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I, like many out there, love history and in particular how it repeats itself. With so much going on both politically and in business here in Canada, I’ve been thinking about life’s fast pace and ways we can improve our chances for success. Both Baden-Powell and Ben Franklin were pretty clear about what needed to happen. Ben reportedly said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. Baden-Powell, of course, coined the legendary Scout motto. Preparation for what’s ahead is probably one of the most important things you can do to acquire and maintain success.

You don’t have to look far these days to see failure caused by either poor or no preparation in both Govt and business. The current Trade and Immigration Files are 2 examples where the government has been ill-prepared to handle external issues or support internal policy to ensure Canada can steer its way through the next decade in a sustainable way. Much press has been shared about the Government’s inability to protect and grow Canadian success through poor planning. The majority of Canadians knew the US was headed towards more protectionism.

As a business leader, you can be lulled into thinking that you know your business, its customers and that the concerns of government policy are not those you share. Think again! Good business planning would include an assessment of your trade vulnerability and highlight any opportunities to deploy while NAFTA negotiators struggle forward in Washington this summer. It would also point out any currency tactics needed going forward in a world with US trade barriers. Sticking with the other hot issue for business today, immigration policy changes will force business to re-evaluate the human capital in their firms. New strategies for staff recruitment, preparation and training can be planned in both the short and long term to ensure the firm always has access to well-qualified staff.

In the fast-moving world that we live in, you only need study history to see that today’s issues are simply yesterday’s with a new set of clothes. If you can identify and prepare for them <em>before</em> they impact your business, you will be breaking out of a cycle and quickly creating more value. If you fail to identify and prepare, you are preparing to fail!

Have a great summer and “Be Prepared”!