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A Strong Year on a New Course Prompts Reflection

As our first formal year as the Skidmore Group comes to a close, we look forward to new opportunities, new beginnings, and setting new goals for the year ahead. Whether it was our latest investment into UrtheCast (TSX: UR), becoming a significant shareholder in Refresh Financial, bolstering the kitchen cabinetry portfolio, or starting our journey to become a leading Canadian family office, this past year’s events have given us a chance to look back and reflect on where we have come and where we are going.

Following our divestiture in June 2017, Skidmore Group has gone through a period of significant innovation and growth. With a diversification strategy comes change: some easy, some challenging. Nonetheless, we are pleased that throughout this past year, we have seen the highest employee engagement scores to date and our kitchen businesses are growing +30% YOY.

Through reflection of the last year’s events, three things come to mind that have helped shape our team for this next year of growth, and for many years to come.

Be rooted in your values, not your fears.

Remind yourself what is important. For the Skidmore Group, it’s trust, collaboration, transparency, innovation, excellence, and giving back. Surprisingly, this creates a powerful buffer against whatever challenges or troubles we come up against. 

By reframing challenging situations, we have discovered that our personal identity can't be compromised by one difficult situation.
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Acknowledge the past, then focus and fight for the future.

We are never free from change, and we can’t always control it. However, we are always free to control and decide how we respond to it. If we stay fixated on the limitations of a specific event or obstacle, we will succumb to worry and bitterness. Accepting that change will happen, helps us to employ our freedom to determine what we want to do next.

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Accepting that change will happen, helps us to employ our freedom to determine what we want to do next.

Get comfortable being uncomfortable.

Instead of dwelling on what is wrong, and why things can’t be different, reframe and seek an opportunity to fix long-standing problems with customers, products, or even society as a whole. Doing this will help you remain engaged in your work and view challenges with opportunities to do better— as a business, and as a individual contributor to greater good. 

Looking to 2019, we are driven to grow the kitchen portfolio, implement policies aligned with leadership excellence and acquire additional companies. Part of our long-term strategy is to achieve management excellence in each company that resides within the Skidmore Group portfolio.

We focus on people, planet, and profits — and our expectation for current and potential investments is to meet these criteria and align with our company vision of accelerating people so they can in turn lift their communities.