Celebrating 5 Splendid Years of MarchFifteen

Posted by & filed under Reflection.

“The tidal wave can lead to wholesale destruction, but it is the incessant, and much smaller, daily tidal force that moves all boats worldwide.” I do not know to whom I should attribute this quote, but I think it is a good one.  As I prepared myself for the celebration, and my talk to all that arrived, I felt very attracted to this message. It is a message about consistency, permanence, resilience…the impact that comes from committing to small steps, the incremental change that culminates into a powerful force.

I sit back in my office reminiscing and reflecting about the party. We were over 70 people over the course of the evening. We had no leftover food; the sushi chef in her tiny kimono was lovely; the artist and his work was a topic of conversations; the mini-band was a hit; and, the party kept going till late in the evening. Such a sweet feeling. Thank you, thank you all for making the night so very special.

When we started M15, more than 5 years ago, we started with a dream of creating a purposeful organization. We knew that community involvement will be critical for us, and dictate some of our business choices. The creation of a community of people within M15 was something we hoped for… and so it is a reality. I am fortunate to be able to partake in it and have you as partners.

Today our mission remains to advance business through people.  In our practice, we help build the world of connectedness. We do strive to help you have consciously positive impact, as you transform your business’ thinking about success through clear sense of purpose, connection to community, and courageous leadership.

Our ambition is to continue being the head turner in the areas of strategic business advisory, leadership development, assessment, and coaching.

We stand behind a belief that to really make a difference, we have to anchor our existence in something larger.

This is where we always come from. And, this is where we will keep coming from.

There are a few things that contributed to our current and modest success:

  1. Focusing on you – our client, developing intimacy that helps create insights that are of help and relevance to you.
  2. Remaining curious – being conscious and critical of what is, and constantly challenging our assumptions with the objective to grow and do better.
  3. Persevering regarding issues we believe are important and worth fighting for – Einstein said: “It’s not that I’m so smart; it’s just that I stay with problems longer”.
  4. Keeping things simple – knowing what makes us awesome and where we do not have the talent that makes a difference in your life. Being able to articulate what we do and do not stand for, where are our boundaries. The latest Everest trek has again reinforced that beautiful things happen when you have a commitment to one goal. Not 20.
  5. You don’t gain success in isolation – team is essential in providing real value at the end.

When I saw the first, and still flawed, copy of our book (and if you do not have a copy, please let us know, we will be thrilled to send you one!) I was quite overwhelmed. 5 years in around 200 pages… dying to share it with all of you, the content, which is a reminder of many of the conversations we had over the years.  And some of these conversations still continue.

Looking into the crystal ball I anticipate that the next 5 years will keep you busy with some of the same issues you have been dealing with for years…

  • How to attract great people? Many organizations are struggling in filling out the roles, and operate with many open positions. This will not go away. Finding great talent that is available and willing to “jump ship” and join your organization will be more and more challenging. The “War for Talent” that Gallup talked about in the early 2000 is fully on, and will not end soon. It will get more ruthless and sophisticated.
  • How to retain top talent? Organizations being the collectors of talent, forcing the organizations to build a talent pipeline not in “onesies and twosies”, but in a rigorous, strategic, and systematic way.
  • How to ensure our organization is ready for the future? Through vision and strategy, systems and processes, technology, brand, culture, and people.
  • How to deal with the assholes in the company? From narcissists to bullies – especially when the growth in Ontario is anticipated to be minimal, many companies will be hesitant in letting go of those employees who deliver short term, but have destructive impact on morale. I am afraid that many organizations are still not ready to be radical in their approaches to protect the values and the culture of the organization.
  • Doing more with less – despite the fact that there is not that much more that can be done with less… efficiencies and putting pressure on people will continue. Organizational fatigue may not overly be labeled as such, but exists, at all levels. Karen is just back from a certification program in mindfulness. I believe this is very relevant and current.
  • How to support our managers to transition from being bosses to coaches, and bring humanity back to the workplace? The managers are still squished between the layers and being overtasked, seldom have time or tools to truly devote themselves, or be really committed, to people development.

Not only oldies but goodies… New preoccupations will become more and more real.

Recently PwC has published a global CEO study in which they highlighted that organizations will have to address the following growing and real concerns:

  1. Responding to customer expectations – where capitalizing on technology, and using data and analytics are key
  2. Redefining their own success to meet the changing needs of the internal and external stakeholders – success is no longer defined by profit margins, but by serving a higher purpose
  3. Focusing on innovation to remain relevant and ahead of the game, and to reengage with customers and stakeholders
  4. Ensuring they have the right talent to meet the current and future demands of the business – over 72% of CEOs worry about the retention of people, and the development of the right skills, and almost 50% are reinventing the way they go about leadership pipeline development.

I am including the link to the study, here, and hope the full report will prove to be useful to you.

We want to bring our thinking to you regarding some of these preoccupations. Maybe not in a disruptive fashion, but as that incessant and daily tidal force. Helping you to transform your businesses, to relentlessly persevere in your quest for excellence. We want to remain relevant in your lives, so you continue to drive sustainable success in your world. And we are grateful to be invited by you to do exactly that.

We invite you to continue the conversation.






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