ENGAGE: A time to rest and reflect

At this time of year, one can sense happiness in the air.  Even in a big and bustling city like Toronto where I live, people are happier and more tolerant of one another.  The other day, while driving on our crazy highway 401, a driver cut off another and almost caused an accident.  As I observed this in front of me, I heard the driver who got cut off shout, “Happy Holidays…. A-hole!”   Had this have happened in the summer, only the third word would have made it.

Nizar-Ladak-ComputeOntario-seasonsgreetingsPersonally, this is one of my favourite times of the year. We use the down time when schools and offices closed to bond as a family.  My family enjoys the festive season and we adhere to our traditions: snuggling on the couch with a fire and watching movie classics while sipping hot chocolate or simply being thankful for the many blessings we enjoy and giving to those less fortunate.  In addition to my family traditions, I personally have two traditions that I uphold at this time of year.  The first is seeking out a book I will read over the holidays and purchasing it in paper.  I know, as the CEO of a tech company, one assumes electronic books are the norm.  I should be clear that I primarily buy electronic books, but as a traditionalist, nothing replaces the tactile sense and joy of opening a freshly printed book, smelling the pages and enjoying the sound of the spine cracking as the journey of reading welcomes me.  The second tradition is to take time to “just reflect.” Hence, whether it is the recognition of a year ending and a New Year beginning, this time of year allows me to reflect and develop a sense of the forthcoming.

2017 represents a wonderful opportunity for Compute Ontario and our partner organizations.

The Team

Firstly, and most exciting, is the establishment of our head office team.  Rarely does one get the opportunity to hand-pick their team and so trust me when I say, I reveled in the chance to select the very individuals who were going to work diligently on behalf of researchers and Ontarians to support innovation in our province.

Stay tuned for news on our site announcing our new team members.

The Plan

Secondly, equipped with our five-year strategic plan, we now have the road map that will guide our direction and navigate our future. The document is being graphically designed and will be released publicly in the early New Year. The plan is the outcome of almost four months of planning, consensus-driven discussion and input from every one of our partner organizations and teammates.

The Opportunity

Thirdly, 2017 will undoubtedly bring change. While some may view our intent is to see it as an opportunity. Change is not easy, but it is the single predictable occurrence in our lives. By virtue of working in a technology sector in the 21st century, change is unavoidable. It becomes synonymous with progress and evolution. As we experience this change, we will remain true to our organizational values, remain constantly focused on who we serve, who our partners are, and trust the sage guidance of our Board.

I end with the motto that resulted from our strategic planning work over the past few months.  In 2017, our promise is that Compute Ontario will Collaborate, Communicate, Coordinate and Celebrate.  Season’s Greetings to all.