Why Should Organizations be Compassionate?

Why should organisations be compassionate? That is the question posed to Dr. Julian Barling and Mac Van Wielingen in this, the latest video in our leadership series. In it, they discuss emotional resonance, supporting people in discomfort, and the development of learning capacities that help to form strong interpersonal links that inspires growth in a leader’s team.

Mac relates to the human side of compassion. He notes that a compassionate leader is one who is attuned to the present moment with their team. He cautions against a leader showing compassion by trying to ‘bail out’ their followers from their discomfort.

Julian points to compassion as being a platform which can in fact promote personal growth as opposed to the leader being a so-called ‘hero’ for their team.


BluEra builds evolved and awakened teams through executive search, team transformation, and coaching practices.

Managing the Talent Shortage

In Alberta we are all too familiar with the phrase “Talent Shortage”, we hear it on the news, we read it in the headlines, and amongst the HR community it has become common cocktail banter. The notion of a shortage is accepted, and the idea that it is becoming worse in Alberta appears to also be true. But, do we have a shortage in the first place, and are we doing everything we can to solve it? Those questions were asked by Ottawa based Halogen Software, makers of Strategic Talent Management software, in ‘HR Raging Debates’. They asked eight thought leaders their views and thoughts on the topic. The HR thought leaders weighed in with their opinions, and the article is quite thought provoking and worth the time.

The responses to the question, “Talent Shortage – Really?” are all different, although some share a common thread to what we at BluEra have been experiencing first hand in our day to day recruitment activities. The Talent shortage appears to be accepted and real, but it is not necessarily caused by a lack of people or even a lack of the right skillsets, instead it is being caused by the inability of many organizations to think creatively in order to attract the right people. At BluEra, the candidates we tend to recruit are in the top 10% of performers, we’re always looking for the best, and they are gainfully employed and not necessarily looking to make a move. Our ability to find, engage and sell a fantastic opportunity to these people, and to ensure they are successful is the foundation of our business. In order to do that we’ve had to adapt, think differently, and recruit more creatively than our peers. Dominique Jones, VP Human Resources with Halogen shares our philosophy in her response, “Even though there are reports out there to support the contrary, I really don’t think there is a skills shortage. In fact, I believe there is a great deal of highly skilled talent out there and that the “perceived” shortage is actually the product of what employers are looking for and how flexible they’re willing to be in terms of their hiring requirements and philosophy — and what they’re willing to do to find the talent”.

Our most successful clients are those that welcome thinking outside of the proverbial box with us, they are open to a new era in executive search. Allowing us to recruit from sources otherwise not considered, to use new technology and media in our strategy, and to incorporate integration, team transformation, and coaching into our search activities, our clients have been growing and succeeding in their businesses in new ways.

Don’t be afraid of the headlines; don’t let this talent shortage slow down your business. Instead, embrace the fact that we are fortunate enough to work and live in a thriving, competitive economy and invite BluEra to help you build your team with the right people to reach your goals.


BluEra builds evolved and awakened teams through executive search, team transformation, and coaching practices.

What Business Leaders Can Learn from Elite Athletes

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By Julie Kemp

I have long believed that elite athletes share many attributes with successful business leaders.  In university, I saw evidence of high performing athletes who managed to juggle exhausting training and competition schedules with high academic demands, and were successful delivering in both realms.  As a student-athlete myself, I can attest to the attributes which allowed for success, both athletically and academically.  As such, in my role as a recruiter today, I pay close attention to those individuals I meet who note athletic accomplishments amongst their successes.  Almost inevitably, I find that past athletic performance translates into business success.  But what is it, specifically, that so strongly predicts this correlation?  And, by extension, what is it that business leaders can learn from elite athletes?

To answer this question, I turned to the research of Graham Jones.  Mr. Jones is the founder of Top Performance Consulting, and works closely with Olympic and World Champion athletes, as well as senior leaders and their teams in Fortune 500 companies.  Among many of his articles and published books, I came across a piece which spells out the answer.  Mr. Jones details the steps taken for athletes and business professionals to make it to the top of their field, as well as what it takes to stay there.  Notably, he documents that success in both arenas is driven by many things, including careful planning, setting and achieving many small goals, and above all, an extraordinary mindset.  This last attribute, he notes, underpins the drive and ability to continuously reinvent oneself to stay ahead of the pack.  In today’s highly competitive marketplace, this research offers interesting insights into how leaders can channel their inner Jarome Iginla or Serena Williams.  To read more, visit http://www.tpc.uk.net/librarys/articles.

