“For books are more than books, they are the life, the very heart and core of ages past, the reason why men worked and died, the essence and quintessence of their lives.”
Marcus Tullius Cicero
“For books are more than books, they are the life, the very heart and core of ages past, the reason why men worked and died, the essence and quintessence of their lives.”
Marcus Tullius Cicero
Bill Morneau is perhaps an influential figure in Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet, but he’s not conducting himself like most finance ministers. Given the budget he presented recently, he may be more of a social justice warrior.
Supporting more diversity, equality and inclusiveness is obviously critical to the betterment of our society, but I believe most Canadians expect more from a finance minister. His recent budget was sorely lacking.
There were no plans to balance the books and, most importantly, there were no mitigating strategies presented in relation to a floundering global trade environment.
Few details were given on the government’s plan to deal with NAFTA’s possible demise on Washington’s “America First” policy, and there were no attempts to circumvent trading challenges.
The ugly face of protectionism is slowly making its way across the globe. U.S. President Donald Trump announced last week he’s considering new trade restrictions, including a 25 per cent tariff on imported steel and a 10 per cent duty on aluminum, though the White House has suggested Canada and Mexico may be exempt from the measures.
Nonetheless, trade wars are something Trump appears to relish.
Despite recent trade deals signed by Canada, the world seems at odds with open trade, and instead everyone wants to protect their own domestic markets.
This is a seemingly dangerous path given that agriculture and food are often considered the most vulnerable and sensitive sectors when it comes to trade barriers.
They’re easy targets. Tariff or even non-tariff barriers can make a significant dent in a country’s economy almost instantly, and consumers are often affected the most.
Most economists see freer trade among nations as an absolute good until politics come along. But not all trade is created equal. Some win while others lose, and given the economics of our country, Canada cannot win many trade wars, especially not with the United States.
In fact, we are already witnessing how a trade war could affect the Canadian agrifood sector as Canadian pulse farmers are now bracing for some major trading headwinds from India.
Some political opponents are linking our prime minister’s recent globally mocked visit to India with the country’s decision to increase tariffs on chickpeas from 44 per cent to 60 per cent, overnight.
The decision comes after India introduced a variety of tariffs on pulse crops, including lentils, peas and chickpeas, in the past few months.
These are growth sectors for our economy. Canadian pulse exports to India alone are worth well over CDN$1 billion. This could easily escalate further and affect other sectors of our agrifood economy.
In Europe, South America — everywhere — we are seeing more governments reducing their exposure to international markets. It cuts risks and simplifies business for many producers.
But there is also considerable consensus around the world that trade wars can backfire and ultimately hurt consumers.
Trade barriers, which are often scientifically unjustifiable but politically motivated, make economies weaker and less competitive over time. Duties may look like an attractive, simple mechanism to protect domestic interests, but they are an extremely expensive way to retain jobs in an economy.
But Canada doesn’t exactly have an immaculate record either on trade barriers.
Canada itself applies heavy duties on many imports, including dairy products, poultry and eggs. These duties are embedded into our supply management regime, considered by many as one of the most protectionist policies in the world.
In some cases, duties exceed 300 per cent.
Most countries do enact duties on a variety of food products, but Canada goes even further by enabling and controlling domestic production with quotas. We are the only western economy still doing it. That makes it extremely awkward to ask trading partners for exemptions to their own trade barriers.
What remains under-appreciated is how intertwined all economies are, not just those of the U.S. and Canada. Duties in one sector will affect the ability of other sectors to trade. It is difficult, if not impossible, to link steel and aluminum with dairy, poultry and/or eggs, but the connection exists.
Trade wars easily escalate, spelling trouble for an open economy like Canada’s. Given our abundance of resources and knowledge, we have plenty to share. Almost 60 per cent of our economy is trade-driven.
Morneau essentially short-changed Canadian taxpayers last week with his so-called budget. I believe the government’s focus on equality would have been better served at another time.
We should not be shocked to see Ottawa utterly unprepared for Washington’s wrath towards its trading partners. Upholding equity values for our country is undoubtedly noble, but the government could fall short on its social promises if it runs out of cash.
We have entered a pivotal time in the evolution of financial services. The advent of myriad technologies, the unprecedented pace of change, non-traditional and traditional competition, the regulatory environment, increasing consumer expectations of value, ease, and simplification, global and localized economic influencers – the list goes on. All represent a plethora of headwinds that afford a heightened urgency to think deeply about our business, move quickly, and pivot readily, while necessitating agility in our approach. The financial services industry is navigating these headwinds concurrent to striving to win for our clients today, digitizing and leveraging technologies to enhance our client experience and deliver cost efficiencies in the near term, while also fundamentally rethinking financial services for the future. As a realistic optimist – a very exciting as well as a somewhat unnerving time!
