Friday, September 5, 2008

Collective Genius

"It's just an HR Conference isn't it"?

Bumped into an old friend the other day who now owns a small business, and talk turned to "Taking Flight", the upcoming Atlantic HR Conference in Moncton NB, October 1-3, 2008. A three-day, once-in-a-lifetime chance to tap into world-class CEO, Leadership, Branding and Marketing expertise all under one roof with not one, but two, global authorities on these subjects in Don Schmincke ( and Roy H. Williams (

Karen continued, "I just thought it was only for HR people not for owners like me. By the way, I should talk to you about who you know that's out there looking. I'm going to need to hire some people and soon".

I replied, "Don't you think the people side of the business, IS the business. I mean what else is there if you don't have the HR side looked after and aligned with what you are trying to achieve? Is there a more important asset to a business than people?"

With the business world more competitive and confusing than it has ever been in human history, the challenge for any owner - no matter the size of the company - is to stand out from a crowd that only gets bigger and louder. One of the best ways to separate yourself is to stop competing against everyone else in your category and find ways to re-define the entire playing field. It's a strategy that seems to have worked for WestJet which is why key people from the Calgary-based airline have been invited to speak at the Atlantic HR Conference to share what they know about marketing from the inside out.

What is that WestJet could see that 28 airlines bankrupted in Canada over the past quarter-century were blind to? Is it possible that the greatest marketing comes from the inside out and that HR is often left of that equation in terms of what it can bring to the table? Is there something VP of Talent Janice Webster and Tyson Matheson (The Rock Star of People!) could share that might allow you to duplicate some of their dizzying success?

Let's face it, you know you're good when the Rick Mercer Report spoofs how good you really are.

WestJet is one of those companies that "get it".

And while many of their competitors in one of the most turbulent of industries have crashed as businesses, WestJet has obviously figured something out. It's at conferences like "Taking Flight" that allow people like Karen, who care about the future of their companies and their brands soak up new insights that create a competitive edge. But often, when the rate of external change outpaces the rate of internal change - disaster is just around the corner. Only when you wind up in a room with reputable thought leaders, do certain thoughts begin to dawn on you. Gradually, you realize you are not alone, nobody can do it alone and nobody has all of the answers. But after several days, you have more answers than over 90% of the business population as you leverage the collective genius around you.

Genius is not a word I throw around casually.

But two of the people on the stage October 1-3, in Moncton NB, just happen to soar in that intellectual stratosphere. They are among the best of the very best in the world at what they do. One has made more small business owners filthy rich than anyone else on the planet. The other is regarded as a Top 10 speaker by the world's #1 CEO organization. Details at

Hope you get to experience what so many others will either ignore or dismiss because they don't see the connection.

"Human beings are creators, flinging powerful images into the minds of their fellow men. And all of these images are built of tiny particles of thought" ROY H. WILLIAMS

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