By Kerry Slavens

Ian Chisholm of the Roy Group gives advice on how to create some extra motivation as you jump into September.

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By Alex Van Tol

With his crack team of advisors at Roy Group, social innovator and business yoda Ian Chisholm is shaping this city’s leaders into
world-class mentors.

Ian Chisholm — Chiz to those who know him — is pretty open about being a bit of a zealot: he sees leadership in everybody. And, after decades of guiding people to bring only their best selves to every single interaction, he’s become one of Western Canada’s most in-demand organizational alchemists, working with government ministries as well as organizations like Fountain Tire, ATB Wealth, West Point Grey Academy, St. Michaels University School and Fraser Academy.

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By Alex Van Tol

One of the great things about the way the world is changing is that people are more open than ever before to sharing their challenges. There’s a lot of talk about truth, openness and vulnerability (hat tip, Brene Brown), and although there are no metrics for this kind of thing, when you look around, maybe you’ve also started noticing that it just sort of … feels better out there. More human.

Sure, we’re still eager to read and listen to stories about people who knock it out of the park. We love a good success story, because it provides hope. But there’s a deeper hunger — a growing hunger — for the real stories. The gritty ones. The things that bring people to their knees as lovers, as leaders, as entrepreneurs, as humans. Those hit-the-wall moments that knock us, spinning, into a place of utter chaos and failure — but that also open the door to our greatest growth.

In 2017, Roy Group partnered with VIATEC to bring exactly these stories to the Victoria business scene. Together, we host Fuckup Nights, a global movement where people gather together to listen to other people’s stories about business failure. Fuckup Nights runs in 318 cities worldwide, and it’s growing. The stories are raw, riveting and inspiring. They might deliver key lessons; they might even deliver some new tools; but most of all, they knit us closer together by sharing snapshots of our common, fear-driven, ego-ridden humanness — and the rewarding road out.

Read about Fuckup Nights in Douglas magazine

ICF International Prism Award Finalist:
St. Michaels University School, Victoria

Leading with Curiosity in the Classroom and Beyond

In 2011, St. Michaels University School (SMUS) Head of School Bob Snowden was seeking a way to stay fresh after being in the same leadership role for 15 years. He turned to coaching and quickly realized the impact it could have on his team and SMUS, a private day and boarding school in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The initiative grew from coaching for the senior management team to the entire organization. Now, the school is a collaborative, feedback-rich environment.

In recognition of its collaborative coaching initiative, the International Coach Federation (ICF) named the organization one of five finalists in the 2017 ICF International Prism Award program. The Prism Award program recognizes organizations with outstanding coaching programs that yield discernible and measurable positive impacts, fulfill rigorous professional standards, address key strategic goals and shape organizational culture.

Roy Group’s founding partner Ian Chisholm was SMUS’s Prism Nominating Coach.

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By Ian Chisholm and Mark Bell

  • “What is essential is invisible to the eye.”
  • Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

As leadership development practitioners, we often receive requests to design indelible learning events: experiences that will be utterly unforgettable for everyone who takes part and whose impact will far exceed the event itself. In the field of executive development, forums like this are complex, elusive, high-touch masterpieces calculated to connect with sophisticated consumers and to amplify, augment and anchor the impact of other high-tech learning strategies.

We recently orchestrated such a gathering, inviting key players from all of the different teams and client organizations that we serve. Unexpectedly, the gathering developed a formidable purpose that was more important, more relevant and more necessary than any of its designers or participants anticipated or planned for: The creative leadership required from everyone involved in bringing this experience to life was exactly the kind of leadership that the experience itself had been designed to develop.

How does one imagine, design and deliver an indelible learning event? Here we reflect on our process and present the key choices we made along the way.

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Photo credit: By Strobridge Litho. Co., Cincinnati & New York. Restoration by trialsanderrors and Morn – This file was derived from: Zan Zig performing with rabbit and roses, magician poster, 1899.jpg:, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19060350

By Dana Micucci

  • Escalating debt and a falling dollar. A government shutdown in the U.S.
  • The collapse of European economies. Conflict in the Middle East.
  • Ongoing deterioration of the environment.

The list goes on. How are we going to get ourselves out of this mess? Who will be on the front lines trying to solve many of the world’s most pressing problems? Rising public dissatisfaction with old, worn-out structures, failed strategies, and temporary fixes clearly calls for a new kind of leader in all strata of society.

Read Full Article in Kaleidoscope, a publication of the UWC-USA.

By Bob Chartier

It is mid afternoon and Bob, an executive vice president of a well known high tech company must decide what strategy to take in upcoming negotiations around a major international deal. He has scheduled a session with his ‘coach’ to help think it through. His coach, Nathan, is a young man from a local west coast First Nation.

Unlike most executive coaching sessions, Nathan is not an executive, and the relationship is two-way — Bob shares his experience with Nathan. These two are about to embark on a real time coaching experience that could cover closing a major offshore deal to finding a way off the mean streets of Vancouver.

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By Ian Chisholm, Bradley Chisholm and Mark Bell

Our attention was caught the other day by a managing partner who told us she was immersed in what she called “the war for talent”. She went on to decry the “talent vacuum” created by high numbers of retiring employees combined with a shrinking core of new “talent” – younger people willing and able to don the leadership mantle and take on the responsibilities and sacrifices it requires.

She did have one source of hope, however – a few exceptional individuals hand-picked for possessing the right stuff, her “talent pool.” And she wanted us to meet them over a drink, a talent-pool party, one might say.

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By Ian Chisholm, Bradley Chisholm and Mark Bell

A Creative Director from the Royal Shakespeare Company once explained to me that if he went behind the curtain to speak with a troop of actors and announced that they would be performing Romeo and Juliet in the upcoming season, the actors would shrug their shoulders and agree grudgingly to the decision that had been made.

However, if he went behind the curtain and announced that the Company would indeed be doing a production of Romeo and Juliet – but it was important for the ensemble to know that the Director had chosen that this production a) would be set in Africa; b) there would be very little clothing and c) that all scenes would be done on bicycles – thespians would be rocketing out of their seats with excitement and ideas of how to create something the world had never seen – a production that was unique, beautiful and memorable.

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