Rotman Management Fall 2021

Published in January, May and September by the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, Rotman Management explores themes of interest to leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs. Each issue features thought-provoking insights and problem-solving tools from leading global researchers and management practitioners. The magazine reflects Rotman’s role as a catalyst for transformative thinking that creates value for business and society.

Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
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3 Numeri

in questo numero

2 min
now what?

A YEAR-AND-A-HALF since the global pandemic turned our lives upside down, we continue to navigate the choppy waters that it has wrought. Some have observed that COVID-19 has been a great equalizer, affecting us across the board whether we work in the C-suite or on the frontline. But at the same time, it has put the spotlight on widespread inequality and power imbalances in our society that demand our collective attention. For leaders eager to seize this unique moment in history to jumpstart their organizations, the question is, Now what? In this issue of Rotman Management, we will explore some of the mindsets, approaches and operating principles that will be required to thrive in the post-pandemic world. Amidst all of the uncertainty, one thing is clear: Today’s world is making demands on…

11 min
360º governance: leadership guidelines for a world in crisis

IN 1994, THE TORONTO STOCK EXCHANGE (TSX) accepted a new set of guidelines for board governance as developed in the report, “Where Were the Directors?” Triggered by the mixed response from the Canadian corporate sector to the stresses of the 1990-91 recession, the guidelines were meant to urge boards of directors to align with growing expectations concerning the manner in which boards are constituted, and the relationships between boards and shareholders. In the face of climate change, rising economic inequality, systemic racism and the COVID-19 pandemic, it is once again time for a new set of guidelines. While the 1994 guidelines — which concern best practices around board independence and oversight — continue to be relevant, they served the governance needs of the 1990s. Two-and-a-half decades later, we ask, Where is…

4 min
corporate purpose: a mission-critical trait

The year 2020 was a watershed moment for business, society and politics. While corporate purpose and ‘stakeholder capitalism’ were already understood and embraced to a degree, the pandemic has served to magnify underlying societal faults, fuelling a paradigm shift in the way stakeholders expect companies to engage with the community at large. This movement has been building momentum since 2019, when the Business Roundtable — a group of American CEOs — issued a statement reimagining the conventional definition of a modern corporation and updating it for the 21st century, putting employees, the environment and the wider community front and centre. From inclusive leadership to civil rights and climate change, a growing number of today’s consumers judge companies for the principles they embody and the stance they take on the most pressing…

13 min
thought leader interview: dambisa moyo

Even before COVID-19 hit, there was evidence that globalization was unravelling. Please describe the scenario——and how the pandemic has affected it. In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and before COVID-19, slowing growth and declining economic standards led governments around the world onto a path of deglobalization. Facing growing populist pressure, many adopted protectionist policies they hoped would shield their industries and workers. Growth in trade stalled or declined for some countries and we started to see more regionalization and balkanization. Some even broke away from global trading blocs. Brexit is one example, and President Trump’s ‘America First’ campaign is another Today, the world is even more ‘every nation for itself’ than before the pandemic. As global growth remains weak, countries are focused on making sure that their own economies and…

12 min
strategic foresight: how to think like a futurist

THE 1920S BEGAN IN CHAOS. Cataclysmic disruption resulting from World War 1 and the Spanish flu shuttered businesses and provoked xenophobia. Technological marvels like the radio, refrigerator, vacuum cleaner, moving assembly line and electronic power transmission generated new growth, even as the wealth gap widened. More than two-thirds of Americans survived on wages too low to sustain everyday living. The pace of scientific innovation — the discovery of insulin, the first modern antibiotics, and insights into theoretical physics and the structure of atoms — forced people to reconsider many of their cherished beliefs. The sheer scale of change and the great uncertainty that came with it produced two factions: Those who wanted to reverse time and return the world to ‘normal’; and those who embraced the chaos, faced forward and got…

2 min
the 11 macro forces shaping our future

Wealth Distribution. The distribution of income across a population’s households, the concentration of assets in various communities, the ability for individuals to move up from their existing financial circumstances, and the gap between the top and bottom brackets within an economy. Education. Access to quality primary, secondary and post-secondary education; workforce training; trade apprenticeships; certification programs; the ways in which people learn and the tools they use; and what people are interested in studying. Infrastructure. The physical, organizational and digital structures needed for society to operate — from bridges to power grids, roads to Wi-Fi towers — and the ways an infrastructure of a city, state or country might impact another’s. Government. Local, state, national and international governing bodies; their planning cycles; their elections; and their regulatory decisions. Geopolitics. The relationships among the leaders,…