How To Create & Take Meeting Notes

February 17th, 2021|Comments Off on How To Create & Take Meeting Notes

Taking better notes is a key business skill that will improve your communication with coworkers and clients while also creating a meaningful record of knowledge for yourself and others. Whether you are taking notes for [...]

  • Returning to work & back to the office - Telsec

How To Handle Returning To Work

October 23rd, 2020|Comments Off on How To Handle Returning To Work

How do employees feel about coming back to the office? Nervous, excited, worried? What’s your plan for keeping people safe and keeping your business profitable? There is a divide between returning to the office and [...]

What is Coworking Office Space?

April 11th, 2018|Comments Off on What is Coworking Office Space?

  Coworking: The Who, What, Why & Where for Startups & Entrepreneurs As a marketer one of my prime resources for promoting all our products are the questions that potential clients ask about our services. Since coworking is a new offering in the flexible workspace category that we didn’t have a lot of questions about, I used a tool which identifies the questions in the suggestions that users get when they enter search terms into Google. The best content that I can add to a site is content that answers questions our website visitors may have about our offerings. Coworking: What Does It Mean? Easily the $64 question as even the spelling is disputed as to whether it is coworking or co-working. What it means depends on who you’re asking. To some users it means: All non-traditional office space (flexible workspace) A workplace design and environment Office space with themed […]

Horsemen coming? Don’t Panic

February 7th, 2018|Comments Off on Horsemen coming? Don’t Panic

Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt are three of four harbingers of ill omen. The fourth is more of a following spirit made up of innumerable desperate decisions. It’s called Panic. They are social and economic contagions and though they spread at different times and rates, they tend to follow the same directions and end up in the same foul and musty places. The markets are all over the map this morning but investors surfed through two days of serious uncertainty yesterday and on Monday. The scariest part in the aftermath is thinking about who, or more precisely, what market managers blamed for the sharpest decline on the Dow since 2008. Algorithmic trading and the arbitrage found in between where numbers fall. Trading sophistication so enormous and virtually unpredictable in its scope and decisiveness was fingered as the driving force in the greatest market correction since the international financial system was threatened […]

The Report

January 19th, 2018|Comments Off on The Report

The body of the report spanned thirty pages alone, perhaps more. Every minute detail, every compromise decision, every last mistake was supposed to be laid bare and spelled out for the entire world, and more importantly those who held the IT and marketing teams accountable, to see. Because the material ventured into highly technical information understood by only a fraction of the people who would read it, an equally lengthy glossary of terms accompanied it, along with an appendix filled with expanded diagrams, graphs, and charts, most of which couldn’t be made to fit properly in the body of the report itself. Oddly enough, nobody in the chain of people who received the report felt in the least worried about the findings. Even the developers, those poor souls whose work was being dissected and judged, were happy to receive it. No matter what, they could blame the hapless folk in […]

The Joy of Interesting Times

January 12th, 2018|Comments Off on The Joy of Interesting Times

“I didn’t want to live in interesting times!” says the graffiti scrawled on a fence at Bloor and Bedford Rd. in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood. All times are interesting for the curious mind but some times are more interesting than others. These are most certainly some of those times. Every day, new names get added to the unseen wall of shame in a movement that isn’t waiting quietly while suffering silently any more.  Hundreds of prominent and powerful people (the staggeringly vast majority of whom are sectorialy powerful men), and enormous business empires are being challenged or destroyed altogether by the unforeseen consequences of people talking openly about their public and private behaviours. Revolutions are intensely interesting. This post might be about predators like Harvey Weinstein, but it might also be about Tim Horton’s. Nobody wants to live in interesting times. So many things happen in rushes of emotion and they […]

An Era of Unlimited Rhino Horns

January 2nd, 2018|Comments Off on An Era of Unlimited Rhino Horns

We have entered the era of unlimited replica rhino horns. I’m not sure I’ve ever written as silly a serious sentence but it is true. In an interesting attempt to discourage the ivory trade, a Seattle based biotech firm named Pembient has created a synthetic rhinoceros horn using keratin and a 3D printer.  Keratin is the substance hair, fingernails, and rhino horns are made of.  The goal is to produce a biofabricated horn that is indistinguishable from the real thing on all but a cellular level and to thus save the endangered rhinoceros. Welcome to 2018, the year of good people doing good things with the grace of knowledge, talent and technology available to them. This might seem redundant but it is constantly amazing how much knowledge and technology is available for free to anyone with an Internet connection. One can earn a university level education by taking courses available […]

Why the Sudden Changes with the Web?

December 5th, 2017|Comments Off on Why the Sudden Changes with the Web?

