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PWH Blog - Insights

  • 04/29/2020 2:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The COVID-19 outbreak has quickly moved several office employees to remote employees. As we adapt to the work-from-home lifestyle, we must continue to do our part to protect your business’ proprietary data. This document provides some basic guidelines to help keep company information safe when you work outside the office.


    The NDC Security team recommends you do the following when conducting business electronically from outside the workplace:

    1. Install and run anti-virus, anti-malware and a firewall on your personal computer.  Windows comes with free tools that you should use.
    2. Do not use unsecured wireless networks. If you are using a HOME network, then be sure it is password protected.
    3. Do not keep company files and documents on your home computer/desktop.
    4. Be conscientious of the sites you visit and the programs you install and use.  Your computer can become the entry point used by hackers to enter your company network.
    5. If you deal with sensitive company data, remember to keep it private at home as well.  Lock your computer when not in use. Friends, relatives and roommates who are curious about your job are not entitled to see your company information.
    6. Contact your company IT department if you have questions or issues.

    Home Computers

    There are now many employees utilizing their home computer instead of a company-provided one. Company-provided computers usually come with a set of security-related products including anti-virus, a firewall and malicious software (a.k.a. “malware”) protection. If you are using a home computer for work, it needs to use the same types of products to avoid data loss or leakage. Windows computers come with Windows Defender for anti-virus, and Windows Defender Firewall for blocking unwanted traffic. You will want to validate that these services are running on your home computer. Contact your company IT department if you are unsure how to do that.  If you don’t have an anti-malware program running on your home computer, there is a free malware scanning and removal tool called Malwarebytes that can be downloaded here.

    The NDC Security team recommends scanning your computer daily for any new viruses and malware. It’s a good habit to do this every morning or before you shut down for the day.

    Unsecured Wireless Networks

    When working outside the office and searching for a wireless network to use, you will often see wireless networks connections that do not require a password to use them.  These open, unsecured wireless networks are not okay for business use. These networks transfer data without any encryption, and company information traveling on these roads of Internet superhighway can be seen as easily by cyber criminals as what you see out your car window when driving down the street.

    The NDC Security team recommends not connecting to unsecured wireless networks.  If your home network is currently open, please set up authentication on it.

    Exposing Sensitive Corporate Data

    Wondering whether to move an electronic file, document or data from the company network to your home computer?  Resist the urge to do it. When data is moved to your home computer, it can no longer be protected by all the measures your company has in place to protect it while it lives in the corporate network.

    The NDC Security team recommends to not move company information over to your home computer, if possible.

    Avoid the “Over the Shoulder” Transfer of Sensitive Information

    Remember that business data that you access at home may be accessible to every person who lives in or visits your home. Friends and roommates who are curious about what you do at work should not have the opportunity to view or access company information. While at home, like at work, lock your computer when you are not using it.  Disconnect from the company network when your work is complete for the day.  Know who is around you, and let them know your work is confidential and to respect your privacy.

    And Finally…

    If you have technology-related questions or issues, contact your company IT department right away. Don’t take any unnecessary risks.

    Russ Burrows
    NDC, Inc.
    Security Specialist

  • 05/01/2019 10:18 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In my experience as a Productivity Coach, one common link I find among the most productive professionals is their willingness to change. Most people don’t enjoy the process of change. However, if you’re willing to take the risk, the benefits are limitless.

    If you’re reading this, you’re seeking ways to improve your performance, manage time more efficiently, produce more valuable and meaningful work and ultimately have more time doing what you enjoy with the people you love. If you’re not currently accomplishing those things, the missing ingredient is change. The current state must change in order for the results to differ.  It’s not my opinion.  It’s science.


    When Business is Slumping

    There are many good reasons to change, just as there are many types of change (logistical, behavioral, procedural, organizational). Most often, we associate a need for change with a slump in productivity. Here are some signs productivity could be better by implementing changes:

    1.     Work Is Not Getting Done. This one speaks for itself but could have roots in time, technology or talent. Review Defining the Issue.

