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Changing The Staid, Regulated Canadian Banking Industry

It’s hard to create a splash in the staid, regulated Canadian banking industry, but that’s just what ING DIRECT CANADA did. Management built a winning brand and thriving business - and they did it entirely through innovation. As Peter Aceto, the company’s President since 2008 says, “We were trying to reinvent and re-examine every single thing that we possibly could.” ING DIRECT CANADA’s incredible long-term record of innovation is why…
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What If You Spent A Third Of Your Week Paying Attention To New Possibilities?

Hal Gregersen, Senior Affiliate Professor of Innovation and Leadership at INSEAD Hal Gregersen issues a challenge: “What if you spent a third of your work week paying attention to new possibilities? What if you took an intellectual step back to uncover what growth opportunities you might find? What would you do next? Are you always keeping your eyes open, looking left and right to see what’s there?” That’s how Hal Gregersen previewed his…

Dean Johnson | Career Path - Blog 1

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Early years: West coast ambitions Born in Saskatoon, Johnson’s family moved to Calgary when he was 5.  His father, Martin, was an economist who specialized in rate-based economics. He was self-employed, working with utility companies, including NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. (NGTL) and TransCanada PipeLines Limited (TransCanada). Growing up with two brothers, Johnson was competitive from the onset. He played golf, football, rugby and baseball.  In…

Dean Johnson | Career Path - Blog 2

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Becoming CEO - Twice Johnson stayed in the real estate sector for seven years. He did a lot of project/facility work until 1996 when the real estate department was outsourced to a company called the Trammell Crow Company, based in Texas. “I separated from Nova and transitioned to Trammell Crow. I kept the same office with the same phone but the pay increased. I quickly became the account manager, and then moved up to regional manager, handling…

Dean Johnson | Career Path - Blog 3

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Driving facility management Before becoming company president, Johnson went through rigorous interviews with the Sodexo’s group CEO and the head of HR as a relatively new and unknown team member. “I did have one thing going for me. When I first arrived a few months prior, I was fortunate to lead a high profile FM deal that put me on the company radar. I arrived at Sodexo in January and received a call in February from GlaxoSmithKline. ‘I have…

Dean Johnson | Career Path - Blog 4

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Impacting company culture as a new CEO Up until recently Johnson says he managed to push through problems without bringing people onboard.  All that changed at Sodexo Canada. “It’s a big organization, have 10,000 employees in Canada. What we went through over the last five years is really a cultural change. You can either influence people and engage them or dictate to them.” Johnson realized what Sodexo did as a company went deep within the…

Dean Johnson | Industry Perspective – Blog 5

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New market trends The outsourcing of numerous fragmented services didn’t exist 15 or 20 years ago. It’s a major industry in Canada that started with disparate services like food services and maintenance that are now rolled up into one and there’s no turning back. It drives value for the organizations that outsource and is a $35 billion industry in Canada alone. It began with companies like Crow, who managed contracts for food services, custodial…

Dean Johnson | Industry Perspective – Blog 6

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The distinctive aspects of working for a French-based company There are several cultural differences between English-speaking Canadians and the French. At times he says their messages come across in different ways and it’s important to understand the dynamics of the French culture in relation to other cultures – the Americans for example. “Multinational corporations must understand where Canada sits globally, if you’re going to run Canada.…
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