Why we should seek harmony, not work-life balance
How often do we hear about trying to achieve work-life balance? I’ve said it many times myself, in fact it was once part of my organization’s values. Now, I call it a deceptive word. I even go so far to call it a dirty word for it brings...Read More
My secret to achieving the business of your dreams
The secret’s out! It’s not all numbers and spreadsheets that determine how successful a workforce will be, rather their mindset at and on the job. A quick Google search of the word ‘mindfulness’ will get you over 52 million results. Fortune 500 companies are now embracing mindfulness...Read More
Want to be the most productive person you know?
I’m thrilled to share with you my latest product, Get Unstuck: 21 days to better productivity. For 3 weeks, receive via email, tips and techniques that you can use in your life, to save you valuable time, help you eliminate stress, and get unstuck in everything you...Read More
A simple yet successful idea
Welcome back to my two part blog on Meetings to Change the World.
What’s the difference between a productive meeting and an unproductive meeting? First, a productive meeting has purpose. Everyone is gathered to get something done. This means no updates or status reports. Second, productive meetings are well prepared and...Read More
Yes, but how?
Welcome to my part one of two blogs on meetings to change the world.
Talk about an attention grabbing title for an article. I bet from just reading it you’re expecting something big. It is, something so big and revolutionary that when I tell you, you may not believe it because it will seem so...Read More
12 ultimate hacks
Most of us learn time management the hard way: piling too much on to our already full plate, becoming overwhelmed and stressed about that deadline, maybe even missing a deadline!
Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or a seasoned business owner, breaking down your ‘to-do’ list into manageable-sized chunks gets you on your way to...Read More
Saying YES to every opportunity that presents itself sounds like a sure-fire way to keep the door open to opportunities so we never miss the next big experience. But saying YES to every opportunity would cause our schedule chaos and we’d soon be triple booked. So how do we deal with the conflict of when...Read More
It’s more powerful than you think
People are sometimes surprised when I tell them that individuals can benefit as much as corporations when it comes to writing a vision statement. Your personal vision statement helps direct your life. It provides the guidance necessary to navigate your days and make choices about your career. It’s a tool...Read More
What every person needs to know about routines
Since the times of Henry Ford (and even earlier), the focus on studying and standardizing work processes has been central to efficiency and productivity in the manufacturing world. When you stop to examine how you do things, you can spot simple ways to make the process more efficient.
Great facilitators channel group productivity to achieve results
Your organization has invented an exciting new product or is launching a new service that has been developed under the utmost secrecy. The latest and greatest in its class, this ground-breaking idea is expected to take the market by storm. But you’ll only have one chance to launch...Read More
An aha moment that changed my life forever
The wonderful thing about life is the ability to reflect on moments of time that were pivotal turning points. I have many key moments that have transformed me into the person I am today. This is the story of my first step on the road to my personal...Read More
This video is a guide to what a professional meeting facilitator (me) packs in my bag (suitcase) of tricks to make sure my workshops run smoothly.
Transcript from the Video
Welcome, I’m Adriana Girdler and I’m from CornerStone Dynamics. I’m here to share with you today some meeting tips and tricks that are going to make your...Read More
Meetings that don’t waste your workday
In 2012, Salary.com surveyed more than 3,200 people about wasting time at work. Respondents named “too many meetings” as the number-one time wasting culprit, up from the third spot in 2008. Unproductive meetings are a deadly drain on our time!
When you ask people about the meetings they attend at work,...Read More
Take the leap of faith!
When you use intuitive skills in the workplace, you gain practical and useful information that can quickly be put into action to improve your ability to:Fine-tune your vision Open up to new ideas Build teamwork Hear the voice of caution
Your intuition will help you identify your own sense of mission and...Read More
Update your office spring cleaning with these tips
It’s that time of year again where the flowers are starting to bloom, the weather’s warmer and spring is in the air. What a great time to open the windows and allow the fresh air to come into your home and freshen things up. It’s time for spring...Read More
Is Perfectionism Your Barrier?
