Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

What do you bring to work? – the Gospel according to The Boss

February 18, 2017

Bruce Springsteen - Born to Run

I always tell the fantastic team that work with me and Dee at Fuzion Communications, that they don’t work for an entity, they actually work for themselves.

Fuzion isn’t the place where they work, it is them, it is us.

Together we turn up, we ply our trade and we give of ourselves and the result of this is Fuzion.

The place where we work is what we collectively make of it, and it is up to us together, to make it a special place that we can all enjoy.

When we get this right and we enjoy doing great work together for our clients we call it Win Happy.

When anyone new starts I explain our simple work philosophy to them and I am sure they think I am a total crackpot because sadly it doesn’t normally operate like this in the workplace.

I am in the middle of a fantastic book and the following powerful excerpt really resonated with me as it describes our philosophy better than I ever can:

There is love and respect in the centre of everything that we do together.

It’s not just business, it’s personal.

When you come to work with me, I had to be assured that you’d bring your heart

Heart sealed the deal.

We are more than an idea, an aesthetic. We are a philosophy, a collective, with a professional code of honour.

It is based on the principle that we bring our best, everything we have, to remind you of everything you have, your best.

That it’s a privilege to exchange smiles, soul and heart directly with the people in front of you.

That it’s an honour and great fun to join in concert with those whom you’ve invested so much of yourself in and they in you, your fans, the stars above, this moment, and apply your trade humbly (or not so!) as a piece of a long, spirited chain you’re thankful to be a small link in.  

Bruce Springsteen

Excerpt from his book ‘Born to Run’

#WinHappy

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full service agencu that offers Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

Time to Prioritise Caring

December 30, 2016

Caring

As we roll into another year we inevitably start thinking about the things we have achieved and the things we want and wish for in the new year.

If I was to express my wishes for next year in one word I would choose the word “Caring“.

I’m not sure if it is just now that I feel there is a real deficit of caring in the world, if it is just what I am seeing and reading or whether it is a reflection of my age and if I am starting to think and observe things differently?

I am worried that there is not enough caring in the world and I feel that this year has plummeted with awful incidents in Nice, Berlin, Aleppo and some of the horribleness that we witnessed in the United States by the President Elect, Donald Trump in his campaign.

Lessons in how to win elections were absorbed by a new generation and “caring” isn’t quite the word that comes to mind when you reflect on what we saw being played out for months and months in the lead up to the awful result.

Closer to home our year ended in Ireland with the homeless coming together under the simple ‘Home Sweet Home‘ banner and they occupied an unused office building, Apollo House to put much needed roofs over heads and put a public spotlight on this big issue, which is getting worse and worse. The homeless need this as they can’t go on strike to get attention.

We heard the involvement of high profile Irish musicians including Glen Hansard and Hozier being sadly criticised by some in the media as being a stunt by them to raise their popularity!

What has happened with the way we think about things?

The courts moved in double quick time (they can when they want to) incredibly to process an injunction against the occupants.

The very sad “win” was that the homeless were allowed stay in the disused office building until January 11th – Merry Christmas!!

When living in a disused office block over Christmas is considered a win for those poor temporary residents we have arrived at a very poor state of affairs. Unfortunately this was a win for them – can you imagine?

My wish for the new year is that we start genuinely caring for each other, that we teach our children the importance of caring and let them witness it everyday, that we teach caring in our schools, that we make caring a priority in our workplaces, that caring becomes part of the values that companies live by and that we put caring for people in our communities, on our roads, in our cities and countries before any other criteria.

Let’s start caring.

Happy New Year and a big thank you to all the readers of my blog posts – see you next year!!

Greg

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Strategic Communications, Marketing, PR, Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Beach memories

March 19, 2016

Family playing at Harbour View beach, West Cork

From the other side of Harbour View beach in West Cork we could hear the laughing and chuckling as a man and woman and a little girl played at the waters edge as the sea rolled in.

Taking it in turns mum (lets assume) chased dad with some seaweed, dad chased mum, mum chased the little girl and the little girl chased dad.