At BluEra, we are proud of our own high performing individuals.  Only recently, our team member Joelle MacDonald won the women’s category of the recent Red Deer Marathon, setting a new personal best of 3hours, 18 minutes and qualifying for the Boston Marathon.  Way to go Joelle!


BluEra builds evolved and awakened teams through executive search, team transformation, and coaching practices.

BluEra – the homegrown Calgary boutique firm grows roots in Toronto

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BluEra in Toronto?  Yes, it’s true. We are pleased to announce that BluEra also has a home in Toronto at 643 Yonge Street; 2 blocks south of Bloor.

BluEra is beyond executive search. We are a dedicated team and we know that through our work, we are able to evolve and awaken work teams to accomplish their meaningful community, corporate and personal goals. Since 2008, we have built teams, across Canada and the United States.  With a proven track record, and a strong presence in the Calgary market, one of our founding team members – Carolyn Duckworth-  started to look at new opportunities for the firm looking to discover how BluEra could continue to help business teams evolve and awaken.  What impact could we have within a new market , given our strength in building awakened teams?   What would the Canadian landscape look like if we, BluEra, had the opportunity to truly focus efforts and work not only in Calgary, but also in Central Canada?

With a diverse range of industry sectors calling Toronto home,  including financial services, business and professional services, Life Sciences, Information and Communication Technology (among others), BluEra will work with organizations that choose to seek out, and nourish, the most talented people.  Like in Calgary, BluEra will work with organization’s in central Canada who recognize that people who contribute their talents and gifts to the corporate culture and objectives of the organization build a stronger economy, which makes Canada a better place to be.

Statistically speaking, BluEra’s decision to grow in central Canada is supported by the fact that Toronto accounts for 11% of Canada’s GDP and ranks among the top 10 financial centres globally, employing about 229 000 people (CMA) in the financial services sector.  More than 11,500 Information and Communication Technology (ICT) companies operate in Toronto: 605 manufacturing firms and 10,917 service firms. Of the top 250 Canadian ICT companies listed on the Branham300 (2009), 40% are headquartered in the Toronto region.  The opportunities to be excellent at building evolved and awakened teams in the Toronto area are exciting and a good challenge for the BluEra team. (Statistics source website)

We continue to evolve and awaken.  We stretch ourselves, as individuals, and as an organization every day. We work with clients who stretch themselves to achieve both economic goals, and goals of contributing and helping the communities where we live, work and play. It’s how we work.  It’s what we do.  Grow with us. And please, spread the word about BluEra.

From the BluEra team to your team, welcome to Toronto.  To visit our Toronto office and learn more , connect with Carolyn Duckworth.  647-260-0361,  cduckworth@bluera.ca or on twitter.  You can also visit:  www.bluera.ca 


BluEra builds evolved and awakened teams through executive search, team transformation, and coaching practices.

Congratulations to all who ran in the Calgary Marathon

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Congratulations to all who took part in the Calgary Marathon yesterday. BluEra would like to say a special congratulations to our own Kim Brown (pictured above), who completed her first ever full marathon in 4hrs and 26min. Honorable mentions also to Julie Kemp and Bliss Aime, who completed the half marathon. Congratulations to everyone who took part!


BluEra builds evolved and awakened teams through executive search, team transformation, and coaching practices.


Stillness Breaks at BluEra

At BluEra, before we begin our sharing, we take a minute of silence and stillness just to be with each other.   The stillness re-centres our team on what is most important and allows for more fluidity for ourselves, our relationships, our clients, and our community. Consider taking a minute of stillness and notice what emerges.



BluEra builds evolved and awakened teams through executive search, team transformation, and coaching practices.


BluEra keeping fit

This week, BluEra decided to take our weekly bootcamp outside to Olympic Plaza in order to enjoy the unseasonably warm weather. While there we were photographed by Gavin John, photographer for the Calgary Sun. The pictures will appear in this weekend’s edition of the Sun but below is a sneak peak.

Lunch time bootcamp

Tara McCarney using the TRX in Olympic Plaza. Photo by Gavin John/Calgary Sun

Lunch time boot camp

Personal trainer Tyler McRae puts Joelle MacDonald (left) and Kim Smith (centre) through their paces during a fitness bootcamp at Olympic Plaza on Tuesday, April 2, 2013. Photo by Gavin John/Calgary Sun

BluEra’s weekly bootcamp is provided by Tyler McRae, BHkin of Kin-etics Personal Training. If you are interested in organizing a bootcamp for your workplace then we highly recommend Tyler. His work-out routines are always varied and challenging.


