Sponsor Profile – It’s Understood Communication

Born curious and stayed that way. As a journalist, helped people understand their world. As an employee communication specialist, helped people understand their work. As a communication coach, help people understand their interactions. As a trainer of agile coaches and facilitators, help people understand each other. I love my work.

What made you start your company?

It’s Understood started, 15 years ago, as a web site – a portal for ideas about communication and conversation. Over time, people who liked what I had to say asked me to do work for them. And, surprise, some of them paid me! I was an accidental entrepreneur and it grew more solid with time.

Was there a single moment that sparked the idea for your company?

In my days as a journalist, I went to a workshop where we looked at our work based on its outcomes. I discovered that what I wrote or said was less relevant than how the audience understood it. I was not in the words business; I was in the understanding business. I still am.

What services/products do you offer?

It’s Understood’s learning programs focus on the first value of the Agile Manifesto, “individuals and interactions.” Our ICAgile-accredited courses in coaching and facilitation focus on the people skills needed for the agile workplace. Our newest course, Agile Fundamentals: Real World Agility, examines the foundations and rationale for agile practices and the mindset shift required to add value in an agile organization.

What do you see as the role of management in agile transformations?

I think the role of managers in agile transformations is to create an environment for doing good work. To do this, they need to understand what’s involved in agile work and resist applying outdated and inappropriate management practices. They can use some help with this. They also can make the business needs come alive and provide meaningful context for the people doing the work. They need to be interested and show their interest without “micro-managing.” They need to be ambassadors for agility and supportive champions of the people they manage.

What type of estimation techniques do you teach?

My specialty is communication, not code. I teach people to be very clear about what they say. An estimate is an opinion, an approximate judgment. It is not a promise. It is not a contract. It is not a fact. It is not a commitment. It is not something anyone should bet on. It is more accurate than a wild ass guess because it is based on experience and observation. We need to find a way to up-level the conversations we have about dates and find a way to satisfy both those who want dates and those who don’t want to lie.

What do you think is the most important innovation in your life, thus far?

Mobile phones. And Post-It Notes.

What book are you reading now.

I’m re-reading “The Geek Leader’s Handbook: Essential Leadership Insights for People with Technical Backgrounds” by Paul Glen and Maria McManus. It’s the sequel to “Leading Geeks,” which may be my favourite book ever.

Sponsor Profile – Rebel

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Rob Villeneuve is passionate about the Internet, its development, and its use. He’s an expert in Internet domains, hosting, infrastructure, and policy management. Before becoming the CEO of Rebel.com, Rob worked as a software engineer, a web developer, a small business owner, and a startup founder.
Rob actively contributes to global Internet policy through the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and currently sits on the board of directors for the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, which manages the .ca domain space.

Where did the idea for Rebel.com start?

Rebel.com isn’t new as much as it is a reimagining of something old. We had the name, and we liked it — but we didn’t have an identity, a culture, a brand, or really even a story behind what we were all about. We’d been running a successful business in our industry for 15 years, so it took some courage to make a change we knew could disrupt our customers. But taking our business to the next level meant we had to put more of ourselves into it, and we had to build something that we related to and that really drove us. We took a giant step back and looked at why we existed.

We wanted Rebel.com to reflect the bravery, thoughtfulness, humor, and audacious spirit of the people behind it. We wanted to make amazing, simple products and have a support team that left our customers smiling. We wanted to be in the business of inspiring people to contribute their ideas, knowledge, perspectives, creative pursuits, products, or services to what we see as the world’s bravest communication space — the Internet. We didn’t change the fact that we’re a domain registrar or much about our products and services, but we focused on a purpose and brand that motivated us to take everything to the next level.

And Rebel.com was (re)born.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

My degree is in computer science. In software, you’re trained to think about a problem from every angle, identify all of the variables, think through the use scenarios, and tease out exceptions. You analyze systems and simplify their function into models of layers and hierarchies. After a while, this becomes so natural that you can approach every problem this way.

It sounds like a lot of work, but it isn’t. Once you have a model, you can develop your hypothesis quickly and predict outcomes. My colleagues sometimes call this overthinking, but approaching problems from this hyper-logical space works for me.

What was the worst job you ever had, and what did you learn from it?

I’ve never really had a “bad” job. I started my own software and web business at 18, so if work sucked, then I was to blame. In fact, if your job sucks, you should fix it. If you can’t fix it, then move on. Either way, take control.

I did have a few strange jobs along the way, though. I bagged groceries, paved sidewalks, cleaned ditches, and worked office demolition. These jobs showed me that I would rather write software, and each of them encouraged me to fully dedicate myself to the craft.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. There’s so much value in being yourself because you own it, and customers are drawn to that. Customers can feel it. If someone understands why you’re doing something, you’ll be surprised by how excited he is to support you.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Agile Estimating and Planning is a book that I give people who are new to managing a team. It teaches them how to think systematically about the workload and challenges in front of them, and it is a great way to learn agile.

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?

