Speaker Spotlight: Pat Bourne

At the 2018 Gathering, we excited to host a dedicated ‘Leadership Day’ and are blessed to have the wonderful Patricia (Pat) Bourne join a leadership panel. Aspiring to be a social worker when she was growing up in rural Alberta, Pat is passionate about rural communities, their development and their potential and puts this passion to work as CEO of EQUS REA Ltd.

In her tenure at EQUS, who are proud sponsors of the Gathering of Alberta Co-operatives, she has placed an emphasis on building internal skills to strengthen their capacity and ability to power rural Alberta.

To help you get an understanding of Pat ahead of hearing her words of wisdom on the panel, she gratefully took some time to tell us a little bit about her inspirations and thoughts on the Alberta co-operative economy.

Pat, which leader inspires you and why?: 

Ray Dalio, who is the founder of Bridgewater Financial. I recently read his book “Principles” and I was inspired by his story of how he believes his success has been based upon his development of life and work principles. I appreciate his fortitude in sticking to his principles no matter how difficult. I loved the parallel to a saying I have used many times in the past:

“In matters of style, swim with the currents. In matters of principle, stand like a rock”.

I believe it is important not to back down just because something gets tough and it is not a popular choice. Change does not happen if you give up because you face adversity.

Those beliefs are equally as inspiring as Ray! Tell us about the best advice you have ever received?

The best advice I ever received was to pay attention not just to what your employee is saying, but to what they are not saying.

In the co-operative and credit union space, what are the current trends and challenges that you feel are being grappled with?

I see that one of our biggest challenges in the co-op sector and credit union sector is branding as the alternative to the mainstream. I believe that we could build more credibility in our sector if we focused on improving our branding by developing a standard of service and quality that consumers could recognize and start to identify with. This happened in the UK and I understand they have had amazing results for the co-op sector. The Alberta Community and Co-operative Association (ACCA) in my opinion is positioned to develop that standard of quality for co-ops, which co-ops would be proud to then strive to meet and participate in.

If you had to recommend a podcast, article or book to the attendees, what would it be?:

My favourite book is ”Learning in Relationships” by Ron Short. The foundation of theory in this book helps individuals to understand how to have differentiated conversations to help improve communication and reduce conflict. We worked with a consultant who was able to take the information in this book and turn it into a training session for our employees.