DiscoverFine Tune with Corby Fine
Fine Tune with Corby Fine

Fine Tune with Corby Fine

Author: Corby Fine

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Looking to 'Fine Tune' your business, your team or yourself? Corby Fine offers innovative ideas, opinions and examples to address all kinds of different challenges, while identifying opportunities to help you innovate and succeed using his two decades of experience. You will hear and learn from the best interviews, case studies and ideas in marketing, digital transformation, analytics and leadership.
18 Episodes
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While considered a success in her career, Alyssa Atkins had ended a long term relationship and witnessed some of the people, women in particular, in her life going through challenges with regards to getting pregnant and having kids. What she was witnessing triggered her thoughts and desire to one day have kids, all while not "in the perfect situation" with the right partner, the right job, the right house... She decided to at least start her own process with a fertility test.And that's where it all fell apart.Delays. Waiting. Complex information and results. It's a gong show of a process for women and couples trying to navigate it all. So, like many good entrepreneurs do, Alyssa set out to solve her own problem, but not just for herself... Also for women and couples en mass, and with that Lilia was born (no pun intended... well, maybe).As I speak to Alyssa about her foray into entrepreneurship, she shares so many incredible and valuable tips that anyone can apply to their work, whether as an entrepreneur or someone working in a small, medium or large organization, at any level. One area of discussion focused on the fact that entrepreneurs are constantly making decisions with about 40% of the information available. Of course we all wish we had 100%, but often, if we were to wait we would miss opportunities. And so the job of Alyssa and anyone in business is to make good decisions with imperfect information. You just have to try to be right most of the time. A few other basic tips include;"Just give people what they want""Listen to your users, no really, REALLY listen to them""Don't assume you know who your investors or your customers will be""Avoid your inner saboteur"Alyssa is also full of really simple and tactical tips like committing to non-zero days. You don't have to accomplish everything in a day, so focus on a couple of things and just move the needle forward. Maybe one day it is just sending an important email, as long as it can be considered progress, consider it a success.  One other tip is the rule of three things. Just put down three things on a "Post-it" note each day, just make sure they are the highest value things you can achieve. If you complete those things they should move your business forward. Sounds simple.When you are done this episode, then listen to the rest of my podcast and let me know what you think about it by subscribing to my email list. I hope you enjoy listening. If you have any ideas for other interviews or topics, please don’t hesitate to let me know.
It doesn’t matter whether the drain in your kitchen sink gets clogged, the toilet backs up, or the shower stops working: any plumbing problem brings with it a state of high urgency. For most people, the first course of action is to quickly look up the contact details of their local plumber, assuming of course they can navigate the complexity of choices and options shown with every Google search. Then the question is, can you get a service provider to come and resolve your issue quickly? As the leading North American plumbing and water cleanup service, Roto-Rooter has been a household name for many of us for decades. However, over the years it became increasingly important for Roto-Rooter to modernize their website and digital platforms so that they could continue to provide the best customer experience, both online and offline.The company’s platform had to understand the location of the customer in relation to the nearest service technician. It has to load quickly and make it easy for customers to find what they’re looking for, otherwise they will search elsewhere.Roto-Rooter engaged with Microsoft and Architech, a Toronto based company who are experts in software development and digital transformation to take on the project. What they built was a new cloud-based solution that not only improved the customer experience, but also boosted the site's overall SEO, cut page load speeds, and allowed Roto-Rooter to scale reliably into the future. In fact, this solution was recognized by Microsoft on the global stage, winning the Global Partner of the Year Award for open-source solutions on Azure in 2020. Listen in as Sally Bayer, Vice-President of Marketing for Roto-Rooter, David Suydam, CEO & Founder of Architech, and Stephen Tanaka, GM Microsoft Partners, Microsoft Canada, discuss the state of digital transformation and the project that helped Roto-Rooter become even more capable of maintaining their market position as a leader in their industry.When you are done this episode, then listen to the rest of my podcast and let me know what you think about it by subscribing to my email list. I hope you enjoy listening. If you have any ideas for other interviews or topics, please don’t hesitate to let me know.