BluEra builds evolved and awakened teams through executive search, team transformation, and coaching practices.

What to Expect from BluEra’s Blog

On February 19th BluEra attended the Strategic Capability Network annual Wine and Cheese Event. This years event included a presentation given by David Gardner of TMP Worldwide on how to leverage Social Media to recruit top Talent. Among other topics covered in the presentation was the point that Some companies have jumped on the ‘Social Media Bandwagon’ without really having a strategy in place. It was noted that some companies seem only concerned with increasing the number of followers, connections, friends on their respective sites without ever really seeming to have an end game in place. Here is a related article from a blogger on LinkedIn who laments the lack of identity tools to help him measure the true effectiveness of his blog. Such a tool would help massively with understanding the success of a ‘blog strategy’. However, until one exists, blogs (BluEra’s included) most continue to post and hope that our target audience are seeing, reading and getting value from our regular postings.

The Social Media strategy of BluEra can be explained as follows:

1) Posting our new searches: BluEra uses our blog to advertise our active searches. This is aimed at both active and passive job seekers. If you are interested in hearing about the roles that we search for this will keep you up to date. We always post the roles we are working on to our blog.

2) Research on leadership, team work, growth, entrepreneurship, etc; We come into contact with many business leaders through our daily work. We also like to stay informed with what eminent thought leaders are saying. We use our blog to highlight particular articles or papers we have uncovered which we found interesting and which we hope our followers will find interesting also.

3) Letting you know more about our world (executive search): We also come into contact with job seekers on a daily basis. We blog about topics such as networking, interviewing, getting noticed in a crowded job market and many others. Once again if we come across a particular article we found enlightening we will share it with you through our blog.

4) Letting you know more about us: This is where we allow ourselves to share a little piece of ourselves with our blog followers. We would like you to know a little bit more about each of us. We are not just a voice on the other end of a phone, we are not just our LinkedIn profiles. Either are you. In this section (Presence Practices) we show some of what makes BluEra, well BluEra- the people.

We hope that our blog postings are informative, insightful and sometimes enjoyable for you to read. Much like our company, our social media interactions will continue to grow and change. However we will endeavor to live our BluEra values of  online as well as in person.


BluEra builds evolved and awakened teams through executive search and team transformation practices.

BluEra’s online network recognized by Linkedin

BluEra continues to grow their network and their online presence.  Last week BluEra’s Bryan Arthur, Catherine Bell, Colin Richardson, Julie Kemp and Shahauna Siddiqui were recognized for having profiles which were among the 1% most viewed LinkedIn profiles in 2012.  Also, Tara McCarney and Rick Lancaster were credited for having profiles in the top 5% of most viewed.

Bryan Arthur’s online network stands out, even at BluEra. With over 30,000 1st degree connections, Bryan not only has one of the largest networks on LinkedIn, but the largest network in Canada.  If you aren’t already connected to him please reach out and ask him to share his network with you.

He can be reached via LinkedIn at ca.linkedin.com/in/barthur/

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BluEra builds evolved and awakened teams through executive search, team transformation, and coaching practices.

BluEra – Search Consultant – COMPLETED

BluEra delivers excellence by building evolved and awakened teams through executive search and team transformation practices. Based in Calgary, we specialize in renewables, energy, infrastructure/construction, information technology, and everything entrepreneurial, offering customized human capital solutions that strengthen our clients’ competitive edge.

We are looking to add to the BluEra team! We are seeking a Search Consultant. In this role you can expect to:

• Help build evolved and awakened teams by identifying top talent through researching and networking as well as following social media with leading companies and individuals;
• Expanding our research through all avenues (in person, on the phone, internet, library, associations, social media, etc.);
• Maintaining and building relationships with candidates (career objectives and skill set in particular so we can contact them about appropriate roles in the future);
• Identifying, pre-screening, and coaching candidates forward that match the search profile for interviews when appropriate;
• Answering any questions or concerns candidates may have, particularly in the early stages of the search;
• Attending client meetings and taking notes to ensure you clearly understand the company and the role;

For more information on the role and our company, click here.


BluEra builds evolved and awakened teams through executive search and team transformation practices.

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