Kristina McDougall

Website URL: http://artemiscanada.com

07
Feb 2018
There is a wave of change coming and it is going to have a big impact on how we manage our businesses. What was a general push towards diversity in 2017, is now heated conversations around safety, respect and accountability, most publicly as part of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. And while the conversation has centred around women, it points to a need for change in the level of basic respect for our colleagues and employees.
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02
Nov 2017
The Waterloo Region has been gaining momentum as a destination for both talent and for global companies looking to tap into our entrepreneurial culture, university research, and highly capable workforce. But as a community full of people with small town roots, and with a dedication to the success of our home-grown companies, corporate newcomers will only be embraced if they demonstrate shared values. Amazon’s call for bids to build out a second HQ (#AmazonHQ2) has sparked passionate opinions about whether this would be really good or really bad news for our community. With our unique view on the talent pool, I have some thoughts on how Amazon, or any newcomer, can ensure a welcome and become a valuable corporate citizen.
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26
Jul 2017
Have you ever noticed how some people are just luckier than others. They always find great deals, meet interesting people who open doors on cool opportunities and come up with the brilliant, game changing ideas. I’m practical and don’t believe that some people are just born under the right alignment of stars. Luck is something real to be sure, but maybe it's something that we can develop in ourselves - and it’s definitely something that we can look for when we hire for our teams.
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18
May 2017
Last week, the Kitchener-Waterloo tech community was excited to welcome the Netflix HR Guru Patty McCord. As keynote speaker at Communitech's Tech Leadership Conference, Patty's talk was crammed with authenticity, humour and incredibly valuable lessons. Among many gems, her thoughts on retention really hit home. While most tech companies point to employee retention as a measure of successful HR and leadership, Patty dismissed this notion entirely. She sought to make Netflix a great company to be from.   "Most tech companies have a four-year vesting schedule and try to use options as ‘golden handcuffs; to aid retention, but we never thought that made sense. If you see a better opportunity elsewhere, you should be allowed to take what you’ve earned and leave. If you no longer want to work with us, we don’t want to hold you hostage."   Tech companies evolve, and as they grow they hire people who believe in the mission, and who are great at the things that need to be done. At the same time, talented people move into roles where they get to accomplish important things. The move to where they are valued and where they get to use their strengths. As long as these objectives are being met, everything is great - but as soon as a company can't utilize your best talents, it's time to move on!

The growth of a company is a journey, and so is every individual's career.

Expecting that the changing needs of your business will align perfectly with the evolving strengths and career goals of any one individual is unrealistic. At various points along the way you need people with different strengths. You need innovators, builders, tactical execution experts, change leaders, and people who can scale-up process and operations. These are often very different humans. Yet leaders can take it personally when an employee leaves to pursue the next evolution on their path.  Even when that next step doesn't exist in their company or if they as managers have failed to discuss future plans. Many people feel stuck in companies that can no longer utilize their best abilities. When employees feel under-utilized they becoming disengaged - without realizing that it is ok, and not disloyal, to seek growth and fulfillment in another setting. An employment relationship isn't like a marriage - where ideally the two parties grow and evolve in tandem. A business will grow and an employee will also grow but not always in the same trajectory. Unlike a marriage, it is ok to just be good at the first 2 years, and then move on. So how does a company manage this? How can employers encourage people to follow their path without the trauma of turnover that disrupts the business?

The answer is in conversations that are transparent, honest and safe.

