Is Attitude Obstructing Innovation for Canadian Businesses?

We’ve talked before about why businesses need to innovate – so if it’s so important, what’s stopping Canadian businesses from taking advantage of all of the innovation opportunities we have?

A recent article in the Globe and Mail argues that the Canada’s biggest obstacle to innovation is attitude. Canada has tons of small and medium-sized businesses – the perfect candidates to push innovation forward – and we have the support of the Innovation Agenda in the latest Federal budget. What we are missing is a sense of urgency to innovate!

Unfortunately, without this sense of urgency driving our businesses forward, Canada could fall behind in the Digital Revolution sweeping the globe. Digital competitiveness is the future and Canadian businesses must seize their opportunity to lead the way.

“Our country is well positioned to succeed in the digital era – if only we adopt the right attitude. And that is all about thinking like a startup. Large or small, Canadian businesses must adopt the mindset of a startup. Not tomorrow, not next week. We need to start now.”

According to the article, Canadian businesses need to change their attitude in these four key ways:

  1. Increase appetite for risk.
  2. Adopt a startup mentality, no matter how big the organization.
  3. Actively invest in true innovation.
  4. Think globally.

At Innovators Alliance, our view is that a company’s ability to grow is directly related to the entrepreneur or CEO’s ability to change. That means embracing all of the above points in your everyday thinking and business practices.

It’s not enough to do what you’ve always done – it might have worked so far, but it’s never going to take you to the next level or help your business achieve the innovation necessary to compete in a changing marketplace!

A change mentality – the attitude shift urged by this article – can be difficult to sustainably maintain throughout your company. For this reason, entrepreneurs and leaders need objective feedback that challenges them to think like a startup. Consistently diving deep and asking the hard questions is uncomfortable, but that’s exactly why we need to do it.

I suggest formalizing this kind of thinking and feedback into your processes. And of course, even better if you can regularly get advice and new perspectives from other CEOs and entrepreneurs to support you through your innovation journey!


Innovators Alliance is a peer-to-peer CEO networking group committed to driving business growth through innovation. Be our guest at one of our upcoming events!

Is your company innovative? Try our Innovator Self-Test. It has only 10 questions and takes less than 2 minutes!

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About Peggie Pelosi

Peggie Pelosi is the Executive Director of Innovators Alliance. She works with entrepreneurs and CEOs throughout Ontario to ensure they have access to the tools and resources to ensure profitable growth through innovation. Peggie is a seasoned entrepreneur and innovator, having built two companies which have both been game-changers in their industries. Peggie teaches in the space of Social Innovation in graduate business programs at the University of Toronto-St. Michael’s College and Seneca College.