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“Merge motivates and engages her audience with her energy and enthusiasm. Her presentations are always informative, fun, clear and to the point. Attendees very much enjoy her seminars and leave with practical take-aways that they can put into action immediately.”

— Manager, Professional Development
Certified General Accountants Association of BC

Merge is now a regular Opinion columnist for Canadian Accountant

June 1, 2017

Canadian Accountant is Canada’s independent news source for the accounting profession focusing on informational, motivational and aspirational content relevant to accounting and finance professionals.  But not just for accountants!  There will also be plenty of content that is relevant to anyone who just works in the world of business (profit as well as not-for-profit).  Merge’s inaugural column is titled 5 Reasons Why Accountants Make Great Leaders.  If you’re an accountant, it’s necessary reading, no excuses! And if you’re not, you should as well, if for no other reason than to argue the point 🙂 !

Leadership lessons from the United Airlines debacle

April 19, 2017

You’d have to be under a rock or in a dark cave some place to have missed the firestorm that is United Airlines which ignited in early April.  After all, it’s not every day that an airline literally beats up its customer!   This unfortunate United Airlines incident is destined to become a textbook case of how a leader should not act in a state of crisis (particularly in the age of the Internet).  In her April 19 column in The Globe & Mail’s print and online editions — Lessons from the United debacle — Merge outlines five leadership lessons that any CEO should take to heart so as not to find themselves in a similar shaky scenario at any point in the future.

Why money is not an employee motivator

January 30, 2017

Sure, this statement generates a great deal of controversy, but believe it or not, when it comes to employee motivation, money isn’t as important as you might think.  This is exactly the topic Merge takes on in her first column for 2017 in The Globe & Mail.  In Why money is not an employee motivator, she makes the case, and perhaps more importantly and practically, explains what it means to you, the leader, so that you can inspire your people towards excellence in the workplace.  Update: as expected, this topic caused a fair amount of controversy, and went on to publish in The Globe’s Report on Business two days later on February 1.

6 Rules for Thriving in an Open-Office Environment

November 3, 2016

Love it or hate it, there is a movement afoot in workplaces across Canada to shift to the open-office floor plan.  Some say this direction is driven by lower costs, others deny it vehemently and say it encourages teamwork.  Whatever the reason, it is happening, so Merge decided that it was time to talk about how to make it work in her latest column for The Globe & Mail, rather than continue to debate its merits and drawbacks.  Six rules for the open-office environment got so much online traffic that it was subsequently published in The Globe & Mail’s Weekend Business print edition a couple of days later on November 5.

16 Ways to motivate your employees without spending money

October 13, 2016

16 Ways to motivate your employees without spending money is the title of Merge’s latest column for Profit Magazine‘s online portal.  In it, she offers up (yes, you guessed right) sixteen zero- or low-cost ideas to reward your employees on a shoestring budget.

Exciting partnership with the Chartered Professional Accountants of Alberta (CPA Alberta)

September 22, 2016

Eight full-day leadership and workplace communication programs in Edmonton and Calgary over the next six months, all open to the public.  More information here.

Announcing our new office in British Columbia

August 15, 2016

In order to better service our west coast clients by being more “local”, Merge has now established an office in Victoria BC. Today’s technology allows us to keep our telephone numbers and other contact information exactly the same, but expect Merge to be even more available to you if you’re one of our present (or future) clients in British Columbia and the western U.S.

The right way to communicate unpopular decisions to your staff

August 10, 2016

Sometimes you will have to make decisions that will not be liked by your staff.   But there are things that you can do to help your team understand and accept the new reality. And that is the topic of Merge’s latest column for ProfitGuide.com.  In The right way to communicate unpopular decisions to your staff, she offers five ideas to deliver the message, yet soften the long-term impact.

How to break bad news to a client

May 25, 2016

Sometimes things just don’t turn out the way you planned. In Merge’s new column for Profit Magazine‘s online edition — How to Break Bad News to a Client — she lays out seven steps to telling your customers the unfortunate truth without jeopardizing your reputation and credibility.

Forced ranking of employees is a foolish idea

May 10, 2016

In Merge’s latest column for The Globe & Mail‘s Leadership Lab series – Forced employee ranking is a foolish approach – she makes the controversial case for why bell-curving and forced numerical ranking have absolutely no place in high-performance workplaces.

