Corporate Storytelling

“Story is more powerful than brand,” says author, speaker and marketing expert, Tom Peters, “because the best story wins.”At Iridia, we are exploring ways to better tell our story.

Corporate Storytelling

Last  week, Iridia staff took part in a workshop on corporate storytelling in which they were asked to share their favourite stories, and it wasn’t difficult for people to come up with ideas. When asked why these stories were so important to them, the answers reflected some strong themes – they made people feel good, they had an important message or lesson, they were inspiring or motivational, they had heroes facing insurmountable odds and demonstrating the triumph of the human spirit over difficulties.

As fun as it was to share favourite personal stories, the group was led to think about story in a larger context – their company. The group watched a video where Zappos CEO, Tony Hseih, told the story about a customer service representative who went above and beyond to demonstrate care and concern for a customer. Through this simple story, the group learned a lot about Zappos – the company. Another story was told about a hotel in a small town that demonstrated its commitment to customers by anticipating the needs of travelers and meeting those needs before they even knew they needed them. Again, the group came up with a number of things it learned about the hotel from hearing that story.

At the end of the workshop, Iridia Founder, Allan Holmes, asked if he could tell a story. He talked about why he started the company fourteen years ago. He shared his vision and the company’s driving force through the years. It was apparent that many of the staff had never heard the story, particularly from Allan himself, but in that instant, their perspectives were transformed, there was a connection – an “AHA” moment that bound the group together; a vision that became common to them all.

A great story engages us. It binds us together. It lifts us up. It inspires us. It lives and breathes and gets under our skin. Stories make us laugh and cry; they get us worked up and inform us about things we need to know.  Sometimes stories unsettle us. They make us want to work harder, be better, change things around us, and appreciate what we have.

The Iridia staff will be engaging with one another in the next number of weeks to explore our corporate story. They’ll be working to discover the story of what makes our company special and how we can communicate that to the rest of the world.

Story is more powerful than brand. Companies can spend a lot of money on branding, and that’s a necessary element of good business, but a simple story can tell you more about a company’s heart and vision than a website, a brochure, a media package, or a fantastic logo. We’re excited about embarking on our storytelling journey. We’ll be sure to share our story with you as we go!

Vancouver Plane Crash – 10/27/2011

First responders such as paramedics, fire rescue and police put their lives on the line everyday when answering emergency calls. Thursday’s plane crash in Vancouver that left many injured was not a typical emergency call for our first responders; or a typical afternoon for those who witnessed the accident.

In case you haven’t heard about the crash or would like to check up-to-date information on the accident, visit the Vanoucver Sun here:

Vancouver Plane Crash

Moral obligations of bystanders have been making headlines recently.

Should strangers rush in to save someone who is in trouble? We would like to think if something terrible happened to us and someone witnessed it, they would come to our aid. But yet, in many cases people are either too stunned or not equipped to deal with an accident. Fortunately yesterday’s plane crash had a silver lining and that lay in the efforts of our first responders and those bystanders who put themselves in harm’s way. As the plane burned up on the road, many people who witnessed the accident rushed to the scene through the smoke and fire to save those who were trapped in the wreckage. Due to their outstanding efforts they were able to retrieve all those who were trapped.

Unfortunately even with the efforts of bystanders and EMS personnel the pilot succumbed to his injuries. Currently the co-pilot is in critical condition, with burns covering up to 80% of his body. We can only hope that he and the others who were injured pull through and recover from this horrific accident.

Had those brave individuals not put their own lives at risk to save others, it is possible many more passengers may have died. This crash highlights the importance of all first responders, whether they are fire rescue, paramedics or police. Those who ran to the burning plane to save those inside now know what it’s like for our first responders who put themselves on the front lines every day.

At Iridia  we have the opportunity to work with fire rescue personnel and paramedics. We understand what they do and why they do it. Accidents like this make us feel grateful that we get the chance to work with those who make it their duty to save lives even if it means putting themselves at risk.

We are very proud to work with those who responded to this accident, as well as all the first responders we work with every day. As a leader in the development of medical education, it is our mission to provide physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals with the most up to date information and skills enabling them to provide their patients with the best possible care.

CPR and First Aid Retention + CPR quiz results

In an ideal world it would be advantageous to have widespread CPR training for the whole country. Such a program would save many lives each year in Canada. Unfortunately at the moment it is unknown just how long trained rescuers in CPR remember the course information. Some recent literature indicates that many necessary skills of CPR and first aid are forgotten shortly after certification in laypersons. 

 A recent investigation by WorkSafe BC set out to determine CPR retention rates and made some key findings:

  • Many skills deteriorate rapidly over the course of the first 90 days.
  • Repetition (the number of times trained/certified in First Aid or CPR) may be more important to skill retention than the length of time since the last training.
  • A number of skills were performed poorly regardless of how much time had passed since the last training.
  • Simple and cost effective updating strategies for first aid and CPR are needed to reduce the rate of knowledge and skill deterioration.

WorkSafe’s conclusions suggest that it may be more important to have repeated refresher courses about every 90 days. Individuals who had renewed their certificate more than once managed to score higher on their exams.  Repetition seems to be the key to continuing CPR education.


CPR quiz

Recently Iridia created a CPR quiz. We wanted to highlight the importance of knowing how to perform CPR correctly. We asked ten basic CPR questions that anyone trained in CPR should be able to answer correctly. 

