A NEW LEADERSHIP MODEL FOR TODAY'S COMPLEX CHALLENGES

In our complex, interconnected world, we face urgent challenges that require leadership to address. Challenges such as:

  • Ensuring that our workforce meets Canada's growing demands;
  • Developing and exporting Canada's vast energy resources, while addressing both Aboriginal and environmental concerns; and
  • Ensuring Canada's continued financial stability, while addressing the critical need to enhance our productivity and global competitive position.

These are daunting challenges, but they can be effectively and best addressed by blending the expertise and credibility of business, government and not-for-profit leaders. This is cross-sector leadership, and it is a balanced solution to today's major challenges. Canada needs cross-sector leaders, visionary individuals like Peter Lougheed and Naheed Nenshi who share the unusual combination of skills, motives and career trajectories that mark cross-sector experience.


BARRIERS TO CROSS-SECTOR LEADERSHIP

Each sector has unique value—whether it's a government's authority to legislate and regulate, business' ability to respond to competition through efficiency and innovation, or a not-for-profit's commitment to social good.

Unfortunately, leadership development models in each sector rarely encourage cross-sector exposure and experience. Barriers to cross-sector leadership development include:

  • compensation disparity;
  • inaccurate perceptions and attitudes of those in one sector of those in another; and
  • lack of awareness of opportunities in other sectors.

HOW TO DEVELOP CROSS-SECTOR LEADERS?

To tackle Canada's toughest problems—and solve them—we need to remove obstacles and create avenues for cross-sector development to flourish.

Opportunities to create more cross-sector leaders include:

  1. Developing leadership training programs that allow participants to learn the principles of cross-sector thinking;
  2. Developing exchange programs that will allow emerging and mid-career leaders to move between sectors without slowing their forward momentum;
  3. Adapting our criteria and processes for government appointments to encourage the development of cross-sector leaders; and
  4. Creating an annual national award to recognize outstanding cross-sector leadership.

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