The five most common new leader mistakes

April 1, 2016

The 5 Rookie Mistakes New Leaders Often Make is Merge’s latest column for Profit Magazine‘s online edition.  In it, she lays out the five most common gaffes made by leaders, and how you can steer clear of them.

If you’re a leader, invest in yourself first

February 5, 2016

Merge’s first column for 2016 for ProfitGuide.com is titled 5 Practical Ways You Should Invest in Yourself.  Most leaders consider it hugely important to invest in others – staff, peers, and their organization – but many forget that their capabilities as leaders is determined by what they have available in their own fuel tanks, which is why it is critical for them to invest in themselves first. Leaders can’t help anyone else if they’re running on empty!

Why CEOs should not take a vacation

December 11, 2015

Executive coaches often encourage CEOs in growing organizations to work “on” their business instead of “in” their business. So far, that’s pretty good counsel, but it’s the frequent follow-up conversation that causes Merge concern.  She explains further in her column Why CEOs should not take a vacation for The Globe & Mail.

The five-step method for crystal-clear communication

October 16, 2015

Have you ever given what you thought were crystal-clear instructions to an employee, only to discover later that they didn’t quite get it? In her latest column for Profit Magazine’s online edition, Merge lays out five specific steps to give directions in a way so that your employees understand and act – the first time.  Read How to Give Instructions Your Employees Will Actually Follow.

Three reasons to ignore your company’s policy manual

October 7, 2015

Policies are NOT rules, they’re just guidelines!  Blasphemy or good business judgment?  Merge offers three perspectives in her regular column in The Globe & Mail to make the case for why corporate rule books were put together to offer guidance to leaders, not to handcuff and prevent them from using and applying good judgment. Read Three reasons to ignore your company’s policy manual.

Procrastination: why do today what you can put off till tomorrow?

September 8, 2015

Procrastination: where you put off doing stuff until it becomes critical, vow that you’ll never put yourself in that situation again, but of course, finding yourself exhausted from the last sprint to the finish line find yourself in exactly the same condition yet another time!  As part of Productivity week, Merge penned this column as part of Profit Magazine‘s panel of business experts.  Read A 9-Point Plan for Overcoming Procrastination.

What really went wrong at Amazon? asks The Globe & Mail, and Merge answers

August 22, 2015

Merge was invited to write a piece for The Globe & Mail‘s Commentary & Analysis section following a New York Times‘ story about about Amazon’s “bruising” work culture where only the fittest survive, and the rest are discarded as collateral damage along the way. Amazon’s leadership forgot that ‘how’ is as important as ‘what’ offers an insight into what really went wrong within the senior leadership ranks at this company.  If you are unable to view this article online, you can also read a pdf version here.

“Five foolproof ways to destroy employee morale” goes viral on The Globe & Mail’s site

August 14, 2014

Merge’s latest column for The Globe & Mail‘s Leadership Lab series clearly struck a chord with many, garnering thousands of hits on their site and going viral in just a matter of hours.  In Five foolproof ways to destroy employee morale Merge lays out what some managers do to completely destroy their employees’ self-confidence, drag down team motivation, and create a negative working environment.  Here is the definitive list of five things leaders should never do!

“How to Stop Doing Employees’ Work for Them” is Merge’s latest contribution to ProfitGuide.com

June 20, 2015

In How to stop doing employees’ work for them, Merge addresses the classic leadership trap of  “reverse delegation”, the natural tendency  that leaders have to offer assistance by taking back a task they’ve assigned to another member of the team.  This columns shows you how to respectfully and effectively push back when it occurs.

Merge’s latest column for The Globe & Mail is titled “Got a problem employee? Don’t whitewash”

June 19, 2015

“Whitewash” is a communication blunder that many managers make where they seek to address a problem behaviour by issuing a broad edict to many, instead of being direct and specific with the particular employee who is the concern. Not only does whitewash not achieve the desired outcome with the problem employee, but perhaps more damaging, it is demoralizing to the high-performers on the team. This article lays out the five key steps to structure your dialogue so YOU DON’T whitewash. Read it here: Got a problem employee? Don’t whitewash.  This online column was subsequently published in the print edition of  The Globe‘s Report on Business on June 26.

