Kunle Tauhid, Vice President, Financing & Consulting at Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), explains how the Ivey Leadership Program's applicable tools helped him prepare his team – and organization – for a constantly changing business environment.
What led you to take the Ivey Leadership Program (ILP)?
BDC has a culture of developing its people and providing opportunities for lifelong learning for all employees, irrespective of role. This program was identified as one of the core programs for the senior leadership of the Bank, having seen the value from an Ivey Academy custom executive education program designed for one of the Bank’s clients who desire to scale up their businesses and improve their leadership.
How did the program compare to your expectations?
I did not get a chance to speak or connect with any of my colleagues who attended the program in the past, however, having attended several courses and trainings in my career, I had looked forward to this one with the same enthusiasm, albeit some cynicism after reading some of the pre-work case studies. However, the quality and the content of the first two days alone had surpassed my expectations and it made me look forward to the rest of the week at The Ivey Academy.
How did the curriculum prepare you for the challenges you face at work?
Today, change is the only thing that is constant at BDC. It is the new reality of the business world and so being able to navigate the core elements of what is required, as a senior leader in leading and getting the commitment of my teams to think strategically and prepare us for the new reality is very important. The concepts that were covered not only help me with the daily challenges my teams and our business face, but getting ready for the future and setting the expectations right between our various stakeholders within and outside our teams and the organization is crucial. The depth of the curriculum did justice to that.
How did the faculty team contribute to your learning?
The learning style of the faculty was very unique. Good energy combination and the dynamics between Professors Loree, Olivera, and Purdy matched the environments of each of the concepts and cases we examined. Their unique approaches made each long day go fast and feel seamless. 12 hour days seemed like a breeze. The program management team led by Kylie did a fantastic job with organizing materials and that helped in managing time and staying focused.
What was the highlight of the program?
There were many highlights for me. Being able to connect with 48 senior leaders from across different sectors and industries on a daily basis and being able to relate with each others’ opportunities and challenges was profound in many ways – it made the takeaways quite imperative. The ability to validate some of my leadership practices and concepts and reflect on ways of doing other things differently also stood out. From thinking through succession planning to building a desired culture to generate executional excellence totally resonated with me.
How would you describe the program’s impact?
The impact is instantaneous, as I have already been able to share and further impact my leadership team with some of the takeaways from the program. As a leadership team, our focus is to help our teams willingly and genuinely understand and desire to move the needle around change management. Our organization is evolving at a fast pace and being able to connect the dots is very important for us all, especially as leaders. That’s one area this program has impacted myself and team, as we continue to think of different ways of engaging our people in a more meaningful and exciting way.
Have you found peers that you can continue to use as sounding boards, referrals, and lifelong friends?
Absolutely. My office is currently based in Ottawa and luckily there were four other individuals from the city from different organizations that attended the program. We are committed to regular coffee times to share experiences and bounce ideas off each other. In addition the 2019 Ivey Leadership Program as a group created a LinkedIn profile to stay connected and share best practices. I plan to stay connected to all of these new 48 friends and professionals who are on the same journey as myself.
About The Ivey Academy at Ivey Business School
The Ivey Academy at Ivey Business School is the home for executive Learning and Development (L&D) in Canada. It is Canada’s only full-service L&D house, blending Financial Times top-ranked university-based executive education with talent assessment, instructional design and strategy, and behaviour change sustainment.
Rooted in Ivey Business School’s real-world leadership approach, The Ivey Academy is a place where professionals come to get better, to break old habits and establish new ones, to practice, to change, to obtain coaching and support, and to join a powerful peer network. Follow The Ivey Academy on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.