The future of work is here


Here’s a great article by Leagh Turner, Contributor to The Toronto Star on Sunday January 3rd, 2021.

Take special note of the bolded section.

COVID-19 has accelerated changes in almost every aspect of our daily lives. This is especially true when it comes to the world of work, where we are in the midst of a sea change, with forward-thinking organizations breaking through decades-old paradigms to meet the demands of a more fluid and frictionless workforce.

Today, all organizations are trying to navigate these uncertain times, figuring out how to be more resilient and agile. The most successful will be the ones who are focused today on improving the employee experience, which drives engagement, loyalty and retention. And for good reason.

According to the Ceridian Pulse of Talent Report, 68 per cent of the Canadian workforce is looking for new job opportunities or would consider changing jobs if approached by another company. Eighty-seven per cent of workers younger than 30 are the most likely to be on the move.

As we look ahead, we see the future of work as borderless and fluid. We believe leading organizations will wholeheartedly embrace fundamental changes that reflect a more intelligent mode of working. In every other aspect of our lives, we expect everything on demand. Whether ordering a burger and fries to your door through Uber or buying a new bicycle from Amazon, we expect instant delivery. This is now becoming the same expectation for our work life. Employees expect job searching, hiring, onboarding, scheduling and pay all to be available on demand. In particular, we believe the notion of a fixed pay period will soon disappear as employees want to see exactly how much they’ve earned at the end of each day and want on-demand access to those earned wages. By enabling workers to access their wages as they earn and need them, employees will be less likely to rely on high-interest loan options. This will help ease stress levels at work as employees no longer oscillate between being cash rich on payday and cash poor as they near the next. We see a much more elastic workforce emerging, where people will work whenever and wherever they want. For employees, this means they will be able to work from anywhere, for anyone and at any time they wish. They may have a primary workplace — at home or a traditional office — or they may prefer a hybrid approach where they split time between a home office and their employer’s office. They may have one employer, or they may want to earn extra income through secondary employment channels. The future is about having the ability to work for multiple companies at multiple locations — wherever one’s skills allow them to add value. We see this happening already in pockets of the retail and hospitality industries. Employees will be able to go to any workplace, identify themselves, verify their right to work, validate their skills and backgrounds, and get paid as soon as the work is done. Who a person works for, and when and where they work, will be driven by a person’s happiness, productivity and financial well-being, rather than by some fading 20th-century notion of employment exclusivity. Free agency is the new norm for many workers.









Charities | Supply + Demand Funding Formulas


As I mentioned in my last charity related post, I get about 300-600 direct mail donation requests each year. Each charity’s direct-mail pieces encourages me to give more in two ways:

  1. They suggest donation amounts like:  $40  |  $60  |  $80. This is an old retail-upsell tactic: feature products at various price-points. While multiple price-points help people find a product that they can afford, it also frames the high and low ends of the product line. Because most shoppers don’t like to be perceived as “cheap” they move away from the low end; in this case a $40 donation, and give $60 or maybe even $80.
  2. They encourage me to make recurring monthly donations by credit card. 

In December 2020 I found more charities than ever were following up their direct-mail campaigns with a telephone call. This is another tried and true strategy that boosts DM response rates exponentially – if handled properly.

This year two charities really pissed me off. One called and the other came to our door. Both used the same lame excuse to argue an automatic credit card donation of just $30.00 per month.

We need you to make an ongoing commitment to enable us to plan & fund our current and planned initiatives.

I’m beginning to feel a bit hosed. Maybe they mean well but maybe they’re being managed by young, stupid people who discovered and adapted a “best practice” they found on-line. Except that I’ve see the same (high demand \ limited supply) strategy used by all sorts of (Ad) Agencies for over 40 years. It works like this: "to achieve our goals we need $XX,000,000 revenue with XX% margin per year. Therefore we need XX clients willing to pay us $XXX,000.00 per year – or about $XX,000.00 / mo.

It’s a great approach in a high demand market where you can pick the best (most lucrative) clients from all of the ones who call you and want to work with you or your agency.  

But 2020 was not one of those years for most companies, and 2021 probably will be another excess supply year - fewer calls and little new (high margin) business to choose from. 