Dad picked his little girl up in his arms and twirled her around.. He grabbed the seaweed and both of them chased after mum.

From where we were walking we could hear the infectious roars of laughter and the beautiful young chuckles from the little girl. This gorgeous, fun day will be remembered forever by all of them hopefully along with many more just like this one.

On this nice day one of them decided ..”Let’s go to the beach“..good call!

I had to take a photo to capture this precious moment but in truth no photo can quite do that job..

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork

Tourist for a day and Cork Hospitality

August 3, 2015

Family doing the South Parish Cork Walk

After a day stuck in the car in torrential rain in West Cork with my brother, his wife and their two young children who are visiting from the States we decided to play it safe and stick to Cork city today.

We popped into the tourist office on Grand Parade and after a really friendly and helpful chat with one of the team there, we grabbed some brochures and opted for the South Parish walk, one of four excellent walks mapped out around the city centre. This walk had particular significance as it is the area where my mother grew up.

Saint Fin Barres Cathedral, Cork

The walk is really interesting and easy to follow from Daunt Square, past Bishop Lucey Park and up to Saint Fin Barres Cathedral with excellent signposting and information on each of the main sign boards. The literature provided gives even more information about each of the places and the route.

Elizabeth Fort, Cork

After Saint Fin Barres we headed to Elizabeth Fort, which has recently been fully opened to the public. This free to visit fort provides incredible views right over the city and the friendly volunteers on duty gave us a great welcome. Just outside the fort is the oldest bar in Cork, The Gateway bar,  which is nestled alongside some of Cork’s oldest houses (late sixteen hundreds).

From here we crossed Barrack Street in search of the house where my grandmother grew up. A friendly taxi driver who noticed we were searching for somewhere gave us directions to 77 St. Kevin’s Square.

We ambled up the narrow old Cork city streets and came upon the square. A man who was walking alongside us overheard us chatting about number 77. “Are ye alright there” he asked with a tiny hint of suspicion. “That’s my house” he said.

I explained that this used to be the house where my grandmother grew up. He was confused “It’s been in my family since the fifties“. It looked like his family, The Coleman’s moved in after the McCarthy’s!

Family at 77 Saint Kevin's Square, Cork

Very quickly suspicion changed to a hearty welcome “Come on in and I’ll show you around“. Tim Coleman, an absolute gentleman opened up his home to us and showed us how it would have changed since when my grandmother would have lived there. He offered to take a photo of us all outside his home and off we went.

Nano Nagle's grave, Cork

Our Cork adventure continued to Nano Nagle’s grave at South Pres, which will soon be ‘Nano Nagle Place‘ after the redevelopment work on the site is completed. A huge sense of peace descends on you when you enter this sacred little graveyard where Nano Nagle and the many Presentation sisters are buried.

Coughlan's Bar, Cork

Our journey finished with a visit to Coughlan’s Bar towards the end of Douglas Street. The barman there was a credit to Cork and his profession – he was kind and gentle to my brothers two kids offering them wooden puzzles and a bag of crisps to keep them occupied! This would have been one of the watering holes that my granddad who lived at 55 High Street would have drunk in many moons ago.

We had a great day in our fantastic little city and as usual the Cork people played a starring role.

Well done Cork, you did me proud!

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

Perfect moments

December 29, 2014

We all have great times that we fondly look back at, special achievements, fantastic holidays, family occasions, all manner of things to remember. We look back at these times and we realise that they were great.

Something a little bit more rare and precious than those times are what I call ‘perfect moments‘. These are extra special because they are literally moments and when they occur a feeling comes over you and you realise there and then that this is a ‘perfect’ moment.

Often these ‘perfect moments’ are not the obvious ones such as the moment your children were born. While these were incredibly special moments they were tense and worrying so in ways for me they could not be perfect there and then.

These are some of my perfect moments..

Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy

I was fourteen and Thin Lizzy were on stage in the City Hall in Cork. Phil Lynott roared “Are you Ready” and he roared it again ..the packed hall erupted, my body trembled and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up..this is a perfect moment.