    2.     People Are Discontent, Bored or Disengaged. Perhaps this is a sign that some high performers are not maximizing their potential. Lack of challenge and engagement are real reasons why companies are losing quality employees.

    3.     Excessive Overtime is Occurring. Do people have too much work, or are they focusing on the wrong work? This is a good time to evaluate if the talent is appropriately aligned with the tasks.

    4.     Mistakes Are Made Repeatedly. If the same mistake is being made repeatedly by multiple people, it’s not the people. It’s the process. Time to update the process and possibly integrate new technology.

    When Business is Thumping

    Change doesn’t just happen when things are going wrong. The most successful people are willing to make changes when things are going right, too. Here are some examples of opportune times to initiate changes to complement high performance:

    1.     Business Is Good. Changes that occur when business is going well include, hiring new employees, creating new positions and possibly changing locations to accommodate the growth.

    2.     New Advances in Technology Occur. There’s always a learning curve when new technology is introduced, but anything that makes the job more efficient results in employees feeling more satisfied and less frustrated.

    3.     New Employees Are Starting. This is a great time to implement new processes.  A new person isn’t attached to potentially bad habits of the past.

    4.     The Industry Is Doing Well. If the industry is doing well, this is a great time to network. Reach out to colleagues in other organizations and share best practices.



    One of the biggest obstacles to change is the adage, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Many companies I work with express this as an obstacle, as many of the “old dogs” are the people who hold the power to change. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not implying that all older adults are resistant to change. I do, however, see the connection often, and know that it can be a difficult obstacle many organizations face.

    Photo by Kevin on Unsplash

    Here are a few reasons “old dogs” are resistant to “new tricks”. Keep in mind, these could apply to people of any age.

    1.     It’s the way it’s always been done. Often times, they are the founder or have been with the company from the beginning, and it can be an emotional process to see major changes occur.

    2.     Technology is intimidating. This can apply to people of all ages, but particularly impacts those who didn’t grow up with technology and have had to learn on their own as adults.

    3.     Differing values. There is often the belief that if it’s not hard work that it’s not valuable work.

    Leadership Support

    Getting those that hold the power to understand they have the power to make the biggest impact on the business is an obstacle many organizations face. Necessary changes may be obvious to many, but unless the leadership team agrees to participate, implement and maintain the changes, they surely will not be lasting.


    Change is a complex aspect of optimal productivity. Not only does it involve detailed evaluation and scrutiny, but it also involves assessing individuals at a personal level. If you’re dealing with major changes in your organization, the best way to reach your goals, achieve maximum productivity and maintain employee engagement and satisfaction is to get help.

    Don’t let fear of change be the wall to your success. Take risks, question everything and embrace change as an opportunity to be who you want to be in your career and in your life.

    Read more of Jan’s blogs at www.ctcproductivity.com/blog/.  Also hear Jan speak at this year’s PWH® Leadership Summit!

  • 04/17/2019 4:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    How often are we all subjected to non-productive meetings? I have attended far too many in my career. I know a meeting is not advantageous when I start to drift off or become unengaged, eat too many snacks, start looking at my phone or don’t take any notes. And those are just a few of the warning signs for me.

    A few years ago, I started really looking into what makes a meeting successful. I took some classes, became more observant of others’ meetings and started trying some different tactics when facilitating my own meetings. Here are some tips I have gathered:

    • Every meeting must have a reason for being. Informational-only meetings are not necessary; you can probably send an email instead.

    • Make sure the reason for the meeting supports a goal such as solving a problem, collaborating on a strategy or setting a new policy. There are other reasons to have a meeting… just make sure it is not purely informational in nature.

    • ALWAYS set an agenda. Make every agenda item a question, not a statement. Send the agenda out before the meeting so everyone can see the questions that will be discussed and think about them before the meeting.