I highly value my experiences within the Dal MBA program and consider my investment central to enabling me to actively and positively engage in the industry transformation currently taking place. The program effectively strengthened my perspective, tuned my business acumen, and set the tone for the magnitude of change that I would ultimately be leading through.
How did the MBA influence my choices and decisions?
Building from my undergrad, the MBA enabled me to think more broadly, to take a wide lens to issues, while also strengthening my perspective and resourcefulness to engage in ongoing issues and opportunities present in today’s business environment. The opportunity to study, while working full time, (and parenting full time!) stretched me personally and professionally as I worked to manage the demands of my three parallel, competing realities.
Managing this complexity provided the impetus to broaden my capacity and demonstrated the value of adaptability as a core capability in my long-term development. Fundamental to today’s business environment is the ability to readily adapt to rapidly changing work. An essential capability as we look at the heightened importance of systematic horizontal integration and collaborative, fast paced, functional work environments.
The Dal MBA program also instilled a confidence that has fueled my curiosity and enabled me to more readily expose my vulnerabilities; never easy, but essential to long term personal and professional growth. Trusting the Dal MBA as my foundation, I have more easily stepped out of my areas of specialization into other parts of the business to broaden my experiences – trusting that I have the tools and foundation to enable me to positively impact the role and business in which I have transitioned.
How would you encourage others to seek more education?
Formal education is one lever for development – a lever that has always been extremely important to me personally. Peers, new work, mentors, classes, courses, experiences – there are many development tactics to consider. I suggest the first development step for anyone is to take the time to understand yourself. How well do you know yourself? Your interests? Strengths? Opportunities? Blind spots? Motivations? Take the time to reflect, ask for feedback, understand where you want to develop, and then be strategic about honing in on the areas that will support your overall development plan and journey. I have always focused on capabilities for my development, not roles, as the speed of change is reshaping everything we know. It is highly likely that your 2 or 3 out role target may not exist when you are looking for it.
Ultimately, education comes through many places. I am currently 15 years into my career and 12 years into a family life with 3 children – you quickly realize that the learning journey never ends! With the pace of change of today’s world, I find I am constantly learning both formally and informally. I am currently completing my CSC (why not!), taking a Data Science course, and completing a Lean project for a LSS designation. I am also working on many cross-functional projects that, in their own, foster unique development opportunities. Personally, my spouse and children are endlessly integrating the ‘internet of things’ into our home and routines, sharing apps and technologies fascinating in which to participate. In the end, simply being curious and engaging in the ongoing changes around me.
It is rewarding to embrace opportunities to continuously develop and grow. The world is an amazing place and, to think I am just scratching the surface of fully understanding my family, my work, my environment, and my passion, is an exhilarating feeling. Dal helped instill this in me.
I just love this quote from Stephen Hawking always reminding me to engage, embrace, and be curious:
“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.”
Richard (Rick) Atherton MBA(FS) 2016 is Associate Director, Senior Director, Operations Enablement and Integration, CB Operation, RBC. He is dedicated to the development, communication and integration of change leadership strategies supporting transformational initiatives across RBC Canadian Banking Operations. His mission is to enable effective and sustainable change to improve productivity, drive engagement, and deliver operational efficiencies. Rick has graciously agreed to be a repeat contributor on CFAME Connection.
The Story of Dalhousie; Or, The University as Insurgency
“Named for a Scottish castle at two streams where trout and salmon flicker and gleam and splash, and named for George Ramsay, whose prowess at Waterloo— cannonading and negating Napoleon, got him dubbed Lord, “Dalhousie” originates as a trophy—a profit—of War, as actual booty—“
George Elliott Clarke, Canada’s Seventh Parliamentary Poet Laureate
With a resonate, powerful voice, George Elliott Clarke, Canada’s Seventh Parliamentary Poet Laureate, imbued life into long-forgotten years, marked significant milestones, and inspired a new generation to give voice to their time.
The Story of Dalhousie; Or, The University as Insurgency, written by George Elliott Clarke was commissioned for Dalhousie’s 200th anniversary. A maestro of words, phrases and themes, Mr. Clarke presents Dalhousie’s history with a generous honesty that encourages readers and listeners to reflect on the realities, triumphs, and progress made over the 200 years of Dalhousie’s existence.
The Story of Dalhousie, epic in nature, is our story. We invite you to listen to George Elliott Clarke’s performance of “The Story of Dalhousie” accompanied by pianist, Tim Crofts
Photos of George Elliott Clarke were taken from the livestream of Dalhousie’s Bicentennial Launch
“When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.”
