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Unapologetically Canadian
Unapologetically Canadian

Episode 43 · 11 months ago

Technology's benefits and risks with Glen Sharp

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, I talk about continuing to grow despite a worldwide pandemic. I also interview Glen Sharp from Sharp Innovation Solutions about the risks and benefits of technology, the importance of developing your personal assets and the importance of local communities.

My name is traciarial and I am anapologetically Canadian I wentrial and yesterday the governmentcomeback extended our state of emergency until the member twenty eight.The government wants to get the provinces active cases from an averageof a thousand a day to about five hundred a day or less beformeermeasures will be losed, no one's even talking about thePossibitioo zero cases in Canada, s matter of fact. Only noneof it has no cases at all. The NORFEX TERRITORI ES the NEUCON andPrinciderwok island have fewer than a hundred cases each and every otherprovice, but every other PROBEC has to worry Quebec otario Albert embrish companyout have out of confrol situation. Thit's Quebec, where I live, has morethan a hundred thousand nine hundred and twenty two pases since the pandemicbegan ind Ontario at seventy one thousand two hundred forty four cases,Alberda twenty five thousand, seven hundred a thirty three cases and BC.Thirteen thousand three hundred seventy one cases worldwide. More than a million peoplehave died of covid nineteen so far, and two hundred and fifteen countries haveepinemics underweay. It really is a global pannemic, Canada.Its thirieth on the list of the number of cover cases that they've had sincethe beginning of the pandemic, the US, India, O Brazil and Rasshell Russia-take the top four spots: France, Spain, Argentina and Colemia all have morethan a million activ cases. Indonesia and hungry hungry are facing multiplecases. This week around the world, ten million four hundred fifty threethousand and ten people have the virus right now, discretionary travel is banned. In manycountries restrict intry to emergency situations. Only Europe opened its borders in July tosome countries, including Canada, but they just close the border to USlast oneday. Now it's only Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, where WandaSouth Korea, Thailand and Eurugre who can enter the our opinion at this moent.So why am I telling you all this? Is this a doomsday episode I caught ina circle of hell and I just have to share? No IT S. do know that I'm just telling you and me for thisjust to keep moving forward, keep figuring out how to serve your clients,best, get up dust yourself off and figure out how to do what you do evenbetter. Get yourself up. That's yourself off keep figuring out how toserve your clients best. It's changing. I noticed that this Thursday, the cityo Montreal, will be planning to announce their decision to convert adowntown hotel to a homeless, shelter until March, which will add threehundred a D. Eighty macione SEC to the current supply, shelters in Edmonton,Kitchen Ara, Torto 've already had similar initiative sense, O pandemicyet again, and I'm there are other initiatives spreading across thecountry. So far, all the auctions are temporary, but you can imagine if theapademic goes on. Some of these options will become permanent solutions,especially because so far the results with the vulnerable hopulations arevery, very good, although I have seen reports of neighbors being a little bitfrustrated with their communities having so manyvulnerable people pulled in all at once anyway. But what I want to say today isthat, if businessers serving the most vulnerable, Canadians can change howthey operate, to make their clients happier and to fill their missionbetter than surely as creators. We can do that the same thing. So my questionis: How do we do that, and I have a few answers so far, but I'd love to hearhow you're doing it too. So first, we...

