Quick Poll: Tell us how we are doing

Leading From Behind– Loren’s Look

October 28, 2021

4-minute read

Written by Loren Remillard, President and CEO of The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce

So much has changed since I joined The Winnipeg Chamber in 1997 (that’s not a typo). Y2K was a thing, then it wasn’t. A Friday night rental run to Jumbo Video/Blockbuster was the highlight of your week. Amazon was still known exclusively for being a river in South America.

One item that has stood the test of time is the belief, of myself and Chamber Presidents before me, in “leading from behind.” While I may be charged with leading the Chamber team, it is our members at the forefront, setting the direction and pace. Alignment is thus the determinant of success.

So how are we doing?

Nine in ten members say The Winnipeg Chamber is headed in the right direction, according to a 2021 Probe Research membership survey. Members point to The Chamber’s effectiveness in our advocacy initiatives, communication and networking, and the events and resources we make available.

Further, members indicated that attracting and retaining talent is the most important issue they face, followed closely by recovery from the pandemic.

Seven in ten say reducing red tape and improving diversity and inclusion are vital issues to address.

Photography by Mike Sudoma

On economic recovery, The Chamber team worked closely with city officials leading to the release of Winnipeg’s two-year COVID-19 Economic Response and Recovery Plan. Our recommendations regarding downtown, business tax changes and assistance, digital transformation, service delivery adaptations, and infrastructure investments figured prominently in the plan.

These efforts will be complemented and enhanced by new Chamber advocacy initiatives regarding tax reform and red tape. Stay tuned for details or contact Colin Fast, Director of Policy, to find out how you can add your voice through our newly created Policy Pools.

Reflecting the Probe findings, the single biggest challenge I hear from members is talent attraction and retention – not just labour shortages, but diversity and inclusion.

For almost two years, our team has been researching, engaging and listening to community voices on how we can do more than playing a role, but be a leading force for progress. On October 8 at our Annual General Meeting, the culmination of that work was launched in the form of The Chamber’s CODE (Commitment to Opportunity, Diversity and Equity).

If you haven’t done so, be sure to check out CODE at www.winnipeg-chamber.com/code and/or contact Sanjana Vijayann, Manager of Diversity and Inclusion, to learn how CODE can benefit your organization.

Photography by Mike Sudoma

Leading from behind is more than a philosophy or management style, it’s foundational. And it’s why I believe members overwhelming agree we are heading in the right direction – your direction.
I invite members to please reach out to me at [email protected] with your thoughts and concerns. Hearing from you ensures we stay on the right path.


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