(As originally posted on LinkedIn, June 28 2017)

To Canada 150 and beyond:
the role of private companies

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By David Fabian, EY Canada’s Private Client Services Leader

Ahead of #Canada150, we’re reflecting on what we’ve accomplished and what awaits us in the next century and a half. We’re asking ourselves the kinds of #BetterQuestions that challenge, inspire and unlock new solutions.

Q: How are private companies transforming innovation in Canada?

A: Having the benefit of agility in adopting new, innovative practices and technologies, Canadian private companies have excelled over the past 150 years in becoming market leaders in digital transformation.

Canada is attracting some of the brightest and most innovative talent globally and it will be exciting to be a part of this digital evolution. Many companies are looking to employees, customers and suppliers to help foster innovation as a top priority on their agenda.

Q: Is family business entrepreneurship on the rise? Has it always existed?

A: Family businesses and their leaders are the ultimate entrepreneurs. They must continually innovate to grow and pass on a thriving business from one generation to the next.

What I’ve learned over the years working with multi-generational family businesses is that maintaining a culture that supports creative thinking and nurtures entrepreneurial values and risk taking from generation to generation, helps success. Over the next 150 years, Canada will continue to benefit from its family businesses. Encouraging entrepreneurs and building leaders who value the family legacy, innovation and forward thinking, will propel Canada as a best-in-class model for family businesses around the world.

Q: Does an inclusive culture drive profitability for private companies? 

A: Diversity and inclusiveness are critical to the success of the Canadian economy. It’s no longer a question of whether strategies of diversity and inclusiveness should be implemented, but rather a discussion around how to harness the power of inclusiveness that extends beyond discussions of race, orientation and gender. There’s tremendous value in a workforce that learns from the experiences and talents of people from all backgrounds as it can help enrich diversity of thought and helps leaders make sound decisions for their companies.

While private companies have always existed in Canada, their growth and expansion over the past 150 years has been remarkable. Leaders are constantly evolving their strategies, rethinking their objectives and executing on tactical plans for growth. While plans may change over the next 150 years, the one thing that’s not likely to change is the positive impact of private companies on the Canadian economy. 

Innovation, entrepreneurship and diversity are vital to Canada’s future success. Those who seize the opportunities that arise from disruption in every sector are poised to lead in the years ahead. Happy Canada Day!

Innovation, entrepreneurship and diversity are vital to Canada’s future success. Those who seize the opportunities that arise from disruption in every sector are poised to lead in the years ahead. Happy Canada Day!

What does the future hold for your business and how do you plan to get there?

The views reflected in this article are the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the global EY organization or its member firms.