Some weeks back, I offered this post. Then, on February 16, I offered this on resilience. Then, there was this piece of news. Things are about to get interesting. The road ahead demands much of us. Indeed.
I say this, not with a sense of doom and gloom but with a sense that the times are more than a changing… beyond cliché. In a Province with an unexpected and almost $2 billion dollar deficit brought on by a collapse in oil prices and revenues, and an apparent presumption that such would not happen… we are now facing decisions that will define us and our future.
Given my own personal passion and background in education, business and with youth, and as a Master Facilitator with The Virtues Project™… I feel the need to weigh in, albeit and hopefully humbly. There are many tactical questions to answer in the days, weeks and months ahead. Still, and ultimately, the math makes one thing very apparent. The way out requires some combination of increasing revenues and reducing expenditures. The math requires it.
That is a strategic issue.
That being said, decisions on reductions in expenditures require us to define what is most important to us as a people and a culture. We have to know our priorities. It requires us to know the character of this place and that for which we truly stand. That is an important conversation and decision, for us all. In the coming weeks and months, I will choose to explore such questions, connecting the dots of the character and capacity of a culture and society to take care of what matters most. True responsibility demands that.
Some might say this is simplistic. Simplicity is a strength; of any great strategy. It is about being true to purpose, with great and clear focus. Its guidance is powerful. It does not imply easy. It does imply foundational.
Knowing what matters most to us as a people, society and culture can effectively guide our decisions on priorities for expenditures.
That being said, when considering ways to increase revenues, let us finally admit that we need to fully understand that we have to be an export driven culture and economy… and that it goes beyond traditional and natural resources. Hospitality, entertainment, technology… and more. We need a return to an entrepreneurial culture where we celebrate and support and encourage small and medium size enterprise to sell to the world in diverse and innovative ways. Technology has broken down the age old excuse of geography and distance. Finding and supporting entrepreneurs through our education models, youth engagement and business development must go to the head of the line. Training youth for jobs is fine. But, we need to find and train a wave and generation of entrepreneurs who will create those jobs, independent of big oil and mining and other natural resources.
This is not an attack on oil, gas and more. It is a call to independent and small business to turn its gaze to the global market. In a Province of 500,000+ people, we have a world out there to serve. Now, we must identify the qualities and strengths of an entrepreneurial culture and promote it in our education, youth engagement and business development To start, what are the character strengths of such a culture?
Let’s have that conversation and articulation. Let’s build classrooms and communities that engage it and advance it; by reinforcing those strengths of character of the entrepreneurial mindset and heartset. In the coming weeks and months, I will engage both streams of thought on:
- character, capacity, creativity and cost cutting; and
- character, capacity, creativity and creating wealth.
The journey will hopefully engage not just this local culture but any culture going through such change. Many parts of the world seem to be at crossroads socially and economically, locally and globally. As the days and weeks and months advance, I will contribute my own thoughts here.
With this in mind, I certainly don’t have the answers but I know they start with decisions of character. Hope you ride with me.
Peace, passion and prosperity.
Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™