Merge continues sharing her knowledge as a member of Profit Magazine’s panel of business experts

June 18, 2015

In How to stay focused by managing workflow interruptions, Merge’s latest column for ProfitGuide.com, she offers three strategies to minimize distractions, maximize productivity, and get more done.

Merge is now a contributing columnist at ProfitGuide.com

May 20, 2015

ProfitGuide.com is the online version of Profit Magazine, a Canadian business magazine aimed at entrepreneurs, focusing on how to find opportunity and seize it, management practices, case studies and access to peer groups. Profit Magazine is published by Rogers Media, the same publishing house that puts out Canadian Business, MoneySense and Macleans, so Merge is excited to be in such distinguished company.  Her inaugural column is titled How to become a persuasive triple-threat and explores what it takes to get more people to buy your ideas.

The Globe & Mail publishes Merge’s latest column about dealing with negative gossip in the workplace

May 7, 2015

If leader’s don’t have zero-tolerance for negative workplace gossip, then the only outcome will be the rapid demise of teamwork!  In her latest column for The Globe & MailTake the toxins out of office gossip — Merge offers insights and strategies for leaders to manage this important challenge.  This online column was subsequently published in the print edition of  The Globe‘s Report on Business on May 15.

In her newest column for The Globe & Mail’s Report on Business, Merge talks about how the company rumour mill can actually be an asset.

March 10, 2015

The company rumour mill is unavoidable, so smart leaders make it work for them!  In Make the company grapevine work for you, Merge offers some insights into “how”.

Make decisions and take action, ask for forgiveness later.  Merge’s columns in The Globe & Mail continue to interest readers

January 9, 2015

Leaders: Get rid of the ‘Mother may I?’ mindset addresses Merge’s contention that one should not ask for permission, rather for forgiveness.  This online Leadership Lab column was subsequently published in the print edition of The Globe‘s Report on Business on January 12.

Two of Merge’s Leadership Lab columns make the top two in The Globe’s Top Ten!

January 2, 2015

On January 1, The Globe ran a retrospective on the Top Ten Leadership Lab columns in 2014, and two of Merge’s columns made #1 and #2 on the list!  Joe Natale, Executive VP and Chief Commercial Officer at Telus Corp; Sherry Cooper, former chief economist at Bank of Montreal; and Karl Moore, associate professor at the Destautels Faculty of Management at McGill University are three other noted columnists who made the top ten. You can read the entire Top Ten list at Top leadership tips of 2014 on The Globe‘s site (and access each of the articles there as well).

And the conversations continue with Merge’s latest column in The Globe & Mail about “piss-off factors”

November 4, 2014

Why do smart managers do stupid things? is the provocative title of Merge’s newest contribution to The Globe‘s Leadership Lab series.  This online column was subsequently published in the print edition of  The Globe‘s Report on Business on November 7.

Why are so many managers useless as leaders?  Another of Merge’s columns in The Globe & Mail goes viral

October 6, 2014

Merge has done it again!  This column garnered over 30,000 views and 24,000 direct shares in just three days online.  Why are so many managers useless as leaders? went on to publication in the print edition of  The Globe & Mail‘s Report on Business on October 10.

Live online event on October 8: Leading employees who are stretched to the limit

September 5, 2014

Are your employees overloaded and overwhelmed?  On October 8, Merge will be leading a live online event in which she’ll give you the tools you need to help your overextended employees meet their goals AND reduce their stress.  For more information, or to register, visit our detailed information page.

Merge interviewed by 1310 News Radio Ottawa

September 3, 2014

Merge’s column in The Globe & Mail on Boomers on the verge of retirement caught the attention of 1310 News Radio Ottawa’s popular talk show host Ed Hand.  He invited Merge to be on his weekday morning show Talk to the Hand.  You can listen to the conversation here:

Talk to the Hand – Wednesday September 3, 2014

The Globe & Mail publishes Merge’s advice about Boomers on the verge of retirement

August 20, 2014

After the runaway viral success of Merge’s last three columns about millennials in The Globe & Mail, her newest column has gone in another direction, focusing on a different demographic — Boomers on the verge of retirement. If you have an employee who is either doing an adequate job but no more, no less; or one who has mentally already left the building; then you will find How to motivate the close-to-retirement employee of great value.  This column was subsequently published in The Globe‘s Report on Business print edition on August 29, 2014.

