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Canadian leaders call for action amid global disruptions: Deloitte report

by HR News Canada
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A new report from Deloitte Canada’s Future of Canada Centre (FCC) highlights that 80 per cent of Canadian leaders believe the nation’s prosperity depends on effectively addressing major global disruptions.

The report, “Global Disruption in 4D: Exploring Intersecting Forces Impacting Canada’s Future,” examines four key disruptions: the race to net-zero, the AI revolution, talent transformation, and geopolitical uncertainty.

The study delves into the intersections of these disruptions and the opportunities and challenges they present for Canada. One significant finding is that nearly half (48 per cent) of Canadian business leaders feel their employees are not adequately prepared to use AI, while only five per cent consider their workforce “very prepared.”

“There is not a country out there that isn’t doubling down on AI strategy, making significant investments, and moving down the path of execution. We have a golden opportunity to educate, invest, and close the productivity gap we have been grappling with for years,” said Jas Jaaj, Managing Partner of AI and Data at Deloitte Canada.

The report also addresses the interplay between the race to net-zero emissions and geopolitical uncertainty. It notes that supply chain disruptions have affected 64 per cent of businesses’ ability to operate, highlighting the vulnerability of the energy transition process to geopolitical conflicts.

Additionally, 62 per cent of Canadian business leaders report a persistent and long-term skills shortage among their employees, which poses a challenge to achieving net-zero goals.

Collective action required

Anthony Viel, CEO of Deloitte Canada and Chile, stressed the need for collective action.

“To build a better future, we must embrace these disruptions collectively, steer our organizations, and enable our leaders to anticipate trends and stay ahead of the competition. This calls for systems-level thinking, collaboration, innovative approaches, and most of all action,” Viel stated.

The report provides actionable recommendations for businesses and governments to navigate these disruptions. These include addressing the localized brain drain of Canada’s AI talent, adopting Canadian-inspired and built AI technology, and implementing a comprehensive net-zero workforce strategy.

Positive outlook for Canada

Despite the challenges, the report presents a positive outlook for Canada. With one of the most highly educated workforces among G7 nations and robust resources, Canada is well-positioned to secure a critical spot on the global supply chain for both AI and net-zero resources.

“We have everything we need to navigate these intersections, from a diverse talent pool to abundant natural resources to a world-leading AI ecosystem,” Viel said. “Now, our leaders need the courage and foresight to use these strengths to advance our country in the right direction—and to not only withstand but also flourish in an era of perpetual change.”

The findings are based on a survey of over 800 managers and executives across Canada, representing various sizes and sectors of organizations, as well as governments and public sector entities. The research was further informed by eight roundtables and one flagship symposium with CEOs and directors held across several Canadian cities.

You can find the full report here.

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