    • Make sure that NEXT STEPS are established at the end of the meeting.

    • Invite all stakeholders and influencers. Problems cannot be solved if people involved in the solution have no say in the solution!

    • Make sure everyone participates and has a voice in whatever the final solution/path may be.

    For more information on running a successful meeting, join me at the PWH Leadership Summit for my breakout, “Conducting an Effective and Collaborative Planning Meeting.”

  • 03/22/2019 10:57 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A classic dilemma. Many people are in positions of needing to influence others, yet do not have actual authority. As project managers, account managers, product leads, and so forth, you may be responsible for results, yet the people that are the levers to make it happen don’t report to you! Sound familiar?

    Diagnosis: you have no "position power." You can’t wave your wand in a get-it-done fashion and see people jump. Dang frustrating, that’s what it is.

    What you want is "personal power," something that will affect others to act, because they have respect for your word and understand the reason to engage. They also need to have confidence in you.

    Personal power cannot be achieved overnight, but there are some things you can do to get the ball rolling. Here’s where building your leadership savvy and developing as an effective business woman can help.

    Be cautious of looking at the situation as "I need to get them to ...."  Others may pick up on it and sense that someone is pushing them. They tend to resist. (It’s crazy how humans are.)

    Instead, clearly state what you want, what the organization needs, perhaps what you see as a vision for cooperation and productivity.

    Then, turn it around to them by letting it sit a bit. Let go of it. Let silence do the heavy lifting.

    Try using my favorite influencing technique – the question approach. Ask yourself: if you have this certain vision, what might theirs be? Ask them: if we were to solve this problem, what would be done? Ask what they see as not working perfectly, then what they might do about it. Visualize standing shoulder to shoulder and looking at a problem together from the same angle, rather than facing each other. These simple tactics in perspective can lead to cooperation.

    Use your past success to maintain your confidence - you HAVE done it and you ARE good at it. But now you are adapting a little.

    Simple adjustments. Subtle reminders. Empowering selves.

    Hear more from Katie at our 2019 Leadership Summit.


  • 10/18/2018 10:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The PWH networking luncheon at HIDA Streamlining this year provided a fantastic opportunity to see old friends and colleagues, and of course, make new ones.

    This year, PWH added a Leadership Forum segment to the schedule, which many guests, both members and non-members, enjoyed. The learning session featured the inspiring Gunter Wessels, Ph.D, M.B.A, and Practice General Manager at LiquidSMARTS.

    Dr. Wessels spoke in depth about different approaches each of us can incorporate in our skillset to “Ensure our Vision” as a transformational leader. Some of the highlights that resonated with me was the statement that “Leadership is a Privilege”. This is such a true notion and we have to agree that we do not hear it enough, especially influencers in their early stages of their careers. Great leaders realize that with privilege comes responsibilities and consequences primarily to external recipients – the organizations and people we serve. Being responsible for others’ success or demise is powerful and quite an intimidating endeavor, which every individual, no matter their title and rank within their organizations should take seriously, study the science and practice and improve their own skills and impact.

    As Dr. Wessels says, leadership is about cultivating relationships and no relationship is possible without the use of language – both verbal and non-verbal. The combination and consistency in word choice with gestures and movements, together with cohesiveness, have never been more critical for being an authentic and trustworthy leader. Dr. Wessels urges us to adopt the “Amare Way” of communication, aka, love-like language. Speaking in a “love-like” manner translates into showing empathy, compassion and kindness to ourselves, in order to have the ability to authentically display this to others, creating the sense of belonging and increasing collaboration.

    Types of Leadership:

    a)          Authoritative – participative leader; gives direction and delegates    
            tasks at hand;

    b)          Laissez-faire – “leave it alone” approach;

    c)           Transactional – task-oriented leader; promote compliance by  
            followers through both rewards and punishments;

    d)          Transformational – relationship-oriented leader; engaging to create
            connection and motivation;

    e)          Servant – generous and responsive with their time and resources to
            help others.