Euro Final 1992

I was lucky enough to be sitting in the middle of the Danish fans in 1992 on a warm summer’s evening in Gothenburg in Sweden as they were beating the clear favourites Germany 2-1 in the European final. I was sipping on a beer alongside people I barely knew (I was on a junket compliments of Carlsberg), the fans were going bonkers and a feeling crept over me ..this is a perfect moment.

Greg and Dee, Cuba

I was in Cuba with Dee and we had gone into the sea for a dip to cool down. The sun was beating down and we were having fun in the water. I picked her up in my warms, and we were laughing and so close …this is a perfect moment.

Greg Canty, Jonathan Leahy Maharaj, Maire Coffey

We were on a magical mystery tour as part of our last day at work after a great year and all of us were to meet in different pubs based on a set of clues. The Oval, our planned destination on South Main Street was closed and the instructions were to head into the nearest one to it. I found myself in Ziggy’s bar with Jonathan and Maire taking turns at picking songs on the jukebox.

My choice, ‘Ain’t no love in the heart of the city‘ the live version by Whitesnake came on. We were having great fun, great chat, the music was great and the barman/ageing rocker with the pigtail enquired..”Who put that song on…great track man“…a perfect moment.

What was yours?

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

A tribute to young mothers!

December 10, 2014

Young mother with her baby

Oh no … The woman with the young baby is sitting next to me on the plane!!

My early prayers were that the weirdo in the queue who was intoxicated wouldn’t be next to me …can I take him instead?

I’ve dodged the ‘baby on the plane‘ bullet for long enough and this time it happened and this kid is a live wire. Within the first 30 seconds I am slapped by the little live wire as she jumps and hops and kicks and can’t stay still.

Deirdre gives me some early advice “avoid eye contact with the kid“. She always has something wise to say – I decide to take the advice.

The young mother who seems to be travelling alone is well equipped – her bags with all her necessary baby stuff are put down by her feet, which in a blink chews up all of the leg room in the already squashed Ryanair flight.

To calm the kid down she produces a bottle … That works for about 5 minutes, an IPad works for another 5 minutes and then we enter the ‘danger zone’. The kid is now standing, twisting, jumping and writhing and starting to make noise as she reaches for anything and anyone that grabs her attention.

I can barely move in my seat but the very talented mother can still manage to get things from her bag and put things away and still keep the contorting baby on her lap.

My god…. this is unbelievable… why would she even contemplate such a journey and the little part I’m witnessing no doubt came after struggling with luggage and buggies..why ?

Oh no ..Now comes the sniffing of the bum … please let it be a clean one for everyone’s sake – I was looking forward to a glass of wine and now I’m just praying for no smelly surprises!!

More writhing and wriggling … What happened – we have calm.

The drinks trolley arrives and the poor mother watches enviously as we order a red wine and a prosecco – I feel very guilty and want to ask her does she want a drink … she would probably think that I am a weirdo!

Is she dreaming of a time when life was less complicated? Where is she flying to? Why is she by herself?

We are flying to Wroklaw (up until a month ago I hadn’t heard of it either!) in Poland with friends for the weekend. My guess is she is living in Ireland and visiting home for a while ..maybe?

The kid is acting up again so she is down by my feet scrambling in her bags for the next rabbit … Baby’s bottle!

It’s all calm again. I spoke too soon … the bottle goes flying and hits me on the leg. At this stage I have my red wine firmly gripped to make sure it doesn’t go flying as well.

I’m already dreading the landing as I know it drives the kids ears bonkers, what if the she pukes ..more prayers

I don’t think you should be giving her a banana …I’m now fearing the worst …smelly bum, pukes and tears.

You won’t believe this … I manage to knock over my own red wine on my one pair of jeans …typical !! Sh**, f***, pi**.

My young mother politely reaches into her bag of tricks and comes to my rescue with baby wipes!!

As the plane descends the poor kid starts to cry with the air pressure and her mother holds her and strokes her head until the plane lands..phew!

