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Op-eds and articles from Rotman Executive Programs

Benefit from the knowledge of Rotman's team of experts with this collection of insightful and thought-provoking articles.


5 Questions to ask as a leader

By Joanne Goveas

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

Agile Innovation

by Stephanie Hodnett

At the heart of innovation is a connection made between two people: one providing a service or product that is valued by the other. Some of us are born with an instinct for that sort of matchmaking – we often describe them as visionaries, or successful entrepreneurs.


AI: Turns Out, We’ve Been Here Before

by Emily McCutcheon

Without a background in AI, are you able to make smart decisions about how to take advantage of this new technology?


Investing in AI and Machine Learning? Focus on the human element first.

by Emily McCutcheon

Machine learning and AI are powerful tools that can dramatically reduce costs, improve processes, and increase productivity for your organization. But, these tools are not without risk.

Address to the First Excellence in Executive Leadership Certificate Graduates

11 December 2020

Certificate graduate Alisha Thompson's address to the first ever class of Excellence in Executive Leadership recipients.


The Four Stages of Integrative Thinking

By Jennifer Riel and Roger Martin

Opposing models are only a problem when we choose to treat them as such.


Want to be CFO one day? You need to take control of your career

By Hugh Arnold and Ross Woledge

Sometime in the last decade the role of the CFO morphed from number cruncher to powerbroker. Gone are the days of the lonely accountant, kept isolated from the rest of the company. Today, the world's most successful CFOs are innovators who command a room and are sounding boards for the CEO. For aspiring CFOs this raises the question: Am I on track to become this valuable strategic partner?


Before you hold that strategy meeting, read this

By Emily McCutcheon

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?

Photo of Blurry man walking out of glass doors

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

By Joanne Goveas

“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.



Socioeconomic changes have altered people’s priorities and their conception of professional development.


The CEO of 2040: The Leadership Landscape of the Future

Looking ahead 25 years, CEOs will have to be more innovative, entrepreneurial, empathetic and risk savvy than their predecessors.


CEO Spotlight: CIBC's Victor Dodig

Interview by Beatrix Dart

CIBC’s CEO explains why he became chair of Canada’s 30% Club, and what his bank is doing to attract — and keep — top female talent.

CEO Spotlight: Staying Relevant in an Age of Transformation

Interview by Karen Christensen

Large, established corporations often have trouble staying relevant over time. Not so for Estée Lauder. CEO Fabrizio Freda explains.


We need to invest in our community health leaders

By Brian Golden

Good community-based care can prevent the need to go to hospital and can help patients leave sooner. Community-based healthcare is not only attractive to patients and system administrators; increasingly, it's the way of the future.


Connect the dots from statements to actionable insights

By Emily McCutcheon

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?


Culture and Corporate Risk from an HR Perspective

By Emily McCutcheon

In a rapidly changing environment where core jobs may soon be taken over by AI, HR has a critical role to play in hiring, retention, and upskilling strategies for the company its long-term success.

Why You Need Curiosity Now — And Two Opportunities to Spark It

By Michael Bungay Stanier

Advice is killing your company. If your organizational culture is more advice-driven than curiosity-led, you’re missing valuable opportunities to be innovative, resilient and successful.


Realizing the promise of the data-driven organization

By Bernardo Blum, Avi Goldfarb, and Mara Lederman

Why is data everywhere but in the perceived results of using data? Why have many businesses been unable to leverage the asset that their data represents?


What boardrooms can learn from the success of family firms

By David Beatty

One of the most valuable and enduring outcomes of the global financial crisis – not to mention the major corporate blowups of the early 2000s – has been the elevation of corporate governance to a daily topic of conversation.


Highlights from Rotman’s Leading Strategic Change program

By Joanne Goveas

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.


How AI Will Transform Business

Interview by Richard Piticco, CPA, CA

What does AI mean for businesses big and small? What key opportunities and challenges does it present? Two experts on the topic weigh in: Rotman School Dean Tiff Macklem and Scotiabank CTO Michael Zerbs.


How to Lead Millennials

By Lauren Friese and Rumeet Billan

Understanding and learning how to lead this new generation has become an integral part of organizations’ people strategy.


How to Succeed at the Enterprise Level

By Joanne Goveas

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


The Era of Human + Machine Innovation

Angèle Beausoleil interviewed by Karen Christensen

In today’s environment, organizations that don’t keep up with customers’ evolving needs are doomed. What is the best way to get a handle on these evolving needs?


Preparing both 'the family' and 'the money' for the transition of wealth to the next generation

By Tom McCullough, CIM, CIWM, CFBA

North America is in the early stages of a massive intergenerational wealth transfer with almost $1 trillion changing hands each year, and this may be just the tip of the iceberg.


Walking the Innovation Tightrope

As any good entrepreneur can tell you, innovation isn’t easy. At the heart of it lies the tension between long-term strategy and rapid change.


Stretching the Mind: Developing an Adaptive Lens to Deal With Complexity

By Mihnea Moldoveanu and Roger Martin

‘Stretching’ the mind to achieve both breadth and depth is a skill that will be of increasing value in our complex environment.


Is HR a part of your board’s winning strategy?

By Emily McCutcheon

Too often boards aren’t able to carve out enough time for the HR Committee. It’s easy to forget. And boards know this. On average, boards spend about 11% of their time on talent management, but 53% of directors want to increase that number. So, what’s stopping them?


Getting things done: How we view time changes when we start working on things

By Dilip Soman

One of the most popular courses at the Rotman School is an MBA elective called "Getting It Done." This course is not a course about any business discipline. It is simply a course that teaches students how to get things done. Why is it so popular?  In the words of its instructor, "Because life is a series of getting things done."


Leading Change in Organizations

by Emily McCutcheon

Your organization will change. It’s a fact. In a highly competitive global business environment, being able to adapt quickly to new conditions is a key predictor of success.


Want results? Learn how to nudge your customers

By Emily McCutcheon

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.


Bet on people before strategy

By former Rotman Dean Tiff Macklem

In an increasingly global and digital economy, finding and developing the best talent has become a determining factor in a company's survival and success.

Rose Patten

Address to the Mentoring Women Leaders Symposium

By Rose M. Patten, O.C., LL.D.

The endurance of International Women’s Day – for over a century now – is a sign of the crucial importance of women and the rights of women as full and equal participants in human society.


Mindfulness at Work

Understanding and managing attention is now the single most important determinant of business success.


Negotiating for Success: Highlights from Rotman

By Joanne Goveas

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.


Welcome to the new normal. What does it mean for leaders?

By Rose Patten and Hugh Arnold

The "new normal" in business is disruption and change, and it comes with a call to action for companies – and leaders – to adapt and reinvent themselves.


Leadership: New skills for a new age

By Jim Fisher and Rose Patten

What does leading mean in a diverse, globalized workforce that must be engaged with a broad, corporate vision, yet in a way that fits with employees' local cultures, values and expectations?


The paradox of leadership development programs

By Stephanie Hodnett, Executive Director, Executive Programs, Rotman School of Management, and Special to the Globe and Mail

Leadership development programs have been around long enough that you would expect any inherent paradox to have been resolved by now.


Partnerships and Strategic Alliances

By Sharon Doopan

"A smarter, swifter, more reactive and economical way to pursue strategic opportunities, maximize inherent synergies and gain competitive advantages."


Peak Performance: An Interview with Canada’s CFO of the Year 2012

Interview by Karen Christiansen

Colleen Johnston explains what power means to her and provides advice for reaching your personal peak.

Find your personal negotiation style

By Stephanie Hodnett

What is your personal negotiating style? Has it changed at all in the era of Zoom?


The Power of Small Changes

By Anita McGahan with Costas Markides, London Business School

In thinking how to solve some of our biggest global problems — issues like poverty, malnutrition and climate change — a good place to start is by identifying some of the small changes that could yield big improvements.


Jennifer Riel and Roger Martin’s Integrative Thinking ‘Guide’ Up for National Business Book Award

Rotman’s Jennifer Riel and Roger Martin have been nominated for the prestigious National Business Book Award for Creating Great Choices: A Leader’s Guide to Integrative Thinking.


The Rise of Gender Capitalism

Interview by Karen Christensen

Rotman Professor Sarah Kaplan describes the emerging investing movement that is using a ‘gender lens’ to uncover value.

Shared Growth: A Case for Executive Development Within Your Field

By Stephanie Hodnett, Executive Director, Executive Programs, Rotman School of Management


So, You Want To Be a CEO?

Anyone with aspirations to be a CEO one day needs to pay attention to building up their skills around four essential building blocks.

By David R. Beatty, C.M., O.B.E., F.ICD, CFA


What you're missing by carving out strategy from the top

By Jennifer Riel and Stefanie Schram

Strategy is an old concept, but a fairly recent business phenomenon. The concept of strategy – a set of choices that position you to win against your competition – is as old as sport, as old as warfare, as old as one human being plotting out how to defeat another.


Struggling with data? It’s about how you think, not your technical toolbox

By Emily McCutcheon

More of our economic and social activity resides online than ever before, and more content continues to shift to the digital space. The amount of and types of data that organizations have access to continues to grow alongside this trend, meaning it is no longer possible for leaders to ignore data.


The Prospecting Negotiator

By Geoffrey Leonardelli

No doubt, negotiating effectively is hard work, and in spite of our best efforts, does not guarantee a deal. That noted, prospecting negotiators, the ones that focus on opportunity, are more likely to find better deals for themselves and, if the circumstances allow, better deals for their counterparts too.


Visualizing Solutions

By Jennifer Riel (MBA ’06) and Stefanie Schram (MBA ’10)

Visualization literally forces us to ‘fill in the blanks’ as gaps in the model become clear. Jennifer Riel and Stefanie Schram talk Design Thinking.

machine diagram SBLP

What the C-suite looks for in Senior Management

By Emily McCutcheon

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.


What you need to break into the next level of leadership

By Emily McCutcheon

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?


What you need to know before a negotiation

By Emily McCutcheon

Negotiation skills may not always appear on a job description, but having them will help you in almost any role. To be an effective leader you need to be able to balance analytical skills with a broad array of decision making and interpersonal skills. This is no easy task. So how do great leaders build or develop their negotiations skills so they can add value to any situation? They practice.


How Workplace Anxiety Fuels Emotional Exhaustion

By Julie McCarthy and John Trougakos

Feelings of anxiety are a pervasive problem in today’s fast-paced work environment: in recent surveys, 41 per cent of workers reported ‘elevated levels’ of workplace tension, and studies show that as many as 80 per cent feel ‘stressed out’.

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