    There are positive and negative characteristics in the majority of leadership styles above, but we can all agree that ultimately, the transformational level is like reaching the Holy Grail.

    Which type of leader are you? Towards which leadership style do you strive? What is the path to accomplish your goal?

  • 09/17/2018 12:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    More tips on time management

    #5 – Build in Space

    Be careful with what you say yes to so that you can keep some open space on your calendar. On Friday afternoon, look at what is on the calendar for the following week and if something can be avoided or shortened, then consider adjusting, delegating, outsourcing or canceling based on the week’s priorities. Remember that open space invites opportunities in a way that a cluttered cannot.

    #6 – Take care of yourself

    Statistics would suggest that most successful people get the recommended daily amount of sleep and exercise routinely. And you wonder how they find the time? Remember that being busy (and productive) takes energy. So, it makes sense that sleep and exercise make time rather than take time. Proactively build things in that will give you energy such as going for a walk or meeting with a friend, whether it’s during the day or on weekends. And rather than falling into the horrendously busy and exhausting weekend trap, proactively ask yourself mid-week what three things you want to do over the weekend that will add to your energy level (e.g., attending church, playing sports, and leisurely time with family) and schedule those activities in accordingly.

    #7 – Maximize your free time

    What are most of us doing while standing in line at the grocery store or riding public transit? Checking our phones! Use these shorter chunks of time to do more productive things such as reading, making a business call, meditating, etc. Research suggests that people who feel that time is more abundant check their phones less than those who feel they never have enough time.

    Marie K. Holowaychuk, DVM, DACVECC is a small animal emergency and critical care specialist and certified yoga and meditation teacher with an invested interest in the health and well-being of veterinary professionals.  She facilitates wellness workshops, boot camps, and retreats for veterinarians, technicians, students, and other veterinary team members.  To sign up for newsletters containing information regarding these events and veterinary wellness topics, go to www.criticalcarevet.ca.


  • 08/17/2018 12:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I recently attended the Art of Leadership for Women conference in Calgary and was excited to be able to attend sessions delivered by Arianna Huffington (founder of Thrive Global and author of The Sleep Revolution) and Tiffany Dufu (founder of a peer coaching company for women and author of Drop the Ball). I came away with many interesting tidbits, not the least of which was delivered by Laura Vanderkam (author of I Know How She Does It). Laura’s session was all about time management, something that many of us are good at handling, but most of us can improve upon. Laura shared seven strategies from her book to help people get control of their time and I am going to share those strategies with you in this two-part blog.

    #1 – Figure out where your time is going

    Spend one week (or more) keeping track of everything that you do using a spreadsheet, notebook, or scheduling app. This might seem totally overwhelming, but the literature suggests that we manage what we monitor most effectively (which is why people trying to lose weight are often encouraged to keep a food journal).  Most of us don’t want to know how much time we are wasting on social media, watching TV, or otherwise, but this exercise will help you to get clear on what you spend most of your time doing, what you would like to do more of, and what you could potentially limit or stop doing altogether.

    #2 – Look forward

    Make a list of what you would like to spend more time doing (personally and professionally). You can do this by giving your future self a performance review. In other words, imagine it’s December 2018 and you are at a work party telling someone the amazing things you accomplished in your work and home life during the last year. These are the things you want to spend time doing during the latter part of 2018. 

    #3 – First thing’s first

    People spend much of their time doing things that are urgent, but not important (e.g., responding to email). Know that time will stretch to accommodate what you need (or want) to put into it (e.g., think of the last time you had a crisis in your life and how you managed to deal with your flooded basement or tend to your parent in the hospital). Remember that we do what we prioritize and as such everything we spend time doing is a choice. So, figure out what your goals are each week (preferably in relation to your priorities outlined in #2) and front-load them at the beginning of your week. This ensures they will get done (because let’s be honest, other things always comes up). 

