In his careers as a financial executive and industry strategist, our founder Mike Watson recognized that the small to mid-sized enterprise sector in Canada has been significantly underperforming when compared to the global economy.
As the backbone of the Canadian economy, SMEs employ the majority of Canadians and are responsible for over half of Canada’s economic output, yet many SMEs fail to achieve the status and growth that they desire. Approximately 4% of SMEs are responsible for 90% of growth in that sector. We refer to these organizations as ‘gazelles’. However, what allows these gazelles to thrive is not proprietary. The characteristics of these companies can be emulated and applied to other SMEs within Canada, especially as it relates to leadership, management, and employee engagement. As a firm, we specialize in helping enterprises achieve gazelle status.
Since its inception in 2017, Ignite has grown into a thriving enterprise that currently houses three consultants and four associates. As we move into the next phase of our growth we want to take a moment to update our clients and friends on who we are, what we do at Ignite, and where we’re headed.
Who We Are
Ignite is a team of diverse and motivated professionals who work tirelessly with small and mid-sized enterprises across Canada to facilitate strategy, enhance the functioning of high-performance executive teams, and develop business leaders in pursuit of the attributes necessary for them to excel in their roles. Despite its small size, Ignite continues to punch above its weight in terms of the variety and caliber of clients it serves.
Our work with enterprises in various industries such as manufacturing, automotive, construction, transportation, and waterfront industries, as well as non-profits, has taught us some invaluable lessons. Chiefly, people must come first. In other words, an airtight vision and strategy will fall flat if the people responsible for bringing it to life are not empowered and engaged. That’s where we come in. By linking leadership to strategy, leaders are able to enhance the lives of their employees by engaging them in the direction of the company while truly valuing and employing their input.
What We Believe
Ultimately, we want to be part of building a better business environment in Canada. We believe people are good. We believe people want to contribute to something bigger than themselves, but are not always given that opportunity. And we believe that by cultivating an environment where strategy is organic, employees are engaged, and leaders are thriving, businesses will achieve financial results well-beyond expectations.
How We’re Growing
In this pursuit, Ignite is continuing to grow to better serve the SME sector in Canada.
While continuing to hone our specialization in the family enterprise space as well as the waterfront industry and industry association sector, we are expanding our work with the addition of new talent. In addition to Mike Watson, we have recently onboarded two powerhouse consultants, each with their own unique experiences and education.
Sherry Campbell joined our team in June 2018. She brings to the team a myriad of credentials that include a PhD in Leadership, certification as a Family Enterprise Advisor, and recognition as an Executive Canadian Management Consultant. She is certified as a Master Leadership Coach and Enterprise Change Management specialist. Her past experience crosses many sectors in leadership roles with a variety of strategic challenges on small to large projects with government, public agencies and private sector clients in multiple jurisdictions across Canada, in the US and other countries. With 6 months at Ignite under her belt, Sherry has been an invaluable resource to our current clients as a leadership advisor and coach as well as a project leader, strategic consultant, and structural facilitator. On top of the work she does with our current clients, Sherry has been instrumental in solidifying a partnership with a national wealth management service as well as growing her own client base that includes multi-year engagements with high-profile organizations.
Ali Grovue joined Ignite in January 2019. From day one, it was clear that Ali was not only a great fit for Ignite, but would be instrumental in helping to grow our business while building a strong client base of her own. Ali’s background is about unique as it gets. From studying in Vancouver, and through universities in California, Maryland, and Tel Aviv, to holding senior executive positions across various industries and working closely with US government agencies on multi-million-dollar projects, Ali’s experience is a truly invaluable asset to Ignite and our clients. Oh, and did we mention she’s an Officer with the Royal Canadian Navy? Her time in the Navy, as well as her experience as an independent consultant, has taught her the lessons necessary to thrive in the corporate world such as initiative, intuition, resiliency, and determination.
Sherry and Ali represent exactly what Ignite looks for in their consultants: drive, charisma, intellect, and an unwavering ability to get things done. The work they have done and will continue to do has laid the foundation for Ignite to grow and thrive for years to come.
As a team, we are passionate about supporting leaders and facilitating strategies for thriving enterprises. We are also lifelong learners – we don’t know what we don’t know, and we find that exciting. So if you’d like to learn more about what we do, explore ways we can support you and your business, or simply share what it is that makes you tick, we would love to hear from you.