Ian Chamandy

What I do

There are two things I love doing at work:

• Creating clarity where only complexity and confusion exist
• Once clarity is created, figuring out new and innovative ways to build the business

Why I do what I do

I believe there is a simple elegance to everything. I also believe that too often we hide that simple elegance under an avalanche of industry jargon and marketing hyperbole. It reminds me of the first time I refinished a dining room table. You could tell it was a beautiful table but it was covered with decades of grease and grime. When I stripped it all away, it revealed beautiful redwood top with a stunning grain. As this was a family heirloom, I had eaten meals at this table for decades without realizing its inner beauty.

I think too many businesses are in the same position. There is a magic to them but it is hidden under years of marketing jargon, industry speak and efforts to morph the business away from its true calling. When all of the well-meaning but confusing “covering” is removed, people are amazed by, and re-inspired in, the simple elegance of what makes the company uniquely remarkable.

My catalyst

Simplicity. I find almost everything is far easier to understand if you can break it down into its simplest elements.

The clarity you get from discovering the simple elegance of a business creates a liberating feeling when contemplating what to do next. Clarity strips away all of the extraneous and confounding information, revealing opportunities to grow the business that couldn’t be seen before. The question then stops being “How do we grow?” and becomes “What is the best way to prioritize all of these new options for generating revenue?”

The coolest thing I've done

From this foundation of simplicity and clarity, the coolest thing I’ve ever done in business is an anti-secondhand smoke campaign for the Ontario Lung Association. The Association’s objective was to reduce high school students’ exposure to secondhand smoke. Knowing that peer pressure is one of the most powerful behavior drivers in teens, our strategy was to make the unspoken – non-smoking teens’ disgust with being exposed to secondhand smoke – spoken. We installed “Speakers Corner” style video booths in high schools across the province. We asked non-smoking students to describe what they think and feel when they are breathing in the secondhand smoke from one of their friends’ cigarettes. We edited the best responses into TV commercials that ran in teen programming. The psychological basis of the campaign was if smokers know what non-smokers are thinking about them while they are smoking in their presence, they will feel self-conscious and move away from the non-smokers.

When I’m not working

When I’m not at work, I’m usually playing hockey, playing guitar at my jamming club or helping my son with his journalism assignments as he works his way through university. Although I have joined the ranks of the cord cutters, I am also a big time binger. Favorites include House of Cards (American and British), Suits, Transparent, Borgen, The Bridge, Veep, Better Call Saul, Homeland, Orange Is The New Black, The Affair, The Knick, Vinyl, Grace and Frankie. Open for trades for other great shows.