The best brands in the world ultimately have a crystallized point of view. They know why they exist, whether you call it purpose or experience, it doesn't really matter. The point is that, whatever you call it, there is consistency. It is recognizable and it is explainable. Inside an organization, somebody has to be the keeper and the ambassador of the brand and to keep it top of mind across all initiatives and endeavors. Ultimately, everybody in the organization should own it. That is what Livia Zufferli, Partner, Customer Marketing & CMO Program Leader for Deloitte defines as the B to E to C model. In her model, the business has to engage and empower the employees to then pass that brand message and experience (or purpose) down to the customer so that everyone is aligned. The best brands must first make sense of and resonate the experience with their employees, to then be able to resonate it with their consumers. That means no matter who is standing there representing the brand, an employee, the CEO, even the brand's agency, everybody should be an equal owner in the story with a crystallized view.In this episode, Livia joins me to discuss this and other important aspects of what makes a brand relevant in the age of digital and performance marketing. Livia brings her experience from both agencies and organizations where she has held such roles as SVP Brand for Rogers Communications and VP, Head of Marketing for Target Canada where she lived the incredibly fast rise and fall of that iconic brand in the Canadian market. She might just talk a little bit about that experience and what every marketer should know when it comes to being able to have all departments in an organization take accountability for the brand's success.When you are done this episode, then listen to the rest of my podcast and let me know what you think about it by subscribing to my email list. I hope you enjoy listening. If you have any ideas for other interviews or topics, please don’t hesitate to let me know.
ExecThread isn't a recruiting firm. It is a platform, a community, a marketplace, trying to do something that's paradigm-shifting in the executive recruiting market by using a unique crowdsourced approach to bring much-needed transparency to the ‘hidden job market’. ExecThread has amassed ~15,000 retained executive searches to-date, and made them available on the platform to their members.When Joe Meyer decided to test the waters for a new executive-level role after his time spent at Apple following the acquisition of his last start-up, he found the process excruciatingly inefficient. A large part of that frustration lies in the fact that the vast majority of executive-level job opportunities that you often want to pursue aren’t publicly-posted, and hence are hard (if not impossible) to access.These are often the confidential job opportunities worked on by retained executive search firms, though the only chance you have of finding out about them is if you're directly approached by the recruiter, or someone in your network tells you about them.And the chances of that happening are pretty slim. Even if you are well-pursued by executive recruiters, you're still only finding out about a sliver, a microscopic sliver of the opportunities out there. So Joe decided to solve that problem by bringing more transparency to these much sought-after opportunities.What he built was ExecThread, a close-knit exclusive network where members help each other by sharing career opportunities, vetting other applicants for membership, and breaking down the traditional barriers of the executive search ecosystemWhat also came out of the build-out of this highly curated network was another remarkable outcome.Nearly half of the ExecThread’s 50,000 members come from underrepresented groups (which over-indexes the national average at the executive-level by over 2x), an unintentional outcome driven by ExecThread’s underlying value-proposition of bringing much-needed transparency & access to confidential exec-level jobs. Not only is ExecThread breaking down the $40-50 Billion executive search industry, but is doing it with inherent bias’ removed as well, and as a result is leveling the playing field.Oh, and did I say that all member referrals are automatically granted access. So, let me know if you want in by sending me an email through the form on my website, or apply on your own at ExecThread.