Merge interviewed by CKNW 980 NewsTalk Vancouver

June 18, 2014

The interest in generational differences in the workplace continues to resonate with audiences everywhere.  Following Merge’s three very popular columns in The Globe & Mail, The Bill Good Show on CKNW 980 NewsTalk Vancouver invited Merge to be a guest on their show.  You can listen to the conversation here:

The Bill Good Show – Wednesday June 18, 2014

It’s official!  Merge scores a hat trick!

June 10, 2014

All three of Merge’s columns on generational differences in the workplace for The Globe & Mail went viral.  Here are the links to all three:

Merge’s latest column in The Globe & Mail gets noticed again

April 30, 2014

After the viral success of her last column (Four things millennials hate about you) in The Globe & Mail on March 31, Merge continues the conversation with her latest missive Don’t gripe about millennials at work, appreciate their talents instead.

Merge’s expertise sought for an article about dysfunctional workplace behaviour

April 17, 2014

Writer Deanne Gage asked Merge for insights on how to manage several types of anti-patterns — dysfunctional behaviour that manifests repeatedly in the workplace — for the April issue of CPA Magazine.  CPA Magazine is read by over 180,000 of Canada’s most influential and foremost business decision makers.  Learn how to deal with cookie lickers, mushroom managers, credit grabbers and hammerheads in Nailed! Knock out unhelpful patterns of workplace behaviour.

Live online event on April 30: Stop the self-sabotage! Breaking communication habits that are hampering your success

April 7, 2014

Even if you consider yourself a good communicator, the odds are still high that you’re committing a few of the cardinal sins of communication without even realizing it. On April 30, Merge will be leading a live online event in which you’ll learn, in detail, how you might be inadvertently sabotaging your efforts to communicate with clarity, confidence and professionalism. She’ll give you practical actionable steps that you can take to become more effective in what you say and produce the results you want. For more information, or to register, visit our detailed information page.

Merge interviewed on radio!

April 2, 2014

Following the viral storm created by Merge’s column Four things Millennials hate about you in The Globe & Mail on March 31, several radio stations interviewed Merge.  Below are links to some of these interviews:

Merge’s latest column in the Globe & Mail goes “viral”!

April 2, 2014

Merge’s latest column (March 31, 2014) in The Globe & Mail is on fire!!  Over 50,000 hits and 5,000 shares in its first two days, it’s causing quite a commotion. Find out why for yourself (and join in the discussion) – Four things millennials hate about you.

Generations Exposed: Unexpected Insights Into the People You Work With – Merge’s new book released!

February 20, 2014

generation-bookA quick primer on the four generational demographics – Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation Xers, and Millennials – found in today’s workplace! This easy-to-use reference guide is illustrated to help you find information quickly; you’ll be able to compare and contrast, in a glance, the differences among the generations. Designed specifically to help leaders build better working relationships and accomplish more with their teams, it’s sure to become an indispensable part of your leadership toolkit.  To view sample pages, or to purchase copies, visit our Leadership Book Store.

Merge is now a contributing author to The Globe & Mail’s Leadership Lab series!

January 23, 2014

Merge’s kicks this off with her inaugural column titled “How to be the boss when your co-workers are your friends“.  Focusing specifically on how to ease the awkwardness of supervising friends, this short-action oriented article offers seven specific ideas on making the transition from peer to boss.   Merge’s columns will be published approximately once a month from now on.

Merge honored by her alma mater, the Haskayne School of Business

October 18, 2013

HSBKiosk
The Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary featured Merge “front and centre” in their Alumni spotlight – the electronic display wall in the main entrance to the business school. The “wall” is used to showcase alumni who have influenced and shaped the worlds of business, politics, education, environment and community. Other honorees are featured in the school’s website. The business school has approximately 3,000 full- and part-time students enrolled in bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate, and executive education programs, and stays connected with its 20,000 alumni in 60 countries worldwide. Merge graduated from the HSB in 1988 with a Masters in Business Administration Honors.

Merge’s new audio learning program just released –
Lead Smart – How to Avoid the Most Common First-time Leader Mistakes

July 13, 2013

Designed specifically for those in their first formal leadership role, or those thinking about making the jump into supervision, this audio specifically addresses the issues and challenges faced by first-time leaders. Learn more