May 15, 2014
Enhancing quality of life through what you do for a living
Join the family and friends of the late Perry Molema for the official opening of the garden dedicated to his memory, on May 31 in Chatham.
Tony DiGiovanni CHT
LO executive director

Tony DiGiovanni After this punishing and unrelenting winter, I am really hoping you don’t have time to read this article, because you are busy enhancing lives with your products, services, creativity, skill and caring attitude.   

I have told this story many times, but I am moved to repeat it. Years ago, I heard the late Perry Molema say we are in the “business of enhancing lives.” That simple phrase has energized and inspired me ever since.   

Perry’s caring attitude and positive perspective on life have inspired many others as well. It was not a surprise that the industry came together to build a garden in his memory. Please come join his family and friends in a celebration of his life and legacy on Sat., May 31, starting at 1 p.m. at Zonta Park at the corner of King Street and William Street in Chatham.  

Speaking of enhancing lives, I had an opportunity to read a thought-provoking book called Drive by Daniel Pink. The subtitle of the book is “The surprising truth about what motivates us.” The book was interesting because it seemed to explain a phenomenon that I have observed and been inspired by every day working in an association. What drives so many of our members to spend countless hours and huge resources (for no pay), happily volunteering in order to contribute to the lives and livelihood of fellow members? For that matter, I see this contribution ethic in our staff too. They go far beyond what is expected of them. What motivates this kind of behaviour?   

The author observes there are basically two types of organizations, ‘for-profit’ and ‘non-profit.’ One makes money, the other does good. However, there are new business forms emerging. These businesses exist to offer significant social benefits. The author talks about “social businesses” where the profit-maximization principle is replaced by the social-benefit principle. He uses the term ‘for-benefit’ corporations and ‘for-purpose’ organizations. This purpose principle is what really drives, motivates and inspires. Participating in a greater purpose in order to leave a legacy of benefit is a huge motivator. In other words, participating in a common purpose to enhance lives is an inherent motivator for us, employees, customers and the public.   

We are fortunate to be in business that provides economic, environmental, social, health, legacy, therapeutic, recreational and spiritual benefits. We have the answers to many of the issues affecting modern society. Our landscapes collect and filter storm water, provide oxygen, trap pollution and greenhouse gases, shade our homes, save energy costs, give us privacy, reduce exposure to the elements, provide the green infrastructure for outdoor exercise and recreation, reduce our stress, increase our property values and make us happy.

This is what you and your employees do for a living. This is what your customers enable. There is inherent motivation in this worthy cause and purpose. Your staff at Landscape Ontario wishes you a wonderful spring season enhancing lives.   
Tony DiGiovanni may be contacted at, or at 1-800-265-5656, ext. 304.