Viktor E. Frankl
In my last post, I talked about underlying principles of Information Governance. In this post, I will present two popular Information Governance models.
The Information Governance Reference Model (IGRM) The IGRM was developed by EDRM, now a part of the Duke Law Center for Judicial Studies, which creates practical resources to improve e-discovery and information governance. EDRM developed this model to create a framework by which to bring together the key players in information governance:
IGRM represents the functional areas that are directly responsible for the governance of information across an enterprise:
The Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles (The Principles), were created by ARMA International as a common set of principles that describe the conditions under which business records and related information should be maintained. The Principles were designed to guide:
Dr. Louise Spiteri
Master of Information Management at Dalhousie University
I love what Tennis has taught me!
Exactly two years ago, I picked up a tennis racket, never anticipating that the journey of learning a new skill would be so challenging and enjoyable. I believe that new skills and habits can be successfully acquired or changed, no matter what we tell ourselves to the contrary. In the process, we gain insight into who we are as individuals.
While on the tennis court, I gleaned three key insights on the importance of embracing life-long learning.
First, love what you do!
Find something that is of great interest to you to develop, something that has personal meaning and will gain your total commitment. Angela Duckworth, in her insightful book “Grit” argues that if you care deeply about what you do, you are more likely to keep at it. And if you keep doing something you love, you are likely to love it more and more. If you don’t love it, then you are unlikely to improve. This is what separates a “job” from a “lifelong calling”.
My lovely wife, who took up tennis a year before me, introduced me to the sport. Her enthusiasm inspired me to join her in an activity we could enjoy together. Before long, I was absorbed in a game that tested my abilities and inner self. I truly love the game; I can’t get enough of it! Which was a reminder to me that I feel the same excitement and joy for other parts of my life – my volunteer efforts with Scouts and my career at RBC. The fulfillment that I find in my life-choices influences my progress, whether as a tennis player, volunteer or professional.
Second, let go of internal judgement!
When I first started playing tennis, my serve was the weakest part of my game. I was so embarrassed with my motion and the lack of pace and accuracy that I would commonly apologize to my opponent. What I did not fully appreciate was that the serve is considered one of the hardest skills of tennis to master. Of course, I was going to be horrible at the beginning! The trap I fell into was my inner voice. This voice, what I call the saboteur voice, would constantly reinforce negative thoughts about how bad I was at serving.
“The Inner Game of Tennis” by W. Timothy Gallwey, is a fantastic read about how to develop the inner skills required to attain high performance. Although taught through the metaphor of tennis, this book is applicable to all aspects of life. In everything we do, we must be aware of our two selves. Self One is your conscious ego-mind, Self Two is you and your potential. Self One is telling Self Two how to perform and act, and in some cases acting as that saboteur voice. When our internal mind (Self One) is talking to Self Two, it causes us to overthink and over-analyze the situation. Recognize the roles of Self One and Self Two, for they both play a vital role in achieving peak performance and full enjoyment of the experience.
Third, appreciate the value of deliberate practice.
Enjoy the journey and remain less fixated on the outcome. Do you ever wonder why you don’t get better at a skill, even though you may exercise it repeatedly over a long period of time? This is the difference between practice and deliberate practice. For example, children who grow up playing competitive hockey, are exposed to deliberate practice plans put into motion by coaches to develop specific skills. Children who regularly play pickup hockey games, have little exposure to specific skill development offered by organized practice sessions. Children in the former category develop their skills at a much higher rate than the latter.
In tennis, I took the deliberate practice approach. Over the course of a year, I spent intentional time each week practicing my serve. I watched YouTube instructional videos, video-recorded myself and tested out new techniques in games. After a year, the results of my deliberate practice approach were impressive. My efforts were confirmed when a pro coach commented on the high quality of my serve, especially since I developed it on my own. You recall my serve was my weakest point. Now, my serve is the greatest strength of my game, giving me much confidence to improve other parts of the game. The same approach can apply to changes made at work and in my personal life. Taking the initiative and time to practice deliberately and follow a practice plan, produces outcomes that generally exceed our expectations.
Tennis is an inner game that prompted me to compete individually and to develop a new set of skills and revisit my ingrained habits. My challenge to you is to identify your “game of tennis” and commit to a learning journey. Find your passion, manage that saboteur voice and embrace the opportunities that await your explorations.
Walter Wallace MBA(FS) 2013, Senior Director, Transformation Management office, Group Risk Management at RBC, leads high performing teams that focus on delivering transformational change. He facilitated the establishment of a new Global Shared Services Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia and was the founding head of a global data centre engineering and operations group and the lead in a multi-hundred-million-dollar strategic data centre build program. Walter has graciously agreed to be a repeat contributor on CFAME Connection.
