Change the Game, Play to Win

Our national inferiority complex, has meant we are afraid to take a bold strategic position and wave our own flag in the face of the stars and stripes. In Canada, economic patriotism is seen as somehow awkward and un-Canadian. The predisposition of Canadian business leaders is to shy away from thinking strategically. Combined with our general lack of assertiveness, this has resulted in our tentative willingness to pursue new markets and new opportunities. These self-limiting behaviours and deferential personality traits limit our national economic flexibility and threaten our standard of life. Canadian business leaders need to find a way to think more progressively and take bolder, more confident and more strategic decisions about the future.

The fundamental issue we face as business leaders is the fact we simply do not have enough truly game-changing examples, across a broad enough range of industries, segments and geographies to allow us to claim anything like the global level of business competitiveness we need. Unlike hockey, where we are comfortable and excel in terms of confidence, skill and assertiveness, it seems it is just not part of our national character to chase the puck when it comes to business. Instead, we shy away from going hard into the corner with our elbows up when we see others fighting for possession of a market, a segment or a service.