Imagine if your managers and teammates could talk openly about their career ambitions and their strengths, and the needs of the business. If each employee knew that their best talents were needed and valued, and that their career goals would be fulfilled - of course they'd stay. And the employer would have the ability to tap into their employees strengths to help grow the business. Without a manager fearing that the employee will resign without notice, or the employee fearing for the near-term security of their job, everyone could work together to ensure that there was minimum disruption - to the business and to the individual's employment.  There is a lot of anxiety around the "what if" possibility of an open conversation revealing that there may soon need to be a parting of the ways. This might seem like a big leap of trust, and perhaps unrealistic, but the alternative is surprise resignations, and unfulfilled, disengaged or insecure workers. So take a small leap at least. To the leaders, talk to your people about their strengths, and how (or if) they can do what they are best at. Talk about career goals and whether you can offer growth in ways that matter. And to every employee, know what you are best at and identify the areas you want to grow - then talk to your leaders. Whether your paths align or not, everyone will more quickly and happily reach their destination.  
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10
May 2017
Uber and their “culture of sexism”  may be fading slowly from the front pages, but tech companies are scrambling to review their official practices and unofficial workplace norms. We see now that a single blog post or GlassDoor rating can cripple your company brand. It’s a scary time, but we are (finally) seeing some serious focus on the culture of our tech community.
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27
Mar 2017
Recently a friend and local tech exec met with some top engineering students, and learned that as many as 60% had plans to accept jobs with tech companies in Silicon Valley. He asked a very interesting and complex question"What can we do to convince them to stay local and build a career here?"
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03
May 2016
When you’re looking for someone to hunt down new customers, land a million dollar partnership, find new investors or land the best executive talent, you need someone special. You need someone who will take up your cause and fight for it - sometimes against fierce competition and in the face of incredible odds.  This person must be resourceful, diligent, and fearless. Many would describe this ideal person as aggressive. I argue that, if you equate aggression with success in sales, business development or recruitment situations you will be sorely disappointed with what you find. I’ve met dozens of highly successful closers—people who sign million dollar contracts for undiscovered start-ups, land lucrative partnerships, or bring in world-class investors. They are all curious, competitive and confident. They can quickly sniff out a winning deal and like a dog on a bone, they find a way to make it happen. But is it aggression that gets them to the close? When I think about someone who is aggressive, I picture someone who is pushy and doesn’t listen to objections. Someone who uses bullying tactics to get the transaction done. But a great hunter is an incredible listener, someone who gathers up objections and finds creative solutions. No one wants to spend time with an aggressive person. When you send someone out to find customers, investors or teammates, they need to build positive relationships and be your ambassador. The great closer genuinely seeks to add value. An aggressive person makes you feel defensive and uncomfortable. If you do buy from them, you’re more likely to feel like you’ve been taken advantage of, or to regret the decision. The great closer, on the other hand, will build trusting relationships and leave customers and partners feeling overjoyed with their decision. Think about it. When you say you need someone aggressive, do you really mean someone confident, diligent, assertive and competitive? Do you also want someone likeable, who treats their teammates and customers with warmth and respect? Choose your words well, and don’t lose sight of the other positive traits that define a great closer and a great ambassador of your brand.
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06
Apr 2016
In tech hubs across North America, the success of innovation ecosystems hinge on start-up culture, where ideas and creativity that are free to blossom without the constraints of politics, red tape or inertia that exist within most big companies. And as these small and nimble companies emerge we see that they can disrupt existing markets, offering compelling solutions to customers, and exciting career opportunities for top talent, making it tough for large companies to compete. So, if you are leading an established big company, how can you stay on top of the technology impacting your industry? How do you develop innovative product ideas, or compete for talent that wants a creative work environment? It's likely that the very things that make your enterprise successful (the structure, process and policies that you need to be stable) will also stifle creativity and impede innovation. This is the quandry that gave rise to the Innovation Outpost. Clever execs from forward thinking big business are buildings teams of employees who don't fit the corporate mold.  Working outside the corporate environment, in eclectic offices located in the midst of the start-up ecosystem, these teams are building prototypes, challenging old assumptions and developing a unique culture. Here is how Communitech has described the Corporate Innovation program that is growing in Kitchener-Waterloo: The Communitech corporate innovation program is designed to help you harness your innovation potential by taking advantage of external models to supplement internal strategies. It allows you to shift your big brand culture and think like a startup, tap into fresh talent and ideas, create unlikely connections, speed up prototyping and significantly reduce the cost and risk associated with trying new things—all while staying true to your brand. Companies like GM, Fairfax, Canadian Tire, Canon, TD, and Deloitte have invested in this innovation strategy, and the results are starting to come together in real measurable ways - for customers, employees, shareholders and for the start-up ecosystem as a whole. Artemis Canada is proud to partner with Communitech and their Corporate Innovation Partners, to identify leaders within the community who can spearhead and manage the various Innovation Outposts. If you'd like to learn more about these unique and exciting opportunities, take a look at the general leadership profile and reach out to Kristina for more information.
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Artemis Canada – Executive Search

We are a boutique executive search firm exclusively serving Canada’s Innovation Economy.

Our partners are the inventors, builders and leaders who are changing our world, enriching the lives of their teams, strengthening their communities and delivering valuable innovations to global marketplaces.

Testimonials

"I have worked closely with Kristina for approximately 15 years, reaching out to her whenever we are searching for the hardest to find skills. She understands the industry, she’s smart, she listens to exactly what we need, and she never wastes our time. Kristina, and the Artemis team, deliver time and time again. When we need an external recruiter, I find it hard to work with anyone else!"

Pete Devenyi, VP Global Software Dematic

Contact Artemis

  • 22 Regina St. N
    Waterloo N2J 3A1
  • 519-594-0913
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