Strategy Leadership Operations

Leadership in practice: strategy in the face of uncertainty

Watch the full recorded broadcast above.

As the global health and financial crisis progresses, we’re beginning to learn some valuable lessons about agility, adaptability, and resiliency. On Thursday, June 4, 2020 The Ivey Academy hosted a complimentary livestream to discuss how the pandemic is impacting Canadian business on a micro level. The panel included The Ivey Academy's own Tony Frost, Kevin O’Brien, HBA ’93, President and General Manager, WW Canada; Frances McRae, Assistant Deputy Minister, Small Business and Marketplace Services, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED); and Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, HBA ’92, former president of StubHub. Together we discussed how business models have evolved over the past two months, employee attitudes about job security and how they impact business models, government response, impacts to the start-up community, and balancing physical and virtual interactions, both in a work and commercial context.

Key webinar content

Core topics

  • The current global macroeconomic context
  • Forecasting the “shape” of the recovery
  • Three big changes since our last livestream on the same topic
  • The “no fun” economy
  • Live events, entertainment, sports, restaurants, and business models that rely on gatherings of people
  • The global pandemic as a catalyst for innovation, rapid change, and digital transformation
  • The Canadian government’s response to the pandemic
  • Personal leadership lessons learned
  • Where do we go from here?
  • Reflecting on time horizons and “cut lines”
  • Zoom fatigue
  • Stark contrasts in consumer attitudes across geographies
  • Immersive virtual reality experiences
  • Maintaining exceptional customer experiences

Session materials

Leadership in practice webinar powerpoint presentation cover screenshot

Click the above image to view slides, or download the slide deck presentation.

Memorable quotes

“As leaders, we have to think about how to manage an extended period of time where people are naturally uneasy, and finding a way to make people feel stable and cared for while continuing to be adaptable.” – Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, HBA '92

“You can leverage instability to get everyone really focused … It is remarkable what a global team can deliver when they’re aligned, focused, and empowered. I would emphasize the empowerment part – setting goals and then getting out of the way and letting people do it, that’s come through in spades. That's something I hope, as a culture, we’re able to maintain as we grow our way out of this.” – Kevin O’Brien, HBA ‘93

Additional reading

Confirmed worldwide COVID-19 casesOur World in Data
Understanding the Economic Shock of
Now is the time for a 'great reset', World Economic Forum


Follow The Ivey Academy on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for future virtual event announcements.


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.