CASS Keynote Speaker - Fail Forward - April 27th 2012

CASS Keynote Speaker – Fail Forward – April 27th 2012

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Dr. Sam Shaw, then President and CEO of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), was appointed Honorary Colonel of 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, Edmonton, AB in January 2010. He currently is Vice-President, Natural Gas Policy Development with Encana Corporation in Calgary.

Born in Halifax NS, Honorary Colonel Shaw holds a BA from Chaminade University of Honolulu, an M Sc from Dalhousie University and an M Ed and Ph D from the University of Toronto. Dr. Shaw is also a graduate of the Harvard University Institute for Educational Management, and earned a Chartered Director designation from McMaster University and The Conference Board of Canada. Additionally, Dr. Shaw is a past-recipient of Alberta Venture’s Businessman of the Year award and has twice been recognized as one of Alberta’s 50 Most Influential People.

Honorary Colonel Shaw has served on the staff of a number of Canadian Institutes and Colleges including Ryerson University in Toronto, Universities of Manitoba in Winnipeg and the Mitchener Institute in Toronto. Prior to coming to NAIT, he was President of what was then Keewatin Community College in The Pas, MB. In the 13 years at NAIT, Honorary Colonel Shaw spearheaded the expansion from 1100 staff to 3300 and from a budget of $110 to over $300 million serving more than 84,000 students around the world in 2010. He continues to be involved in teaching courses for NAIT and Cape Breton University on a part-time basis.

Honorary Colonel Shaw is the author of numerous articles and publications focusing on technology, human resources management, strategic planning and small business enterprise. In addition, he is a frequent presenter at conferences in Canada and around the world.

Honorary Colonel Shaw has also received the Distinguished Leadership Award from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education District VIII, is a member of Industry Canada’s Science, Technology and Innovation Council, served as Chair of the Canadian Advisory Committee TC232 of the Standards Council of Canada, is Chair of the Alberta Career Education Network, Board Member and Chair of the Human Resources Committee of the Canadian Commercialization Corporation, a member of Alberta Economic Development Authority and an Advisory Board Member, Industrial Research Assistance Program.

Honorary Colonel Shaw and his wife Claudia reside in Calgary, his daughters Robyn and Amanda attend NAIT in Edmonton and his son Clayton works for Graham Construction in Ontario.

Management Trends:

Top down management

Lean Production

Teams Empowered


Technology Integration

CEO Average Comp 1.2 Million

Need to start looking at why top managers are getting the salaries they are getting. The gap between the top and the bottom is widening. 4% of the elite will account for 60% of the income by 2020.

70% of the 1955 Fortune 500 companies don’t exist today.

Government is no longer employer of last resort.

Redefining Social Contract. No Federal Minister of Eduction. Need to look at the Canadian Education structure. No longer having the answers. Government is facilitating the dialogue what is best. Listening to the what the solutions are.

Global context needs to be the focus.

Right policies are still the central role of government.

More part time employees. Retired staff are coming back.

Salary Private vs Public Gap. Video – More than Money

Redefining Roles – Programmer – Ethic Hacker  – Customer Service – Genius

1/3 of North Americans functionally marginally or completely illiterate

Hope of being trained is out of reach for the majority

How to use resources. We take that for granted. Do the students do that? Interpersonal skills and teamwork.

Taught a course at Ryerson. Teaching team work in the chemistry classes.

Courses on IT – Social Media. Are we using Twitter for teaching. It absolutely imperative to teach the communication styles  and ethics. Critical Thinking for research. How do we think about things?

Foundation Skills focus. Develop a clear vision for k-12 and post secondary.

We need a Canadian Energy Strategy and a Canadian Education Strategy.

Build on our strengths – Think outside the Box – Not the same old same old – Re – invent

Make it the norm for innovation – experiment like crazy – don’t focus on the failures, focus on what we have learned. The question is what learned and how we move forward. Don’t fear failure. Fail forward. If you don’t succeed what have we learned how do we move forward. Do more what we are go at.

Xerox life long learning

Heinz risk taking

What is the risk of outdated standards?

Pixar – cross training. 10-20 year you won’t have the silos of faculties. Redefine how we look at multi-disciplines

Define innovation

63% of Alberta Business are SMEs




2025 Canada will face a skilled labour force deficit

Birth rates and retirements are creating the shortage.

Post secondary skill sets are what we need

2013 64% of all new jobs created in Canada will require some level of advanced education

Expression and Communication


Analysis and Synthesis



Skills development must be a priority, Education must leave no one behind, Every employee can be a source of innovation

Partnerships development are getting more difficult, it is about creating a Win – Win – Talent in the making

Brand Recognition

Source of Summer Employment

Resource and Captial

Assisting and making Education Better

Talented staff


Source of information and industry

Applied Research – Knowing what others want and delivering it

Skills shortage is here

Schools have much to offer

Industry is a prime partner

Training is one of the main focuses at Encana

April 27th – 2012

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