...have to remember why we do what we doand why people need us. This is a scining that you love what you do.Obviously, if you don't love what you do, you need to find a new strategy sothat you do love what you do so that you can s that you can be obsessive about allthis stuff. Like I, for my part, I'm convinced that Canadians have theessential attitude, skill and upbringing collectively to make theworld a more cooperative, diverse, peaceful and vibrat place, and I'mpassionate about discovering and telling stories about how we've thrivedand grown over the centuries, including through many of the world's mostdifficult points of time, how we learned to use the best natural andimaginative resources at this a earth offers. How can we work together tomake everybody better off, remembering that core belief gives me astrength to keep finding a way to tell our stories? Well, I also think we haveto put structures in place so that we have the tools that keep us movingforward so that, even when days get tough, we can keep growing. In my case, my structures include acreative entrepeneurial business model with multiple facets: Business Partnerswho share my passions, coaching and training from other successfulentrepreneurs, the ownership of almost all my own copyright, a Home Office. SoI can determine my own schedule, four website home basis and lots oftechnological tools that allow me to create distudent and sell productsanytime. Most of these things didn't even exist five years ago, and if theydid, I wasn't using them to their ful potential. Can you imagine how creativework will change in the next five years? I can't, I think it's tating so fast,but I'm trying to imagine it anyway for a five year strategy that plans thatI'm doing for the businesses that I'm involved it. I find a lot easier to beflexible in situations if I have a written version of what I expect tohappen already and if you get the Profil, you have heard a bit about thisbefore now to make these plants even stronger.I've added two parts to every business plan, short term strength and potentiallong term wins so right. Now I just like to talk aboutthe short term strikes that we all need to consider. How will we support clients stuck athome? That's the big question. I think that education and entertainmenttogether have never been so necessary from my part. I have committed tocreating and publishing our stories and to teaching others to do the same. Let me know what you're doing. I thinkit would be really fun to ty and share what people are doing in strategies toteach to make people's home life a little bit more exciting. I haven't even some ideas of takingpeople on tricks with me, virtually of course, anyway. A lot of the companies whichI'm involved with are updating our business plans, updating our websites,updetting o virtual projects and trying to figure out how we can actually serve people better in the Times thatwe're in an matter of fact, I just invested inas Om professional account for the next year to make things happen online morereadily. It's pretty clear that I need to Omy game when it comes to onlineactivities. So let me know what it is that you're doing in the procolmen Bila and that's why I'm excited to presentan interview with Glen Sharp from sharp innovations. Glen is a project managerand technologicall expert and he's got a new course coming out about zoom, soglen, maybe ou could start by interve introducing yourself. Okay, thank youTracy. So I've been working for quite a few years in the information technologyarea, and my business is really focused on leveraging the abilities of theinformation technology to allow us to become more innovative and creative inwhat we do, and one of the big things that I'm looking at is the training ofpeople so that they can take advantage...

...of all of these opportunities that thenew technologies are bringing to the forefront. So it's something what Icall intelligence augmentation, where it can actually make us, enhance ourcapabilities through leveraging the use of technology and, and I've introducedthat with the the intent of getting people to realize that maybe artificialintelligence wherewe're looking at information technology as as being kindof a threat for people because it could replace people, is that we really arein a unique point in history, where we're finally being able to interactwith computers in ways that are much more natural. And so we can augmentintelligence generally, rather than try to use these technologies to replacepeople. Well, and this podcast is a perfect example of that. This is thekind of thing that couldn't have been done even ten years ago. You know I'min my house, you're in your house and we're having a conversation and it'sbeing recorded on your computer and my computer. At the same time, and at theend the system will download it on to my computer and then I'll be able topublish it as a podcast it. You know. This is the kind of thing that in the S,when radio started that you know it took entire rooms to do what we'redoing just sitting here from our from our desks. You know yeah and it'screated all sorts of opportunities for entrepreneurs, because the whole modelsof way people do business. It's it's a really should not be underestimated.What a radical change it is. We don't have the gatekeepers to the same extentas there was in the past, where you kind of had to get permission topublish a book or permission to do a video or permission to be for people tobe able to see or work and now there's technologies that are allowing us to bemore expressive in multimultiple medias, and we don't need anybody's permissionto do that. It's up to us to just do it yeah, and I know one of o. The thingsthat you really care about is education, and I was lucky enough to see apresentation that you did about zoom and improving your your presentation, skills on Onzoom.Can you talk a little bit about how your business has changed because ofthat focus? Well, this has been a long time interest for me. Actually it'sbeen about over thirty years that I originally did a paper. I got veryexcited about the potential of what computers could do, and so I wrote apaper about computer conferencing which, which is the term that I used. Then people were very skeptical at that time.That video highspeed video over the Internet would be impossible to do.We'd never have enough fan with to be able to do that kind of thing. Thetechnology just wouldn't be able to support it and, of course, now we'reliving that every day and zoom popularity and other companieshave video services as well is just skyrocketing because it's needed somuch, and you know it's would be something that we should really askourselves as what would we be doing in this current situation with thepandemic and social distancing if we didn't have this kind of technology atour hands to be able to interact with other people yeah? No, it's truebecause, culturally, it's been a real shock for people to have to wear, masksand to be distant, and I mean here in Quebec we usually kiss each other oneach cheek. I don't think that's going to be coming around for quite a whilewe're taping this now in August, two thousand and twenty the lockdown in Canada has been we'vebeen opening up from that, but still there's been social, distancing andquite a lot of measures taken to try and make sure that people can protectthemselves and, as you say, most of us, if we're, if we've beenable to work, there's lots of people who haven't been able to work at all.But if we have we've been relying on...

