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Real Estate

Disruptive innovation

Last night I was privileged to be able to speak at the Greater Westside Board of Trade business awards dinner.
I talked about Innovation and Collaboration which are two very interesting words that require one other important word - cooperation.
In so many facets of our lives we deal with Cooperation Agreements, yet in actual fact they are in pure form a Non-Cooperation Agreement. They have a habit of being formal documents which define what we won’t do together instead of what we will do together. 
The problem I believe stems from the fact that we see ourselves as partners in an agreement, fighting to stake out our turf rather than team players on the same team fighting for the ultimate objective.
At the end of the day, if you research Innovation you will find that the rule of 3 M’s applies:
You will either MAKE the future, MEET the future or MISS the future. 
I found the contrast between Innovation and Traditional models very interesting.  Take a look at the columns below and make a determination of where you sit in your organization. Are you fighting to “sustain” or to “innovate”?
Present to Future planning frameworks to the present! Start with the end in mind and working back
Rule maker framework Rule breaker framework
Accepts present boundaries Sees no boundaries
Focus on incremental innovation Adopts disruptive innovation
Discipline Inspiration
Technology driven Consumer driven

In the end, the quest to reach profitability, stability and execute a business plan reduces divergent thinking which allows entrepreneurs to explore the peripheries of their model and tune in to innovation with disruptive thinking.


Brangelina and Celebrity vs Philanthropy

This week my wife wrote a blog for our charities website, I thought you may enjoy reading it here:


I was planning to write about the incredible philanthropic Miss Angelina when, funnily enough, she suddenly hit the headlines for a different reason. I was going to explore the strange phenomena that she gets very little press about her activities as a special envoy for the UNHCR, but makes global front cover news when she flashes her knee on the Oscar red carpet. I was inclined to ask which is really more interesting and why? However while watching gossip TV coverage of the her secret wedding a few more points were revealed and it is those that I will now consider. 

According to Entertainment Tonight these are the Top 5 reasons Brangelina are the best celebrity couple - ever.

5) They give us plenty to gossip about.

4) They're generous.

Angelina is a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees ambassador, while Brad's Make It Right organization has built nearly $6 million worth of safe homes, buildings and communities for people in need. Not to mention their Jolie-Pitt Foundation has raised more than $17 million.

3) They're the coolest!.

2) They keep family first.

1) They are hot.

Interesting. I am grateful that philanthropy made the list, but it is obviously more important to be cool...and hot! That’s confusing, at least they are not luke warm!

This phenomena is actually the reason behind the philosophy of Rally4Life. We have adventure advocates, who perform incredible feats that attract media attention. However the real motivation to climb the highest, ride the fastest or run the longest is to help those in need. People are jaded towards the woes of global poverty; they would rather be entertained, either by “hot” celebrities or by extreme athletes. I think most people believe the problems are insurmountable, giving won’t make any difference and they have enough problems of their own. However I am almost certain if you had the chance to ask Angelina she would tell you that there is hope, that you can make a difference and that through the act of giving your gain perspective on your own problems and feel a sense of purpose. 


Why the fascination with celebrity?

“Humans have a biological predisposition to celebrity interest," according to James Bailey, a research fellow at the Center for the Study of Learning at George Washington University, in Washington, D.C.

“There are two factors at work in our ‘biological’ reaction to celebrities,” he says. “The first is the ‘beauty’ factor.When exposed to an attractive face, he says, the so-called pleasure centers of the brain 'light up'.” In addition, he says, the repeated exposure to celebrities’ faces can also have an organic effect on the human brain. “Basically, if a person is exposed to a stimulus over and over again, that stimulus becomes familiar, and familiarity triggers those same pleasure centers.”

- Celebrity Culture. Sage Publications


Celebrity gossip is cheaper and easier to produce than hard news, and with the explosion online and our obvious predisposition to such stimuli 

“The percentage of pages in news magazines dedicated to celebrities and entertainment doubled from 1980 to 2003, while coverage of national affairs dropped from 35 percent of all pages to 25 percent.”

- Sources: Time, Newsweek and Hall’s Reports.


I think I am as guilty as any, I love those red carpet dresses, (and that Kenyan jewelry) but let’s keep things in perspective. As one famous super model says herself, even she doesn’t look like Cindy Crawford when she wakes up. And helping those in need will make you feel much better about yourself than comparing your new look to someone who has been airbrushed to perfection. People can be “hot” and “cool” all over the world and we should take an interest in them all. 

