Powerful Insights 

Articles, interviews, inspiration, and tools to help you balance your power with purpose

Powerful Insights 

Articles, interviews, inspiration, and tools to help you balance your power with purpose

Big changes at Joanne Zuk Leadership and Strategy

corporate culture employee negotiation small business strategy Feb 02, 2023
Joanne is standing in front of a window, smiling at the camera and holding a mug that says: Boss.

Over the past few months, I've been making a lot of changes in my business. BTW, that's the thing about owning your own business. You get to make the rules. You also get to break them. Whenever you want.

I admit, I haven't been blogging a lot over the past few months. That was partly by design - I needed the time to really go deep into building a long term strategic plan for my business. It was also partly because I wasn't sure what to tell you. Things were developing and I wasn't entirely sure what my business would look like in 2023. 

So in this article, I want to share a bit about what's been happening behind the scenes, including some of the specific changes I'm making in my business. 

FYI this is a pretty dense post (seriously, go pour yourself an other cup of coffee and get comfy because you're going to want to click on a bunch of links I share). 

Changes to my social media approach

If you follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn, you may remember that in November, I took a full break from social media. I needed to get away from the constant drive to post and comment and engage. I needed to remember what I liked about social media. And I needed to figure out how I wanted to use it. 

What I realized was that I already have a great network, and more than anything, I want to be able to encourage people to work with other service providers and small business owners who have helped me with integrity and honesty. I also realized that LinkedIn is THE place where I really enjoy having conversations about the topics I'm an expert in - negotiation, leadership, strategy, culture, and innovation. 

So, I started using Instagram more personally. And I began focusing on building a more deliberate business presence on LinkedIn. 

What does that mean? Well, on Instagram, I talk about everything - business, volunteering, family, and all the things that comprise my life. For example, lately, I've been hyping an incredible new one-woman show called Pandora that just opened here in Winnipeg. It closes on February 12, so if you're close by and haven't booked your tickets yet, make sure you do that now.

I also use Instagram to highlight the work of other people - not because they pay me to (though I am open to that), but because I respect them and think you should know who they are.

For me, LinkedIn is all about business - the inside and the outside, including my involvement in the business community. If we're not already connected there, please add me as a connection; the default is to Follow me, but if you click Connect, then I get to see your content too!

Now offering Strategic Planning

In November, I returned to my roots and started Strategic Planning again. Before I left my government job, I had been in strategy roles for almost 20 years. It's work that I do exceptionally well; it's something I had been missing as I focused almost entirely on negotiation in 2022. I laughed a couple of days ago when a post from 2012 popped up in my facebook feed, that said: "Ok, I admit it - I'm a nerd and I love strategic planning!". 

Over the past year, I've dabbled in a bit of strategy work. But beginning in the fall, I started working with a couple of corporate clients on their strategy and culture plans.

I also developed a Strategic Planning model to meet the very unique needs of solopreneurs. It was based on my own experience of struggling with no group of trusted advisors (i.e. staff) to help me shape my business.

In November, I pulled together a group of smart local women business owners and tested the model with them. They walked out with a five year vision (for their businesses and their lives), a one year operational plan, and a three month tactical plan.

I walked out remembering how amazing it feels to help people make sense of all their dreams. 

So now, I'm doing a lot more corporate consulting, and have a couple of new offers for small business strategy services including full Strategic Planning and a VIP Strategy Session.

A new website!

In the meantime, I had started developing a new website. I've been using Kajabi as a course platform for over a year now and I love it. But I had started my website using Wordpress. And as my business got busier, I found it really difficult to maintain and update with new content.

So over the holiday break, I started to migrate my content over to a new website, based within Kajabi, which is a bazillion times more functional and user friendly than my old site (I'll let you be the judge - I'd love to know what you think). FYI if you're thinking about offering a course and want to see what it looks like in the back end, please let me know. I love doing demos of how I use it. 

I still have a ton of work to do behind the scenes to ensure the full site is accessible and that all the links work. But I love the way it has come together to better represent all of the things I do. I want to send a special shout out to Rachel Dyan Website Design for advising me on how to make it pretty and functional. 

New negotiation course

Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about this important topic. In fact, I developed a new fast-track program in salary negotiation for senior leaders and executives over the holidays. It's a one-hour guided negotiation course that packs only the essential content in the shortest amount of time necessary to help you develop an effective negotiation strategy. 

I developed it in partnership with an employment lawyer in Toronto. She told me that her clients often come to her for contract review, but they also ask for negotiation advice. As she said to me: "Lawyers are here to review the risks and ensure you understand the implications of the clauses in your contract. We don't teach people how to negotiate." 

While the course is designed for folks who are using a lawyer to review their contracts, it can also be used on its own. So if you find yourself with a job offer on the table and an expecation that you counter-offer in a very short window, it will give you exactly what you need to develop the knowledge, confidence, and skills necessary to get what you deserve. 

Stay tuned; this course, along with a few other new negotiation products will be on my website soon.

More blog topics and customization for you

In the last year, I've written more than 40 articles specifically about negotiation for women. While there are probably endless articles I could continue to write, I also have a lot of other knowledge that I want to share about things like strategy, organizational culture, and leadership. 

However, I know that doesn't mean you want to hear it.

So now you have the option to opt in to different topics for my blogs. I will be blogging more frequently, and the last thing I (or you) want is to clog up your inbox with articles you're not interested in. So before you scroll away from this page, take a moment and fill in the subscriber box at the bottom of the page to update your preferences. That way, I can keep sending you emails you want to read and avoid sending you articles about topics that don't interest you. 

You made it!

You've successfully reached the end of this post. Well done, you!  Also, hi mom! If you're not done reading, then let me point you to a few things you might want to check out while you're here:

  • I recently delivered a keynote to the Manitoba Women in Tech group, and they recorded it. If you had wanted to come to one of my masterclasses in the fall but couldn't make it, then watch this video for 80% of what I covered in that class. 
  • Between January and April, I'm teaching a Management and Leadership class at Red River College Polytechnic. One of the assignments in my class was to develop a personal vision and mission. So I did the assignment myself to share my own long term vision and mission (this also offers insight into how I approach the process of developing these important tools with clients). 

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