...digital technologies of all sorts,whether it's zoom in order to hold meetings orwhether it's Square in order to take money or you know, unless it, you knowwhatever you're doing, pull have been relying on technology to make itpossible yeah- and I think one thing I'd like to mention- is just that a lotof times when their discussion comes to the subject of innovation technology.Innovation is only one aspect, though, and most people think of innovationterms of technology, but there's a lot of innovation that has to happen abouthuman behavior and how we use the technology, and one of the things that is can be verysurprising, is that the technology can be used in ways that people neverthought it would be used, and that's one of the areas where most of theinnovation can happen of people getting creative and using the tools in waysthat can create new businesses and new types of business models and allow usto do things that weren't even possible before yeah. Well, we've seen that,with some of the creative ways that people have producedmovies in this particular pandemic. You know people are taking their phonesand theyre. Do it going in there and they're pulling it into into variousforms, Tho they're creating an entire new. It's almost like. When do youremember the Blair rich, which project Wou Haw that Changed Cinematography?This has also changed. All sorts of art forms there's musicians all acrossCanada, playing on whomere doing concerts where each one of them is intheir own house, but they're presenting it together I mean it's: There's thecreativity in this patimic as definitely been one of the bright spotsin a very scary, frustrating difficult situation. Well,I'm very excited about the future, I'm a grandfather, and I have grandchildrenthat they don't know it being any other way than what we're living today and sothey've seen. You know we have a channel, for example, facetime channeland we're constantly sharing videos and photographs, and so that's normal for children in this age to have an channeland to have a youtube channel, even let's say at a young young age, and soit's totally natural natural for them to perform yeah and express themselvesusing all of this media. Wherein the past I mean you had to be a televisionpersonality, Wer, you had to be a radio broadcaster or you needed to be a newswork at a newspaper to write news and all of that's been what you know youcould call it democratized that anyone who is so inclined can learn how to dothose things and express themselves in much more rich ways: yeah. Ah Well, it's true and creativityis really taken. A is really blossomed. Under that I meanI know my son He's in his Tis and he's down e. Youknow he's been he's built, CNC machine and he's got threed printer and all sorts of thingsdoses. I mean I basically have a little manufacturing plant in the basementthat you know years and years ago, that would have been a huge building would have beenrequired to produce the same kinds of of items it. Human Creativity, I think, isreally being augmented by technology. It's true yeah and you specialize indoing that. Can you talk a little bit about some of the successes you've hadwith Your Business? I know that you specialize helping people create brandsonline, and can you talk a little bit about one of the success stories? Maybeyeah? I think you know the IT. It varies, there's quite a few differentexamples that I could give. You know one recently just helpingpeople with their their websites and their emailcapabilities so that they can have their own brand and they can own. Now.One of the things that I believe in is...

