Seven Things I’ve Learnt in 2014

Sometimes we need to pause and consider what we’ve learnt and achieved. This serves not just as a reminder, but as a focus for continued improvements and learning in 2015 and beyond. While this list is not completely work related, sometimes life has a way of permeating all aspects, and family, health and fitness are an important part of being a balanced leader.

Lessons Learnt

  1. I can still classic ski hard for 15km. This may not seem like a big deal to some people, but with 15 years between races and a couple of injuries, completing a loppet earlier this year was a buzz.
  2. I probably beat my eldest daughter in a 5km classic ski race for the last time this year. Another tipping point has been reached.
  3. Eating better is not that hard. And has its rewards, this year I lost 20 pounds in eight weeks. (Thanks to The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman by Tim Ferriss)
  4. Mindfulness improves every aspect of your life. I’ll write more on this in 2015, but there are lots of great articles on this topic out there and the links to leadership.
  5. Authentic wins every time over attempts to be smooth or “skilled”. People are willing to listen and learn from you when you share your passion – passionately and authentically! (A great book on this topic is Be the Best Bad Presenter Ever: Break the Rules, Make Mistakes, and Win Them Over by Karen Hough).
  6. You can’t enjoy it if you don’t get out there. The hardest part is getting out the door.
  7. The little wins are important. Celebrating these with staff pays big dividends and promotes seeking out more opportunities.

Work life balance

I’d like to wish all our readers a productive New Year in which you learn something truly meaningful – Happy New Year!

APEGBC to Vote on Professional Development Requirements

British Columbia’s Engineering and Geoscience professional body, APEGBC, is conducting a survey for members on proposed changes to the bylaw regarding Continuing Professional Development Requirements.

The current process of voluntarily declaring compliance to the requirements is obviously not ideal. For a profession that is self regulating, we need to do a better job of ensuring adequate experience, practice and training is being maintained across the membership.

In the fall of 2015, APEGBC members will be asked to ratify a bylaw to establish a program requiring members to complete and report professional development.  If ratified by members, this will commit all practicing members and licensees to undertake a minimum amount of professional development each year and to report annually that this requirement has been met.

via: APEGBC – Continuing Professional Development Bylaw Consultation

VOTE: Mykl Roventine on Flickr

Interestingly, there was a vote in 2009 that failed to received the required 2/3 approval of the voters, so the CPD committee surveyed over 3,000 members to determine what issues prevented the 2009 bylaw to pass. The committee has revised the guidelines and bylaw to reflect the requirements of our neighbouring association, APEGA, in Alberta.

If you are a member and have any comments or concerns with the bylaw, provide feedback to


Kelowna’s Roundabout


Last time I was in Kelowna, I had an opportunity to see the new bus terminal and roundabout downtown. Designed by MMM Group, and with visionary input from the City of Kelowna and BC Transit, this project sets a new standard for urban transportation and spaces in the interior of British Columbia.

And for those who are wondering how to use a roundabout, the City of Kelowna has a helpful guide on their webpage.

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Watermain Replacement

Among other things, one of my projects in the past month was pulling an old 40m water main out of a culvert under the Trans Canada Highway. We had no information on the condition of the culvert or exactly how the pipe was held together, we spent several utilities meetings working through possible solutions and problem-solving to find a cost-effective method as our first attempt, working up to more complicated removal and replacement options from there in case the easiest option didn’t work.

So how do you remove an asbestos cement watermain in a steel culvert of unknown condition buried over 8m deep in the Trans Canada Highway road right of way?

Continue reading “Watermain Replacement”

When are your creative times?

The idea that there is a best time of the day to do your creative work is fascinating. This graphic shows that among great thinkers, writers and artists, there is no common pattern. When are you most creative?

Keen to develop better work habits? Discover how some of the world’s greatest minds scheduled creative work into their daily routines.
Click image to see the interactive version (via Podio).

Highway One Problems & Solutions

Summer is time for road-trips and camping, Albertan’s spilling into BC to enjoy the Province’s natural beauty, families travelling to visit relatives, beach vacations – and unfortunately for many of these trips, the Trans-Canada Highway is a necessary part of the route. On twitter, I have several searches that I check before I head out on the Trans Canada Highway from Revelstoke @DriveBC and  #Revelstoke #BCHWY1. Incidents such as this one from earlier this month are the reason why:

Four people were seriously injured and three trapped in their vehicles in a four-vehicle pileup on the Trans-Canada Highway by the Enchanted Forest and Sky Trek on Tuesday, August 5.

RCMP Staff Sgt. Kurt Grabinsky said the accident, which occurred at about 3 pm, closed the highway until just before 8 pm.

He said a West-bound truck pulling a trailer was moving too fast and too close to another vehicle that was turning left into the popular tourist attraction when it hit. Two other vehicles then hit it.

Revelstoke Current – Truck driver charged in Tuesday’s TCH pileup that left four injured

In just 26 days (from July 10 to August 5), the stretch of the Trans Canada Highway either side of Revelstoke between Sicamous and Golden has been closed eight times ((data collected from a very informal search of DriveBC twitter activity – see twitter links at the end of this article)). On average, every 5 days or so (since July 1, so far this summer), an accident or incident has occurred that has closed the highway. Typically, these closures are at least an hour, and if a police investigation is required, (if there is a fatality or serious injury or a multi-vehicle incident), the time to opening often extends to over four hours, often up to six.

Continue reading “Highway One Problems & Solutions”