These might be the waning days of the new economy created by the digital communications revolution. For the better part of the last three decades every aspect of our culture has been altered, accelerated, surpassed, and often destroyed by the Internet and most importantly, by the Internet’s favourite four letter F word, F-R-E-E. It’s been a wild ride but it was never really sustainable. Along the way, we’ve devalued our recent cultural creations and made it far harder for artists to scrape out a semblance of a decent living. A recent story in The New Yorker magazine, “Who Owns the Internet?” outlined the experience of Levon Helm, drummer for the seminal rock group The Band. After The Band broke up and Helm retired from rock music, he was living a comfortable life on royalty cheques from the tens of millions of times The Band’s music was purchased, played on radio, […]

On Killing the Goose that Lays Golden Eggs

November 22nd, 2017|Comments Off on On Killing the Goose that Lays Golden Eggs

Trump appointed Federal Communications Commission chairman, Ajit Pai, is about to cancel the Obama era protection that regulates the Internet as a public utility in the United States. The end of an open and free era will soon be behind us. Sometimes people confuse theory and ideology with tradition and practicality. This mistake usually leads to disastrous outcomes. Human societies have existed for thousands of years and have evolved over time to think, act, and function in ways that tend to be the most efficient and useful, hopefully for the largest number of people. They might structure around different systems but systems that work are invented, innovated on and evolve and to help people survive. In North America, we have representative democracies. Modern democratic societies are built of and by people. They are you and you can know them if you want to. Opportunities for the advancement and betterment of […]

Electric and Autonomous and Barreling into the Ways We Do Business

November 21st, 2017|Comments Off on Electric and Autonomous and Barreling into the Ways We Do Business

There are a few baseline industries that are so critical to the overall infrastructure of a nation that any change in those industries can have profound effects on the overall economy. Home building is a well known example. Another is transportation and shipping. Even minor changes in either of these industries can cause unanticipated ripples to roll over other areas of productivity. Over the coming ten years, the Canadian logistics and shipping industries will change very quickly. These changes will, in turn, have remarkable implications on the greater Canadian economy. What will emerge will be a far more efficient, safe, and cost effective transportation industry but one that produces substantially fewer employment opportunities. This week’s public introduction of Elon Musk’s long distance electric transport truck, one that comes with a driverless option, alters a number of equations the Canadian economy is built upon. Minutes after Musk introduced the trucks, the […]

You Can be a Coworking Nomad

November 10th, 2017|Comments Off on You Can be a Coworking Nomad

Imagine a utopia where people are no longer compelled to be connected to one location, a life where the world isn’t limited by distance or borders but is instead open to exploration at whim and supportive of cultural immersion. Imagine living on a remarkably unified planet. For many entrepreneurs, that world already exists. A few months ago we looked at the Rise of the Digital Nomad, that type of entrepreneur who lives to travel and has found ways to work independently or as part of a team while constantly moving from one place to the next. While their lives might seem chaotic and messy, some of the most productive and yet peaceful people find their grounded selves constantly moving over ground yet continually able to serve their clients. That they’re able to balance work and flight so easily is amazing though how they do it is more a mixture of […]

51% of Canadian Businesses Report Cyber-Security Issues

October 20th, 2017|Comments Off on 51% of Canadian Businesses Report Cyber-Security Issues

How secure is your business? What about the data you collect for business use, how secure is it? In the expanding digital age, the two questions are virtually one and the same. Most businesses are primarily made of data. Frighteningly, more than half of the 650 registered businesses surveyed by the Canadian Securities Administrators reported some sort of cyber-security incident in 2016. As an organization, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) has good reason to be concerned about the state of cyber-security in Canada. The CSA is made up of regulators from the 10 provincial and 3 territorial securities commissions. Their goal is to improve, coordinate, and harmonize regulation of Canadian capital markets, administration of which is functionally left to each province or territory. It’s a safe extrapolation the CSA is considering mandating federal regulations around cyber-security for businesses across Canada. The most frequent attack reported was phishing. 43% of respondents […]

What to Expect if NAFTA Talks Fail

October 14th, 2017|Comments Off on What to Expect if NAFTA Talks Fail

Most businesses in Canada share a deep seeded defect that is so common as to be part of our DNA yet so malignant it corrupts the very foundation of Canada’s national sovereignty. The flaw is not a fault of planning or ideology. It is not caused by neurosis or insecurity. It is a simple yet subtle mixture of geography and the physics of supply and demand. Most Canadian businesses are entirely dependent on access to the American market, or are reliant on serving businesses that are successful only because they enjoy easy access to the American market. Stretched primarily along a 6400km border with our southern continental neighbour, approximately 35million Canadians live a relatively excellent life by finding ways to collaborate with or feed the enormous appetites of a post-industrial consumer society eleven times bigger than our own. Some are haulers of water and hewers of wood and miners of […]

The Changing Face of Search Results

October 2nd, 2017|Comments Off on The Changing Face of Search Results

Lost amidst the mayhem of last week’s news cycles was a small story that had far larger implications than the amount of attention it received. Google and Apple signed a historic deal that pushes Google results sets onto even more devices than ever before. Google search results will replace search results generated by Bing on versions of the personal assistant Siri found on Apple’s iPhones powered by iOS. Though financial figures behind the agreement were not revealed, a previous agreement between the two companies to provide Google search results on other iOS devices is thought to be worth billions per year. Two important signals stem from this agreement. The first is the rise of the digital personal assistant (PDA). The second is the unmistakable importance of mobile search for both Google and Apple. It is honestly hard to determine which is the more important of the two. Digital personal assistants […]

