John McFerran

  • Challenging role: Forks North Portage staff need to be both specialists and generalists

    Jim August relishes the opportunity to promote Winnipeg whenever and wherever he can. In fact, the CEO of The Forks North Portage Partnership has been talking up his organization's mandate to "contribute to making Winnipeg's downtown a better place to live, work and play," and people around the world are taking notice. "I'm a member of The Waterfront Center (an international, non-profit urban planning organization focused on enhancing communities' waterfront resources), and recently did a presentation to the group on our winter river trail, with its skating and its warming huts. It blew them away, mainly because most had never seen ice on a river before," August says with a laugh. "But they were very impressed by what Winnipeg is capable of doing despite our climate."
  • Long haul 'family' Every employee is a spoke in the wheel at Bison Transport

    This spring, Bison Transport became a five-time grand prize winner of the National Fleet Safety Award (an unparalleled industry achievement) and was recognized as one of the Best Fleets to Drive For by the Truckload Carriers Association. Yet, as impressive as the accolades that Bison continues to amass, the company simply views it as business as usual. "There is a certain affirmation that comes with winning an award, but we see it as an outcome of what and who we happen to be. We don't try to model ourselves to fit any judging criteria. Whether we're recognized as one of the safest fleets, one of the greenest fleets, or one of the best fleets to work for -- that's just who we are," says Bison Transport president and CEO Don Streuber.
  • Cornering the market

    Unlike some businesses tempted to diversify as part of their growth strategy, Ted Sherritt's company has expanded simply by staying true to the one and only product it has made since 1961 -- countertops. "Making post-form, laminate countertops is where Floform started more than 50 years ago. It was an innovative product that the founders truly pioneered and championed and it helped them dominate the industry," says Sherritt, who took over as company president and CEO in 2000.
  • Introducing centralized system presents people challenges Diagnosing issues

    Every year, more than 15 million diagnostic tests are ordered from Manitoba's public sector -- and that's not including an additional eight to 10 million tests conducted in private facilities. "Eighty-five per cent of all medical decisions are based on some kind of lab or medical imaging result," says Jim Slater, CEO of Diagnostic Services of Manitoba (DSM), the non-profit corporation responsible for delivering public laboratory and rural diagnostic imaging services supported by over 1,500 professionals at 79 sites.
  • New leader can expand business by building on existing success

    Across the province, there appears to be a renewed focus on creating healthier, safer workplaces. With this increased awareness, it is fitting that Safety Services Manitoba (SSM), the foremost safety services provider specializing in full-service programming in occupational safety, road safety and community safety, has put a renewed focus on strong leadership. "Safety and related issues are everywhere, but at the same time, we also have a long way to go in terms of ensuring awareness and compliance," says SSM president and CEO Judy Murphy, who joined the organization in May.
  • Power in numbers: Opportunity abounds in large Hydro workplace

    One of the largest employers in the province, Manitoba Hydro employs 6,300 people from Churchill to Emerson, a fact that president and CEO Bob Brennan never takes for granted. "It's a sobering thought to know that you're accountable for the welfare and safety of 6,300 people, especially when they're working in an environment like a generating station or on a hydro pole," says Brennan, now entering his 22nd year as head of Manitoba's electrical power and natural gas utility, where he has spent his entire career.
  • FOCUS on the PEOPLE

    Ted Northam is running on a full tank. And that's a good thing, because as president and CEO of Polywest Ltd., the largest Canadian distributor of durable liquid-handling products for agriculture and industrial use, he needs a lot of energy to oversee the rapid growth his company is experiencing in its 16th year.
  • Urban renewal: From the ivory tower to street level

    The University of Winnipeg is the largest cohort of human activity in the downtown, with 15,000 students, faculty, staff and members of the community engaged on campus. "There's a critical mass of people here doing everything from studying to become scientists to putting on performances and attending basketball games. As a centre-of-the-city university, we are an activity hub with an economic impact in the hundreds of millions of dollars," says Lloyd Axworthy, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Winnipeg.
  • Creative marriage

