By Megan Benedictson
It was during the Fireside Chat at last year’s inaugural Leadership Symposium that Dr. Sylvie Albert fully realized the value this event has for Winnipeg-based business leaders.
“It wasn’t a presentation, they were just relaxed, talking to each other to everyone else’s benefit,” says Dr. Albert, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics and PACE (Professional, Applied and Continuing Education) at The University of Winnipeg.
Dr. Albert says the discussion that took place between Mark Chipman of True North Sports & Entertainment and Paul Soubry of New Flyer Industries was quickly the talk of the town: “two top-level executives that were really frank about the issues they face. I thought, ‘This is what we were looking for.’”
The event returns this year with a new theme, and the Fireside Chat is back, along with networking and professional development, and a local opportunity to hear the latest The Conference Board of Canada has to say about an issue that’s always top of mind among leading CEOs: innovation.
“It’s part of an ongoing debate that needs to occur in every organization, how to build and sustain innovation going forward,” says Dr. Albert, adding that they chose a theme of “strategic importance across the country, with many solutions being put forward to strengthen public and private organizations.”
She says the theme is also timely as PACE just launched an Innovation Development certificate program, and UWinnipeg is working toward developing a related graduate program.
The 2014 Annual Leadership Symposium: Embracing Innovation takes place Nov.6 at The Metropolitan Entertainment Centre, and will be hosted by Wab Kinew, UWinnipeg’s acting vice-president of Indigenous Affairs.
As for this year’s Fireside Chat, organizers expect to hear great insight from president of Western Glove Works, Bob Silver, and president & CEO of Mondetta Clothing Company, Ash Modha, who will share their own stories of success in innovation and leadership.
Leaders will also be able to glean valuable insight from Bruce Good, executive director of the Centre for Business Innovation within The Conference Board of Canada.
Good’s presentation will challenge some of the myths surrounding the status of business innovation in Canada, and cover key factors for improved performance.
Albert says the Leadership Symposium is unique because Manitoba-based CEOs often have to travel to Toronto or Vancouver for leadership events targeted to top-level executives, meaning the local picture is absent from the discussion.
This event builds in opportunities for exchanges so business leaders can share the challenges they face, and what solutions they’ve found that may be able to help others.
To find out more about the event, visit uwinnipeg.ca/leadership-symposium.