details, details

When I was a kid, about a thousand years ago it seems, my folks would drill into my head the mantra of “look both ways before you cross the street”.  Although, maybe it’s not so much a mantra as it is a set of urban operating instructions.  Which is odd because I grew up in a small town.

This simple phrase is coming back to me now that I own a dog.  As I walk the most perfect dog in the world in the evenings, I frequently utilize signalized crosswalks to cross the street.  It’s a thing now, I hear.  The looking both ways dictum comes back to me, and I even force the dog to do it.  Granted, she gets treats at the end.

What I am noticing, however, is that the vehicular traffic is completely ignorant of the flashing lights and a very dapper gentleman standing by the curb with the most perfect dog in the world.  Overlooking me I can understand, but my dog is perfect so I would expect traffic to at least slow down.  And maybe notice the lights are flashing and we have a desire to cross the street.  But no, I watched 15 cars whiz by with barely an acknowledgement of the active crosswalk, even though the car going the opposite way in the other lane was stopped an waiting.  And I had the most perfect dog in the world with me.

The takeaway?  Well, details count and noticing the details counts doubly.  Although I would expect a flashing crosswalk to be a bit more than a detail, but what do I know?

building blocks

Our provincial association, the Alberta Association of Landscape Architects, has an internship program where senior practitioners act as mentors to the interns coming up in the profession.  It’s a good program and a way of passing on knowledge and insight to these emerging professionals.

If you look up what a mentor is, it boils down to being a teacher or advisor.  I like to look at it as a person who encourages and supports the person they are working with; someone who cultivates enthusiasm for the profession, really.

I had a discussion this week with one of these young mentees about an experience she had trying to source some information from one of our board of directors on our mentorship program.  I think she was looking for a contact phone number.  From what I’m told, the brush off she received was less than amiable.  Something to the effect of “I don’t have time for this”.  Which, really, is bullshit.

If you want to grow something, a business, an organization, a plant, you have to foster and support it.  It isn’t the job of one person to undertake this role, it’s an organization wide commitment.  The culture and attitude of your organization is vital to fostering growth; this is a role that everyone must undertake.  Plus, it doesn’t cost anything to be a decent person.

It’s Friday, thankfully.

the friday thing

Stampede kicked off today, big parade, lots of hats and boots.  Shatner leading the parade.  Shatner.  So surreal.  Rock it, man.

The next week will either be very productive for most people due to the lack of phone calls, or very unproductive due to the abundance of Stampede parties.  I’m leaning towards more productive, but let’s see how that goes.

I came across this post the other day:

Maybe I’m late to the party, the link was put up over a year ago, but it really resonated with me.  I keep thinking about it and drawing parallels to our own work.  This one is a keeper.

So I went out last night…..

I had the great opportunity to meet these folks :

They asked me to moderate a discussion panel last night with these folks:

…and it was fantastic!  I heartily encourage everyone to check out DTalks site and attend one of their chats, it’s really invigorating!

so we’re looking for someone.

We’re looking for someone to join our team.  We’ve got a pretty tight culture in our shop, so we want to make sure we find the right person.  It’s really quite important to us.  If you know of someone, or if you’re interested yourself, take a read:

818 employment ad 2014

In which I reveal more about myself than I maybe should…..

So I got a personal trainer last year.  It was time.  I was turning into one of them fat guys you hear so much about these days.  I wasn’t happy with myself and it was time to make a change.  That, and I turned 45.

It was one of the best decisions I ever made.  Huge dividends.  Then Sandra, the owner of One on One Fitness, asked me to write my bio for her recent newsletter.  She published it pretty much unedited.  Take a look:

Once you’re read it, give her a call.  It will be great, I promise.




Change is difficult.
It’s scary because of the unknowns, the ‘what if?’ factor.
It takes time.
It needs investment.
But it’s completely worth it.
Don’t wait.

Dressed for the Success

Most people dress for the activity, like going to the gym, going skiing, or for the event, like the ballet, or a concert.
Flying, however, is a different beast. Most people will dress for the destination, which makes sense. Really, though, people need to dress for the security scan. That brief moment when complete strangers can see if your socks match or cam count the change from your pocket. The success comes with ensuring you’ve got a Miesian approach to fashion; functional, efficient, and quick. I mean really, it’s not like this was unexpected.