Every once in a while I come across  an organization that I had no idea existed, you know, we've all had that experience where we're looking up a stock symbol, we're watching a financial news show, we find out one of our friends or colleagues or neighbors work somewhere. We ask them what they do, and it's like, what the heck is that? I didn't even really know that existed!Well, last year I was in Vancouver and I was speaking at a session for one of my favorite technology companies, Adobe, and I had an opportunity to meet an individual, Manoj Jasra, who was exactly in one of those situations, working for an organization in this really cool role that I seriously had no idea existed. The company is Northland Properties, and I had never heard of them.What I did know were all of the brands and assets that roll up into it. So it was just this weird, interesting conversation. And so I asked Manoj to join me on the podcast to talk a little bit about himself, a little bit about his really interesting role and a little bit about his really interesting company, Northland Properties.Recognized throughout Canada as one of the most trusted names in hotels, restaurants, sports, and construction, Northland Properties Corporation is the force behind such brands as Sandman Hotel Group, The Sutton Place Hotels, Moxie’s Grill & Bar, Chop Steakhouse & Bar, Denny’s Restaurants, the Dallas Stars, and Northland Asset Management Company. Proud to be 100% Canadian-owned and operated, with over 50 hotels across Canada, the UK, Ireland and the USA, they have head offices in both Calgary and Vancouver, and employ over 12,000 talented individuals across the world.In the role of Chief Digital Officer and Chief Marketing Officer, Manoj is tasked with transforming this legacy business, building out internal marketing agency and digital capabilities, while growing revenues and enhancing the customer experience across all of their properties and brands.Listen in to Manoj Jasra as he shares his stories and opinions as an authority on how to transform organizations, build internal agency capabilities and redefine the role of the CDO and CMO. Then, listen to the rest of my podcast and let me know what you think about it by subscribing to my email list. I hope you enjoy listening. If you have any ideas for other interviews or topics, please don’t hesitate to let me know.
In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, digital, data, UX, and technology solutions could not be more critical to an organization’s overall strategy, growth, and success. As an executive leader, Shawn Mandel transforms organizations and drives positive, lasting change to position those organizations as both industry and market leaders. A leader at the intersection of business and technology, his career encapsulates a blend of expertise in product and software development, business transformation, digital, data, and IT development and operations. Oh, and he likes Malcolm Gladwell too.With strengths that transcend industries, he has led some of the most transformative initiatives for Canada’s top brands, including TELUS and Rogers. Now, he tackles one his biggest challenges. Modernizing and transforming Cineplex, the leading film and entertainment company in Canada. As theaters shut down, how has Shawn set himself and Cineplex up for the future? His broad experience across the technology, telecommunications, e-commerce, retail and media & entertainment sectors might be just what they, and we as consumers, needed.Listen in to Shawn as he shares his stories and opinions as an authority on how to transform organizations, hire top talent and redefine the role of the CDO (all from the confines of my backyard). Then, listen to the rest of my podcast and let me know what you think about it by subscribing to my email list. I hope you enjoy listening. If you have any ideas for other interviews or topics, please don’t hesitate to let me know.
Tony Chapman won a multi-million dollar agency pitch with 40 pictures and a monologue. I was there to witness it, and ever since, have marveled at this marketing guru who is also one of Canada’s leading communication experts and one of the youngest members inducted into the Marketing Hall of Legends (2008). In this episode, Tony and I discuss the best ways to succeed, whether you are a large multinational or a small, local entrepreneur. Some of Tony's most important pieces of advice resonate across all verticals and businesses. He has many insights and thoughts on culture, the role of digital, and which brands are winning in today's world competing for customers and their constant attention.Some highlights of Tony's advice include:"Stop telling your story, become part of theirs" "Give the customer more of what matters to them, their life, their livelihood, their family, and do it with less friction""I think you can, especially with digital nowadays, have an incredibly purposeful career that will bring profit to you versus a profitable career that lacks purpose"Listen in to Tony Chapman as he shares his stories and opinions as an authority on how to build brands and sell strategically and profitably in today’s volatile marketplace. Then, listen to the rest of my podcast and let me know what you think about it by subscribing to my email list. I hope you enjoy listening. If you have any ideas for other interviews or topics, please don’t hesitate to let me know.
Ivan Pehar is the Country Manager for Spotify Canada. After spending a number of years at another digital goliath, he made the move to conquer one of most people's passions, the music business. In this episode, I talk with Ivan about the Spotify platform, and how it has become such an important and influential player in Canada's digital media and content landscape. It is not just for music creators and music lovers, rather it is a place for all kinds of audio content both for those who want to consume it, as well as for those that want to build a business with Spotify using audio as a key tactic.Spotify has a few sides to its business. One is obviously tied to consumer entertainment and streaming of content, with the other being focused on advertisers and marketers trying to reach specific audiences. We discuss how Spotify thinks about these two sides of the business and how content producers, like myself, can take advantage of the platform to help build a business with Spotify. It's not just for music producers anymore.If you are a business, a content producer, or just a fan of great music and audio content, you must listen in!Listen to the rest of my podcast as well and let me know what you think by subscribing to my email list. I hope you enjoy listening. If you have any ideas for other interviews or topics, please don’t hesitate to let me know.
If you are in Canada then you have probably spent a good portion of your grocery, drug and other living expenses at a store owned, operated or franchised by Loblaw. Loblaw Companies Limited is the largest Canadian food retailer operating under 22 different brand banners (including Loblaws), as well as pharmacies, banking and apparel. They are massive. With over 136,000 full-time and part-time employees they are the second largest employer in the country. They also have their own private label products under brands include President's Choice, No Name and others.So other than their size, what makes them so interesting? Well, they are in the middle of a massive transformation, helping millions of customers transition from using a shopping cart in their stores, to using a different kind of shopping cart from their homes, work or anywhere on their phone.  Yes, we are talking about migrating from those metal and plastic shopping carts used in physical stores, to the digital carts on the different e-commerce websites for each of the brands.  How big of a transformation?  Well they hit $1 Billion in e-commerce revenue, in 2019, doubling from their 2018 results.In order to handle this transformation, the digital team has to manage changing customer expectations, massive performance needs and incredibly complex relationships with their retails stores, distribution centers and supplier partners.  Lauren Steinberg, VP Product, UX and Digital Marketing spends some time with me talking about all of these challenges and how Loblaw is changing the face of retail in Canada, and getting noticed around the world.
It’s completely natural to be nervous when starting a new job. New people, new office, new commute, new culture... new coffee. But in the age of the pandemic, more and more people are starting their new jobs from home. Alone. With no direct connection to their new team other than through screens.So what happens when your first day is remote? What if many days, weeks and even months after that are also remote? What if you aren’t able to meet your boss, your colleagues and your own team for a while? How will you get to know your coworkers, get up to speed on how to do your job, or even know who to contact when you have questions?Remote work and remote onboarding are the current norm and it just might be that way for the long term. In this episode I talk about my own experience starting my new job in March, and also speak to two others who went through their own remote onboarding experiences. Len Ball and Dean Guest have some great insights and recommendations on succeeding through a remote job start. Key to remember, you aren't the only one adapting to the new way of work. It's important to remember that your team, your boss and your customers are too.I also had the chance to speak to Evan Hallward, co-founder of a new startup, Aboard, which is focused on assisting organizations in creating virtual onboarding programs. Given the current transition of the workplace, they just might be onto something big!Listen to the rest of my podcast as well and let me know what you think by subscribing to my email list. I hope you enjoy listening. If you have any ideas for other interviews or topics, please don’t hesitate to let me know.
A recent poll posted to 2,200 Americans by Statistica asked one simple question to try and see the impact of the coronavirus on consumer sentiment about going back to the gym. The results weren't all that surprising. 69% of respondents said they were much less likely to go to the gym and a combined 75% somewhat or much less likely.  That's a pretty scary set of numbers for studio owners.Given those numbers I decided to ask someone in the industry how they are preparing for a post coronavirus world. That someone is Jonathan Fagg, head of Digital and Media for GoodLife Fitness, the largest fitness company in Canada and the fourth largest in the world with 1,500,000 members, over 400 clubs across Canada, and over 13,000 associates.Jonathan and I discuss the convergence of digital and physical in the new world of fitness, and how the definition of a customer is changing and will include members that might never step foot inside one of their studios. This digital only customer is a new phenomenon for GoodLife, but not for companies like Peloton and newer entrants like Tonal.As part of GoodLife's initial foray into a more digital first approach, they have launched a new digital gym called #GoodLifeAtHome to help Canadians discover new and different ways to live a healthy life and stay #CanadianStrong while staying in. As part of this initiative, all Canadians will have access to the weekly schedule of free workouts, wellness tips and free live classes on GoodLife’s social channels (@GoodLifeFitness), designed to keep everyone active from the safety of their own home. Check them out at www.goodlifefitness.com.Find the story at https://corbyfine.com/gym-post-coronavirus/
It was 1999 and I was early in my career, VERY early in my career. I had started as a product manager at a "stealthy startup" and found myself working for a really smart and charismatic individual, Michael Tamblyn. Michael was in charge of product and I was there to learn.Flash forward a decade or two, and I now sit at my computer with a microphone and headphones, and in my screen is a slightly more mature Michael Tamblyn in a much different role. This time, as the CEO of Rakuten Kobo, Michael and I sit down to talk about his experiences leading and growing a Toronto startup through a global expansion and acquisition by a not so likely suitor. Not a venture fund, not a valley power-house, not a wealthy family...but the largest e-commerce player in Japan, Rakuten.Michael gives some great tips for leaders in any business to consider. First, use your competitors as your distribution channel. Imagine, books being sold electronically through retailers that sold the traditional print versions of the same product. Second, remember it is a lot easier and cost effective to find a market adjacency for your existing customer base than to build a new customer base from scratch. Third, taking the physical out of the mix of your business can simplify and create new opportunities for expansion. And fourth, if you can get your customers to build your product and content...well the outcomes are obvious.How would Michael's tips from his experience at Kobo apply to your business? Why not listen and try to figure it out.Listen to the rest of my podcast as well and let me know what you think buy subscribing to my email list. I hope you enjoy listening. If you have any ideas for other interviews or topics, please don’t hesitate to let me know.
I consider myself a "power user" on the LinkedIn platform, having had my profile used in sales pitches by LinkedIn sales representatives over the years. I love the platform, it's power and it's ability to maintain my professional identity. I have used it to get jobs, make meaningful and valuable connections, to help others in their own career endeavours, among many other useful purposes.  I had the opportunity to speak with Diana Luu, Head of Marketing Solutions Canada & Business Services North America at LinkedIn about LinkedIn and some useful tips and tricks we can all use (and should).  Here is a quick synopsis of some of our discussion.Tip 1 - Update your profile as you accomplish things, your LinkedIn profile should always be changing.Tip 2 - Accept anyone credible even if you haven’t met them - you never know when you might need that connection.Tip 3 - Have a completed profile (don’t forget the pic as it makes you 21 times more likely to get a view).Tip 4 - Personalize the background image - it says something about YOU!Tip 5 - Add personal elements to your summary and see what happens (PS I like funky socks). And the NEVER do’s1. Don’t lie - this is your professional identity of record.2. Don’t have an incomplete profile.3. Don’t overshare (and make what you share relevant).4. Don’t share for the sake of sharing, have an opinion even if it isn’t that of others - be authentic.5. Don’t be negative and derogatory …and don’t forget my tips on using LinkedIn as a business development and research tool - listen in for the secrets.
