Canadians place value on 'intelligent' risk and innovation: Study

by Knowlton Thomas | Research

A large majority of Canadians believe that business leaders should be open to taking more intelligent risks in order to foster innovation, according to a Microsoft Canada survey conducted by Harris/Decima.

Indeed, 84 percent of Canadians believed leaders in business need to take more calculated risks for the sake of innovation—yet only 53 percent felt the company they worked for was doing so. The numbers aligned similarly for Americans surveyed.

"Canadian business leaders must embrace an appetite for intelligent risk instead of shying away from it to stay within the comfort of status quo," says   Eric Gales, President of Microsoft   Canada. "Now is the time to create organizational cultures where risk is not a dirty four-letter word, but is encouraged as a valuable ingredient in fueling learning, creativity and inspiring innovation."

An overwhelming 97 percent of Canadians felt that companies must embrace new technologies to remain competitive, and a remarkable 96 percent of Canadians say that technology is shaping the future of how they conduct their work.

"The business world is in the midst of an exciting period of change driven by technology," said Peter Aceto, Chief Executive Officer, ING DIRECT, commenting on the survey results. "For businesses to be successful in this environment, leaders need to promote a culture where employees at all levels not only understand their business but feel safe to experiment in it - to reach far across the divide - with no danger of the repercussions of failure."

"What we need to do is overcome the misconception that risk automatically equates to danger," added Eric. "We need to transform the idea of risk into a true opportunity - whether in business, skiing down a mountain, or in improving Canada's healthcare system. Business leaders need to empower their teams and drive forward innovation to strengthen our economy and put Canada on the map."

"Understanding the intersection of technology and innovation is critical to the future success of firms," commented Dr. Benson Honig, McMaster University, DeGroote School of Business, Teresa Cascioli Chair in Entrepreneurial Leadership. "It is particularly critical for larger organizations, that must not only embrace change and creativity, but most also "scale up" in order to survive global competition. This report is an excellent start toward understanding and infusing Canada's corporate culture with the need to innovate and accept change."

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

The Vancouver Development Center (VDC) is located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The centre is home to some of the best and brightest software developers from around the world. Since opening its doors in September 2007, the VDC has quickly become an intricate part of Microsoft’s global strategy for distributed software development. VDC employees play a key role in architecting systems,... more

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

ING DIRECT is not like any other bank. In fact, as you've probably noticed we don't even use the word bank in our name. That's because from day one, we knew we could be something different — something better. ING DIRECT is a safe, simple way to save and borrow that gives you real choice. We have no branches. Instead, we take the money we save and use it to pay you higher interest on your... more

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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes and author of Tempest Bound. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys hiking, tennis, and martial arts. more

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