Last week, I was back in Toronto, Canada, in what was really beautiful spring weather, sunny, flowers starting and green grass (spring is after all short there – summer in a couple of weeks!).
The trip not only offered me the chance to catch up with friends and old-colleagues, but also allowed me to spend the week discussing the Canadian market, receivables and collections processes. In particular the progress that has been made since the pandemic around digitalization and customer treatment.
Comparing markets can be an insightful thing, and there are undoubtedly some areas where the UK, at least, has moved forward differently in comparison with the Canadian market. By comparison, there are opportunities and benefits locked away from these learnings for sure.
Likewise, I was also reminded of some of the focus and approach to business/collections from my time in Canada too… this can also be applied, to some benefit, for companies back in the UK too… a win win.
It’s the little things
Travel has the gift of providing us with fresh perspectives and in my case also the perceptions of what I think I miss vs what I actually do…
Reflecting on the trip, I was struck by these small things, which with fresh eyes, after a long absence, made me realise some of the quirky things I enjoyed during my 10 years there and made a difference to me personally. This is essentially now my checklist for when I go back…
- Canadian Cadbury’s chocolate – not the same as the uk, it’s different and I like it
- Canadian Tire – is possibly the most amazing hardware store ever, so much stuff in every store, how do they do it?
- Polishing my shoes with the brushes on the side of the down escalators on the TTC – strangely relaxing and comforting!
- Eating dinner early at 5:30 – restaurants are busy. Eat early avoid indigestion
- Goldfish – yes those tasty cheesy treats, very snackable
- President’s Choice decadent chocolate chunk cookies
- Food and asian food in particular – the food in Toronto is really very good
- Fruit and veg shops spilling onto the sidewalk
- Black squirrels – it was good to see them again (I don’t feel that way about the Racoons btw)
- And Tim Hortons iced cappuccio – although more of a summer thing… for next time
… and of course friends, old colleagues and meeting new people.
… they matter
We often assume that it is the big high profile things that are essential to our lives and we will miss when they are not there… however in fact often it is the little things and friendships that are more important.
Similarly, in business, we often hold onto big processes and practices that we think are really critical, but in reality, these perceptions may be holding us back, even not appreciated by customers or fundamental to business success.
So, what else can we learn from each other? Are there little things that really make a big difference in your processes too? What are they and is this an opportunity for improvement?
We are all connected and by being open to new perspectives, there are valuable insights to be gained, that can help us grow in all aspects of our lives.