Archives for September 2009

Mentoring – Connect to Success

Portrait of smiling businesswomenLast January I became a mentor for Connect to Success, the Vancouver YWCA program that serves women who are entering or re-entering the workforce in a professional or skilled field, or who are underemployed and looking for more meaningful employment.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the process and look forward to being a mentor again.

If you know someone who would benefit from the program, mentee information sessions for this season are Tuesday September 15th from 10:00 to 11:00 am, Monday, September 28th from 2:00 to 3:00 pm, and Wednesday, October 14th from 10:00 to 11:00 am. The sessions will be held at the YWCA Vancouver, 535 Hornby St., Vancouver (4th Floor). Pre-registration is required, so interested mentees are asked to connect to the program at or call 604-895-5858 for more information.

Mentors are professional women from a variety of fields (business, education, health, science, arts, social science and more) who meet with their mentee each month to share insights and experience, helping them transition into and succeed in the workforce. Matches last from 3 to 6 months with an average time commitment of 3 to 6 hours per month (includes in-person meetings, phone calls, and emails).

If you are interested in being a mentor you can find out more at or call Darcie Gabruck, Program Manager at 604-895-5857.

Imagining Tomorrow’s Workplace

Here’s a question for you. How do you think small businesses will need to change to meet the challenges of tomorrow, and by the way, what does your crystal ball show for those challenges?

I’ve been acting as a Workplace Design Consultant on Tomorrow’s Workplace, a project sponsored by the Surrey Board of Trade. The project hopes to discover what can help good small businesses handle the challenges of the future and move toward being a great small business in the process.

When the project began we really didn’t have a clear idea of what might be needed, but as we’ve moved forward with the businesses in the pilot (one is an engineering firm, one a lumber products company and one sells promotional products for events and a wide variety of other uses) we’ve discovered some common themes even though the business activity differs greatly from business to business.

1. It is more important than ever to be focused and clear about the business you are in and who you are as a brand.

2.  Building alliances with other businesses and with the community helps both the business and the community.

3.  Learning how to communicate well in the midst of change is a core competency.

The project website has information on the project process and insights, podcasts from team members and more. Here’s the link:


I am the kind of person that likes to share my discoveries with someone (the sort that reads good bits from the book she’s reading aloud).

For years I was a member of a management team, and got used to being able to chat for a minute or two during a break, or coming back from making copies.

Now I work as an independent consultant so there are no colleagues down the hall, and the break concept doesn’t really translate. You could say the inspiration for this blog was the need for a virtual break room to share news and ideas, ask questions and just find out what’s going on.

Welcome. I hope you find your visit refreshing.