Turning a new leaf

Turning a new leaf

< Back to Articles | Topics: From the President | Contributors: Patrick Sullivan, President & CEO, Halifax Chamber of Commerce | Published: October 1, 2019

The leaves are changing and businesses are settling back into regular routines after September’s chaos.

For this year’s annual Fall Dinner presented by Stewart McKelvey, we bring you: Disruptors. We’ve spoken with local innovators who are thrilled to share their stories with the business community on October 30.

I’m sure many of you have heard the term “disruptors” in the last couple of years. It’s often used in the innovation and tech sectors. When I first heard the term disruptor, I imagined a university student developing a mobile app to save the world. Now, I envision a person who could be local, finding a new solution to an old problem — sometimes with technology, but more often without.

A Forbes article from 2013 titled Disruption vs. Innovation: What’s the difference? described disruption perfectly: “Disruption takes a left turn by literally uprooting and changing how we think, behave, do business, learn and go about our day-to-day. Harvard Business School professor and disruption guru Clayton Christensen says that a disruption displaces an existing market, industry or technology and produces something new and more efficient and worthwhile. It is
at once destructive and creative.”

Finding our Fall Dinner speakers introduced me to a whole new definition of “disruptors.” These individuals are community leaders, passionate about their business and dedicated to improving the world around them and putting Nova Scotia on the map.

They’ve inspired us to think differently when we hear the almost-tired term of “innovation.” Innovating doesn’t restrict you to inventing a new technology or developing advanced medical processes in life sciences. You can implement small changes in your office to encourage new ideas, like switching up a regular staff meeting to a brainstorming session.

We hear “disruptors” and often think of CEOs leading Fortune 500 companies and bringing in enough revenue to fuel a small country. Once we move away from those restraints, we can start to see how innovation and disruption can be used in our everyday work.

Last month, we saw an opportunity for disruption right here in Halifax. We saw an anti-immigration billboard spreading misinformation. We partnered with two local groups, ISANS and EduNova and created new, pro-immigration billboards outlining the positive impact immigrants have on our province.

It wasn’t revolutionary, it wasn’t a new, advanced technology — but it did the right thing, kept the public informed of the facts and made an impact. Disruption starts with you. It can be as big or as small as you see fit. If it shifts perspectives and makes a difference,
it’s disruptive.

Read more about the speakers and their impact locally and globally on page 12.

We hope you can join us for our 2019 Fall Dinner on October 30 to learn more. Visit halifaxchamber.com/evets for more details.

< Back to Articles | Topics: From the President

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