my career keeps me hyper-interested in what’s next. Plus, it’s my job. 2. What makes you qualified to discuss the future? Based on my work in digital, I can certainly speak to the importance of ‘the future’. I see firsthand the implications of organizational and personal attitudes towards it. That is, companies and people who are optimistic about the future are more likely to help create it....

e-LeaderLounge: 15 Must-Reads For Leaders

Have you ever wondered what the likes of Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg read before they fall asleep? What are the last words they want to see as they end their days? Who influences the influencers? In this e-LeaderLounge article, you’ll be introduced to 15 life-changing books that leaders from around North America have credited with being on everyone’s “must-read” list. Get your notepad and pen out and get ready to stalk the aisles of Chapters for these leadership books. (If you’re a leader and a reader, you also may want to check out our upcoming LeaderLounge “Leaders are Readers” events. #shamelessplug) Amanda Lee Smith  Brand Copy & Content Manager at Kit & Ace: “Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. I truly believe every writer should read this, but also every creative. My two most valuable takeaways: 1) Any task, no matter how broad and complex, can be made manageable by tackling it one chunk at a time (“bird by bird”).  2) The value of “shitty first drafts” – this is the best cure for writers block. Get all your thoughts/ideas on the page without any concern for how it looks or sounds. In fact, make it intentionally bad. It’s surprising how good the end result often turns out.”   Ashley Willard Bauman Director Strategy and Marketing at UBC Properties Trust. “1. Blue Ocean Strategy – It’s 10 years old and I still refer to it. It’s very simple and effective. 2. Rework – I work in the Development Business where timelines are tight, we are light on resources and you need to very frequently react to change. Some of the operating principles really related to me. Some of them I don’t necessarily agree with, but it’s a good read. 3. Taming your Gremlin – A surprisingly simple method for getting out of...

Highlights From Our Inaugural LeaderLounge™ Event, “To Sell Is Human”

This past Wednesday we took the THNK School of Creative Leadership by storm with our flurry of red, white, and smavvytinis. We descended on the Sun Tower location—smitten with its Euro-esque feel inherited from its native Netherlands—and filled the room with catered carpaccio, Truth and Endeavor from The Liberty Distillery, and 60+ brains (and beauties) currently in leadership roles. LeaderLounge™ began with a buzz of networking and continued all night with the Twittering (not twiddling) of thumbs and the opening of eyes (that’s right, Bob).  So, if you weren’t there — and even if you were there, because let’s be real there was a LOT of content — what did you miss? How might improvisational theatre help you pitch and sell your ideas? It comes down to listening, making it personal, making your partner (or fellow actor) look good, and shared purpose. As always, #peoplearetheplan — great lessons at #LeaderLounge! A photo posted by THNK Vancouver (@thnk_van) on May 27, 2015 at 8:38pm PDT   1. First things first, we’re ALL in sales. Lawyers aim to sell a verdict to a jury, teachers aim to sell a subject to their students, and online daters try to sell their personality and profiles to others. We’re all aiming to persuade an individual to either “move” away or towards something. Sales is about moving–moving others to part with their time, energy, attention and money. #LeaderLounge #influence — Tracy Bains (@tbains) May 28, 2015 2. The internet hasn’t (as once predicted) put sales into its grave; it has simply revamped what the sales life cycle looks like. At one time, the buyer had to lean on the words and wisdom of the salesperson, who was the expert in their field and was “all-knowing” of their product. Now, there is the freedom to no longer put...

Our Top TED Talks

This week, from March 16-20, TED Talks lands back on Vancouver soil to deliver its speeches to a sold out audience. TED’s Truth and Dare event — featuring event speakers from cognitive scientists to space explorers —aims to challenge, confront, and yet educate the worldviews of its audience members, something it has already done in the past with millions of viewers on YouTube. In lieu of the event coming, Smart Savvy has compiled what they believe are the best of the best: the top talks that have left a footprint on their lives and a bookmark on their Internet tabs. Peter Reek, our one and only founder has picked a talk on quiet to be loud about. Susan Cain‘s The Power of Introverts encourages the spectrum of personalities on the necessity and brilliance of introverted people in our very loud and noisy world. This is what Peter took from the talk: “People are brilliantly complex — introverts and extroverts alike. No two are the same. And, relating can be colourful and complicated within (and between) the introvert and extrovert camps.  They key – empathy. Empathy fuels connection. And really, empathy is not complicated — it’s simply a matter of getting outside of your head and into someone else’s.  Shift perspective, suspend judgement and go.” Jaylene Crick, our principal and non-verbal communicator extraordinaire, has delightfully chosen Amy Cuddy‘s ground-breaking speech on how body language shapes who you are and how our nonverbal cues communicate with not just those around us but also with ourselves. Anyone who’s viewed Jaylene talking on a phone knows there’s a LOT more than just verbal communication going on (doing most of the talking with her hands), and so she had no choice but to love what Amy Cuddy has to say about body language.   Matthew Campbell, our three-in-one sales, marketing, and communications pro with...

Win a FREE Ticket to the Canadian Internet Marketing Conference Feb26

Win a FREE Ticket to the Canadian Internet Marketing Conference

This year, the Canadian Internet Marketing Conference will be taking Squamish, BC by storm. More than 40 world-class speakers will be descending on the little mountain town by day, and by night there will be networking parties and Internet Marketing Awards to be won. We know we will certainly be there—either at our booth or sitting front-row with our notebooks in hand—but the real question here is, will you be there?     Well, this year is your year because Smart Savvy has decided to play a little “Marketing Lottery” and will be giving away one FREE ticket (value: $499) to the CIMC. Now’s your chance to win! It’s super easy to enter yourself in our draw: simply follow us on LinkedIn, like the CIMC post, and share it with your network. If you do those 3 things, you’ll be qualified to win! Winners will be announced on March 13 on all social...