...that people should have their ownhomesite, that's their own brand, that they control, rather than onlycommunicating using media social media, they have their own capabilities to control their identityand their brand. So that's something that I believe in you know. Social media has its advantages, but I actually somewhatthis might be controversial with some people, but I don't recommend that myself. I think that's a bit of a trap to use social media because it's thereand it's free and it's easy to use to rely on it completely yeah. No, Iagree with you. I have TRACERIALCOM, and I've had that since I did'vuilt myfirst web page in one thousand nine hundred and ninety five using just hdlscript, and for just that reason, because, as a as a creator, I've always understoodthe value of copyright and owning your own land before you actually branch outand partner with other people, which is what you're doing with on social media.It's really you're creating a carp partnership with a corporation and thepower that they have and the power that you have is so your power is so muchlower than theirs. It doesn't take much for them to beable to remove you entirely from their entire platform yea. Now they couldchange the rules at any time to suit themselves. Yeah Thet may not do whatyou've actually created there. So I think it's really. I think I don'tthink that's controversy alall. I think it makes goodbusiness anse. You createyour own platform that you own and then you branch ou in partnership with otherwith whomever you would like to collaborate with, and that includes tome the social media players or media players. I mean, as a journalist youknow, I publish a lot of my work, has been published an I know, ther people'splatforms, so that's part of the reason why I've always made sure that I had myown as well, because I don't have control over what edits they do on mystory. For example, it gets published with whatever I mean lots of them.Don't do that, but some of them do- and you know I don't- have any control overthat- so it's nice to have my own platformtoo. So I think people elly need to think about Tayeah. Well, it's I thinkit's a very important principle that you have direct contact with the peopleyou're serving and wanting your audience so that somebody else is notin between or some other company is not in between and they have control overthat because I really believe in small businessesare the fuel of the economy and it's important for small businesses to havesome control over their identity and brand and their content that theygenerate yeah. Can you talk to me a little bit about what is challengingthat, like what solutions do you have to solve for people when you're tryingto get them to do this? For the first time, maybe well, I think one of thethings that some of it is fairly simple, but a lot of people don't think of it. Thatway. So you know I have conversations with people quite often where they say I'm on facebook and I've got thecapability of putting information on facebook. Why would I need in my ownwebsite- and so you know there- I think, that's part of the education aspect ofit to be able to explain to people why that's important. You know another onetoo for me, because part of my background isinsecurity as well. Is Getting people to understand the importance of privacy,because as much as all of the this newtechnology is wonderful, it can also be used for manipulation, and it can alsobe used to gather surveillance information, and so...

...there's not. I find that there's stilla lot of work to be done to explain to people why it's important that theydon't. They think that their information is not valuable and it isvery valuable and if you let it get into the wrong hands, it's leaving. Youexposed to manipulation which is not a healthy thing for individuals or society as a whole. Canyou talk a little bit about your most challenging failure and how yourecovered from that? In this, I is its landscape. The most challenging failurethat I've had is an interesting one, and I guess the thing about failure isit. I think the important thing is trying to learn from the experience, the one that comes to mind, because I think you know withentrepreneurs. There's you R, if you're, not failing in some ways, you're notreally trying to met enough lots of examples of failures, but youwere asking about the most challenging one and the most challenging one for mewas when I was working pretty doing quite a lot of work forthe local chamber of Commerce where I live, and so I was part of a committee. Actually, I was director in the Chamberof Commerce working in marketing and economicdevelopment, and we did some, I think, some of the things I'm most proud of don'twere done for the community to youknow we did break through things like developing a magazine for our localarea to promote local business, because, strangely enough, people don't evenknow about how great their own community is. Sometimes because there'snot enough publicity about that, and so there was so. You asked about failureand I'm talking about the great things we were doing. But the failure wherethe failure came in was that there it turned out. There waskind of a battle that was going on between amalgamation in Ottawa andthere was different chambers of commerce, and so I live in the Orleansarea and h. There was an Orleans Chamber of Commerce, so I was promotingthe Orleans Chamber of Commerce, not in opposition to the Ottawa Chamber ofCommerce, but just like. We need them to be independent and work together.That kind of model. Okay- and there was some other people for various reasons which is probablytoo long to get into. But their vision was not the same as myvision. They they basically sabotage the localchamber of Commerce and we're in favor of having an malgumation of all. Therewould only be one chamber of Commerce in the Ottawa region and that would be the whole of Ottawa with one chamber ofCommerce, and I was opposed to that. I worked very hard to try to have a different vision where you havemultiple chambers of commerce working together, but in ultimately, amalgamation happened and,unfortunately I was kind of proven right that it didn't work out well formy local area, because all of a sudden it got neglected and there was no promotion ofbusinesses locally. That fact, Mordins, where I live, is mostly known as asuburb and so t the a the prevailing attitude waswell we're going to build businesses in downtown Ottawa and the suburbs iswhere you go to sleep at night. Oh No, so that was very disappointing to mad,and so that I would say, was my most challenging failure. But I learnedan awful lot from that. I...

