I am delighted to be able to announce that I shall be joining the team of instructors for the spring 2014 offering of Hub Ottawa’s IMPACT ACADEMY: a 5 workshop series designed to help you be an effective entrepreneur.

“This is an action-oriented program that offers targeted skills development for impact-driven entrepreneurs, nonprofits exploring social enterprise, as well as professionals interested in learning practical tools for change. We operate at 12-week cohort cycles at The HUB during which 50 participants per year receive practitioner-led workshops, cutting-edge tools, peer reviews, best-in-class coaching, and connections to a purpose-driven community.”

Registration is now opened! Enroll now!


Personal Productivity Workshop

I am delighted to announce a new personal productivity workshop offering. It is available in both a half-day and full day format.


Workshop format: 3 hours

Maximum number of participants: 15

A workshop on how to become not only more productive but also more effective by setting up your own personal workflow system, drawing on state-of-the art techniques in the field of personal productivity (Getting Things Done, Personal Kanban, Inbox Zero, Timeboxing, etc.). This fun, interactive and experiential workshop is facilitated using active learning techniques.


The Problem

  • You are feeling overwhelmed?
  • You are finding that you are disorganized, or not as organized as you could perhaps be?
  • You are often procrastinating?
  • You have the feeling that you are going around in circle, or are hitting a wall?
  • You are thinking that you are still far from reaching your optimum level of performance?
  • You lack focus and you have difficulties concentrating on what is really crucial?

The Solution

Setting up a robust workflow system will allow you to tame the information overload and stay in control.
Visualizing your work and limiting your work in progress (the basic principles of Personal Kanban) will enable you to become more productive.
By helping you understand how you work, these steps will furthermore enable you to focus on the right things to become more effective.


This workshop is divided into three modules:

Module 1 – Gaining control

The first module shows you how to set up a comprehensive workflow system that will allow you to stay in control. STEP 1 will involve setting up an integrated collection system to tame the proverbial information overload. STEP 2 will involve sorting and filtering what you have collected using a triage system. STEP 3 will involve organizing the information by setting up a pertinent reference system to file documents, and manage project, tasks and timelines.

Module 2 – Becoming more productive

This module focuses on how you can significantly increase your productivity by starting with what you currently do. Starting with the basic principle that only what can be seen can be managed, you will learn how to visualize your work. This module also shows you how to limit the work in progress at any given time in order to really get in the flow.

Module 3 – Becoming more effective

Understanding how you work is the key to becoming more effective. Visualizing your work over a period of time will allow you to get involved in a continuous improvement process and to experiment with incremental change. This module will support this process by showing you how to set up regular retrospectives that will allow you to reflect not only on what has been accomplished during the week, but also to think strategically about the organization of the week to come. This will involve gaining perspective on your work by learning to better define your priorities and your objectives, and aligning the tasks accordingly.

The Facilitator

Pascal Venier PhD is a recognized personal productivity expert based in Gatineau (Quebec) and Ottawa (Ontario), but available both nationally and internationally. Pascal helps knowledge workers become more effective by optimizing their workflow, in particular by using visual tools and Agile and Lean thinking. He is currently completing the official French translation of Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMaria Barry’s Personal Kanban: Mapping Work | Navigating Life, a book that won the 2013 Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence, the highest honor in Lean.

Tel.: +1 (819) 639 3211


GTD® and Getting Things Done® are registered trademarks of the David Allen Company. Pascal Venier is not affiliated with, or endorsed by the David Allen Company.

Personal Kanban® is a registered trademark of Modus Cooperandi, inc.

Increase Your Impact Per Hour, HUB Masterclass, Ottawa, 5 March 2014

I have co-designed and will co-facilitate with Jessica Lax, a HUB Masterclass on Increase Your Impact Per Hour, which will take place at Hub Ottawa on 5 March 2014 from 09:00 to 10:30. To register, please click here

Hub Masterclass logo


Struggling with a never ending to do list?
Inbox exploding?
Ineffective meetings swallowing your day?

Stop stretching yourself thin by always trying to do more.
Get the tools to start doing the RIGHT work at the RIGHT time,

In the social sector we scrutinize every dollar we spend and find amazingly creative ways to cut our costs. But when it comes to our time – a resource that is just as scarce – that scrutiny often falls short. This course will help you get the most impact per hour and give you the tools you need to get in control of how you spend your time.

In this class you’ll learn how to deal with the most common time vacuums and come away with tools to :

  • tame your inbox,
  • increase the return on the time you invest in meetings,
  • visualize your workflow so you can maximize your finite attention,
  • and connect with an accountability group so you’ll stick to it!

To help you learn which approaches are really increasing your productivity, you’ll also receive instructions to set up a time tracker one week before the class. You’ll then capture before and after data on how you spend your time to determine which productivity tools are helping you make the most of your most valuable resource.

Get the tools to reclaim your email, your meetings, your attention, and most importantly, your impact!

Who will get the most value from this class?

This class is targeted to professionals in any field who are open to new ways to optimise their work flow. Some familiarity with technology will be asset for time tracking purposes.

Who will be leading the class?

To ensure that each class provides a learning experience that supercharges your impact, classes are co-designed and co-facilitated by a topic expert and the HUB Masterclass Curator, Jessica Lax. For this class, we are excited to bring on Pascal Venier as the topic expert. See the bios below for more info.

Topic Expert: Pascal Venier

Pascal helps knowledge workers become more effective by optimizing their workflow and implementing Agile and Lean thinking. A personal student of productivity for more than 20 years, Pascal made the transition to becoming a coach in personal effectiveness once he saw the impact productivity training can have on someone’s long term success. Pascal is currently completing the French translation of Personal Kanban: Mapping Work | Navigating Life, a book which has been awarded the Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence. When Pascal isn’t seeking out new ways to get more out of our hours, he can be found sharing his passion for personal effectiveness on his blog and on twitter @pascalvenier.

Masterclass Curator: Jessica Lax

Jessica’s goal is to maximize the impact of the social sector by changing the way the sector learns. She’s been drawn to this work since 2002 when she co-founded her first organization, The Otesha Project, wishing that something like HUB Masterclass existed. She combines her experience as a curriculum designer, facilitator, professional public speaker, playwright and actor, consultant and coach for nonprofits, and a social entrepreneurship MBA at Oxford, to design and curate HUB Masterclass.

How will a HUB Masterclass help me ‘do good better’?

Studies report that the average person only retains about 5% of the material presented in a lecture. To really up your game that's simply not good enough.

Your time and money are scarce resources and when you invest them in HUB Masterclass you are getting a lot more than a lecture. Every class combines the best of instructional design and insanely useful content to ensure that you not only retain the information, but walk away knowing how to apply it to change the way you work.

You’ll be challenged to clarify your goals, glean real life insights from your peers, start applying what you learn right in class, and walk away with concrete tools to immediately put into action. After the class you’ll be given access to an online bulletin board where the instructor and your peers can share resources for a deep dive into the class content and share examples of how you are applying what you’ve learned to your work.

HUB Masterclass offers professional development that works. Stop learning on the fly and let HUB Masterclass help you ‘do good better’.

What does being a ‘class backer’ mean?

HUB Masterclass is designed to be both responsive and lean. The ten pilot classes were voted on by the community and only those that get 20 ‘backers’ or registrations three weeks before the class date will go into production. If we don’t get enough backers all registrations will be refunded.

So if you want to take this class, spread the word, encourage your peers to jump on board, and be sure to register before the deadline!

Click here to check out the full HUB Masterclass offering, and be sure to sign up to be notified when a new class opens for registration.

HUB Masterclass is the newest set of learning experiences offered by HUB Ottawa

Register now!

Hub Masterclass, professional development that works

HUB Ottawa, my co-working space, has recently launched a very exciting experiment with a new professional development program. The Hub Masterclass, an initiative launched and curated by Jessica Lax, is both original and innovative in its conception and has the ambitious objective of changing the way in which professionals learn.

Hub Masterclass logo

A first noteworthy feature is that potential topics are identified and selected as the result of a crowdsourcing process. It is then the matter for a Subject Matter Expert and the Hub Masterclass curator Jessica Lax to develop a proposal which is in turn offered for the backing of both the co-working community and outside participants; this involved making a firm commitment to take a given class by registering and paying a fee. Only classes which have a sufficient backing are then further developed.

Much emphasis is placed on making fit people’s needs and realities. To that end each class will follow a common instructional design pattern and the idea is to maximise the impact to ensure that learners will get results. The focus is on “training” rather than “telling” and helping participants build their professional network. Each class, offering focussed training will be jointly facilitated by a topic expert and the Masterclass curator. It will be short and to the point, lasting 90 minutes and offered first thing in the morning or just before the end of the day.

HUB Masterclass is primarily aimed at “helping the social sector to ‘do good better’”. Most of the classes in the program are nevertheless extremely pertinent to most knowledge workers, whether they are freelancers or members of a sizable organization, as you can judge from the list of the top 10 courses, which have been crowdsourced and for which backing is now invited: Online marketing, The Art of Storytelling, Managing People 101, Write an Irresistible Trilium Grant, Online Course Design, Social Media Bootcamp, Google Apps for Nonprofits, Increase Your Impact per Hour, Love Your Numbers, Motivation & Influence. Each such high impact class offers great value for money and each class “backers” will pay a reduced rate when they pre-register at least 3 weeks before a class ($35 for HUB members and $40 for non-members), but there will be five spots left for late registrations ($45 for HUB members and $50 for non-members).

Hub Masterclass logo 2

Register now!

I am very excited to be part of this exciting venture as I have been invited to be the topic expert for the session on Increasing Your Impact per Hour, on which more is to come in my next blog post.

Presentation on Personal Kanban at Agile Québec, 22 January 2014


I shall give a presentation on Personal Kanban in French at the Annual General Meeting of the d’Agile Québec on 22 January 2014 at the local 2320-2330, Pavillon Kruger, Université Laval in Quebec City, Quebec.


Le problème

  • Vous sentez que vous êtes débordé(e)
  • Vous trouvez que vous êtes désorganisé(e)
  • Vous remettez souvent les choses à plus tard
  • Vous avez l’impression de tourner en rond et de vous heurter à un mur
  • Vous pensez que vous êtes loin d’atteindre votre niveau de performance optimum
  • Vous manquez de focus et avez du mal à vous concentrer sur ce qui est véritablement essentiel

Cela vous rappelle quelque chose?

La solution

Le Kanban personnel est un pattern de gestion Lean qui aide les personnes et les petites équipes :

  1. à visualiser leurs flux de travail et à mieux comprendre la nature de celui-ci et
  2. à limiter leur travail à finir (TAF)

Élégant dans sa simplicité, mais pourtant extrêmement puissant, c’est un système évolutif, qui s’adapte au contexte changeant de votre travail. Le Kanban personnel permet un meilleur alignement entre votre flux de travail et vos objectifs. Il permet également de mener des expériences de façon visuelle des expérimentations en amélioration continue (Kaizen).

Ce que vous apprendrez

  • Les 2 règles du Kanban personnel – visualiser le travail et limiter le travail à finir – et comment elles peuvent être mise en oeuvre.
  • Comment construire un premier Kanban personnel qui vous permettra de gérer vos tâches et surtout de commencer une réflexion sur votre travail.
  • Comment le Kanban personnel peut-être utilisé comme un outil pour permettre une démarche d’amélioration continue dans votre travail, améliorer vos relations de travail avec vos collègues et vos clients, mais aussi votre satisfaction au travail et diminuer votre niveau de stress.

> To register

Personal Kanban® is a registered trademark of Modus Cooperandi, inc. To find more about Personal Kanban, read Jim Benson and Tonianne DeMaria Barry’s Personal Kanban: Mapping Work | Navigating Life (Seattle: Modus Operandi, 2011) and visit their blog Personal Kanban | visualize. learn. improve.