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Best of: Culture of risk: Are you willing to bet the farm?

This is the next entry in our “Best of” series, in which we venture deep into the vault to replay blog opinion and insight that has withstood the test of time. Today’s post hails from April 2011. We welcome your feedback. 

By Francis Moran and Leo ValiquetteCubes - 207 - BEST OF

In our various interviews for this series, one of the most elusive topics of discussion has been culture of risk. Elusive in that it strays into the realm of stereotype and generalization.

Can it be defined by borders, or is that a naive misconception? Is it somehow encoded in the DNA of one nation’s culture more than another, shaped and influenced by how much public policy favours free-market capitalism versus socialism, or all of the above?

There is no one simple answer. However, few would argue that U.S. entrepreneurs tend to have more of a balls-to-the-wall, bet-the-farm-on-a-brilliant-idea mindset than their Canadian counterparts, while U.K. entrepreneurs fall somewhere in the middle … most of the time. On the other hand, one could also argue that entrepreneurs in Western Canada tend to be more “American” in their mindset versus their peers further east, while the characteristics that best define Silicon Valley can’t be found anywhere else in the U.S. And then there are those Israelis, who have cast a mould all their own.

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Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

From all of us at Francis Moran and Associates, we hope you have a relaxing and safe Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. Regular posting will resume tomorrow.

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Great articles roundup: Startup fundraising, growth, performance, investors and marketing stunts

By Daylin Mantyka link

We’re startup-heavy this week for Friday’s roundup and have selected some great content from Forbes, Entrepreneur, ZDNet, the Globe and Mail and The Kernel.

We’ve got two great articles on raising capital and growing your business. We found an interesting post about dealing with non-performers in your company and another about finding that perfect investor for your startup. Finally, we’ve selected an interesting post on marketing: Was it a stealthy marketing stunt or was it a spy’s wallet that was found on a London train?

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Bringing the spies in from the cold: PR lessons for spooks

csec-crest-largeBy Francis Moran

Almost 20 years ago, I worked on a marketing and communications strategy for Communications Security Establishment Canada, the Department of National Defence surveillance agency that leapt into the headlines this week for allegedly snooping on a Brazilian government ministry. At that time — and probably still today — CSEC had two main functions, the signals intelligence, or SIGINT, stuff that is getting all the attention this week, and communications security, or COMSEC, which was responsible for making sure that the telephones and other communications equipment used by the prime minister and other high-ranking government officials was secure. It was the COMSEC side of the house that hired us because it was considering marketing its expertise to banks and other sectors in Canada that could benefit from the espionage-grade hardware, software and know-how it had available.

I believe it was the first time CSEC had contemplated lifting so publicly the veil that had shrouded its existence since its formation at the onset of the Cold War and that had earned it the moniker of “Canada’s super-secret spy agency.” To say it was a fascinating assignment is an understatement. In that pre-911 world, CSEC’s main headquarters across from Canada Post on Heron was a fortress. In a day when people could still drive their cars onto and around Parliament Hill and walk into the House of Commons public galleries without any security checks, it took 15 or 20 minutes to be processed through the security gate at the periphery of the compound. Once inside, red lights would be flashing everywhere to warn those working there that uncleared personnel were on the premises. I vividly recall that filing cabinets had huge red or green panels on them to indicate at a single glance whether they were still open — forbidden so long as we were in the house — or safely locked down.

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The ultimate marketing challenge: Final Fling helps plan your own death

By Maurice Smithfinal_fling

How do you get people interested in planning for their own death?

It sounds like the ultimate marketing challenge.

As Tom Farmer, the founder of KwikFit, the UK tyres-and-exhaust chain, once remarked, “Nobody wakes up in the morning and says ‘I wish I had a set of new tyres for the car’.” Very few of us really want to plan our own funeral.

But that convention is changing. Driven, perhaps, by the decline of traditional churches and the growth of agnosticism, people are more open to the idea of planning their funerals, just as readily as they might prepare a will or bequeath personal items to loved ones.

Funerals are becoming less religious and more like joyous celebrations of life. It’s not unusual to hear rock music at the end of a funeral ceremony these days. It is also becoming more common to find burials taking place in remote and beautiful parts of the country, with the deceased buried in environmentally-friendly cardboard or some other sustainable container.

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Recent Comments

  • The Future of A&R – Walabe : [...] http://francis-moran.com/marketing-strategy/top-10-questions-every-strategic-communicator-should-ask... [...]

  • Traditional Marketing is Dead – Long Live Bikini Waxer Marketing | Scalexl : [...] pointed out by Alexandra Reid on the Francis Moran website content marketing is becoming more and more like journalism. So, it is not just about the content, [...]

  • It’s Summertime…and the Networking is Easy? | THE MERRAINE BRAIN : [...] In fact, summer is perhaps one of the times least used to network, yet at the same time has shown to be the most productive time to network. People tend to be in a brighter mood compared to during the gloomy winters-especially where I am from in England! Networking needs to be fun and not approached as another chore, like mowing the lawn. (http://francis-moran.com/marketing-strategy/social-media-strategy-why-meeting-in-the-real-world-matt...) [...]

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