CEO of Venture Communications, co-star of Dragons' Den
At Venture, Arlene Dickinson's vision has driven growth, successfully building it from a local firm into one of Canada’s largest independent marketing firms, with offices in Calgary and Toronto. A master entrepreneur with a keen eye for ideas that get results, Arlene has a successful track record of picking companies on the rise. Her instinct for emerging trends and sound investments is exemplified in her role as a panelist on the Gemini award-winning CBC hit series, the Dragons’ Den.
In addition to her roles as CEO of Venture, Dragon, mother of four children and grandmother of three, Arlene lends her time, skills, and leadership to benefit the industry and the community. Over the years, Arlene has served on various boards including Ad Rodeo (chair), National Board for Kids Help Phone (co-chair) and Calgary Municipal Lands Corporation (director). She is currently a director of Chaordix, and Liquid Nutrition, and sits on the Advisory Committee of the Stratford Institute at the University of Waterloo, the Leadership Council of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, the Editorial Advisory Board of Marketing Magazine, and is the national spokesperson for The Breakfast Clubs of Canada.
Lessons from the Den: Succeeding at Business and Being an Entrepreneur
Can anyone be an entrepreneur? Arlene Dickinson's emphatic answer is "Yes." In this talk, one of Canada's most high profile business women distills a lifetime of experience to reveal everything you need to know—and do—to start, to run, and to grow a great business. (A customized clip from the hit show Dragons' Den provides buzz; though that's just a starting point.) On stage, as on the small screen, Dickinson displays a palpable and infectious belief in the entrepreneurial spirit; she reminds us of the major contributions Canadians have made to international business and the entrepreneurial tradition.
Leadership and Strategic Marketing
"Like laying bricks to build a house, each dollar you spend on marketing should measurably build your business." Marketing plays a fundamental role in all businesses—yet it is seldom held accountable the way other departments are. A superstar marketer driven by corporate objectives, Arlene Dickinson shows us why marketing must be a top concern of leadership, and why creativity and accountability must go hand in hand. Otherwise, why bother with marketing at all? Dickinson, as she does weekly on Dragons' Den, will help decision-makers grasp the essential strategic function of marketing in an insightful, accessible and frank talk, anchored squarely to the bottom line.
Don't Slash Your Marketing Budget! (Not Now, Not Ever)
The marketing guru on Dragons' Den, Arlene Dickinson shows us why the best companies don't stop marketing during a recession. With striking examples, and peerless business sense, she shows you how to leverage your marketing through the tough times—in order to come out ahead when the good times return.
Success is often taken for granted; few stop to think about where it came from, what shaped it, what trials were involved. In this refreshing business talk, Dickinson tells her story, providing a rare look into the making of one of Canada's most powerful business women. Brimming with lessons in self-doubt and self-confidence, this refreshing talk is underscored by modesty, grit, and enormous heart.
At thirty, Arlene Dickinson found herself stranded. Recently divorced, she had a high school diploma, no savings and no clue how she was going to feed four young children. But just one year later, she was a partner in Venture Communications. Ten years on, she was CEO, poised to grow the business into one of Canada's largest independently owned marketing firms. Today, as a co-star of the CBC TV hit Dragons' Den, she is one of the country's most sought-after female entrepreneurs. The secret of her journey from poverty to the corner office? The art of persuasion, as she explains with wit and unusual candour in this, her first book.
Blending her own frank and highly entertaining stories with compelling social science, she explains how to persuade both in the boardroom and in everyday life: the crucial importance of a particular kind of listening; how to get people to buy into your ideas; how to attract followers and deal with naysayers; the art of storytelling; how to turn mistakes to your advantage; and how to seize opportunities where others see only roadblocks. Anyone, she believes, can be persuasive--just look how good we are at persuading ourselves we can't do things. Using the tricks of her trade and insights from her own fascinating experiences with some of Canada's leading companies, Dickinson explains how to master the art of persuasion, without an M.B.A., to achieve maximum success in business--and in life.
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