As I come down the steps of the plane I see this miracle mother struggling with her bags, her buggy and her child before the next leg of her journey.

Mother , I salute you for the fantastic job you do !!

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork

 

Gender Quotas or real change?

November 17, 2014

Working mother with child on couch

It drives me nuts whenever I hear it mentioned ..

New legislation in Ireland means political parties are required to ensure at least 30 per cent of their candidates in the 2016 General Election are women; any party that fails to reach the target will have its State funding cut by 50 per cent. 

Parties will also be required to have 40 per cent or more female candidates after a further seven years.

My first thought is how is this ‘rigging’ possible in a modern society where we all enjoy equal opportunities and there are no real ‘blocks’ to men or women achieving what they want?

We hear about the ‘old boy’s club‘ in politics – when you probe this it is more about dynasties of political power that will keep me on the outside just as it would any woman that I know. However if I want to run I can just the same as any woman can.

The solution to the “problem” of the numerical gender imbalance is to ‘rig’ the situation by forcing female candidates in and male candidates out until the magic numbers are achieved.

Are you there on merit?  In a rigged situation you will just never know, which for me will do a huge disservice to every woman in politics.

And then we have the boardroom..

The European Commission pushed a proposal forward in November 2012. At its heart lies a requirement for 40% female representation among non-executive directors in publicly listed companies by 2020. 

Once again the solution to the “problem” of the numerical gender imbalance is to ‘rig’ the situation by forcing females in and males out until the magic numbers are achieved.

Are you there on merit?  Again, a huge disservice to every woman in business.

Are we really serious about gender equality?

I believe if we really want to achieve this gender equality then we need to radically alter our social structures and change how we look at the roles of men and women in society.

This starts with the issue of parenthood, which seems to be the key moment that derails careers for many women.

If we are equal there must be no difference between a man and a woman when little Johnny has a fever. It must be as normal for the father to run home to look after him as it is for the mother.

If we are equal there must be no difference between a man and a woman when it comes to leave after a baby is born (other than the natural time a woman needs for physically preparing and recovering from birth).

When an employee announces they are having a baby the scenario and the disruption to the careers of the person and to the workplace should within reason be the same for both the man and the woman.

Father with baby

If this happens employers will be less concerned about disruption due to maternity leave with female team members, which is always a huge challenge for both the woman and the employer with the men blissfully pushing on with their careers uninterrupted.

For example Denmark make some attempt at equality here. Parental leave is a whopping 52 weeks in total with the woman taking 18 weeks, the man 2 weeks and both sharing the remaining 32 weeks as they wish.

Can you imagine a man announcing to his boss that “we are having a baby so I will be taking 6 months paternity leave as my wife has chosen to get back to work as soon as possible“? ….congratulations!

The Huffington Post covered this topic recently: In the Nordic countries they have made it possible for parents to combine work and family, resulting in more women in the workplace, more shared participation in childcare, more equitable distribution of labour at home, better work-life balance for both women and men and, in some cases, a boost to waning fertility rates.

Policies in these countries include mandatory paternal leave in combination with maternity leave, generous, state-mandated parental leave benefits provided by a combination of social insurance funds and employers, tax incentives and post-maternity re-entry programmes. Together, these policies have lowered the opportunity costs of having children and led to relatively higher and rising birth rates, as compared to other ageing, developed economies.

As long as having a baby can disrupt the career and workplace of the woman and have virtually no effect on the man and as long as the woman is always seen as the main child carer then we will always struggle to achieve true equality.

If we are really serious about gender equality we need to fundamentally change how our society operates and forget about unfair, risky and potentially damaging  ‘rigging’ tactics when the dye has already been cast and it is just too late. 

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork

 

 

 

 

A New Jersey back garden

October 27, 2014

A New jersey Garden

Colin, my brother has been on a conference call for the last hour even though it’s his day off. That’s what life seems to be like here!

