August 14, 2020
Every August, the ACR Executive members come together for a strategy session to review our performance and discuss, sometimes debate, where our focus should be for the following year and into the future. This annual ritual helps us keep grounded and focused on what is most important to our members.
As we prepare for that conversation and reflect on the amazing eighty-four-year history of this organization, I’m reminded of what we have collectively accomplished as a resource industry in Alberta.
We have adapted to “new normal” before…a few times
A dive into the ACR’s history shows how war time created changes to what industry was exploring for, developing and producing to support the war effort, reflecting market shifts and new priorities in the world. Workers also adjusted skills and shifted to different projects based on the societal need at the time. The same has proven true each decade since with a new curve ball thrown at the industry as if daring it to somehow fold or fade away in the face of change and adversity.
Reading through the history prompted me to think about the new transportation corridors we had to develop (at one time more about getting people and equipment north versus getting products south, east, and west), the people we trained, retrained, and kept upskilling as we became more diverse, knowledgeable and attuned to changing societal and world views. The scientific and engineering capacity we have built just within the ACR membership alone is world class, not to mention the extensive list of other professions in sciences, technology, finance, manufacturing and so much more.
What will happen next?
Our latest curveballs of a pandemic and economic upheaval in Alberta and Canada are forcing another reset in our industry, economy, and society. Just like those who have gone before, we’re working together and evolving in a positive way. One recent example was the great conversation at our recent Return to Work meet up discussion where health and safety protocols, technology options, and alternative work arrangements were all up for discussion. Another example is our Responsible Development Committee who have brought together a dedicated group of stakeholders to work through regulatory reform for the industry that will benefit industry competitiveness without sacrificing environmental values. We are not pining for days gone by, but rather getting to work on preparing for an important future.
Our upcoming strategy session will put a new spin on our time-honoured tradition. This one of course will be virtual and our conversation forward-looking, as we remain focused on advancing responsible development, engaging key stakeholders, and delivering member value. I look forward to the conversation and reporting back to members and partners. As always, if you have comments, ideas or just want to see how you can become more involved in ACR, please reach out.
Please stay safe and well.