Talk to the Customer

When sales were down and anxiety was rising, my ol’ boss George Goeders at Procter & Gamble used to say to me, “You can’t solve it by sitting in here, get out there and go talk to the customer.”

Words to remember. Thank you, George.

That is why this past week was so refreshing. During continued decline of the stock market and energy prices, our two Edmonton Liberal MPs, Randy Boissonnault and Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, were busy out talking with customers – the right thing to do.

Eight roundtables held at the Shaw Conference Centre plus three others exposed the ideas and concerns of business owners, union employees, entrepreneurs, youth, academia, local government and local families. The MPs came well prepared, the attendees came well prepared, and the dialogue was rich, focused and on point for today’s realities.

And these weren’t the “I’m from the government and I’m here to help” kinda consultations. These were well prepared, well facilitated, well organized engagement sessions where there was an openness to new ideas and an understanding that no one knows all the answers.

What was interesting was that although our MPs desperately want to help and roll out some magical program that solves everyone’s economic problems, there was a greater understanding that the real role of government is really to create the environment where entrepreneurship and investment can best flourish.

Keeping taxes low, eliminating unnecessary regulation, opening new markets, promoting the Canadian brand, reducing the size of government and hiring entrepreneurial thinking people into the public service all create that environment where people want to invest and take risks … things that consistently employ people and create wealth.

It is a powerful motivator when government leaders are promoters of economic growth and prosperity, and powerfully concerning when they sit behind closed doors alone trying to figure out how to squeeze more tax from the system.

Getting out and taking to customers always results in better solutions.

Thank you, Randy and Amarjeet for kicking off your leadership with the right approach.

2 thoughts on “Talk to the Customer

  1. Happy New Year to the City of Edmonton and Economic Development employers, employees, small business owners & entrepreneurs. I believe that entrepreneurship is for everyone. Based on this assumption how can we change the present Edmonton entrepreneurship economic environment situation by adding the 40 or 50+ entrepreneurs and providing more hands-on business support for this demographic. It’s a well know fact based on recent Kauffman Foundation studies that there are more entrepreneurs in their 50’s & 60’s compared to the under 40 entrepreneurs. Yet, the older more skilled, knowledgeable and resourceful entrepreneur is usually ignored and left working alone on their own business projects. I think that somehow we need to create a business facility similar to Startup Edmonton. If this is not possible then let’s find a way to collaborate with the younger under 40 entrepreneurs. This is a win-win situation.

  2. Pingback: Edmonton blog roundup: Jan. 19, 2016 – Seen and Heard in Edmonton

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