Even perfectionism can be a barrier. Sometimes, efficiency requires letting go of some of the fine finishing details in which we take pleasure and pride. Or, are they really diversions we use to protect us from confronting the less pleasant tasks at hand? Perfectionism can be a mask for that other obstacle,...Read More
Let your vision statement by your GPS in life
One of the greatest distinctions in being a human is the ability to choose. This truly makes us unique. As a result, I tend to say ‘ought’ vs ‘should’. ‘Ought’ allows for choice where ‘should’ is more directive. Well, I’m going to take a very strong stance,...Read More
Making your workplace more efficient
Feb 18, 2016 ~ Did you catch me on The Morning Show on Global TV being interviewed by the hosts Liza Fromer & Jeff McArthur. We were chatting about tips and tricks on how to boost the workflow in your office or place of employment. Here’s the video clip in case...Read More
Creating a VISUAL vision statement is a powerful tool
With my own visual vision statement, I learned how to turn my dreams into reality. I was procrastinating and didn’t even realize it until my personal vision statement guided me in the right direction. In this video, I share that revelation. Have a look and let me...Read More
Our hearts are the key
One of the ways I introduce continuous improvement at work is via Heart-Based Coaching. As an efficiency expert, I’m always looking for ways to improve how businesses do their work. The belief that everything can be improved and nothing is off the table, including my own ideas and work, is a...Read More
Easy peasy lemon squeezy!
Simple changes to your routine can make the difference between just getting by and really being productive and effective at work. Below are the best and easiest work productivity tips that truly work.Turn off all alerts: While at work we have lots of important tasks that need our undivided attention. If we’re constantly...Read More
The Holiday Gifts That Could Change Your Office
The holiday season is upon us and it’s time to start thinking of the greatest gift you can give to the people you care about at work. This could be for your boss, your colleagues or each and every employee. Tis the season to give a gift that...Read More
Doodling is not a kid’s activity anymore.
When was the last time you doodled? Were you in a meeting? On the phone? Or brainstorming new ideas? Doodling has always been deemed an activity that diverts people’s attention, when in fact it has been proven to increase and retain information, especially when doodling during presented information. According...Read More
Why the rock band RUSH is a great role model for leadership!
I love the band Rush. They’re amazing musicians who are extremely talented. If you’ve seen Neil play drums, Alex play guitar, or Geddy play bass and perform lead vocals, you will understand they are not just a band but music wizards. The 3...Read More
Getting back in the groove after the lazy days of vacay
Vacation break is over. We may be physically back at work, but getting our mind in the groove after being in a kick back and relax mode in the summer sun or the winter fun can be challenging. Whether you’re looking to increase your personal productivity or...Read More
Stop pretending your organization is innovative. Read this NOW!
Throughout history, people with new ideas–who think differently and try to change things–have always been called troublemakers. ~ Richelle Mead
Do you manage time or does time manage you?
Time…something we all wish we had more of and, if we could, we would love to control it. That is why I find the phrase ‘time management’ an oxymoron. We can’t control time so why do we think we can manage it? Time management is not about...Read More
Put money back in your pocket by being Lean
Every day we have stuff we need to get done. Some days our to-do list reads like a laundry list. The more we get done it seems like the more we have to do. To combat this we try to be more efficient and productive by...Read More
How To Tackle Minor Stoppages To Take Back Your Day
This video will show you how to take back your day, using one easy tool.Claim your Power Hour Work Hour now!
Transcript from the Video
Welcome to the video. My name is Adriana Girdler and I am President and Chief Efficiency Officer of CornerStone Dynamics. I’m here...Read More
This video is to help guide you on how to use the Visual Vision Doodle Book. I’m sharing this with you because I want you to see the power behind visioning. It’s really cool.
Transcript from the Video
Best websites to boost your business.
In the world of continuous improvement, I’m always looking for resources that will help me improve upon the work that I already do. Below are a list of my favourite websites I routinely visit to acquire inspiration, information and ideas. I hope you find them as useful as I do!
My secrets of leading an effective meeting.
In the business world, it’s interesting that if something is important, fields of study and training will revolve around the activity and profession. To be an accountant, engineer, sales representative, project manager etc. you need the skills and know how to do the job before you can even start...Read More
Does lack of personal confidence impact business negatively?
Are you or your team/employees confident? Wait before you answer the question. I want you to really think about it. Are they confident in every aspect of their job? When a team member is assigned a new task, do they embark on it with excitement or are they...Read More
The newest rock song; a corporate theme song!
I’m so pleased to share with you this lovely testimonial from a dear client of mine. I led Cheryl Cann and her team in the recording studio as they made their own corporate vision song, a groundbreaking new service we recently added to our roster. To learn more...Read More
Best ever vision statements!
I have a revelation to share with you. The number one cause for company’s being inefficient is not what you think. It’s something worse but no one even notices it. It flies low on the radar and everyone keeps plugging away thinking that things are good. The results are slow and disastrous....Read More
Beliefs are what make us tick. They dictate how we react or behave to any given situation. They act as a guiding light when situations are clear and also when they are murky, like a foggy morning. We may know that they guide us or we may not, but how we...Read More
Don’t be afraid to colour outside the lines
I want to share with you a truly uplifting, empowering experience I had. I wrote and recorded my very own song. I was challenged by my good friend, Adam Michael, who is an amazing and talented musician. He kept on saying, “Adriana, we need to get...Read More
Yet you do….so listen up!