    #4 – Move time around

    Did you know that 75% of professional women with children do something personal during “work hours” and the same percentage of those women do something professional during “home hours”?  It is important to remain flexible about when things happen and consider working in “split shifts” so that you can do the bulk of the work early in the day, take time off to be with family / partners in the late afternoon and early evening, and then complete low energy work-related items later in the evening. This might not work for all schedules every day but can be applied to the entire week as well (i.e., shifting some work to the weekend).


    Think about where you spend your time, and how you might prioritize your tasks more efficiently. In Part 2, I’ll share the other three tips for time management from Laura Vanderkam.

    Marie K. Holowaychuk, DVM, DACVECC is a small animal emergency and critical care specialist and certified yoga and meditation teacher with an invested interest in the health and well-being of veterinary professionals. She facilitates wellness workshops, boot camps, and retreats for veterinarians, technicians, students, and other veterinary team members. To sign up for newsletters containing information regarding these events and veterinary wellness topics, go to www.criticalcarevet.ca.

  • 08/01/2018 9:46 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In his presentation, John Baumann shared his vision of the leader’s crucial role in establishing a thriving organization and culture, and what it takes to boost our impact to achieve greater, more impactful long-term results. His opening could not have been more moving and inspiring in setting the tone for examining ways of becoming a better leader.

    There are many attributes and skills that collectively make a successful leader. Being customer-centric and communicating effectively to build relationships with all stakeholders are strategies that “get to YES” and create significant results. John Baumann is extremely passionate about developing the EQ of being empathetic and compassionate when it comes to building relationships with our customers, employees and colleagues. Being able to view, understand and relate to the struggles and pain-points of each vested group is such a powerful element that brings not only successful outcomes but also special meaning to what we as healthcare professionals do each day.

    My takeaway from John Baumann is that what makes a magnificent leader is the ability to create trusting relationships within organization, community and family. Trust is at the base of how we perceive the world around us and the degree of its expression is what drives the level of results. Trust is always a two-way street – we have to both earn it and instill it in others. Great leaders recognize that the process is a complex one, at the base of which lies our individual innate set of values, character and competency that influence the trust-building process during individual and team interactions. In becoming our own brand of leader, we all in our own way aim to do the right thing when no one else is around … to be compassionate, have the best influence on others and do so in a very personal manner with distinction.

    It is important to seek and develop unique approach in search of mutual trust and leadership skills by identifying what is important to us.

    What do you believe it takes to be a great leader?

    Valeriya Stoyanova
    Administrative Assistant,

    Supplier Relations
    Concordance Healthcare Solutions

  • 07/13/2018 1:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    We attended. We took notes. We networked.

    But, now a month after the conclusion of the PWH Leadership Summit, what takeaways can we honestly say have fundamentally changed our perspectives on our profession and our purpose?

    For me – without question – it was Valorie Burton’s Resilient and Ready keynote. It’s no wonder that she’s written 11 books and is an acclaimed life coach; she just gets it. I am finding myself referencing several of her key messages in my day-to-day. Here are a few:

    1)      Be resilient in the face of adversity – I’m a 30-something mother of young children and a healthcare marketing leader. Some of you might relate with the prejudice experienced toward working moms: too young; too inexperienced to be a boss; spread too thin; should be home with kids. Newsflash: I’m over it and I’m owning it. Balancing the many moving parts of my life is challenging, but so rewarding. According to Valorie, resilient people have a level of physiological capital and mental toughness that enable us to perform and lead better under stress. Instead of apologizing for it, I’m going to embrace this stage of life moving forward. After all, I’m better because of it.