For fourteen years Erica Ehm has been developing her craft as an entrepreneur and CEO, after spending the first part of her career as an icon in Canadian television and music.  From interviewing rock bands, to informing and educating parents on being their best, Erica has used her skills as a creator, innovator and disruptor to turn all of her endeavours into incredible success stories.In this episode, Erica gives us tips and advice on how to be successful in whatever it is you want to do. Some of the fundamentals in her arsenal include never take "no" personally, always listen to your staff, your customers, your competitors, your numbers and your heart....and be persistent until you find your yes! All you need is one yes to be successful.Oh, and never ignore those random Tweets or messages on social media. For Erica, it led to a new partnership, a government grant and shout outs from Senators!Don't forget to watch Kurt Cobain and Erica Ehm as well in her self declared favourite interview - https://youtu.be/PDgP4hN4OA4 (PS listen to the last 15 seconds - it's very timely)
I recently posted a single question on Linkedin and Twitter asking a very simple question. What’s your number one tip for staying motivated while working at home? It was a popular post and I wanted to dig in further, so I recruited a panel of 5 executives to discuss the topic and at the same time, answer some fun and embarrassing questions along the way.If you are looking for motivation to get out of bed in the morning, ideas on how to work from home with teams scattered across locations, or just a good laugh to questions like "have you taken a conference call into the bathroom", or "what's your most embarrassing moment so far working from home", then listen in.My panelists include:Alex Panousis – CEO, CaratGabe Dunlop – CMO, Diply.comMark Jordan – Former VP Brand Strategy & Chief Communications Officer, Kids Help PhoneDaniela Dighi - Director, Analytics Innovation Program, Enterprise Analytics, CIBC - Luvleen Sidhu - Co-Founder & CEO, BankMobileRemember to subscribe to this Podcast on your favorite platform and visit me at http://www.corbyfine.com
Small-to-mid-sized businesses (SMEs) which includes startups, now represent just under 90% of employment in North America.  They are hungry for talent but often lack the revenue base to support having highly qualified, experienced employees work for them – especially at the leadership level.Along comes Fractional Employment.So what is fractional employment?The term “fractional employment” has been around for several years, but it is emerging as the new model for employment – especially in SMEs and startups.Under the fractional employment model, an employee spends a discrete amount of time out of each week with multiple employers.  In its ideal form, it could be 2 days each with 2 different employers plus one day to spend with a third company.....this would net out as a full work week for the employee.Well, today, I have the luxury of having two seasoned executives to talk about their transition from corporate, full time employment to the new world of the fractional employment, as fractional executives. Rory Capern (https://www.linkedin.com/in/rorycapern/) and Chris Hodgson (https://www.linkedin.com/in/christopherhodgson/) both ex-Google executives, join me to discuss their own transitions while giving great advice on how to make the jump if you are considering fractional work for yourself.Key to their collective advice:1. Focus on the impact you can make for your clients2. Set expectations with your clients to focus on the output or risk spending too much time measuring the inputs (like time, etc.)3. Know yourself, and therefore the kinds of companies you want to take on as clients to ensure the best chance at success4. Leverage your network, trusted connections make it a lot easier to find that first clientRemember to subscribe to this Podcast and visit me at https://www.corbyfine.com.
No matter the economic conditions, it is still possible to do something risky and succeed. No matter the time, environment or challenges you face, if you have an idea you believe is ready for the world, why not give it a shot and go for it.  Today, we have the opportunity to speak with Amy Davies, an entrepreneur in Toronto who started her business well before the current Covid-19 situation. Ironically, the service she built and is offering happens to be perfectly aligned to what is happening around the world.Amy Davies is the founder and CEO of First 30 Incorporated (https://first30ready.com), an innovative technology company that has developed an online and mobile-friendly outplacement program, offering 30 days worth of coaching videos and resources that businesses can offer to their employees affected by restructuring and layoffs. Amy is also the author of A Spark in the Dark: Illuminating Your Path to a Brilliant Career in a Reorg World.Our discussion focuses on the things every entrepreneur faces, challenges, risks and opportunities. Listen in as Amy and I discuss her business, while giving real world advice on how to succeed no matter how bad the challenges in front of you.
Everyone is a population of 1.For me, that is no more evident than in my career path. Over 20 years, I have gone from coding databases to selling Viagra to running a 2MM customer digital bank.I have decided to launch this Podcast, FineTune with Corby Fine, for those of you who are looking to 'Fine Tune' your business, your team or yourself.  I am going to offer innovative ideas, opinions and examples to address all kinds of different challenges, while identifying opportunities to help you innovate and succeed using my two decades of experience. You will hear and learn from the best interviews, case studies and ideas in marketing, digital transformation, analytics and leadership.  I promise you that in every episode, there will be those one or two nuggets that you can action...not just theory, but challenges for you to tackle head on. Ready to learn something new...then let’s go...For today’s initial Podcast. I wanted to give a little bit of context to who I am, how I think, and why you should keep listening after this initial pilot episode...and there is no better way to start than to try and give you some context as to my leadership style and how I approach teams that work with me.  How you manage people is a good sign of how you think and act in other areas of your life as well.
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