    The Exchange District is shaping up as Madison Avenue North, with many creative firms setting up shop in the historic neighbourhood. Among the local "Mad Men" located downtown is Peter George, CEO of McKim Cringan George, the largest full-service advertising agency in Winnipeg. "I'd classify what we do as anything involved in the business of persuasion," he says, citing the creative work done for a broad range of international, national and regional clients by MCG's 35 employees at its Winnipeg headquarters as well as its Regina branch office.
  • Greater purpose Chamber staff realize they have effect on outcome

    In the early '90s, Dave Angus called the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce for help. As the owner of a small family business eager to expand, he'd run up against a snarl of rezoning red tape and couldn't understand the opposition to the plan. "After trying to get support elsewhere, I called the chamber out of frustration and immediately discovered they had an understanding of what we were trying to do," Angus says. "I was relieved to find a support group, which also turned out to be a peer-to-peer learning ground for me plus a means of growing my business network."
  • New at the helm

    According to the Global Health Council, more than 9.5 million people die every year from infectious diseases. Millions more die from secondary causes related to those diseases. The International Centre for Infectious Diseases (ICID) in Winnipeg develops solutions that target infectious diseases by improving disease-prevention strategies; enhancing biosafety and biosecurity in labs, hospitals and communities; and commercializing innovative products for public health practice.
  • Medical 'mayor'

    By definition, the campus of the Health Sciences Centre is a city unto itself, with nearly 15,000 people working, visiting or staying there as a patient on any given day. That makes chief operating officer Adam Topp the "mayor" of Manitoba's largest hospital. "I work for the 7,000 people who work here," says Topp, who is also COO of Grace Hospital and oversees regional programs such as diagnostic imaging, child health, clinical engineering, respiratory therapy and transport for the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.
  • Driven to success

    Aside from the distinct location of its head office at Brookside and Inkster boulevards, Maxim Truck & Trailer president Doug Harvey knows his company is positioned exactly where it should be. "I realized long ago that the world around us changes alarmingly fast, yet everything that we own, that we eat and that we have in our homes still comes on a truck and trailer. That hasn't changed. They'll never figure out how to send a load of lumber through the Internet," Harvey says. "This is a very good industry to be in."
  • Good attitude or bad: the choice is yours

    The first step in making a New Year's resolution is to realize the active role you play in your own life. No, you aren't the victim of circumstance. No one else is to blame for the fact that you have not been able to quit smoking, lose weight or save money. Only once you become aware of how many of your daily choices you control, you can take positive measures towards becoming a better you. When it comes to workplace resolutions, one thing that you do control is your attitude. Attitude is a choice. This might come as a surprise to those who believe that external factors such as unexpected experiences and encounters influence our moods and behaviour. But the truth is, your attitude is not happenstance; it's how we choose to respond to those factors.
  • Let's make this clear

    Credit Union Central of Manitoba is the trade association and a service provider for Manitoba's 41 credit unions. Under Manitoba's Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Act, CUCM's role is to manage liquidity reserves, monitor credit-granting procedures and provide financial, payments and related business consulting and trade services. In essence, it is the credit unions' bank. "I think it is crucial within an organization that there be clarity of purpose," says CUCM chief executive officer Garth Manness. "It sounds like a buzz phrase, but it's not. Clarity about why an organization exists and where it is going is key to ensuring employees feel good about what they do and it also helps them to understand how their role contributes to your success."
  • Learn to take a long-term, big-picture view

    Where would we be without big-picture thinkers? Likely living in a world without new inventions, original approaches or fresh, imaginative ways of doing things better. Big-picture thinkers (BPTs for short) have specific attributes that make them especially effective as leaders. Both inspirational and influential in presenting their ideas, they have the ability to take a long-term view, size up the totality of a situation, and show how the future connects to the present. For the rest of their team, this can make the journey towards the final goal more meaningful.
  • Flying high Passion for the business bonds solid management team

