Training & Leadership

Agile Innovation for Leaders – Learn to do it the Amazon way!!!

August 16th, 2017

Imagine leadership training that incorporates similar practices, principles and learning objectives entrenched in corporate leadership programs offered by Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Southwest Airlines, FedEx, Unilever and Starbucks!!!!

Joy Smith, Founder Grace Consulting, has direct experience with ‘Agile Innovation’. She spent 6.5 years at Amazon leading the design and development of programs, like the Dream Tank, to support executive leaders to influence and empower high levels of curiosity and innovation among their teams. The end result led to product innovation never realized previously!

Agile Innovation for Leaders! Is a just-in-time leadership development series, offered through Vertical Bridge in partnership with Grace Consulting. It delivers all the fundamental elements, practice and activity-based learning needed to shift and engage you and your organization in a dynamic process of building and extending leadership capacity throughout your organization in order to deliver and surpass results! This leadership development training is delivered over the course of 3 days and provides for post-session follow-up sessions at 30, 90 and 120 days. While based in Vancouver, the Vertical Bridge/Grace Consulting team is able to deliver the program to clients both locally and internationally.

Upon successful completion of the series participants will be able to:

  • Develop and demonstrate effective mechanisms for translating ideas into real product innovations
  • Demonstrate the self-focused elements of Emotional Intelligence
  • Apply situational leadership practices that evoke high performance
  • Design and implement a Purpose and Direction that translates to a high performing culture
  • Identify and apply strategies for change management and supporting personal transition
  • Reflect on one’s leadership brand, and identify strengths and areas of opportunities

One Time offer…

Varshney Capital is partnering with Vertical Bridge/Grace Consulting to bring you a one-day abridged version of this amazing program. Imagine attending this session and walking away with many of the key elements that have created success for companies like Amazon, Google and Microsoft to name a few!! To register go to search “Agile Innovation for Leaders”. For questions please contact or

“As a life-long student of both professional & personal growth, I’m always seeking opportunities to learn, grow and raise the bar in all areas of my life. To have a chance to learn about best practices at some of the most successful companies on the planet is one any entrepreneur or business person should take advantage of.” – Praveen Varshney, Varshney Capital Corp…


When: Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Times: Light breakfast will be served starting at 8:00am Program: 9:00am-5:00pm (Lunch will be provided)
Where: Fasken Martineau – Room: VAN A-B 2900 – 550 Burrard Street, Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 0A3 Cost: $99.00
How to Register:Click here to purchase your ticket.



Leadership, engagement, change top 3 human capital challenges: Report

March 24th, 2017

HR Reporter

Credit: Sarah Dobson, Canadian HR Reporter


HR expertWhat it takes to be a good leader has changed as the role becomes more complex, said Sandra Reder, president and founder of Vertical Bridge Corporate Consulting in Vancouver. “It’s a way different world out there. To be a leader in today’s business climate, the old command and-control style is long gone, and back in the day, you were the boss and you got to say what happened and if people didn’t like it, they sucked it up and left — you can’t lead that way anymore. You’ve got so many different factors impacting — you’ve got technology, generational issues in the workplace, you’ve got your leaders now coming out of that younger generation and they’re a different breed, they’re hard-wired differently, so to identify them and nurture them and grow them, it requires a whole different set of rules and skills.

Check out the March edition of Canadian HR Reporter or download full article here (PDF): Leadership, engagement, change top 3 human capital challenges.

How to Create Leaders People Want to Follow

May 17th, 2016

By Debra Finlayson, MA, CHRP, SHRM-CP

creating strong leaders in the workplace

In today’s flatter, leaner environment, leaders and organizations cannot succeed without committed, contributing followers. Ask yourself: How many leaders and their organizations achieve lackluster results because they do not have the full support of their followers? (Kelley 1992, p. 200) Read more

The secret value of Exemplary Followers: Are you one?

April 18th, 2016

By Debra Finlayson, MA, CHRP, SHRM-CP

An Exemplary Follower acts with conviction and courage, not simply as an effect of Leadership, but proactively toward enhancing organizational processes

Are you an ‘exemplary’ Follower? How would you know if you were one? You may be thinking to yourself ‘What’s even the point of asking this question?’. If you are questioning the question, this is a sign that you might, in fact, be an ‘exemplary’ Follower. Read more

What is Followership and why should we care?

March 17th, 2016

followership example

Leadership is co-produced!

By Debra Finlayson, Followership Consultant

Are ineffective followers actually responsible for World War II?