#StandApart: Jacquie Loch, VP & Group Publisher, TC Media

“My favourite thing is a blank page.” For having change as the common denominator in her professional life, Jacquie Loch is a woman of certainty. She knows what she’s been through and why – and she knows how to put uncertainty on a leash and tame it (and make it shake a paw). Jacquie Loch is VP & Group Publisher at TC Media and is Publisher of a large portfolio of consumer magazine brands that includes Canadian Living, ELLE Canada, Style at Home and The Hockey News. She had built a career in the publishing industry, although she may not see things that way. “I’m in the media and communications business. I am in publishing but publishing is a verb – it’s not a media platform. I’m in content creation and storytelling that engages audiences.”  With an industry based on transitions and fluidity, Jacquie mirrors the career she has chosen. She is a professional nomad – working out of her purse and working on a day-to-day regimen that has “no normal”. The first time change stepped on Jacquie’s toes, it was a shift in the industry. While her peers had chosen to forgo pursue Business school or Computer Science degrees, Jacquie turned her heels in the opposite direction and chose an art school education at The Ontario College of Art (now OCAD) and a final post-grad year spent in Florence. “An incredible thing that happened over my career is when the industry started valuing creative thinking and lateral thinking. I just happened to crest in that space when all of a sudden what was perceived in the 80’s as a wacky skill set, became the skill set.” Things turned in her favour. After graduation, her time spent at The Financial Post moulded her to...

Our Present to You: A Smavvy Christmas Playlist!

So we can’t exactly come sing Christmas carols at your front door, BUT we have the next best thing at the ready: a Smart Savvy crafted Christmas playlist. Each smavvy employee put on their Christmas cap and picked a few songs that are traditions in their house, something that simply must be played in order for things to feel Christmassy. Plug this playlist in at work, sing shamelessly to it in the car, or to do your holiday baking with it playing in the background. 25 songs for the 25th of December – Merry Christmas!   [8tracks url=”http://8tracks.com/smavvy/smavvy-saint-nick” width=”400″ height=”400″ playops=”autoplay”...

Would You Hire Your Boss?

It walks into a room before you do and occupies your office chair while you’re away. It precedes you but also follows you from one boardroom to the next. Your ‘Boss-Factor’. ‘Boss-Factor’: aka – Your Leadership Quotient — measured by your ability to influence, communicate, inspire, assess, learn (from mistakes), empower and connect.  Central to this equation is the intersection of your IQ and EQ. In an always-connected, citizen-journalism era, your Boss-Factor provides more attraction power than salary or bonuses. And, in an on-fire, fiercely competitive job market, your Leadership Quotient can be the difference between a team-member signing-on, staying-on or moving-on. After all, “people don’t quit jobs, they quit bosses.” If you don’t want your employees leaving faster than NHL trades, then you need to nurture (and refine) your Boss-Factor. Meet Tom G. (Or Gierasimczuk, if you’re brave enough to try). Polish(ed) publisher, editor extraordinaire, media maven, and hopefully a lover of alliteration. Tom’s office at TC Media sits at the foot of South Granville (atop Pottery Barn), with one window on the Pacific and the other on the shadows of neighbouring concrete buildings. Tom’s had a few bosses in his time. It’s Tom’s experience navigating various boss styles that has put him where he is today: sitting as General Manager and Publisher for TC’s Western Media Group with enough leadership lessons and wisdom to fill a book. Tom determined early in his career, if your boss is a problem – you need to fire them. Tom now has a mantra to measure his own (and others’) leadership quotient by: “Would I hire my own boss?” If the interview tables were turned, would my employees extend an offer to me or would they pass for someone better? Here are Tom’s 5 things to...

Billionaire Branson Grants Unlimited Holidays Oct02

Billionaire Branson Grants Unlimited Holidays

This past week, headline-maker Richard Branson once again graced business news sites everywhere with his unleashing of unlimited holidays. Virgin employees are now granted undocumented, uncounted, and unlimited vacation days. It was all triggered by Branson’s daughter Holly, stating her friend’s company “experienced a marked upward spike in everything – morale, creativity and productivity” after adopting a have-your-own-holidays buffet. Virgin’s policies are modeled after those of Netflix: a place where employees are wholly responsible for their vacation time and no one is officially tracking holidays. (Except, maybe, the co-worker beside you who’s noticed that you’ve taken much more time off than they have.) There is one pre-requisite for vacationing: you can’t leave behind a laundry list of to-do’s for others on your team and your work must be completed before you jet-set off. However, “completed work” is a fairly subjective standard to qualify someone for “I need a day/week/month off to snooze under a palm tree in the Bahamas.” Unlimited holidays is certainly a great measure of trustworthiness in the workplace. Employers are placing the company’s success and reputation in their employee’s hands; some will be responsible and take appropriate holidays, but will everyone? Leaders must put (absolute) faith in their employee’s honesty and judgment calls. On the other hand, holidays are no longer what they used to be. Technology follows us wherever we may go and we can easily work from our smartphones or tablets at a beach-side tiki hut in a tropical destination. Vacay days no longer necessarily mean leaving all work behind but perhaps bringing work alongside us in our pockets or our purses. (The question is whether we want to or not…) Valid points have been made about Branson’s ground-breaking adoption of this policy. Who says 40 hour weeks is...