Managing your personality

Years ago while I was running one of my first businesses my wife was amazed at my resolve to simply agree with my clients demands for a replacement product because what they purchased did not meet their expectations.

I owned a printing company at the time and the story would go something like this: A client would walk in my store, place firmly on my counter (slam) the product and start complaining that we had not done our job well enough. In response I would pick up the package, analyze it and look at the client and state simply that I agreed. When I explained that I thought that we had not done our best work either and we should reprint the order as quickly as possible, they were dumbfounded.

What I had been able to do was put them off guard. They came in to my store expecting a fight, they simply believed I would defend my position and when I didn’t they had no response lined up.

Once I had been able to get them drop their guard, I could start to think through a plan rationally. In some instances, the error may not have been completely my office's fault and so I could discuss a potential solution without attempting to shout louder than them.

How many times have you been in a position where you have been challenged to “scrap” with a colleague, boss or client and responded?

I have seen so many leaders and potential leaders lose credibility because in public they lost control of their personality.

Anger, like fear is an unproductive feeling and one which we are totally in control of. If we let ourselves get angry we move into a domain of being unproductive, uncreative, combative and unprofessional.

The greatest leaders I have had the privilege of meeting have been calm, level headed and solution oriented.

Did that mean they are a “push over” in a meeting? Absolutely not. There is a difference between calm and weak. Acknowledging that when we let anger take over we are unproductive and uncreative is key. These calm leaders were also extremely in control and were "firm" in their decision making - you knew they were serious!

If you can learn to control your personality, far more decisions are going to move in your favoured direction than if you lose control!


New Real Estate Brokerage in town


Move over “big guys” there’s a new brokerage in town featuring local expertise, long standing experience and a fresh boutique approach.

Kelowna, August 31 2014 – You may have taken a double look on your drive into town this morning spotting new real estate signs throughout the neighbourhoods.  No this isn’t a hoax, this is the newly launched Sage Executive Group Real Estate Corp. (“Sage”) making a big first impression.
100% locally owned and operated Sage offers a completely new “local” alternative to real estate buyers and sellers.  Dedicated to connect the Okanagan to the world and the world to the Okanagan Sage REALTOR®s live, breath and exude the four season Okanagan lifestyle offering a truly local and insightful perspective to the ever-changing real estate market.  
“As the Broker/Owner of Realty Executives of the Okanagan for the better part of a decade, I am excited to take this dynamic team to the next level with Sage,” states Nadine Westgate, Broker/Owner at Sage.  “A locally owned and operated boutique real estate brokerage allows us to fully address the unique needs of this market ultimately allowing us to spend our time and energy capitalizing on what we know best – buying and selling real estate in the Okanagan.”
The Sage Team is passionate about delivering high quality consumer experiences which are enforced through our unique marketing programs, hand-picked entrepreneurial agents and exceptional agent support.  While Sage embraces the tried-and-true traditional methods of real estate marketing, they also challenge the “norm” taking marketing campaigns to new levels encouraging out-of-the-box creativity to bring the right attention to your property.  
As a local member of our community, Sage also prides itself on being an active member in the community and is committed to giving back through local volunteering, fundraising efforts and sponsorships so be sure to watch for them at upcoming local events.
Boasting locations in Kelowna (Bernard and Cooper Road), West Kelowna (Hwy. 97 and Dobbin), Lake Country (Hwy 97 beside Tim Horton’s) and Vernon (Hwy. 97 and 29th Ave) Sage has an office near you and is ready to help lead you through the magical (and sometimes complicated) process of real estate.  
Learn more about Sage by visiting one of their office locations or online at
About Sage:
Sage Executive Group Real Estate Corp. (“Sage”) is the Okanagan’s only 100% locally owned and operated boutique realty brokerage with five convenient locations in Kelowna, West Kelowna, Lake Country and Vernon. Committed to delivering a five star experience to both our clients and agents Sage’s unparalleled expertise, first-class service, cutting edge technology, innovative marketing programs and collaborative team approach offer the guidance and insight needed to navigate the complex world of real estate.   For more information or current market listings visit 

Read more The Accidental Journey articles


About the author...

For the past twenty years Mark has been involved in real estate development and consulting and is currently a REALTOR with Realty Executives in Kelowna.

His column, brings a unique perspective on what may be important to us in the future as we come to grips with fast paced change in a world that few people barely recognize.

His influences come from the various travels he undertakes as an Adventurer, Philanthropist and Keynote Speaker. More information can be found on Mark at his website



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.

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