Monday, April 1, 2013

Technical Product Manager

Our client, an industry leading innovative design and manufacturing company located in Barrie, Ontario is looking for a:

Technical Product Manager
Reporting to the Senior VP of Operations, the Technical Product Manager’s primary responsibility will be to manage the product through the product lifecycle, define the product vision and work closely with cross-functional groups to ensure the delivery of innovative and successful products for the company. 

Key responsibilities include:

1. Work closely with cross functional groups such as engineering, manufacturing, finance, regulatory, quality, sales and marketing to ensure revenue and customer satisfaction goals are achieved.
2. Develop product pricing strategy; ensuring revenue and profitability goals are met.
3. Manage the complete product lifecycle, from strategic planning to tactical activities.
4. Support product design and the product development road map as well as develop aggressive timelines for product development and market release.
5. Develop, propose and manage an operating budget.
6. Through on-going visits with customers and other forms of market research, obtain requirements for current and future products.
7. Work with engineering to communicate and develop product line extensions and improvements.
8. Develop product packaging.
9. Develop core positioning and messaging for the product including corporate and technical marketing collateral, application notes, FAQ's, product notes, user guides, field training presentations, on-line marketing content and demos.
10. Develop an understanding of the competitive product landscape (including market, industry and competitors) and analyze competitive strengths, weaknesses and opportunities.
11. Develop internal and external product education strategies.
12. Work cross-functionally with all departments to develop and execute a company-wide go-to-market strategy.
13. Support sales by providing product training, effectively articulate equipment features, functions, benefits and competitive advantages of the product line in the form of product demonstrations at trade shows and on-line seminars.
14. Participate in the development of innovative marketing programs and show event campaigns.


1. Bachelor’s Degree, Business Administration or Marketing preferred.
2. 5+ years’ experience with consumer product development and marketing management.
3. Experience launching products and changing product cycles for a consumer based products manufacturer.
4. Exceptional verbal and written communication skills, including presentation experience to large and diverse audiences.
5. Strong business acumen, with sound knowledge of management principles and practices.
6. Experience with monthly sales planning and forecasting within a product manufacturing environment.
7. Experience with MS office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook) and ERP systems.
8. Working knowledge of the ESA, WSIB and Health & Safety protocols and procedures.
9. Possess own transportation, passport and willing/able to travel overseas as required.
10. Product engineering background is an asset.

Interested applicants should send their resumes to:

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

12/12/12 Today is my birthday!

As this year draws to a close, I wanted to take the opportunity to make some observations and particularly on this special numerical date, which just so happens to be my birthday. 12/12/12 cool huh.

I find my work enormously gratifying because the ability to facilitate a successful career move enabling both employer and new employee to be happy is extremely fulfilling. I have some great clients who are a treat to work with and who constantly redefine the meaning of collaboration. Plus I meet such amazing people looking for work or career change who are just so motivating, which is quite simply infectious.  I can only hope that this great world of work continues well into the future. 

It has also been a year of major health crises for my dear family and friends and it’s at this time that I reflect and think that if it wasn’t for the familial glue of love that keeps me going, where would I be? I have a lot to be grateful for and it is this gratitude that keeps me going in times of challenge. So when times get tough… and they have, I am truly grateful to have the ability and passion to keep going. 

In fact, love is the magic that keeps everything going. A big thank you to everyone that has touched my life, for yet another great year, …still alive and well and kicking!  ;-))

So HBD to me!  You know this number sequence 12/12/12 is quite miraculous and it won’t happen again until the 2100s. Remember life is full of little miracles and they happen every day!    Love and light to everyone.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Does Gender Diversity Improve Performance?

When i attended the Womensphere in New York this fall one of the most important points regarding women in executive roles was brought to my attention via a recent survey from Credit Suisse. Namely:

Its about Gender Diversity...

Over the past six years, companies with at least some female board representation outperformed those with no women on the board in terms of share price performance, according to the latest study by the Credit Suisse Research Institute.

This is pretty heavy stuff, they have actually quantified the fact that if you hire women in executive positions, in this case at Board level, it will impact your organization beneficially. I would love it if more people would read this article and comment back. I welcome your feedback!   :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

How to Prevent 50% of All Hiring Mistakes

Hiring is too important to leave to chance. Here’s the problem: if you like someone when you first meet, you maximize their positives and minimize their negatives. If you don’t like someone, you maximize their weaknesses, and minimize their positives. If you can get past the first 30 minutes you can actually make an objective assessment. This is harder than it sounds, but here are some ideas that might help you:

How to Minimize Perception-driven Hiring Mistakes

1)   Wait 30 minutes. Hear all of the evidence, pro and con, before making any decision. In the case of interviewing, wait for at least 30 minutes after the interview starts before concluding if the person is a possible hire or not.

2)   Divide and conquer. Don’t give anyone on the hiring team a full yes or no vote. I use a talent scorecard listing all of the competencies and factors driving on the job success to make the assessment. I suggest that each interviewer be given only a few of these to “own.” During a formal debriefing session each interviewer is then required to substantiate his/her ranking on just these factors with evidence. This way the whole team makes the assessment, neutralizing the impact of biased assessments.

3)   Be more cynical with people you like. When you like a candidate you naturally go into sales mode, ask softball questions, and ignore or minimize negatives. To overcome this natural tendency, force yourself to ask tougher questions, digging deep into the person’s accomplishments that most directly relate to your job opening.

