Formative years where the values and work ethic I live by were instilled in me by my parents and early employers - all entrepreneurs. Early years filled with great experiences in the outdoors kindled my love of camping and fishing. My Dad shared his passion for flying with me, and it became mine and continues today.
- The years in newspapers, gas stations, retail and RV manufacturing during High School and University.
- The years at college and university studying engineering physics and marine zoology.
- The years as an independent IT Consultant doing custom programming, computer and software training, and Local Area Network implementation and support.
All these experiences contributing to a background that equips me to step into many complex areas and gain a rapid understanding of organizations as ecosystems, their issues, and quickly bring logical and pragmatic solutions to bear.
Near the end of this era, I met Tracy, my bride and life partner, and we've been together as long as I have been consulting, building our family and a couple of iterations of the family farm. Deeply involved in our rural community, and long involved in 4-H, Head, Heart, Health and Hands is core for us and our girls as we give back and help the next generation keep family agriculture alive.
Fourteen years at Ernst & Young, working with hundreds of clients, travelling almost non-stop, and growing to understand and redesign business processes in countless industries and honing my craft as a management consultant, IT Strategist and complex program and project manager.
- I was mentored by some great people including Rick Cormier, John Kuss, Jim Taylor, Neil McKenzie, Larry Phillips, John Fallows, Gord Barefoot, Don Cummings and Vick Dusik, and am forever grateful for their fine counsel and leadership.
- Something has stuck with me more than anything over all these years from E&Y's mission at the time: Clients First.
The six years of grand adventure with Turnkey/TkMC.
- For me, TkMC was to be a firm our grandkids would be proud of.
Co-founders and Partners Don Schurman and Don Cummings were amazing guys to work with. We became "the little firm that could", building a nationally recognized brand, innovating shared services concepts and being recognized as Entrepreneur of the Year finalists in 2002.
- TkMC included a major operational role for me, acting as COO/CIO in addition to being a client delivery Partner.
- TkMC was a magical place where I truly learned about the power of organizational culture from our people. What else could one do in a firm where the mission statement was "Kickass People Who Solve Problems?"
- TKMC's energy was infectious and every day was fun coming to work and seeing our people grow and pursue their destiny. Nothing ever stopped us from solving problems because our people just weren't constrained. I want to get back to that future state, and imagenterra is the vehicle.
- Ultimately, we sold TkMC to Sierra Systems as the founders grew personally and our paths diverged.
- 3.0 also saw me starting to really grasp giving back to my community. I was involved before, but my TkMC Co-founders helped me discover just how much of a difference we could make in our community, and I've been involved in many causes ever since, and continue to look for more.
Six years at Sierra after their acquisition of TkMC, then more at KPMG, as an IT Strategy Delivery Partner in both firms, leading teams solving client business problems.
- At Sierra, everything I knew about imagenterring went into a few projects, including the creation of http://www.Reserve.AlbertaParks.ca, a crowning achievement in the application of future state visioning and geospatial shock and awe to an industrial scale business problem. An award winning example of "impossible is nothing" and "beginning with the end in mind" delivered by an amazing team at Silvacom, Sierra and Alberta Parks that I was proud to inspire and lead.
So here we are at 2014 - some 30 years into the profession. imagenterra is a new chapter for me as I head out on my own again, focused on clients and my own unique value proposition to them, unencumbered by anything.
In case your're wondering about the brand, imagenterra embodies me, what I do, and how I do it. It's pronounced "imagine-terra", and it's mikespeak for:
- I work for you. I can help you conceive and bring about the kinds of alliances and partnerships that are so critical to achieving breakthrough results in tomorrow's world.
- The era of the imagination-inspired-agency has come. We can't solve today's problems with old approaches. Creative inspiration and imagination are critical to breakthrough thinking and solutions.
- In spite of a world moving rapidly to the Cloud, anchoring information to place and time has, and always will be, at the core of human existence.
- I've long believed that time and place-based informatics is the future of IT. Since the early 1990's, I have been incorporating advanced GeoSpatial technology precepts into IT Strategies.
- The inclusion of multiple pasts, present and potential futures is the next logical evolution of GeoSpatial. Using technology to keep track of what is occuring when and where on our planet, and the contributions (positive and negative) that we are making over time is core to real science and real understanding.
- Somewhere in there is a buried "Tera", and that's a lot of bytes - management of data, and its transformation into useful information is at the core of what I do.
- The process of applying unconstrained imagination and creativity, coupled with a vast predictive and experience-based knowledge of IT, to client business problems. It focuses on the improvement of business processes through fundamental transformation approaches that I've applied successfully over many years:
- Eliminate - get rid of processes that don't add value, that waste time and that don't produce results for customers.
- Informate - get information to the right place at the right time. If you have ever wanted to action something, but you couldn't because you didn't have the information right ... then your process wasn't informated well enough!
- Automate - good processes can be even better when automated by computers. BUT, as I'm fond of saying, "automate a mess and it just happens faster. "
- Replicate - learn from leaders - why not borrow some other organization's great process (without stealing proprietary IP of course). Imitation is the greatest form of flattery. You might just get an improvement, or perhaps a genuine innovation. Sometimes, you can borrow from a great process elsewhere in your own organizaion - this is why cross-functional teams are so important to innovation.
- Coordinate - getting the whole organization and its ecosystem operating in lockstep. Sharing information and timing milestones across an entire supply chain is a primary example in today's just in time world.
- Innovate - usually enabled by some fundamental breakthrough application of technology to processes, the realm of innovation differs from improvement by about 10X!
- Qualifate - The application of total quality management and measurement can take processes to the next level through assurance of repeatable excellence.
- imagenterrium - a fundamental element, and a key ingredient of the "secret sauce" essential to breakthrough business solutions. Really rare, and seldom allowed to flourish in many firms (it is unobtanium in most), it is a natural by-product of imagination, creativity and experience and I infuse it into every project I touch, and the clients I work with. It is the magic elixir of GREAT management consulting and solutions.
- imagenterran - a practitioner of the fine art of innovation through imagenterring and capable of generating and harnessing imagenterrium to define and design solutions to fully integrated problems.