Ira Chaleff, author of ‘The Courageous Follower”, opined in his classic book on Followership “If we’d had effective followers surrounding Hitler, he would not have risen to power”. And while you or I may have lessor challenges than preventing the rise of the Third Reich, the success of our organizations is still impacted not just by the quality of our leaders, but by the quality of our followers, and not just any followers.  It turns out that the type of people who could have prevented Hitler’s rise to power are the same type of people who hold the potential to unleash huge gains in productivity for your organization. They’re called “Exemplary Followers” and knowing they exist brings you half-way toward harnessing their power for positive change. Read more

Vertical Bridge HR Consultant Wins Prestigious ICF Prism 2014 Award

June 16th, 2014

ICF Prism Award Winner
Vertical Bridge is thrilled to announce that Jennifer Gerves-Keen, one of our dedicated HR consultants, was the recipient of the coveted ICF (International Coach Federation) Prism 2014 Award for the work she has been doing together with Deloitte Consulting. Here is an excerpt from the press release sent out by the ICF:
“As a professional services Firm, our internal coaches lacked the knowledge and confidence to engage in holistic coaching conversations,” says Patty Tyers, senior manager, Deloitte Consulting. “Since working with Jen, the quality and depth of our coaching culture has improved significantly. Further we have expanded our commitment to coaching by continuing to develop an even stronger coaching capability in our leadership. “It takes a village!”
“From my perspective, The ICF 2014 Prism Award is a validation of what can be achieved when a coach and an organization work together to open up a dynamic organizational community that supports the individual while creating opportunities for the entire group to move forward.” said Jennifer Gerves-Keen.Congrats, Jennifer Gerves-Keen!

Organization Learning Thrives Informally

April 29th, 2014

Source: PeopleTalk April 2014 edition (BCHRMA)

Author:  Jennifer Gerves-Keen

IN A RECENT ARTICLE ABOUT CAREERS published in The Globe & Mail, Marina Glogovac discussed the relatively new importance of continuous learning as it pertains to ongoing success in today’s marketplace. According to Glogovac, learning to learn is the most competitively relevant skill for today’s world.

Read more

Taking Control of Your Career

April 30th, 2013

Ever wonder why some people get ahead and others don’t?  Who’s managing your career?  Just as your company judges your performance on a regular basis, you need to scrutinize your company to make sure your career is on track and your employer is providing the tools you need to do a good job and learn new skills.  It’s in your best interest to ask not only what you are doing for your company but also what your company is doing for you.  Here are some questions that may help you evaluate your employer:

– Do you know where you want to go?  Continually assess what you are doing now that meets your needs and what you want to be doing one, three and five years from now.  Put together a list of goals as well as the skills and experience you will need to achieve them.  then make your plans known to those who have authority and power.

– Does your company offer career guidance?  Ideal employers nurture their employees’ careers and go out of their way to make sure they know it.  When was the last time someone with influence gave you an honest assessment of your prospects?  Ask them specifically where they see you in 2 and 5 years and what you can do to get there.

– Does your company encourage career development?  Think about whether you get the kinds of assignments, equipment and training that will keep your skills sharp and make you attractive to another employer if you’re laid off or you choose to move on.  If appropriate training programs are available, have you been encouraged to apply?

– Does your company offer equal opportunities and challenges?  Are you getting visible assignments, in on key meetings, getting the kinds of things that build a broad track record such as participating in start-ups, new product launches, foreign postings?  If you haven’t been given developmental assignments, ask your boss if there are any in your future and what you need to do to get them.

– Is your company or division financially fit?  A career that’s humming along can easily be derailed by financial setbacks in your industry.  Stay tuned for news of mergers or buyouts – pay attention to your company’s bottom line, announcements of cost-control measures or initiatives aimed at re-engineering are often harbingers of lay-offs.

– If you are a woman, how far can you go with your company?  Sad to say, even in today’s employment world no matter what your company’s policies say, the best reality check is a look around.  Count the women in senior management and consider what titles they hold and the scope of their responsibilities.

– Does your company allow you to balance your professional and personal needs?  Weigh factors that might effect balance in your life:  Are you satisfied with company policies on vacation, sick leave, overtime, parental/maternity leave?  Is it worth it to continually work 10 hour days and 6 day weeks?  Are returning mothers taken as seriously as they were pre-pregnancy?

– Are you happy?  When bottom line issues have restricted salaries and bonuses, other forms of compensation have become more important.  Does your work environment resemble a dysfunctional family, or is the atmosphere crisis ridden?

– What if your company fails this review?  Focus on what needs to be addressed even if that means changing jobs.  At worst you will detect early signs of an imminent downsizing and determine whether you could be a target.  Bear in mind however, that what bothers you at your current job may be typical of your industry so compare what you’ve got with what you are likely to get.

If your company does earn high marks, you can carry on with renewed enthusiasm, knowing that you’re in the right workplace.

Author:  Dawn Longshaw, Managing Director Professional Recruitment