Our companies need more than ‘blue-sky’ commentary


Over the past couple of weeks, there have been a series of articles in The Globe and Mail about Canada's competitiveness. As I finished reading the various pieces, I was left with that uncomfortable feeling that our national dialogue on competitiveness is a little on the thin side and excessively weighted on macro (country level) versus micro (firm level) analysis.

Yes, we have to have a competitive corporate tax structure in our country; yes, we need to be aware of the impact of a rising Canadian dollar on our firms; yes, we should be concerned about the productivity gap we have with the United States; and yes, innovation is the key to business competitiveness.

But now what? Silence fills the room . . .

As I've indicated previously in the Competing to Win blog, it's our companies -- represented by their owners, managers and employees -- that have to compete in an increasingly integrated and competitive global economy, not the government of Canada, the 13 provincial and territorial governments, and their respective agencies. And, ultimately, it's our companies that are tasked with the challenge of creating wealth and leading the jobs and growth agenda.

Based on my experience over the years in working with Canadian enterprises - small, medium and large, and across industries - it's rarely a case of our companies lacking the entrepreneurial or managerial spirit to take on the challenges of a world that is being reshaped by technology, economic globalization, ever-evolving labour markets, and the rise of the BRICs + Mexico + Indonesia + Turkey + South Africa. etc. It's predominantly a case of know-how and effective management of risk. Companies are looking for, and require, solid, practical solutions and insights to better enable them to compete today. They have little need for commentary from the 50,000 foot level...

Read full article: The Globe and Mail, March 6, 2012