In low demand (excess supply) years like 2020 and 2021 the better way for a charity (or an ad agency) to move forward is as follows:

  1. Look at how much I just donated.
  2. Look at your records to determine my cadence.
  3. Use a. and b. to figure out what my annual donation works out to be.
  4. Spend 1/12 of that amount each month.
  5. Repeat steps a. – d. for each donor.
  6. Add new donations as one-time "manna from heaven" events until you have a donation cadence to fall back on.
  7. Use your monthly + annual totals to sort out what you can afford to do in this lean year. 
  8. In lean years do what you can, for those you serve, and pray that the economy will rebound sooner than later.


Nothing lasts forever. Not the good times, nor the bad times. 



Knowledge is power – esp. with charitable requests


Recently I got a call from a charity that I really believe in and like to support. The charity’s representative was a polite, smart + articulate woman, called “Monika”, which was great because one of the main reasons I like and believe in this charity is that the woman who set up and runs this charity is so brilliant + dynamic. The purpose of the call was two-fold; to ask me to give more and to do so monthly. Monika began by telling me that the charity appreciates my generosity because it’s the larger donations that enable them to do more than keep their doors open doing the basic tactical stuff. And obviously, monthly donations are a big help when it comes to estimating cash flow and how much they can spend on overhead, the basic programs and their more ambitious projects. 

I thanked Monika for her perspective and then shared mine.

I get about 7 – 12 direct mail donation requests each week: about 300 – 600/year.

I toss them all. Three times a year, April, August + December, I make donations to the ones that I support. My annual income determines how much I give to each one each year. Being inundated by weekly requests to give (more) to a specific charity pisses me off. Instead of giving more to them, I give less – and less – and finally nothing. Getting follow-up phone calls and e-mails (with no e-permission) also makes me give LESS.

I encouraged Monika to take a this message back to the charity’s marketing managers + the brilliant charity’s director. 

Stop revolving your data base – grow it instead! Here’s how.

Send out a short letter. (example) 

“Dear Monika, thank-you for your generous donations. Larger donations like yours enable us to ramp up for the good fight that makes XYZ possible it today’s tough world.

We’d like to invite you to go to our website at and answer these four questions simple questions. 

1. The best way to reach out to you:  [  ] Don’t   [  ] D.M.  [  ]  Email  [  ]  Phone

2. The best way for you to donate:    [  ] Annually  [  ]  Monthly  [  ]  Other

3.  Other ways you might want to help:  [  ]  Time  [  ]  Used chattels  [  ]  Other

4.  Would you like to receive our monthly newsletter:  [  ]  e-mail  [  ]   snail-mail  [  ]  Neither." 


Print “4-question survey enclosed” on the envelop.

A short survey like this will help the organization’s marketing team make far better strategic + tactical use of their scarce resources. 




Say no to Black Friday November 27th

say no to black friday

Across North America everybody wants more for less – plus a lifetime guarantee. And amid the Covid 19 lock-down they want it delivered for free in 24 hours. To satisfy this insane and insatiable desire for more cheap food, goods and services, we’ve sent millions of jobs to China and India. In the process we've taught our kids that if you shop online you can find whatever it is you want cheaper. Not better, just cheaper. We’ve also taught our kids that many manufacturing jobs are not worth doing or having. And now they're impossible to do at all in North America because our workers would like to earn a fair wage - and rightfully so. But the desire for cheap, cheaper and cheapest products and services (rather than good, better and best products + services) has shut down industries and laid waste to cities, towns and individuals all across America and Canada. Where will this end?

When companies don't earn decent profit margins their foundations crumble.

  • They cut back on full time staff, training, development and benefits.
  • Full time staff is rehired as part-time staff with no benefits.
  • They no longer can afford to do research and development.
  • Without leading edge research and development their managers blindly follow the “best practices” of their competitors, and fail because they can't create or defend a relevant USP.
  • Part time staff juggles two, sometimes three, jobs to make ends meet. "Employee loyalty" dies along with their brand alliance - often because they can't afford the products and services they produce.
  • Because they are just making ends meet, time and money to support the arts in their community and those who are less fortunate also declines.
  • It impacts their time with family + friends.
  • Because the business is marginal, it has no rainy-day savings fund to get the business and the  staff through these tough Covid 19 times.
  • And the shit-list goes on and on and on.

As a business owner . . . why not charge a fair price and invest the profits in your people, your communities, your industries and your home and native land?

As a consumer . . . why not shop locally and pay a fair price so that the businesses in your community can invest in the community it serves?



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