Monday, November 30, 2009

Canadian Innovation Pride

We hear alot about Canada's lack of innovation, at the same time, we need to learn to celebrate more. For generations Canadians have a developed a quiet self confidence that runs deep into Canadian business and into the Canadian pysche of being conservative, not to boast, and generally being very likeable.

Recently Moody's Financial Post reported that Moody's had ranked Canadian banks as the best in the world for the second year in a row. Despite this standing, Canadian banks have been rebranding themselves for more global appeal, BMO vs Bank of Montreal, Toronto Dominion has become TD, and the Royal Bank of Canada branded as RBC. This serves the halo to project we are international and help driven our expansion capabilities.

Other great Canadian innovations come to mind like our Cirque du Soleil which is a brilliant mix of the arts with music, drama, dance, acrobats simply entertainment at his finest. This creative troupe has achieved world-wide recognition for its ingenuity and entertaining magic.

Flipping to the technology side of things.Most people do not know that the Java Technology Platform was invented by a Canadian. The popular WebSite Flickr was developed by Western Canadians based out of Vancouver. However like many Canadian companies it was bought by Yahoo and soon migrated its leadership and all of its content to American servers and relocated in the valley.

On the retail front we have Roots, Lulu Lemon -- all Retail successes which bring us comfort and a sense of wholeness. Although Tim Horton's is a Canadian coffee shop magnet - breaking into the USA for this innovation local child has not been so easy.

What are we known for as Canadians?

Canadians have quiet confidence. But we often do not take credit for the incredible innovations that we are known for. As business leaders we are not aggressive, or abrasive or domineering. We tend to respect and appreciate diversity and hence we are easily trusted with our global partners.

As we look forward to the new year approaching, Canadians yes need to increase their innovation capabiltiies every country does in the war for talent and war for economic growth - however, we should not also lose sight of our values that seek to embrace, and build enduring cultures.

Let's pause and celebrate what we have accomplished in the past and know next year that we will accomplish even more.

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