Want results? Learn how to nudge your customers.

What’s the best way to get someone to do something? You can incentivize them financially, you can limit their choices, or you can nudge them. Nudging is an insight from the field of behavioural economics, a way to get someone to do something without restraining their freedom or changing the financial incentives.

The Behavioural Economics in Action (BEAR) research institute at Rotman conducts leading edge research in this field, working on real projects that help people design better products, services and programs.

But how does that work exactly? Let’s take a look at a real world example. If you want to encourage people to stop littering, you have a few options. You could

  1. Hand out fines for littering
  2. Pay people for using the garbage or recycling bins, or
  3. Place green footprints on the ground pointing the way to the nearest bin

That last option is what Professor Dilip Soman would call a nudge. “Human decision making isn’t rational,” Dilip says. “People make mistakes, they get emotional.” But so what? Green footprints on the ground aren’t logical, and yet a 2011 Copenhagen study showed a 46% decrease in littering where the green footprints were in use. That’s not just a nudge, that’s a major behavioural change, and a very effective one at that.

Sometimes nudging is about simplifying processes, including the decision-making process. In a 2013 Cornell University study, they found that simply placing junk food on higher shelves and healthy food at eye level immediately helped high school students make healthier choices. They were 13% more likely to choose fruits and 23% more likely to choose vegetables in their school cafeteria. It was that easy.

What’s really interesting is that influencing behaviour in this way isn’t just an academic study. Every organization, public and private, is in the business of changing behaviour, from getting customers to switch from a competitor, getting people to be more honest when filing their taxes or applying for insurance, or even getting patients to take their medicine and treatment as directed.

Despite this being a universal constant across the board, many organizations are not particularly good at managing behaviour change. Without the right tools and information, the actions of your customers and clients can seem irrational, unpredictable, and difficult to measure.

Rotman now offers a new Behavioural Economics at Work program based on proven research out of BEAR, providing hands-on experience so you can start applying these techniques immediately upon returning to work. Seats are limited and class starts April 19. Apply now.

How to Succeed at the Enterprise Level

“What got you here may not get you there.”
Marshall Goldsmith

Last Fall, I had the opportunity to sit with a diverse group of senior managers looking to move from functional management to performing at the enterprise level. They were the latest cohort in Rotman’s Strategic Business Leadership program and came from both the private and public sectors which added a lovely richness to class conversations.

The journey to senior management will typically progress through a number of phases. You begin your career as an individual contributor, progress into roles in which you’re responsible for getting work done through others, and finally transition into a senior position which requires you to think differently about a much broader and more complex set of competing issues.

It truly is different at the top.

Making this transition from function head to enterprise leader involves learning new skills and developing new mindsets — and this can be a seismic shift. It involves moving from:

  • tactician to strategist
  • specialist to generalist
  • analyst to integrator
  • bricklayer to architect
  • problem solver to agenda setter
  • warrior to diplomat, and
  • supporting cast to leading role

An all-star line up of Rotman Faculty teach in Strategic Business Leadership:

Photos of the faculty in the Strategic Business Leadership program

Rotman’s Strategic Business Leadership program is built around a model of leadership that integrates people, strategy, culture and systems. Here are just a few of the topics we covered:

Diagram of a model of integrative leadership

Strategy: As a senior manager, you are responsible for developing and implementing strategy for the business units you lead. However, managers are often confused about what strategy really is and what constitutes a good one. So, the program helped us identify the critical elements of effective strategies, the characteristics of hard to attack strategies and the importance of deliberately choosing where to excel and where not to.

Design Thinking: Over two days, we got to play with Design Thinking: a customer-centered design methodology practiced by some of the most innovative firms in the world (e.g., IDEO, Google, P&G, IBM, GE, etc.). Design Thinking is applicable anywhere in the value chain from the design of new products and services to customer experiences and business strategies. As senior leaders need to nurture innovation at all stages, it is important that they have a strong knowledge of the basic processes and skills of Design Thinking.

First, we looked at ways both public and private sector organizations used empathy to design neat new solutions for the client journey whether it was enhancing the experience of cancer patients waiting for chemo therapy or Delaine Hampton sharing her insights from decades at the helm of P&G’s marketing department. We learned how to reverse engineer the moment of choice to think about opportunities at each stage of the decision process.

We also experimented with a variety of ways to generate ideas so members of your team who may need different approaches to harnessing their ideas can really unearth smart new solutions. Finally, we got to work building a prototype and experienced the benefits of prototyping early and often.

Networking for success: As you move into enterprise level positions, creating new connections becomes even more important since success increasingly depends on coordinating across units and having a broad strategic perspective. To tackle the often unsavory topic of networking, we used the Reciprocity Ring to form more meaningful connections. The Reciprocity Ring is used by major companies and universities such as GM, Stanford, Abbott Laboratories, Bristol-Meyers Squibb Company and the Kellogg School of Management.

Leaning into conflict

A  major theme running through the program was leaning into conflict. Rotman believes tension is an opportunity for innovation and transformation. This is a different mindset that requires a curious and open stance.

  • Model-Based Problem Solving: In this session, we were given the tools to discern the different models at play during conflicts, the likely sources of tension and strategies to capitalize on those conflicts. We then applied these learnings to the context of a senior management team.
  • Negotiations: Negotiation is also a problem-solving process and the typical method by which resources are allocated in organizations. The ability to negotiate effectively is a key managerial and leadership competency. Using best practices and cases, we conducted a series of negotiations and group decision-making exercises and then debriefed the results. This way, we explored what is involved in effective negotiation and strategies and techniques senior managers need to do it well.
  • The Culturally Fluent Leader: Becoming what Professor Nouman Ashraf calls an ‘emancipatory leader’means moving from tolerance for differences to embracing differences. Again, using the model-based problem solving approach, this session helps leaders go from ‘oh no, conflict’ to ‘oh, yes conflict’. This approach changes your mindset to see a diversity as a strategic advantage.

As we make the shift to senior management, it’s important to realize that what got us here may actually hamper us at the next stage of our career. To this end, the class drilled down on what they needed to do differently in their new roles, but also what they needed to stop doing to ensure their success for the future. Each participant left with a personal action plan to put their new learnings into practice. They also met with a coach three weeks after class to work through any roadblocks that arose.

After being back at their jobs for two months, the class came together to share how they applied their new skills to increase their impact as senior leaders. They shared ways the program has helped them approach situations differently, tackle complex challenges and even improve their personal lives.

They ended with a workshop on personal productivity to learn how to pivot their time from focusing on tasks that can overwhelm to carving out time to dedicate to longer lasting strategic activities.


At Rotman, we learn best practices in theory, use cases to apply those theories, and finally create personalized action learning plans to apply your new skills and mindsets as soon as you return to work.  If you’re ready to move from managing people to increasing your impact at the enterprise level, join us March 27-31, 2017 or call me at 416.946.0722.

What you need to break into the next level of leadership

The business landscape changes more quickly than ever now, and we are facing massive changes in the demographics of the workforce as well as disruption.  So what is it that makes some leaders so much more successful than others?

When you think of leaders who are widely recognized for their work, there’s always something that sets them apart – a personal style, a unique approach, and a self-awareness that is difficult to develop. But it can be done! So what do you need to break through to the next level?


A different way of thinking about leadership

Leadership isn’t a one size fits all proposition. Different leadership styles work better for different leaders and different organizational cultures. So when you’re developing your leadership skills, you should think about it from a very personal perspective. What are your particular strengths and weaknesses? Where should you devote more time? How are you assessing what you need to work on as well as the progress you’ve made a few months later?

You can’t address your personal development in a short period of time and then carry on as normal. True leadership comes from an ongoing process of continual self-assessment and re-alignment.

The right management, leadership, and engagement models and systems for your personal style

There are a lot of historical and new leadership models, and they may have worked for you in the past, but they all have the same flaw: they’re not yours. A model is only a construct – it can’t accurately represent reality. Instead of getting locked in to a single model, combine models, even if they seem to be in opposition to each other. Keep an eye out for new models from which you can borrow bits and pieces.

The best leadership model is one that you piece together yourself, integrating from other models the parts and pieces that work best for you and your context. Give yourself the time to create and develop a new insight before moving ahead.

A more conscious and intentional manner of leading

Soft skills are some of the hardest skills to learn. Cognitive intelligence will help you handle the day to day quantitative challenges – financial reports and operational issues, for example – but emotional intelligence will give you the capability to use emotions to facilitate performance. By understanding the causes of emotions in yourself and others, you’ll be able to see underneath what people say or do and address the real issues at hand.

And part of that is being conscious of how you come off to others, as well. What messages are your words and actions communicating other than the bare facts? How does your attitude or emotional state change your message? Take the time to pause and reflect before answering or offering your own input. You’ll be surprised by the results.

Self-awareness and wellness strategies

Too often people say leadership when they mean management. Management focuses on external forces and how you can best direct and support your staff. Leadership starts with you. How self-aware are you? Are you balanced physically, emotionally, mentally? Are you resilient?

To keep up with the high demands of senior leadership positions, you need a mindfulness strategy and practice that will ensure your wellness and ability to defeat overwhelm. Integrating mindfulness practices into your daily routine can either be the easiest part of your leadership development or the hardest, but either way it is one of the most important facets.

A coach who knows how to ask the right questions

The benefits of mentorship and coaching are invaluable. Finding the right coach means finding someone who will do more than just offer solutions. The right coach should instead ask you the right questions so you can discover the solutions or next steps that work best for you.

A coach who immediately offers advice or solutions instead of asking questions might not get to the real issue at hand. Your challenges are personal and specific, and they should be treated that way by both you and your coach.

Intensive programs can deliver skills and present new theories, but for real progress, you need to change the way you think about and engage in the act of leadership. A longer, more thorough program that follows up with your progress and personal journey is key to making real change and accomplishing your leadership goals.

Rotman’s Executive Leadership program combines a thorough pre-program assessment, a 5-day intensive and multiple touchpoints over an 8-month period to truly develop your personal capabilities.

Getting HR a Seat at the Leadership Table

Human Resources is often the department that people don’t think about until they need something, and then they need it immediately. But HR professionals know that great HR work requires long-term strategy and planning, a year-round set of tactics for talent development and succession planning, and being recognized as a valued partner in the organization. ­­

And that last item is a key factor for HR success. So how do you get HR a seat at the leadership table as a valued business partner?

Link HR to business strategy

You know that HR is a key element of the overall strategy for your organization, but you also need to make sure that your counterparts in other departments or divisions understand the value of HR and how they can work with you to achieve strategic goals.

Think about how pieces of the HR portfolio such as succession planning, culture change, or even compensation impact other key strategic priorities. As a senior member of the HR team you need to not just be aware of what other areas of the organization are focused on but how HR can contribute to their success. By breaking down silos, you can position yourself and HR as a valuable resource, allowing them to rely on you for insights.


Integrate leadership development and succession planning

When a senior member of the leadership team leaves, organizations can be left scrambling for a replacement. It can be difficult to get your board of directors or leadership team to commit to long-term strategies for leadership development or succession planning, but the pay-off is more than worth it.

In helping the board plan for the future, you will again gain valuable insights into the larger organization, as well as information you can use for other projects such as culture building and change, talent management, performance alignment, and more.

Make HR strategy part of organizational strategy

The more closely you work with and contribute to other areas of the organization the better you can incorporate pieces of the bigger picture into your own long-term strategy and other pieces of your HR toolbox. The relationships you build across the organization should be like a feedback loop: your work on talent management, culture and performance alignment and compensation should have a direct impact on larger strategic objectives. And the outcomes of that larger strategy work as well as those priorities should feed back into your priorities.

The reason HR often isn’t seen as a key partner of the organization is because it is siloed or not considered a contributor to overall success. Your challenge is to remind people that HR is more than hiring, firing, and benefits. HR is a key factor in strategy, in the longevity of the organization, and can drive innovation and change by embracing formal strategies and frameworks. Over time you need to better incorporate elements like workforce planning, leadership development, strategy alignment, and employee engagement in new ways that are more meaningful to the larger organization.

It’s up to you to learn how you can best effect the perceptual shift in your organization that will make HR a valued partner at the table, truly seen as not a cost centre but a profit engine.  Rotman’s Strategic Human Resource Management program allows for the exploration of latest research, best practices and thinking in areas such as business and human resource strategy, leadership development, talent management and succession planning.

5 Questions to ask as a leader

“Be curious, be lazy, be often,” says Michael Bungay Stanier, one of the world’s top three leadership coaches.

Yesterday, I attended a Rotman Speaker Series sponsored by our Executive Programs featuring Michael Stainer, Partner and Co-Founder of Box of Crayons. Michael wants everyone to do less good work (what’s in your job description) and more great work (the kind of work you can’t stop talking about). And coaching teams to help them do just that should be a regular part of any leader’s day.

Combining research based in neuroscience and behavioural economics, Michael led a packed house at the Rotman School of Management in a highly-interactive and highly-entertaining one-hour session.


Between laughs and a-ha moments, he shared five of his seven essential coaching questions and got the entire room talking and practicing proven coaching methods.

1.      First, he had us practice The Kickstart Question: What’s on your mind?

He paired us up and the person with the longest hair asked the other ‘What’s on your mind?’ We had to listen without interrupting or trying to add value or give advice. If you are too quick to offer possible solutions, you might solve a problem, but it probably won’t be the most important problem or even the real problem one.

2.      Next, we took turns asking The Focus Question: What’s the real challenge…for you?

He asked us to nominate the best looking person in the pair to go first. I went second.

The ‘for you’ pulls away from the problem and gets to what’s really affecting the individual.

3.      Then, we asked The AWE Question which, according to Michael, is the most important question in the world: And what else?

This question helps us stay curious. Michael said the first answer given is rarely the only answer or the best answer so asking ‘And what else?’ helps your team dig deeper for the real problem or the heart of the challenge.

4.      So, what do you want? This is Michael’s Focus Question.

This helps you be a good lazy coach by enabling your counterpart to work out the solution on their own.  The insights my partner and I gained simply by answering this question were surprising!

5.      Finally, we wrapped up the session with The Learning Question:What was the most useful part of the session’?

We were surprised to learn each of us came away with a unique take away from the talk.

Learn more with Michael’s short book The Coaching Habit.

For upcoming Rotman events, check out our Speaker Series

For more Executive Education, check out our portfolio of high-impact programs or contact me at any time at 416.946.0722.

Connect the dots from statements to actionable insights

The face of leadership has changed dramatically over the past few years. Today, executives and directors need to have a high level of financial literacy in order to better fulfill their leadership mandate. But what does that look like, exactly?

Successful leaders can navigate between strategy and operations using financial statements and ratios. They have a context for financial information that lets them build a framework of strategic thinking based on solid financial measures, but in order to get there, they need to already speak the language.

You can’t ask the right questions if you don’t know what those questions are. It’s the difference between seeing the dots and being able to connect them.


And it’s not just reading and interpreting charts and graphs. Successful leaders need to fully understand the roles and responsibilities of the audit committee, management, and auditors in the reporting process: how they interact and what their priorities will be. How do the financials impact the strategic objectives of different business units as well as the organization as a whole? When you develop the ability to connect strategy and operations, you can truly begin to maximize value for your organization.

Proper analysis of financial data guides leaders in their decision making, helps ensure due diligence, and have an immediate impact on their organization and in the boardroom.

You can build and develop your financial literacy skills this fall at Rotman’s Financial Literacy program. Apply now.

What the C-suite looks for in Senior Management

Being an experienced manager isn’t enough to help you move into a more senior position any more. To succeed in today’s rapidly changing world, great managers need to develop their leadership capabilities to continue your journey to senior leadership.


Here are some of the skills the c-suite is looking for when they think about promoting internally:

Holistic thinking
Think more broadly about the success of your organization. More than just your department or division, how can you help the entire business unit or enterprise? How can you work more closely with and support other business functions?

Understanding the relationships between multiple functional areas is key to integrating their projects and activities so the entire organization can succeed.

Conflict resolution and negotiation skills
By thinking more about your counterparts in other business units you can understand where they’re coming from and why conflicting objectives are so common. With a better understanding of the entire organization, you can become a trusted resource outside of your unit.

There’s always room for improvement, especially when it comes to conflict resolution and negotiation. By developing the skills and approaches to facilitate effective conflict resolution you can get down to the real issues with less wasted time.

A strategic mindset
A good strategy isn’t handed down from the most senior member of your organization – it’s developed based on information from all levels of the organization, and should evolve with the changing needs of your business. Truly great leaders know how to develop plans and strategies to minimize conflicting objectives and reduce barriers to collaboration, but they’re also flexible and willing to adapt and change.

Appreciate the many and varied factors both inside and outside your organization that drive strategic decision making, and use them to guide your planning.

Problem solving
There’s nothing wrong with solving a problem intuitively, but there’s a great deal of additional value to be found in learning and applying a strategic model of problem solving. You can enhance your ability to drive innovation, evaluate business opportunities, and even better negotiate by using model-based problem solving and design thinking principles.

And of course, a great leader has great mentors and coaches. A good coach will review how you handle challenges on the job and work with you to develop a personalized action learning plan.

Rotman’s Strategic Business Leadership program addresses all of these skills and more, and is designed to help you expand your influence and effectiveness within your organization.  Apply now.

Building Leaders—An Inside Look at Rotman’s Executive Leadership Program


(Jim Fisher, Rose Patten and Joseph Natale at the networking reception)

I believe that everyone has within themselves the capability to lead if they only know how to break the idea of leadership into understandable chunks and then integrate it back into a more powerful whole,” Jim Fisher, The Thoughtful Leader.

Earlier this month, I got to sit in a room filled with executives from all sectors of Canada as they started their thoughtful journey through the Rotman Executive Leadership Program.

This transformational program understands that leadership cannot be learned in a week and that it takes time to develop new skills. So, five days of in-class learning are supported with pre- and post- programming to ensure the transfer of leadership skills are strategically reinforced through coaches and advisory boards over the span of eight months.

A month before class, participants completed a 360 assessment. This gave them a robust snapshot of how they’re viewed not just by their direct supervisors but also by their co-workers and direct reports.

Armed with a look at their leadership strengths and competencies for improvement, the class started the program on Monday, May 2 with academic directors Rose Patten, Special Advisor to the President and CEO of BMO Financial Group, board member at SickKids Foundation, and Executive in Residence at Rotman and Jim Fisher, Rotman’s Professor Emeritus and an industry veteran with a long history of leadership in some of Canada’s key organizations.  He also happened to create Rotman’s very first Leadership course.

Jim shared his powerful 9-box leadership model, a guide to what leaders need to do well to succeed. Addressing the ‘Big 8’, Rose covered the capabilities each leader needs to develop to implement the 9-box. These two models intersect to help each participant work on a personal leadership development plan.

Faculty and Coaches

Faculty and Coaches

Through the course of the week, an all-star cast of Rotman’s finest helped participants understand and practice these leadership skills. Here’s just a snippet of what went on in the classroom:

  • Nouman Ashraf, a senior fellow at Rotman and a frequent consultant to some of Canada’s biggest organizations, and a firecracker presenter, kicked us off with a lively demonstration of Integrative Thinking: a model-based problem-solving method that embraces tension in opposable ideas to generate innovation. He also covered a leader’s role in creating a safe environment to foster integrative thinking.
  • Stefanie Schram of Rotman’s DesignWorks took us through a 5-step cascading model on how strategy really works including case studies on the model in practice. Stephanie has used this model while working with some Fortune 500 companies and emphasized the importance of paying equal attention to each step in the cascade.
  • Stéphane Côté, director of Rotman’s PhD program who serves on editorial boards for a number of publications, discussed how leaders can use emotional intelligence to improve self-awareness and regulation as well as any social environment. The class then worked in teams on a case to test the model.
  • Geoff Leonardelli, Rotman’s expert on teams, organizational behavior and managerial negotiations, covered the five different models for team-based decisions and had the class involved in a highly engaging team exercise to test their understanding of the concepts.
  • John Oesch, a published authority in organizational behavior, decision-making and negotiations covered the challenges and best practices around executive communication and got the class to practice using a difficult conversation case.

Additionally, over the course of four days, Professor Julie McCarthy, who has developed effective performance management systems for both private and public corporations, used a four-part model to help our executives develop physical, mental, emotional and value-driven resiliency with immediately applicable ways to thrive in what we now accept as continuous partial attention environments.

One of my personal highlights was meeting and listening to Joseph Nataleduring our networking event. The former CEO of Telus was a powerful and inspiring speaker who walked us through the role different people and experiences in his life played in shaping his success and understanding of leadership. He also shared 9 characteristics he looks for in leaders which our participants found particularly insightful.

Each day, Jim and Rose led debrief and closing sessions to help participants tie in learnings to understand how they fit in the 9 box and Big 8 models. In addition to the examples they provided from their work with various organizations over the years, I personally also enjoyed Rose’s impeccable taste in fashion.

On the last day, each team worked with a coach to develop their personal action plans. Then, over the course of the next few months, they will work with their coaches and advisory board members to implement their plans. At their graduation ceremony in October, we’ll have the privilege of hearing how they’ve grown as leaders, their impact on their teams and their organizations. Based on feedback from the last group, we’ve no doubt it will be an inspiring graduation.

To learn more about our programs connect with me at joanne.goveas@rotman.utoronto.ca

Negotiating for Success: Highlights from Rotman

Can you leave a negotiation with both you and your counterpart feeling like you won more than your fair shares? That’s what we set out to discover last week at Rotman’s Strategic Negotiations Program.

FacultyPacked with some of Rotman’s leading faculty, the four-day program equipped us with a robust toolkit and the flexibility to succeed in a variety of negotiations. Designed for modern learners who want to learn as much from their peers as any expert, our class learned from each other through a series of increasingly complex negotiation exercises.

Geoff Leonardelli, a published authority on leadership, teams and managerial negotiations, kicked off the session with essential foundations. We learned strategies to determine the true value at play during a negotiation, best practices to anchor a negotiation and the tools of both distributive and integrative bargaining.

We ended our first day with a cocktail reception featuring Buzz Hargrove, a legendary labour negotiator and an Officer of the Order of Canada. Buzz shared insights from his decades at the negotiations table and his views on how Canada’s current political climate is shaping the negotiation landscape for some key sectors.

Most people approach negotiations intending to capture value. However, on day two, Glen Whyte, the Marcel Desautels Chair in Integrative Thinking and frequently sought-after consultant for both private and public negotiations, demonstrated strategies to turn negotiations into value-creating opportunities. Value creating and value claiming are often competing processes. However, a successful negotiator does both simultaneously. A key to this approach is relationships and we learned strategies to build trust even in contentious situations. We also learned the value of interest-based problem solving. Teased apart from positions, correctly identifying parties’ interests can be invaluable in breaking impasses, learning to play the right negotiations game and identifying the correct stakeholders.

Our ToolKit and Halls of Negotiations

Our ToolKit and Halls of Negotiations

As the course progressed, we took on increased complexity by tackling the issues of ethics, risk and using agents. Chen-Bo Zhong, a published researcher in ethics, moral psychology, decision-making and unconscious processes, helped us navigate the gaps between the law and ethics in challenging situations.

Next, we addressed the dynamics, challenges and advantages of team-based negotiations. We worked through best practices of managing teams during both the preparation and negotiation stages to ensure successful outcomes for all your internal stakeholders.

Before tackling the highly complex multi-party, multi-issue negotiations cases, John Oesch, an expert in organizational behaviour, demonstrated how to use persuasion and influence in bargaining especially during multi-party negotiations when influencing the process can be as pivotal to securing a successful outcome as the negotiation itself.

Our class came from a variety of functions, industries and countries which helped us experience cultural differences that can shape the process and outcome of negotiations. Each participant completed a pre-program survey that assessed their approach to negotiations. Then, through the course of the program, we provided feedback on our counterparts and team members so each participant will receive an in-depth report on their performance through the course and areas for development as they take back their skills to raise their impact in their workplaces.

If you have questions about the program call me anytime at 416.946.0722.

Highlights from Rotman’s Leading Strategic Change program

Last week, we welcomed a diverse group of professionals from the private and public sectors of Canada, the US, and as far away as New Zealand, to our Leading Strategic Change program. The program uses a model-based problem solving approach to help participants effectively lead transformative initiatives at their organizations.
John Oesch Leading Strategic Change

John Oesch, a published authority on change management, who also happens to have impeccable comedic timing, led the five-day program. With a background in organizational behavior, decision-making and negotiations, John presented learnings from diverse fields through the course of the week.

As John explained, the rate of change in business is much quicker than in most other fields. However, a thoughtful process during the change can be the difference between a successful initiative embraced by all stakeholders or a tumultuous change that heightens anxiety and resistance to the initiative.

On day one, John was joined by Rick Powers, a leading expert on corporate strategy, governance and law. Using case studies, Rick helped the class frame their change initiatives within the context of their organization’s strategy. Next, using the principles of Integrative Thinking, participants began analyzing a series of best-in-class models of change management and began modifying these to meet the unique needs of their organization.

Later, the class explored the psychology behind reactions to change and the role leaders have in managing the level of anxiety during transition. They also learned best practices to identify, understand and work with resistors to change. Finally, the class learned how to master procedural justice: the perceived fairness behind the process of change.

David Weiss

David Weiss at Rotman’s Leading Strategic Change

Guest speaker, Dr. David Weiss, a sought after global consultant on change management to some of the world’s biggest firms, helped participants synthesize the learnings from previous sessions. Through focused exercises, he also helped them develop effective story-telling techniques to inspire the action necessary to implement change.

Next, using relevant case studies, participants tested their learnings by evaluating the actions of key players during different stages of transitions.

Armed with change-management theories, key models and case study analyses, participants began working on their own change management models in consultations with faculty.

On our final day, each participant presented their change model and benefited from feedback from David Weiss, John Oesch and their team members. They now return to their organizations with a robust customized model and strategies to sustain their initiatives through the transition.

As always, participants benefited from the wealth of knowledge of their classmates. A highly engaged group, they were eager to share their experiences (both cautionary tales and best practices). They now have an expanded network ready to serve as consultants as they each work through their exciting initiatives.

To learn more about our programs connect with me at joanne.goveas@rotman.utoronto.ca