Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Survivor: Tofino

Belated congratulations to CBC-TV’s Venture for winning a Gemini award this month. One of the Corp’s longest-running shows, Venture consistently proves just how fascinating business can be when you focus on the personal challenges of doing business.

The Gemini for Best Reality Program went to a Venture episode from last February, “The Town Doctor.” It showed what happened when Venture brought in a big-time U.S. marketing consultant to help three stressed-out small businesses in Tofino, BC (fabulous town on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Email me for my whale-watching pics off Tofino one blissful summer evening.)

Can Doug Hall deliver big-city marketing miracles for the town grocer, a cleaning lady and a whale captain? You have to watch the show to find out. I will look into whether they plan to broadcast the episode again.

A show like this exists at the very epicenter of journalism and blatant stunting. But it’s all the more valuable for that. Business is all about outside-the-box solutions – and the simple belief that we can shape our own destinies by thinking in new ways.

Kudos to Venture – a tiny little part of the CBC that actually “gets it” – for daring Canadian entrepreneurs to think bigger.

(A few years ago, we tried something similar at PROFIT Magazine. We had a contest where the prize was a chance to work with sales consultant Tom Stoyan [AKA “Canada’s Sales Coach”]. It would have been a great story if we had been able to match Tom with a company whose sales force could benefit from his mentoring. But the guy who won was a self-employed sales consultant. We never got the happy ending we had hoped for.)

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