10 August 2010

Comment on Canada's Innovation Malaise

Conference Board of Canada president Anne Golden's op-ed piece today comments on Canada's Innovation Malaise. Golden does a good job of explaining why Canada is so poor at innovation, focusing on our cultural disposition toward "our traditional sense of caution." It is this sense of caution that prevents us from taking risks. As one of the comments points out, Canada does too good a job at tearing others down, rather than celebrate entrepreneurial thinking. Perhaps this is a throwback to having to live together in a harsh environment - we've taken a sense of community too far to countenance divergence (in this regard we exemplify the Japanese proverb "the nail that sticks up gets hammered down"). Regardless, we need to continue to foster education that trains highly qualified and skilled personnel with innovation literacy and with downstream effects on productivity front of mind. We need to reassure ourselves that it is okay to focus on the commercialization of ideas emerging from basic R&D. Taking  a complementary approach to conducting R&D within open innovation, and not shying away from risks but rather celebrating risk-taking and finding reassurance in failure as a basis for learning will help us find new ways of doing things to replace simple fealty to resource extraction.

No comments: