I had lunch with a business colleague, and we were discussing the general adoption rate of digital in the local market, not only here in Edmonton but Alberta, as it relates to our experiences down south in the US and else where in Canada.
He asked me where I thought Canada was in terms of digital adoption, innovation etc in comparison to the US. I said we were “12 to 18 months behind up here”. Not because we don’t have access to the technology. Not because we don’t have smart people, and not because we don’t have a business need or the resources. Rather, it was because Canadian companies tend to be “chicken shits” when making decisions I said.
I live in the greatest province in the greatest country in the world. So let’s just get that out of the way right now. It’s because of that however, that “we both” felt the need to agree and get upset on this point.
Where did all the Alberta guts go?
Some might say Alberta is the economic engine of Canada. I’d be one of them, however, it’s sometimes despite ourselves.
My point is that when it comes to pushing the envelope, Alberta is not at the front of the innovation line as often as it should be. In fact, my colleague and I mused about having seen way too many Alberta executives making safe decisions to save their careers instead of doing their jobs and leading the innovative charge.
Someone takes a series of pot shots at our province, it’s energy and tourism sectors around the world, and we run and hide?
Where did all the Alberta guts go? “Taking a breath”, is great and it’s not enough.
From now on in Alberta, it should be against the law to operate with the priority of protecting your pension. Instead, go make a difference, kick some global ass, and make Alberta pensions bigger. We’ve forgotten how to take on the toughest problems, leaving the easy ones to others. Stop being “chicken shits” Alberta, stand up and lead. Dominate. Help more people on the planet then the next guy, gal, province or country.
We have incredibly smart people. We have the resources, but don’t invest them in innovation as aggressively as we should. We have a growing start-up community, get off your large wallets and invest! Keep the winners here, don’t let them be stolen by Silicon Valley. There are other opportunities outside of oil and dirt. We have the global connections, time to develop them more effectively. We just don’t think big enough!
Most of all though. We don’t move fast enough. The energy sector moves as fast as bitumen sludge being pushed up hill with a wet noodle when it comes to communications. This isn’t the only sector in Alberta that’s slow to react to a changed digital communications reality. Frankly, that’s the problem – being reactive versus proactive.
It seems that in Alberta, no one wants to be “first in” leaders, instead we’ve become a society of “second in” followers. Let the other guy go first – that’s our motto. Well, guess what message that sends to the world? Disregard us, stomp on us, ignore us unless you want to insult us.
Alberta should be first to the race, and first to cross the finish line or blow up trying.
We’re definitely good enough!
Instead of always wanting to call ourselves “world class”, we should be leading through our actions, and letting the world continually admire the class in which Alberta achieves greatness – again and again.
Is Alberta business too chicken-shit in your opinion?