February 2011

Editor's letter

A meeting of minds

By Angela Hamlyn

Angela Hamlyn
The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed. ~ Carl Jung

As we were in the throes of putting together this innovation-themed issue, I had the opportunity with other members of CIM's national office to participate in a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) exercise, which indicates how one perceives the world and makes decisions. The MBTI identifies four pairs of contrasting preferences-extroverted/introverted, thinking/feeling, sensing/intuition, judging/perceiving-which can be combined to form 16 possible psychological types. Although my own assessment .of the subject would far exceed what this space permits, the timing of the MBTI exercise was perfect. It revealed how differently a group of people who work together on a daily basis engage in common challenges, and it helped me to formulate a question that has been nagging at me for a while: How can one effectively create a culture of innovation in an organization -let alone an industry as vast as mining -when we are all wired so differently?

MBTI proposes that no one type is better or preferred above another. In fact, it is in the collaborative blending of a variety of types that many strengths can be discovered and weaknesses overcome.

The same holds true for the mining industry, where the character and culture of the laboratory may be vastly different from the mine site, but the engagement of each is essential to sparking innovation. In the feature article, "Stepping up our game," writer Eavan Moore speaks to leaders from all facets of the mining industry about the traits the Canadian industry must champion and the risks it must manage to ensure its place among the global leaders in innovation.

We also reached out to AMIRA International chairman Douglas Magoon for a thought-provoking OEtA in which he discusses the challenges and opportunities for innovation, as well as the role of research and collaboration.

Meanwhile, our project profile, Osisko's Canadian Malartic operation in Quebec's Abitibi region, is a powerful argument for collaborative effort. By fostering close community ties, strong supplier relationships and pioneering technologies, this project has been realized despite the recent recession and unique constraints of operating so close to a residential area.

On the subject of collaboration, we would like to hear what you think the Canadian mining industry could be doing to foster innovation. Of course, if you know of some projects that represent collaboration in action that might not be on our collective radar, we would love to hear about those, too. By sharing these with CIM Magazine readers, we can apply our strength to supporting the culture of innovation.

Angela Hamlyn,

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