January 15, 2011
By Bob Tubby CLP
Prosperity Partners Committee chair

bob tubby Five years ago, when I became president of Landscape Ontario, I called a meeting during Canada Blooms, gathering about a dozen or so industry mentors. I posed the question, “What can we do to help our industry members elevate their level of business acumen and professionalism?”

I referred to the group as the Prosperity Task Force. We brainstormed lots of ideas, and planted the seeds of the Prosperity Partners program. Many meetings later, the idea gelled, and grew into the concept of creating a business-owner journey to prosperity.

The Prosperity Partners Committee was formed, and worked diligently to develop the concept and direction of the program. It started with a foundation: core values (wisdom, leadership, prosperity and leadership), a purpose (“To encourage and support our partners in achieving personal and professional prosperity.”) and a vision (“We will be known as a world-class horticultural management institute, providing effective tools and processes promoting business skills.”).

With a solid foundation to work from, the Prosperity Partners program adopted the five pillars, based on Bob Prosen’s work in Kiss Theory Goodbye,  hired a consulting team (Value Profit Group, now known as Jump-Point) to bring content and tools to the program, that would be managed and coached by Jacki Hart.

In the first few years, Jacki travelled to every chapter, delivering workshops and information sessions to more than 150 business owners. She went on to develop the Best Practices workshop as the next step, and created our online template library.

In the past two years, Jacki has focused on the Best Practices workshop delivery, and mentored several other instructors, who now deliver our introductory Build Your Prosperity workshop.

Trends are changing. With the new economic demands on business, our members tell us that they are too busy to leave their business to attend business workshops. It’s a Catch-22 – they can’t get away from their businesses because they haven’t learned what the program teaches. The Prosperity Partners Committee has worked closely with membership services staff, monitoring workshop uptake, and connecting one-on-one with those who struggle to attend. The end result is, the Committee has used one of the program’s problem-solving tools to determine next steps.

The S.I.M.P.L.E. Tool Box uses these steps: Step back and review the circumstances. Identify what you can control. Measure your resources. Define your performance focus. Leverage your resources, and execute with speed. The end result is that the committee identified dwindling attendee numbers were driven primarily by tougher business challenges, and a lack of resources to deliver content in a different way to meet our purpose. We had already endorsed the Internet-based LMN (www.landscapemanagementnetwork.com), owned by one of our members, Mark Bradley. It was agreed that this delivery agent supported the Professional Operations, Sales Success and Financial Health pillars. We were missing accessible content for Leadership and Customers for Life (loyalty).

At the time this challenge emerged and became apparent to the Prosperity Partners Committee, Jump-Point (authors of the Build Your Prosperity Seminar), began work on an Internet-based entrepreneurial offering, which focuses solely on the people component and challenges in business. They named the project, Clarity for the Boss. The program aligns with and fills the gap for our Leadership and Customers for Life pillars, and also supports the other pillars with an effective and focused program. The Prosperity Committee reviewed the Clarity for the Boss program, and endorsed it as a next step for LO members on their prosperity journey.

As committee chair, I am pleased to be able to add another unique training opportunity to our list of Prosperity oriented programs. It is my hope that our collective efforts will result in improved prosperity for LO members and beyond.  I challenge you to take the next step on your journey towards your definition of real prosperity.