4)   Treat people you don’t like as consultants. Sometimes candidates are nervous, sometimes they’re different in appearance or personality, and sometimes they talk with accents you don’t like. And sometimes, these are great people. To find the truth, assume they’re great, and treat them as expert consultants. After 30 minutes you might discover they are.

5)   Ignore fact-less decisions. During the debriefing session, ignore assessments that include these terms: feel, think, like, dislike, bad fit, too soft, too aggressive, anything about personality good or bad, or the term “soft skills.” These are all clues that the candidate was interviewed through a biased filter.

6)   Don’t conduct short interviews, use panels instead. If you want to make the wrong hiring decision have 5-6 people each spend 30 minutes with the candidate, then add up their yes/no votes. Well-organized panel interviews (60-90 minutes) with 2-3 people each take less time in total and force objectivity.

7)   Conduct phone interviews first. Conduct a 30-minute exploratory phone interview focusing on major accomplishments before meeting in-person. This alone will minimize the impact of first impressions.

Note to Candidates: if you want to be assessed more accurately, make sure you're phone interviewed first, especially by the hiring manager. This is something I get all hiring managers to agree to as part of any search assignment I conduct, since I know how problematic the first meeting can be.

While team skills are essential (and everything else job-related), it's not possible to measure these while under the spell of first impressions. Interviewers typically seek out evidence supporting their initial reaction to a candidate, filtering out conflicting information. This is how perceptions become reality. By forcing a delay into the hiring decision, and demanding that interviewers justify they’re assessments with evidence, you’ll overcome this insidious impact of human nature. Changing perceptions starts by recognizing first how they change you.

Thanks to Lou Adler for this great instructional article.  ;-)))

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Inaugural Newsletter This is short but sweet...I have a Newsletter link for you. The July Newsletter has officially been launched and it was a team effort. Happy reading!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

New Interviewing Techniques

You can accurately judge a person by their shoes

I had to repost this. Just when I thought I had read everything about screening and assessing candidates.

It's true: You really can accurately judge a person by their shoes

It's casual Friday here at Workopolis and I am wearing slightly beat up brown wingtip boots. Does this mean that I am particularly aggressive? Yes, apparently it does. A new report by researchers at the University of Kansas has revealed that people can predict with a striking 90% accuracy personality traits of strangers based solely on their shoes. (And it turns out that ankle boot wearers are considered to be more aggressive.)
For this study, published in the Journal of Research in Personality, 63 participants were asked to look at hundreds of pairs of shoes and to guess the age, gender, social status and a variety of personality traits of the owner. For example, subjects were asked to determine whether the shoes belonged to an extrovert or introvert, a liberal or conservative, how emotionally stable the wearer was, whether they were open, conscientious and agreeable and even how solid their relationship was with their partners.
Obviously the participants were able to fairly easily guess the age, income and gender of the people who owned the shoes. More surprisingly, however, they were also able to determine ninety percent of the personality traits as well.
So, what do your shoes say about your personality?
Pricey shoes belonged to people with high incomes, and men tend to have more expensive shoes than women. Showy and brightly coloured shoes belong to extroverts, and shoes that are not new but have been well cared for are worn by conscientious people.
The most agreeable people tend to wear practical and functional shoes, while ankle boots (as I mentioned) are more the choice of aggressive folks. And apparently calm personalities choose to wear uncomfortable looking shoes.
People who lean more to the left on the political spectrum tend to wear 'shabbier and less expensive' shoes than more conservative people. Plain and boring shoes tend to belong to 'aloof and repressive' characters. Shoes that were new but still showed signs of extreme polishing indicated relationship 'attachment anxiety.'
Researchers pointed out that while people can always choose shoe styles to mask their actual personality traits, the volunteers for this study were unlikely to know how much their choice of footwear was revealing about their character.
"Shoes convey a thin but useful slice of information about their wearers," concluded the study authors.
So, what are you wearing? 'Aggressive' boots? 'Attachment anxiety' polished new shoes? Or scuffed 'liberal' loafers? Whatever you've chosen to go with today, you're apparently telling the world a lot about yourself.

- Peter Harris

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Womensphere Summit - New York

I know....I'm a terrible blogger. It's certainly not my forte. It's not just that I work 10 - 12 hour days, but whenever the creative writer in me is ready, I'm usually not at my computer but somewhere inconvenient . Some people have weekly blogs that publish with regularity and then there are publications like, U of T's engineering newspaper - "Toike Oike" that actually declared: ..."published every now and then". That always made me laugh. Well I'm just like Toike Oike,, you'll get a blog out me....every now and then.

So next week folks, the IC Solutions team is off to New York....Columbia University no less. Check out the above link to see full details of the conference. I went to the one in Oxford in October 2011 and was blown away by the talent and information that was jammed into a one day session. Some of the great and inspirational minds of Europe were congregated to inspire and be inspired. I decided that more sessions like these were mandatory for the psyche not just the workplace. So when I received news of another, just an hour plane ride away, I signed on in a jiffy!

I've decided in my dotage, that it's really important to just stop the treadmill of work every now and then, wrestle my attention and laser like focus away from work and do something completely different and joyful, like go and spend a day or so being inspired.
And hey...who doesn't want to go to New York!!