Here are two people who have influenced me recently:

• Simon Sinek (https://www.startwithwhy.com/), the author of “Start With Why” and the leader of the “Why Discovery” course that followed
• Dr. Balaji Krishnamurthy (http://thinkshiftinc.com/people/balaji-krishnamurthy), chairman and leader of Think Shift (http://thinkshiftinc.com/)

 

Sponsor Profile – Technologia

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Since its creation in 1996, Technologia Training has earned its place as a leader among training providers in Québec. As the first ongoing-training centre aimed at professionals specializing in information technology, project management and human capital and management, Technologia offers a wide range of flexible training options including more than 300 courses delivered in public or private sessions, either in the classroom or online.

What was your mission at the outset?

Our mission is to contribute to the professionals success and to the economic growth of businesses by supporting, with our trainings, skills development. Stay a training reference with our 3 areas of expertise who provide a rich approach, still on page

What services/products do you offer?

Over 300 training courses in IT, human capital and management, project management

What is your favourite quote?

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

Who would you most like to have dinner with?

Barack Obama

Sponsor Profile – Youi.tv

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With offices in New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, You.i TV is revolutionizing the media and entertainment space with their app experience platform, You.i Engine.

What made you start your company?

After the launch of the iPhone in 2007, You.i TV co-founders Jason Flick and Stuart Russell saw a future where every experience, on every screen could be as fluid and immersive as the iPhone.

Was there a single moment that sparked the idea for your company?

The fluid and immersive animations associated with the original iPhone’s features (apps flying in, swiping left and right, etc.)

What is most fun aspect about your business? What is the hardest aspect about your business?

Most fun: Being able to powers apps for some of the world’s most recognizable brands, including Disney, TBS, TNT, CFL, and Sony Crackle
Hardest aspect: Constantly reimagining the TV space when it’s already in a high period of innovation and change.
What services/products do you offer?
You.i TV’s flagship product is You.i Engine, an app experience platform that lets TV and Media brands deploy video apps across mobile, tablet, game consoles, smart TVs, and OTT devices (Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, etc.).

Designers create the interface of the app in Adobe After Effects and then export their files into You.i Engine, which then converts the files into a single C++ codebase which developers use to integrate backend integrations and business logic. All front-end changes can be made directly within Adobe After Effects, and with the back-end integrations already in place, media companies can easily reskin the app for each one of the brands they own.

What do you wish you had known before you started?

How in-flux the TV space was. You.i TV didn’t see how fragmented the TV industry had become until 4 years into the start of the business. On the plus side, our technology is now seen as a game changer after media brands have had time to tamper with native development and static TV app templates. The former is too expensive and the latter doesn’t provide a stellar experience for users.

When did you open? Why at that particular time?

You.i TV started in 2008. After the launch of the iPhone, all eyes were on interface design and it was the perfect time to capitalize.

Sponsor profile – Scrum.org

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Based on the principles of Scrum and the Agile Manifesto, Scrum.org provides comprehensive training, assessments and certifications to improve the profession of software development. Throughout the world, our solutions and community of Professional Scrum Trainers empower people and organizations to achieve agility through Scrum.  

Ken Schwaber, the co-creator of Scrum, founded Scrum.org in 2009 as a global organization, dedicating himself to improving the profession of software development by reducing the gaps so the work and work products are dependable.  

Follow us on Twitter @scrumdotorg, learn more about Scrum and read more from our community of experts on the Scrum.org blog and Forums.

Sponsor Profile – Ottawa Senators Foundation

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The Ottawa Senators Foundation empowers children and youth to reach their full potential by investing in social recreation and education programs that promote both physical and mental wellness.
In partnership with the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club, alumni association, corporate partners and fans, more than $100 million has been contributed to thousands of initiatives and charities in the National Capital Region. We are proud to make a direct impact in the lives of so many each year. During the 2016-17 hockey season we will provide more than $1 million of support to more than 50 charitable organizations in the National Capital Region.

What We Do

The Ottawa Senators Foundation believes that investing in programs and initiatives that promote both physical and mental wellness in our kids is a critical priority. We are committed to ensuring that kids are given the opportunity to be active, engaged and to feel good about themselves. This is how we help.

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Social Recreation

Did you know that more than one in five local kids don’t have access to after-school sports, recreation or social programs? The Ottawa Senators Foundation has made a commitment to change this statistic by investing in facilities and programs designed to reach this group.

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Education

Did you know that at the Grade 6 level only 57% of students met the provincial standard in mathematics? The Ottawa Senators Foundation in partnership with the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club has invested in our community’s future through educational initiatives directed towards youth, teens and young adults.

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Physical & Mental Wellness

Did you know that more than 3.2 million 12-19 year olds in Canada are at risk for developing depression. Since 2009, the Ottawa Senators Foundation has pledged more than $1.5 million of support with charitable organizations focused on meeting the needs of families with children and youth suffering from various forms of mental health illnesses.

Roger Neilson House

Roger Neilson House is a paediatric respite and palliative care home dedicated to enhancing the comfort and quality of life of children and families in a time of need.Located on the grounds of CHEO, Roger’s House provides a comprehensive paediatric palliative care program with elements of outreach, residential hospice, pain and symptom management, grief and bereavement counselling and research.

More information can be found on our website: www.sensfoundation.com

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