Four decades, 28 MPA Graduates, GOING PUBLIC!
January 25, 2018, the video GOING PUBLIC, celebrating DAL200, was featured at the student-led Atlantic Conference on Public Administration. The inaugural presentation marked the culmination of months of research, meticulous planning and coordination. The result was a remarkable collaboration of MPA graduates, MPA students, Dal Professor Marguerite Cassin (executive producer) and Lori Harrop, (producer and co-director).
Making a difference and celebrating DAL 200.
“We really wanted the video to speak to many different audiences about the value of an MPA and how it can be applied to a wide variety of issues to make a difference in the world. For students — current and potential — we hope it underscores how useful an MPA can be in helping them realize meaningful careers.”
Lori Harrop, Going Public’s Producer and Co-director
We invite you to view the GOING PUBLIC video and share the excitement generated by this extraordinary project.
GOING PUBLIC is a profound reminder that, as Dalhousie graduates, we are dedicated to engaging with our communities, seeking positive outcomes for society within a complex, fast-paced global world.
Special thanks to the Going Public team for sharing their photos with CFAME Connection.
“Friends… they cherish one another’s hopes. They are kind to one another’s dreams.”
Henry David Thoreau
“The Trudeau Government did the right thing by signing the CPTPP, especially for agrifood. Now its time to be honest with our farmers. Our supply managed sectors deserve leadership and a new vision.”
Dr. Sylvain Charlebois
Even as the North American free-trade agreement talks continue, we’ve learned that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is not dead after all. In fact, the trade deal among Pacific Rim countries has a new name: the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Along with Canada, it includes Japan, Mexico, Malaysia and seven other countries. The pact was made without the participation of the United States, which represented 60 per cent of the original group’s combined GDP. This was a massive loss for sure, but nonetheless, the CPTPP remains an important global deal.
The original deal was all about the United States and Japan trying to counter China’s economic emergence. Donald Trump pulled his country out of the deal when he became U.S. President, but the world is marching on, so it seems, without the United States. CPTPP is indeed NAFTA – minus the United States, of course – but with a new link to a rapidly growing market.
For Canada, this is a significant gain on the world stage. If the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) was an opportunity for Canada to become a trading platform between two continents, CPTPP is a clear statement that Canada wants to become a relevant player worldwide.
This can only make our agrifood sector much stronger. Our grain and livestock industries will now have the chance to make a dent in many Asian markets. But for our supply-managed sectors, which believe that serving Canada’s population of 36 million is enough, signing CPTPP represents a new challenge. The new deal will allow more dairy, eggs and poultry products into our market. Details have not yet been released, but it appears CPTPP will loosen tariffs on some products that are not currently allowed in our market. In other words, supply management’s supremacy is slowly disintegrating. If CETA created a breach in our highly protectionist scheme, CPTPP will blow it wide open.
Maintaining supply management has been, to a large extent, a disservice to the sector. Those still in the system are content and are desperately trying to convince the Canadian public that supply management serves them well. But it only serves those still in the system.
Several farms have disappeared over the past few decades, even though supply management was established to protect the family farm. The number of dairy farms in Canada has gone from more than 40,000 to about 11,000. With poultry and egg production, we have seen even more consolidation. This is a worldwide trend, but it begs the question: Why we are maintaining the status quo?
Through the years, politicians have all declared their support for supply management – with one notable exception: Maxime Bernier, who ended up losing the Conservative Party leadership race as a result. But governments are signing pacts that are slowly destroying supply management from the outside – while publicly supporting the regime.
Meanwhile, some major stakeholders are not waiting for governments to become more forthcoming and are hedging their bets against supply management. Canadian companies such as Saputo have already taken a position in the Asia-Pacific market by investing in Australia.
Canadian supporters of international trade should recognize, no matter what the politics are, that the Trudeau government did the right thing in agreeing to CPTPP. It validated the work of the Harper government by capturing the essence of the TPP deal. Signing this deal will mean that, by 2025, Canada’s farmers and food processors, with their ambitious targets, could increase Canada’s agrifood exports to at least $75-billion annually. CPTPP members probably hope the United States will eventually come to its senses and embrace multilateral agreements again. Until then, corridors crossing the Pacific to accommodate more trade will only get stronger. As we ratify this deal, we need to remember that supply management requires a different approach – one based in reality. Instead of fuelling what is already a highly polarized debate on the issue, we have to think about what Supply Management 2.0 will look like. And considering what is to come, sectors are running out of time.
Dr. Sylvain Charlebois
Dean, Faculty of Management