Change is the one thing we can always count on. So why is it the last thing we prepare for in the business world? Over the years of helping organizations with improving their organizational effectiveness, I’ve observed what you should NEVER do when implementing ANY type of change in your...Read More
Improve your business by doing one or all!
Employee engagement, we’ve all heard of this term but do we truly know why it’s so important. In today’s global market, competition is fierce. Employee engagement is one way to give your organization the competitive edge. A study by Accenture states “A workforce that is highly engaged is...Read More
The answer is not as straight forward as you’d think
Are great business leaders born or bred? This is a great question. For the millions of dollars that are spent every year on training employees on becoming great leaders, you would think the answer would be straight forward…bred. But can you really train someone to...Read More
Don’t make these mistakes, learn from others!
What’s the difference between a failed project and a successful one? Project managers of a successful project NEVER do these top 5 things. Are you interested in learning more? Be the superstar that you are and read on.
#1- Assume you don’t need a project plan. With huge projects,...Read More
Leaders – Listen Up!
Let’s play a game. Imaging you’re at work (if you’re not already!) Tell me what comes to mind when I say…. continuous improvement. For the majority of you, I bet you groaned when you read this. You’ve probably been through many improvement initiatives at work that just didn’t stick. As a result,...Read More
Do you use it and would you admit you do?
Do you get instant hits of knowing something to be true without even knowing why? Have you ever had a gut feeling to do something, couldn’t explain why you needed to do it, and when you did it you were so glad you listened to your...Read More
Remove obstacles and start realizing your full potential
Self-empowerment…we all want it but do we know how to get it? Sometimes the best way to get what you want is to know what you don’t want, or in this case, to understand what stops you from achieving empowerment. Self-empowerment is removing the obstacles that prevent us...Read More
Our version of Olympic Gold
The CornerStone Dynamics (CSD) vision statement matters. We often read it at the beginning of team meetings. If we need guidance or direction, we review it. It matters to us. This vision statement is what we do and why we do it. It’s our long-range and constant.
Vision statements should take a...Read More
Dare to dream and write it ALL down
Vision statements are the dreams that people have for themselves or for their organization. They’re a depiction of a desired result that motivates, energizes, and helps describe a final destination. Ideally, they provide the needed guidance in decision making. They’re like a navigation system. As long as...Read More
Rules are the glue to effective and efficient meetings
Do you dread the word meeting? Do you find they’re a time waster? This is common problem in lots of organizations, no matter which industry you’re in. There are some common ways to ensure your meetings are productive; such as: follow an agenda, plan it...Read More
Are you working hard or hardly working?
How is your day going? Is it productive, or are you procrastinating? If you ever procrastinate, I have a few tips for you that will make your workday more productive so you can control your day and not have it control you.Plan out the week to have a more...Read More
A hommage to Oprah
This month at CornerStone Dynamics we’re all sharing our favourite top 10 list with you, our readers. So sit back and check out what each of us choose to write about. Enjoy!
Well, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I’m writing about my top 10 favourite productivity things. I’m paying hommage to Oprah...Read More
Tips and tricks from an efficiency expert!
It’s that time of year again, whether you like it or not, the holiday season is here. As we wrap up year-end activities in business we are also starting to deal with the pressures and stress of the holiday season. Don’t fret, I compiled my top 10 list of...Read More
Efficiency and social media: the perfect partners
So, you want to work smarter with social media. Is it because you find that it sucks up your time which means you get behind in your work tasks or projects? Are you feeling compelled to monitor and respond immediately to every tweet, Facebook post or LinkedIn invite?...Read More
A project manager’s sermon
I’m thrilled to be a part of the first ever project management flash blog (#pmFlashBlog), where 70+ project management bloggers from around the globe write about the same topic with all blogs being published simultaneously (Sept 25, 2013 at 1:00 GMT). I jumped at the chance to be a part of it.
The questions...Read More
How I Started: Entrepreneur turns side projects into full-time businessThis video was published on Sept 24, 2013, in the Globe and Mail's Report on Business, Small Biz section. Visit the Globe and Mail's website to view the original publication.
Seven Tips for Successful Benchmarking
Let me paint you a picture. Senior executives from your organization are sitting around a board room table discussing what the strategy for next year will be. Lots of great ideas are bantered about. This is, after all, the job of the senior executives, to be the visionaries for the company....Read More
Why I’m pumped to attend this conference
I love being an entrepreneur. Owning my own small business has opened so many doors for me. It’s leading me down an awesome journey and has allowed me to follow my own passion. It has been the most rewarding professional experience of my life.
When I was offered...Read More
Data and intuition…the perfect business partners
Have you ever been presented with so much data, graphs, chart, and numbers that instead of things starting to make sense it starts to become confusing? In fact, more questions start to arise, your reasoning becomes cloudy and you become paralyzed by the data and are struggling to figure out...Read More
Adriana Girdler President & CEO | CornerStone Dynamics
BY SCOTT LESLIE The Business Link
SL: Tell me a little bit about CornerStone Dynamics and how you got started
AG: At Cornerstone Dynamics we are all about business efficiency. We have developed a proven system that allows us to examine the...Read More
My personal vision statement is like a trellis, interwoven with rare and precious flowers, connecting me to the diverse and beautiful facets of my life. I chose the colors because they resonate deep within my spirituality. They calm and ground me. The overall shape of my personal vision statement is a circle embraced by gentle hands...Read More
Hi, I am Adriana Girdler, President and CEO, Chief Efficiency Officer of CornerStone Dynamics. I would like to share with you how I...Read More
Success just happens, right?
We all want to get somewhere in life and in business. We have goals and dreams. But why is it that only some people are able to get there? Is it because of luck, circumstance, or talent? Depending on the person it could be a combination of these elements. The one...Read More
What me worry?
Have you ever been in the midst of a project, strategic implementation, event or general activity and something terrible went wrong that derailed everything leaving you scrambling, picking up the mess? This is not a fun place to be in, but lots of people find themselves in this position. Risk management is critical...Read More
Keeping your sanity in check
Projects are a way of life in business. All companies, no matter their size, have them. But why do the majority of projects go over budget, exceed timelines and have scope creep? Based on my experience as a Project Management Professional (PMP), it’s because the people in charge are not...Read More
Editor’s Note: Following Adriana’s journey to Iona, Scotland, she made the following video.
Editor’s Note: Original Post, published April 25, 2013…
Pilgrimage… it’s a very interesting word. By definition pilgrimage means:
1. A journey to a sacred place or shrine.
2. A long journey or search, especially one of exalted purpose or moral significance.
Working smarter, not harder will increase your bottom-line
Are you meeting the needs of your customer?
Do you even know if you are or worse yet, aren’t? I’d like to take an in-depth perspective on the efficiency methodology (Lean) CornerStone Dynamics uses in guiding our clients in achieving their success. We do this by using the fundamentals of...Read More
As published in Association Magazine February/March 2013, page 10
It’s the question no employee ever wants to hear from their superior: “Why hasn’t this project been completed yet?”
Bob Seger may have provided the answer in his 1980 hit song, “Against the Wind,” when he simply said: “deadlines and commitments.”
The problem in today’s work environment is that...Read More
Lead by example ~ Walk the talk, not just talk the talk
Also featured in Women of Influence March 11, 2013, in Career / Leadership
“Walk the Talk” is the motto that all great leaders follow. Great leaders lead by example. It’s through their example that they are able to motivate others to take action or...Read More
Are you meeting all day and getting nothing done?
When was the last time you attended an efficient meeting? The right people were invited and were present. The topic was clear and discussions where based on the agenda items sent to you in advance of the meeting. Action items with due dates and responsibilities were...Read More
What’s your vision of a winning culture?
When I’m implementing efficiency improvements with my clients, I’m almost always asked, “How do we sustain our improvements so they don’t become just another flavour of the month?” My answer? Look at your corporate culture.
Okay, okay, don’t roll your eyes – it’s true.
Everyone wants the quick fix. It should...Read More
How to improve your corporate culture
Resolutions allow us an opportunity to reflect on the past and decide what and how we’ll do things in the future. Yours could be losing those stubborn last 10 pounds, eating well or spending more time with family and friends. Ultimately, our resolutions are about improving the quality of our...Read More
Hire a great meeting facilitator to ease your mind
You have a hot new business idea and it is ready to launch – however, before all systems are go, you need to assemble your company’s best and brightest minds to figure out the plan of attack.
It must be a productive meeting and you need to achieve...Read More
Defend yourself from non-stop negativity
I was just reading an article from Inc. Magazine about how listening to complainers is bad for your brain.