    Exchange Income Corp. president and CEO Mike Pyle was uneasy with the news that he had been chosen a finalist for Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of The Year awards, handed out this October in Calgary. "I was really uncomfortable because it implied that the success of our company is somehow inherently based on something I've done, when it's really something that should celebrate what our entire team has accomplished."
  • Face-to-face communication still best way to get job done

    In many ways technology has made the world smaller, but when it comes to workplace communications, it seems we've never been further apart. Don't get me wrong; there is plenty good about the speed and volume by which we can communicate via email, voice mail and instant messaging at work. Other than the fact that digital information can be open to interpretation, redirected and therefore, misleading. Not to mention that sending out one message to several recipients tends to delay decision making and makes it easy for the group to pass the buck and avoid consensus or commitment.
  • Be firm, fair when you need to discipline

    The war for talent, the high-stakes competition between organizations to recruit and retain the best employees, has some managers backed into a corner when it comes to discipline. The concern is that if the manager needs to reprimand a worker about a performance issue, the employee may retaliate by quitting their job and jumping to a rival company. However, if the manager ignores the problem in the hope it will correct itself, it can actually cause the problem to snowball.
  • You already may be sitting in your dream job

    Whether buying a brand new computer or a new car, it's pretty much a given that a faster, smarter, sleeker model will be out soon to surpass the top-of-the-line model you just bought. Thanks to the mindset that no matter how good we have it, something better is always just around the corner, it's little wonder so many of us have trouble with the concept of "wanting what we already have."
  • It's safe to hire people smarter than you

    Legendary ad man David Ogilvy once advised his fellow business leaders to "Hire people who are better than you are, then leave them to get on with it." While many managers have long shared this belief, others have questioned its wisdom. Why should you hire people who are smarter than you? Wouldn't they actually be a threat to your job?
  • Finding right fit Canadian Footwear wants staff to balance work, life

    With its familiar slogan We Fit You, Canadian Footwear is not only making a promise to customers, but also offering a pledge to the 100 people the company employs, says president Brian Scharfstein. "When people come to work with us, I try to meet with them at some point to discuss that if they cannot fulfil what they want to do through what we're doing, then they really shouldn't be here," he says. "Because we're very focused on lifestyle and life balance, it is just as essential that our people believe we are the right fit for them as they are for us. When they go home at the end of the day, they need to feel good about where they've been."
  • Don't underestimate value of good reputation

    In your first job, someone likely helped you learn the ropes by showing you what you needed to know, from the proper chain of command to the secret of using a moody coffee machine. But one thing probably not mentioned was that from that day forward, you began to build your professional reputation -- a reputation that would continue to grow and follow you for many years and many jobs to come.
  • Dealing with sudden death of co-worker

    A colleague's unexpected death can create a profound sense of shock and grief in the work environment. Quite often, the sorrow is expressed through words like "we've lost a member of our family" because it really does feel that way. We spend our days together, we form close, caring friendships and share in the joys and struggles of life as if we are extended family. Therefore, when a co-worker dies, it may hit people as hard as if they lost a loved one.
  • Emotions affect bottom line

    2222Those words were famously sputtered by Tom Hanks as the exasperated baseball manager Jimmy Dugan in the 1992 film A League of Their Own. Since then, they have been immortalized in many workplaces, from restaurants ("There's no crying in the kitchen!") to the corporate office ("There's no crying in the boardroom!"), signifying the importance of keeping a lid on raw emotion when there's a job to be done. But in recent years, there has been an about-face when it comes to emotions in the workplace. Thanks to bestselling leadership books such as Emotional Intelligence and Executive EQ, managers are becoming more aware of the link between employee emotions and decision making, creativity, teamwork and yes, even job performance.


Are you going to have a Grey Cup party at home?

View Results View Related Story

Ads by Google