    2)      Taking risks is healthy – Fear, Valorie mentioned, is inevitable. But it shouldn’t be a stop sign. Since PWH Summit I’ve faced professional and personal decisions that all have an easy, or safe, option. It’s comfortable to take the path of least resistance as an individual, as a manager and as a leader. I’m now challenging myself to take more risks – try new ways of doing things. I’m finding routine and mundane cadences in my life that are not productive and replacing them with different approaches. Some may fail; some may flourish. Regardless of the outcome, I’ll have lessons to share with my colleagues along the way.

    3)      Failures are your best learning tools – This message has changed my management style in such a positive way. It reminds me of the old saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. What may have been, at one point in my career, a misstep or perceived failure could be leveraged as a teachable moment for others. This is particularly true for my fellow millennials, in my opinion, that are drawn to storytelling that is relatable and meets them where they are. I’ve challenged myself to take this approach more often and am encouraging my team to do the same.
    4)      Compartmentalize – Valorie nailed it. How much time do we spend focusing on aspects of our life or job that are out of our control? Working for a company with a defined mission, vision, values and goals means relinquishing some control. There will absolutely be aspects of our contribution that we can control and change; but there will inherently be aspects we cannot. I’m working on time management. Spending as much time as possible where I believe I can make the biggest impact. Compartmentalizing what’s in and out of my control. So far – it’s working great. And it’s refreshing.

    What messages did you bring back that are making appearances in your day-to-day? I’d enjoy hearing your perspective; share below in the comments section.

  • 05/03/2018 10:53 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    When it comes to networking, most of us fall into one of two categories:

    1)      Live for it. Love it. Easy like Sunday morning; or
    2)      Hives. Stressful. Buddy system or bust.

    Regardless of which camp you fall into, attending a meeting like the PWH Leadership Summit can be exciting, but intimidating for all experience levels. Before you go, consider these five tips to get the bang for your (or your company’s) buck at your next professional development conference:

    1.      Stack your calendar – Comb the attendee list for individuals you’d like to connect with.  I usually focus on fellow college alumni, peers or leaders in my niche, and innovators in a different field I can learn from. Email them or connect on LinkedIn and invite them for coffee. Who knows where the discussion will lead. 
    2.      Perfect your pitch – The best networkers never close the door to an interesting job opportunity. And effective networking means being articulate, bold and memorable in how you present yourself. Establish an elevator pitch. A good one should answer three questions: Who are you? What do you do? What are you looking for? Here’s mine:

    Hi, I’m Kaycee Kalpin. I am a healthcare IT product marketing leader and specialize in effective go to market strategies for new and emerging IT. As a fellow HIT leader, I’m hoping to network with you and learn how you’re uniquely approaching the market. 

    Further refine your pitch by tailoring it to them, not yourself, and eliminating any buzzwords or industry jargon.

    3.      Ditch your squad – This is important. And it may be hard. Get out of your comfort zone. It’s so easy to move in a “work pack” and limit yourself to those people and ideas you knew before the meeting. Challenge yourself to ditch the colleagues and venture out. You won’t regret it and your colleagues may follow suit.
    4.      Say yes A.M.A.P. – In your day-to-day job, if you say “yes” to as much as possible, you’ll be drowning with work that is outside of your scope and overextended. But…when in Rome (or PWH Leadership Summit)! If invited to network over dinner, join for an event, meet early for coffee – say yes! You may travel back exhausted from squeezing in so much activity, but you won’t regret making the most of every opportunity.


    5.      Bring it home - Chances are, if your organization is supportive of you traveling to a professional development conference, they have confidence that you’ll bring back some excellent ideas and share with the rest of the team. Ask for speakers’ slides, take thorough notes and relate the presentation back to your work. Set up an optional lunch-and-learn when you return to share some insight with interested colleagues back home.

    If you weren’t already excited, I hope this got you jazzed and full of ideas for your upcoming professional development meeting. With some prep, a stellar pitch and a full social calendar, navigating PWH Leadership Summit should be easy like Sunday morning.

    Kaycee Kalpin, MBA
    Senior Director IT Solution Marketing


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