...realized that I had you kN W. You know you need to whenyou're working to I'm more determined than ever to build communities. Ibelieve the importance of communities is is paramount. We need to you know, being an entrepreneur can bea very lonely job. Sometimes you feel like you're all alone, and nobodyunderstands right right and you need to work with other people that dounderstand which our other businesses and there's a lot of things you need todo in a cooperative manner, and so I'm still very devoted to that. I'm just challentchanneling that in a different way, Nig because there's a lot of onlinecommunities- and I think this is actually an emerging thing from my perspective. Yeah, it's quite exciting. What'shappening, it is Ighand, it's ony just recently that some of these communitiesare really popping up like and when I talk about communities, I'm not talkingabout like I'm talking about something withmore sophistication than just. You know facebook group right, although afacebook group can help build a community, it certainly isn'tby itself a community. That's for sure, yeah again, it's interesting because I had avery similar experience, hering for done, which is now a borough within thecity of Montreal which it became. I was actually quite against it joining thecity of Mentreal, and that happened in two thousand and two, but in the endthe community is almost stronger because we have such a. We have. Westill feel like a small town. We still collaborate quite closely, even though,and yet we still benefit from the larger being part of my traial. So I do think that neighborhoods can become their own trick, maintaintheir own identity if the people within them and work together. Well, I thinkit's it's very interesting topic actually, because a lot of the dialoguethat's happening with the pandemic, because you know thewhole world is experiencing this all at the same time is: There's this wholethere's this pushing pull between nationalism and globalism and then on asmaller scale or more local scale. You know, there's the local governments andthe provinces and countries, and and what's the good mix of interactionbetween thes and sometimes it's very, it almostseems like a paradox of saying you know,think global, but act local and things like this o but yeah, but there's sometruth to that. I believe in it anyways that you have to appreciate your localcommunity and also participate as a global citizen and there's ways to do that. Well, actually, I think that's a goodsegue to the last question that I always ask which is: Do you canconsider yourself, Canadian and if so, what does that mean to you? Well, Ivery much am a proud Canadian. Yes, I am because I think I you know talking about what we startedwith the conversation about how in the pandemic, some people areaffected more than others. I think Cananada has done a better job thansome other parts of the world, and so I'm very proud of my fellow Canadians thatwe've helped each other out and and done responsible things to avoid the pandemic spreading evenfurther, and I think that Canadians, you know it's a bit ofa stereotype, but I think we are not only fortunate n in the all tthebenefits of being Canadian, but there's a lot of qualities that are associatedwith Canadians that...

I try to follow to you know beingpolite being humble having openness, courage and resilience interest inother people and other countries. So I think Canada has gotten quite agood reputation in the world from what I've heard you know having a Canadianflag on your backpack, you, you get a good reception in different parts ofthe world, which is you know the Canadian reputation, so I'm proud to bepart of that. Well, thank you. I so appreciate your time and talking to meabout Your Business and about your life and I'm looking forward to seeing it at ournext networking invet that, thank you very much ill. Thank you. Tracy, thank you for listening toanapologetically Canadian. Please consider supporting our podcast for toeninety nine. A months join, select listeners and get additional episodesevery month.

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