Dee and my sis-in-law Lisa have gone bargain hunting to TJ Maxx while my brother and Lisa’s two kids Alex and Ciara have gone to school (first day back).

I am left in peace in this New Jersey back garden with the two dogs Weezer and Angel reading a really great book, ‘Hatching Twitter‘ by Nick Bilton in the sunshine …. Bliss!

I hope all of them will relax and take their time.. I rarely get to do this.

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork

Time to stop roaming!

September 3, 2014

Train from New 'York to New Jersey

I’m on the train heading from from New York, Penn Station to Metro Park in New Jersey.

I have no online access so what do we do ?? No Twitter, no Facebook, no checking email… I’m twitching , I’ve read the New York guide book and the magazines.

Maybe I’ll relax, look out the window, explore the interesting sights on the route that is new to me … Maybe I’ll chat with Dee or just relax and sit in peace?

The teenage girl we are squeezed next to alongside our bags and baggage is busy on her Mac doing something while munching on a cream cheese and tomato roll. I wonder if she is working or just doodling.

Instead of enjoying the view I decide to write this blog remotely on my iPhone complete with one finger typing.

My brother who lives out here is picking us up at the station and we’ll spend some time with him and his gang, which is really cool.

If I could get online I could tweet something, check if anyone has tweeted me or mentioned me in a post or responded to one of my tweets, I could check my email quickly and delete any of the non-important ones to save me having to do it when we get home. I could even respond to some of the emails.

That roll is lasting her forever … I’m starving !!

Maybe I should just look out the window and enjoy the new sights..

Smartphone, I guess so … Well mostly !

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork

Bird in the sky

September 2, 2014

plane in the sky

Today I am that bird in the sky phenomenally shooting through the air at high speed ..look up it’s me up there!

We have no control as we sit here taking for granted the technology, the skill, the craft and the engineering that has us seemingly suspended but in reality powering at high speed towards JFK Airport in New York.

There is nothing anyone of us can do but hand ourselves over and trust in the journey, that we will all be taken there together for whatever our reason… Going home, going on holidays, going on business, visiting friends, visiting family ..we are all in it together.

We’ve had the drinks and the pretzels, we’ve had the chicken sweet and sour, we’ve had the coffee and the ice cream and we’ve watched the movie.

The guy sitting next to me is a New Yorker travelling with his family after 12 days in Ireland playing golf and visiting different spots. The poor fella accidentally forgot to pay for petrol near the airport and they tracked him down just before take off …he was mortified as he scrambled for euros. He is a member of Ballybunion Golf Club but just got to play a few holes, he did Doonbeg and he stayed in Kildare for a few days and spent one day in Killarney.

Plane - view from the cabin

He was pleasantly surprised by Killarney and he would come back ….the last time he was there in the eighties he swore never again but it had changed just like the rest of Ireland. The last time he was in Ireland he reckoned all the young people were emigrating. He’s going to take tomorrow (Friday) off work and make it a long weekend.

He spots my ‘Rough guide to New York‘ and helpfully scribbles out a 5 day itinerary of places we should visit ..it’s a cracking list and we must try our best to do it.

We watch a great movie ‘About Time‘ about family, fathers and sons and being able to go back in time …. There’s no controlling time here, we just have to go with it even though we are going back 5 hours!

We are meeting our buddy Ciara who is celebrating her 40th birthday, we are meeting Jane Maas, the New York ad legend, the author of ‘Mad Women‘ for brunch on Sunday and we are hooking up with my brother Colin and his family who are living in New Jersey. He is working in New York so we are meeting him for a pint when we get in …how cool is that?!

He’s been there for 20 years and it’s sad that any of your family are so far away. I love him to bits but often I do sadly feel ‘out of sight out of mind‘ kicks in and we have all missed out on so much together.

We were busy up until the minute we left closing off on some various client things, finishing a proposal that must be submitted tomorrow and caught up in so many other ‘life‘ things.

For now we must leave it all behind because there is nothing we can do but sit with so many others including my helpful New Yorker and let that bird in the sky take us on our journey.

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork