‘Resourceful’ reputation must be earned – by William Watson (London Free Press – January 26, 2016)


That’s a nice line the prime minister delivered at Davos about how we want the world to know us for our resourcefulness, not just our resources. Nice. Not necessarily wise.

“Resourceful” says, literally, “full of resources.” We still are full of resources. They’re just worth a lot less than they were not long ago. If your resources lose value, then, sure, something other than resources is a useful second best. But when your resources are going for a high price, selling them is not actually cheating.

And, by the way, our resources don’t just show up at the border already packaged for export. We have to be very resourceful to get them there. In fact, a great first resourcefulness test for a new federal government focused on that quality would be to figure out how to get land-locked Alberta energy across pirate provinces hostile to it, and thence to world markets.

For some people, the sharp drop in resource prices reinforces their view that letting your economy be driven by resources is choosing life on an economic roller-coaster.

But the experiences of Nortel, BlackBerry and, more recently, Bombardier suggest that if resources are a roller-coaster, manufacturing can be like Doctor Doom’s Fearfall at Universal/Orlando, all sickening ups and downs.

Of course, “resourceful” means more than full of resources. It means ingenious, enterprising, inventive, creative and so on. Are we really those things and it’s just that the world doesn’t know it, so a branding campaign simply tells the world the truth? Or, in truth, do we maybe have to work on our resourcefulness?

For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.lfpress.com/2016/01/26/resourceful-reputation-must-be-earned

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