Author: Trevor McPherson MBOT President and CEO
The onset of the spring season brings with it a sense of renewed optimism. Restaurant patios have reopened (please support local), the aroma from a neighbour’s grill fills the air, and our days have become warmer and longer. As Shakespeare famously wrote, “April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.” After more than two years of navigating through an incredibly difficult period, springtime represents an opportunity to again seize the moment.
Let’s face it. We have all felt a sense that much of what has impacted our personal and professional lives has been out of our control. Public health restrictions, rising inflation, geopolitical conflict, supply chain disruptions, labour shortages, etc. Admittedly, the impacts have been uneven, and this has been particularly true in the world of business. Still, we have learned much from our collective experience:
It’s no longer a choice. Whether you’re a small business looking to take your sales online, or a large manufacturer embedding artificial intelligence into the production process, having a technology plan for the entire business is a competitive necessity. Let’s add cybersecurity as another must for any business with an Internet connection. At MBOT, we have several companies within our membership that are ready to help.
Connect and Collaborate
We’ve learned that we can accomplish much more when we align interests and work together. Over the past two years, we’ve come together out of necessity, but we’ve realized that we could have been more collaborative all along. Let’s not lose that. MBOT has been leading the way by convening 50+ CEOs, academic leaders, and not-for-profit organizations through our Mississauga Economic Recovery Group (MERG).
Focus on Employee Wellness and Work-Life Balance
As it turns out, businesses are filled with human beings! People that come with real life issues, emotions, physical and mental health challenges. We need to be tuned-in to the needs of our teams. A simple measure you can take today is to implement the Chambers Plan at your organization, available to members of MBOT. Complete with telehealth support and a range of employee wellness services, it’s an affordable and worthwhile investment. Make this part of your talent acquisition and retention strategy.
Get Engaged and Shape Effective Public Policy
Advocacy matters. Constructive and respectful dialogue with government matters. From climate change to the talent crunch, there are a range of issues for which the private sector can contribute new ideas, expertise, and valuable perspective. At MBOT, we take great pride in our policy and advocacy work and would welcome your engagement.
Diversify to Mitigate Risk
What was that lesson about “putting all your eggs in one basket”? We know we shouldn’t do it, but when times are good, we often fall into this trap. This can be true as it pertains to our customer base, our product or service offering, our suppliers, and in which geographic markets we do business. For this last item, MBOT offers the hands-on Trade Accelerator Program (TAP) in partnership with the World Trade Centre Toronto.
These are just a few of the lessons learned. In times of uncertainty, successful businesses will identify what they can change and prepare for what they cannot.