This is a draft excerpt from Chapter 1 of "The Boiling Frog Dilemma" which I've been working on over the past couple of days. The point of this chapter is to set up the problem that traditional manufacturing in Canada is in for trouble (i.e., a frog in a pot of water) unless we take some intentional steps. Below I intentify three kinds of attitudes that deny Canadian manufacturing is facing a problem. I'd be very happy to hear any comments!
Is There Really a Problem?
There are those who would challenge the whole idea that Canadian manufacturers are in trouble, or if they are, that there are very easy fixes to the problem. To these people, talk of the sun setting on our domestic manufacturers is all much to do about nothing. These voices can be loosely groups into three schools of thought:
This summer, I've been given the incredible opportunity to have a two-month leave of absence from my employer to go and write a book. (A huge shout-out and thanks to ATB Financial! They are one of the top employers in the country for a reason!) For the entire month of June I'll be here in Kelowna, doing what it is that writers do... research, write, re-write, go a bit crazy, and hopefully come up with something sensible that can properly be called "a book."
So I'm calling myself a "writer in residence" (knowing that true writers in residence are something else). I hope to blog about how it's going every couple of days.
Today, June 7th, is my second complete full day here. I'm staying in a guest suite on Lake Okanagan, and it is stunning. With the exception of the thunderstorm that rolled through this afternoon, the weather has been perfect. I'm mostly amazed at the difference in climate and vegetation between Calgary and Kelowna. I suppose I knew that it's not a "prairie" city, but geographically the two are not that far apart. What a difference the Continental Divide makes! (Outside the patio window at this very moment is a family of quail-- so cute! I've never seen these in Calgary, although I'm sure they're around somewhere. My dog is quite mesmorized by them).
Today I started writing Chapter 7 of "The Boiling Frog Dilemma" which deals with our collective risk aversion. At the root of this lies fear -- fear of failure, fear of rejection, and fear of losing money! Can these be overcome? SHOULD they be overcome? Interesting questions I'm grappling with in the chapter so far. I've really enjoyed reading both "Iconoclast" by Gregory Berns, as well as "Mind Wide Open" by Steven Johnson. Both books offer some very readable, insightful material about how the brain actually works. There are actual chemicals that fire in the brain in response to fear and failure. Learning a bit about these has helped shape Chapter 7 a bit.