Here are the questions for those of you who did not complete the quiz.

1. What does CPR stand for?
2. CPR can be performed with chest compressions only.
3. Sudden Cardiac Arrest affects up to _____ Canadians each year. 
4. The Heart and Stroke Foundations recommended optimum  chain of survival is:
5. When performing CPR, the ratio of chest compressions to artificial respiration is:
6. When performing CPR on adults, the rate of compressions should be at least _____ per minute.
7. When performing CPR on adults, the compression depth should be at least _____ centimetres.
8. It is not recommended to perform CPR on children aged 6 and under.
9. As many as 85% of all Cardiac Arrests occur outside of a hospital. 
10. Every minute of delay in CPR reduces the chances of survival by _____ percent.

CPR quiz

The results of the quiz so far are not surprising, given the retention of CPR knowledge and lack of widespread training. The first graph charts the correct attempts for each question, while the second shows the quiz scores for each percentile.

With such a small sample of individuals who may or may not have CPR training it is impossible to make any strong conclusions; other than an average of 67% could be greatly improved.

If you would like to complete the quiz please follow this link: 

BC Hospitality Expo 2011

The BC Hospitality Industry Conference & Expo  is almost upon us. If you are looking to learn about the latest industry trends, best practices for running your hospitality business and solutions to your business needs, this is the event for you.

Connect with your peers and enjoy networking with industry professionals from around the province and across the country. The 2011 Hospitality Expo brings together experts from the full spectrum of the hospitality industry to educate and inspire you to reach new heights in your business!

Iridia will be attending the Expo, so when you’re out and about don’t forget to stop by and say hi to the Iridia team! Tom and Julie will be there answering your questions and demonstrating AED units.

If you would like to learn how you can run a cost-effective AED program for your workplace then check out  Iridia @ booth #719. When you swing by our booth be sure to drop your business card off so you can receive special AED promo pricing offers and an invitation to free special events throughout the upcoming year.

** exhibit November 7 & 8 from 10:30AM-5PM**

Iridia is British Columbia’s sole distributor of Medtronic’s LIFEPAK AEDs and a regional distributor of Cardiac Science’s Powerheart G3 Plus AED. Both manufacturers are renowned for their use of leading-edge technology, the reliability of their units, and after purchase service provided. 

Additional Details:

November 7 & 8, 10:30AM-5PM
Vancouver Convention Centre- East
999 Canada Place (under the sails)





Living Our Values Award

Every company has a culture and a foundation upon which it is built. Values underpin that culture and guide the company in its decision-making and policy development. Iridia is dedicated to empowering every one of our employees.

In light of us striving to live what we do, we have created the Living Our Values Award (LOVA). The LOVA is a reflection of our corporate culture and what it means to be a part of this team. Every two weeks the award passes to an individual who goes above and beyond, someone who embraces our values and becomes the very best of themselves.

After two weeks the current holder of the award chooses who they would like to give the award to. With each passing of the award our corporate culture and values become more defined. Since beginning in August, the LOVA has passed to five individuals who have embraced values such as teamwork, quality and professionalism.

Living Our Values


Seasonal Influenza, A Helpful Reminder

Seasonal Influenza

It’s that time of the year again, leaves are changing colour, days are getting shorter and our noses are getting runnier. There is not much we can do about the leaves or the days but we can protect ourselves and others from catching Seasonal Influenza.

What Is Influenza?

Influenza refers to illnesses and symptoms, ranging from mild to severe, caused by a number of different influenza viruses.  Typical symptoms are fever, coughing, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, body aches, chills and fatigue.  Annual outbreaks of seasonal influenza usually occur during the late fall through early spring.

How to Protect Yourself and Others?

The best prevention for influenza is getting vaccinated.  An influenza vaccine not only provides protection for an individual, it also helps protect vulnerable populations that are at a higher risk of complications from influenza.

These “high risk” groups include:

  • Pregnant women
  • Children 5 years of age and younger
  • Adults 65 years of age and older
  • People with chronic illnesses, such as asthma, heart disease and diabetes and immunocompromised persons

Receiving an influenza vaccine is particularly important if you work in a high-rick environment such as a hospital. As you can be infectious with the influenza virus for up to 24 hours before displaying symptoms, you could inadvertently spread influenza before you become sick with symptoms.   The seasonal influenza vaccine is extremely safe for everyone, including pregnant women and children.  Other ways to help protect yourself and others from getting influenza include:

  • Staying home from work if you have influenza-like symptoms
  • Regularly washing your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer
  • Coughing and sneezing into your sleeve or a tissue

What if I Get Sick With Influenza?  

If you have influenza-like symptoms you should:

  • Stay home, drink clear fluids
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Avoid close contact with others

If you have significant influenza symptoms or are in one of the high risk groups (see above), you should see your health care provider, preferably within the first 48 hours, to see if you are eligible for antiviral medications.  If you are taking care of someone at home who has influenza remember to protect yourself and others in the household.

What Is Pandemic Influenza Again?

Pandemic influenza refers to a novel influenza A virus for which there is little or no immunity in the human population.  Because it is a novel virus, it takes approximately 6 months to develop an effective vaccine.  A pandemic influenza virus can cause serious illness and spreads easily from person-to-person worldwide.  The most recent example of a pandemic influenza was in 2009, caused by the novel H1N1 (swine) virus.

Further Information  More information on this year’s seasonal influenza may also be found at: