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VILLAGE PEOPLE | ET Canada's Natasha Gargiulo interviews Patton Oswald in Whistler Village Square at the 2011 WiFF

Things to do and read this month to nourish the corporate mind and soul

WHISTLER SUMMIT
Whistler is the place to see and be seen the first week of December, during the 15th annual film festival (WFF). It’s also a good place to make a deal. The WFF Industry Summit plans to cover the business and future of Canadian film, both locally and internationally, over the course of three days of business programs and networking. With more than 20 interactive sessions, WFF’s summit brings together filmmakers and dealmakers for long chats on a broad range of issues vital to the domestic and international film communities. Passes also allow access to press and public screenings on a first-come, first-serve basis plus a take-home swag bag. The $500 premium industry pass also gets you into the awards brunch and opening gala.
Whistler; December 3 to 5 $500 ($400 if you skip the parties, $125 for a one-day pass)

BECOMING EXPORT READY Is your organization ready to export internationally? This two-day Forum for International Trade Training (FITT) skills session aims to cover the current and future global business environment from both local and global perspectives so that participants can start creating their own international trade strategy. How does trade affect the global economy? What role does Canada and its brand play in the global marketplace? How can you save money and avoid non-compliance penalties? Everything from technology and transportation issues to cultural, ethical and social responsibility in the international business context is on offer.
Intertek, Coquitlam; December 1 to 2, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. $595

CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION FOR BUSINESS
What makes leaders and organizations innovative? Everyone has their own personal innovation profile, and this two-day executive education course at Sauder School of Business will help you identify it in yourself and your team, harness the power and put it to work in your business. The course tracks the innovation cycle: through leadership, decision-making processes, work teams and global markets. Focusing on creative trends–both in the marketplace and within your company–this course offers a tool kit of takeaways. How to build and lead innovative project teams, select the right ideas to run with, ensure proper training and incentives, and foster a safe and creative environment are on the menu.
Sauder School of Business, December 9 to 10 $1,195

RISK AND CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS: Is Your Organization Prepared for the Worst?
In the old days, you had a day or two to recover from a gaffe. Now bad news travels at thumb-numbing speed and reputations are destroyed in a tweet. Where is your organization vulnerable? Is there a disgruntled employee, bad supplier or angry blogger running like a fault line through your smooth operations? This workshop will help you identify communications risks within your business and develop an effective crisis response. Along the way, get familiar with the basics of media relations and how to shape that knowledge into a communications response that can build or rebuild trust.
Capilano University, December 1 to 2 $995

BOSS LIFE: Surviving My Own Small BusinessBosslife.jpg
“I had just $16,239 in the bank–enough to operate for three days. A small business lives and dies on cash,” writes Paul Downs on surviving the recession as an owner of a small business. After years of writing the You’re the Boss column in the New York Times, Paul Downs wanted to dig deeper into his own experience to describe running a small furniture company, from the challenges of finding customers to helping employees learn from their mistakes. Success in business is hard to define, he writes: “Money is the unavoidable scorecard. Any business can be great at making a product, great with its employees, great with the customers, but if it doesn’t make profits, it isn’t considered a success.”
Penguin Random House $34.95 hardcover