The main idea of the article is that the brain acts like a muscle and if you are exposed to negativity for a long period of time, like listening to someone gripe,...Read More
The CornerStone Dynamics Mantra represents the core of who we are and why we exist. It explains the ‘why’ and gets us closer to our vision statement. Our Mantra is important for many reasons, but most importantly, when faced with a difficult decision, we review it to see which path to...Read More
Can you teach an old dog new tricks?
Ok, it’s been a while since I last blogged. I have been focusing on executing my client’s projects. But just a few days ago the CSD team and I were trained on Tweeting 101. Yes, I am finally tweeting (@AdrianaGirdler) and guess what? I like it....Read More
Banks target expenses to boost bottom line
The Globe and Mail’s Feb 2, 2012 article, “Banks Target Expenses to Boost Bottom Line” discusses the bank’s approach to reduce cost by slowing the growth of expenses. As quoted by Gord Nixon, Royal Bank of Canada Chief Executive Officer, “From our perspective we’ve focused on utilizing technology...Read More
Originally published in HR Professional Feb 2012, page 61
Do you ever have those days at work when you check your phone (no one wears a watch anymore) and it’s already 3:30 p.m.? “Where did the day go?” Performing a “time audit” at your organization will cut out the clutter and remove your biggest time wasters.
1) PROBLEM:...Read More
What is Value?
Welcome back to the working smarter, not harder series. In our previous segments we talked about needing to benchmark current ways of working, making daily decisions based on a Vision/Mission statement, having a priority list with only five items on it and ...Read More
Meet all day, work all night?
Welcome back to the working smarter, not harder series. In our first three segments we talked about needing to benchmark current ways of working, making daily decisions based on your Vision/Mission statement, and having a priority list with only five priorities on it.
The fourth step is to...Read More
Manage Priorities – Help, What Do I Do Next?
Welcome back to the working smarter, not harder series. In our first two segments we talked about needing to benchmark current ways of working and making daily decisions based on your Vision/Mission statement. The third step to becoming more efficient is to prioritize. This...Read More
Back to the Future!
Welcome back to the working smarter, not harder series. In our first segment we talked about needing to understand our current ways of working, or as I call it, our current state, which highlights why and where we are working harder.
The next critical step is to go back to the future....Read More
Map Your Way to Working Smarter
In today’s business world, if you ask someone how they are doing they’ll say they’re busy. Yet, if you get a chance to actually stop them and ask why, they’ll ultimately say they have too much on their plate and they’re just trying to get by. This new just getting...Read More
The ultimate partnership of efficiency
Does your work place vision statement incorporate the word ‘innovation’ yet the company is far from being innovative. In fact, most ideas are the same old ideas that have been recycled year after year? If you said yes to the above you are caught in the ‘innovation’ trap that lots...Read More
Quick tip – have an agenda
What is a quick way to start being more efficient in meetings? Have an agenda!
Too many meetings are run by the seat of the meeting organizer’s pants. No one knows what exactly is going to be discussed. Topics can easily be hijacked by the whiner or complainer in the...Read More
Changing workplace culture
I love the amusement park. The adrenaline rush from the roller coaster ride is great! But at the end of the day it is nice to leave the park and relax in a steady state of peace…with two feet firmly planted on the ground. I can’t imagine living my life like a roller coaster Constantly up...Read More
What is efficiency? Why work efficiently?
Efficiency work is very impactful and rewarding when done correctly and properly sustained. However, too many organizations give lip service to the tools and techniques; consequentially efficiency becomes the ‘flavour of the month’. It truly is a shame because efficiency improvements work when senior management believe and support it...Read More
Let’s start with a project business case
Great ideas pop up at the most interesting time…in the shower, driving in the car, during a morning run. They always pop up when we are relaxed and don’t have our daily pressures on our mind…this is a good thing. This is how new and interesting ideas develop. The...Read More
Process mapping before making a strategic decision
Over the past few weeks I’ve been receiving requests from companies to process map department activities after a major restructuring to understand why things are not going as planned. Companies are making changes without understanding where they are today in relationship to those changes.
As a result, the drafted,...Read More
Lean philosophy in your workplace
The economic climate over the past five years has changed the internal workings of companies forever. Worldwide, the majority of companies have or are in the process of downsizing. As indicated in the April 2010 study conducted by Intercall, 48% of workers are required to do more work with fewer...Read More
Let’s start with some simple, lean ideas
Integrating lean methodology is not an overnight task but there is one thing you can start doing today, focus on simplicity. Complexity causes waste. Complexity is not about analyzing or improving what you already have but adding more layers to the existing problems without thinking how each “solution” interacts...Read More