Armchair Economics – Reality Based Fandom

September 22nd, 2017|Comments Off on Armchair Economics – Reality Based Fandom

I’m an armchair economist. I have little formal training in economics beyond the generalist survey courses most university students select before deciding what they want to major in when they grow up. Nevertheless, I find the machinations of any given economy fascinating. As a spectator sport, economics has the fine detail of baseball mixed with the speed and brutality of hockey, the long-game passion of European football and the regimentation of American football. Armchair economics is reality based fandom. For entrepreneurs, armchair economics is both a form of fantasy sport and an important part of business planning. All entrepreneurs dream about the future. Developing an understanding of how the world works is an essential part of foreseeing the future and the ability to foresee the future is one of those things that separates an entrepreneur from everybody else. It would be no good to develop a business making green widgets […]

Business Planning in the Face of a Trade War

September 15th, 2017|Comments Off on Business Planning in the Face of a Trade War

Canada, and more acutely, the Province of Ontario, is poised to enter a trade-war with the United States over the extent of Buy American policies and the threat of their imposition. At a time when the foundational trade agreement outlining cross border business in North America is being renegotiated, Ontario’s Premier Kathleen Wynne and US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross have been exchanging threats while assuring all who’ll listen that nobody wants a trade war between Canada and the United States. The stakes are high for Ontario, as they are for many American states. Believe it or not, Ontario runs a trade deficit with the US. We import more from America than we send down. Last year alone, Ontario exported over $166,178,161,000 worth of goods to the United States while we imported goods worth total of $189,068,119,000. That left Ontario with an approximately $22 billion trade deficit. If measured simply dollar […]

What does “Buy American” Mean?

September 1st, 2017|Comments Off on What does “Buy American” Mean?

The phrase, “buy American” has sent Canadian business people into bouts of the night terrors for over a century. With a relatively small population strung out 200km deep along a 4500km long sea to sea strip, Canada is, at the same time, both too big and too small to sustain a domestic consumer market capable of creating and maintaining middle class incomes. Without free and unfettered access to the vastly larger American market, we will wither much faster than we care to contemplate. North of the 49th parallel, the phrase Buy America is oft heard as “Don’t buy from Canada”. After the terrorist attacks on Manhattan and Washington DC in September 2001, and more recently after the election of Donald Trump as President in November 2016, the phrase Buy American was used as a psychic tourniquet, a means of saying something simple that sounded meaningful and important.  The question left […]

A Serious Note on Security from Google

August 19th, 2017|Comments Off on A Serious Note on Security from Google

Earlier this week Google started issuing their final notices about the need to upgrade to the Secure Socket Layer HTTPS protocol, telling webmasters if they don’t secure their websites by the end of September pages in their sites will be prefaced with a security warning in the Chrome browser. The Chrome browser, which is made by Google, is used by 44.47% of Canadian web users. Naturally, most webmasters and site owners want to avoid such a warning given the chilling effect it would have on web traffic. Wanting to avoid a problem and knowing what to do about it are two different things. This post is meant to explain the basics of HTTPS, what it means, why Google is forcing the update, and the steps a website owner can take to comply. If you already understand the process, stick around for the word play. If you don’t, this post should […]

NAFTA Redux – Renegotiating Prosperity

August 10th, 2017|Comments Off on NAFTA Redux – Renegotiating Prosperity

For over a quarter century, a set of trade agreements with the United States and Mexico have underpinned the Canadian economy and become the primary focus of the economies of Ontario and of Toronto. The original Free Trade Agreement between the US and Canada was signed thirty years ago and expanded to include Mexico in the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement. Before an agreement was in place, North American trade was subject to a patchwork of tariffs, quotas, and often arbitrary duties imposed on goods and services that crossed some of the longest borders in the world. Since the agreements were ratified, three of the world’s largest and most dynamic economies have virtually integrated with each other, forming the one of the largest and most prosperous trading blocs on Earth. Starting one week from today NAFTA is being reopened and renegotiated. Though economists suggest the vast majority of North […]

A Big Business Centre – Many Spaces for Different Needs

August 3rd, 2017|Comments Off on A Big Business Centre – Many Spaces for Different Needs

What do a bunch of insurance actuaries, employment consultants, lawyers, employment recruiters, IT start-ups, non-profits, notary publics, immigration consultants, talent agents, modelling companies, photographers, web design firms, and even a couple international airlines have in common? It is something they share with several non-profits, charities, unions, and several professional standards bodies. Each of these businesses shares the same business address. These are some of the types of businesses found when conducting a Google search using “1 Yonge St. Suite 1801” as the keyword query. Established in 1980, Telsec Business Centres provides office space and professional services to hundreds of different businesses in hundreds of different sectors. Working with so many businesses ranging across so many interests and professions has taught us a bit about the other things all businesses have in common. All businesses are built to grow and they all need a stable and positive base to grow in. […]