Doug Pereira, EMBA ’19, always had a passion for innovation, but combining that creative thinking with an executive business education allowed him to express his vision in a whole new way.
As an engineer, Pereira was used to problem solving, but while he excelled at identifying and solving problems, he found it challenging to engage others with his ideas when they didn’t share his technical background.
“It was hard to translate,” said Pereira, who is now Manager of Requisition Engineering at Thermogenics Inc. “I was coming up with these innovative and creative solutions but I didn’t have enough of a background in business to present them effectively.”
When it was clear that his company’s engineering department needed to move from a paper-based/manual system to a digital system to keep up with the pace of growth, Pereira knew he had to find a way to align the transformation with the company strategy and engage the management team.
“In presenting my case as to why we should follow a digital transformation strategy, I took my learnings straight out of Ivey: how do I present the information so that it is impactful, makes strategic sense, is data driven and takes care of the people who are part of that system,” he said.
He also reached out to classmates to discuss how to best execute the change, including those in different fields. They offered fresh perspectives and helped him come up with a solution that he says he couldn’t have envisioned before the program.
“At Ivey I got to talk to, and work with, people at various levels in different organizations – which now helps me better understand the connection between management decisions and vision,” he said.
“This diversity challenged my assumptions about how to approach problems, expanded what could be considered as solutions, and encouraged me to include viewpoints that I would not have looked at before. As a leader, I can also more effectively translate this learning into useful goals and actions for colleagues, and direct and indirect reports.”
Pereira credits his success not only to those interactions but also the class dialogue that was a part of Ivey’s case learning method, and which didn’t rely on one “right” answer.
“This is an important distinction for leaders who are faced with similar challenges, where there is limited information and critical decisions need to be made,” Pereira said. “For me, it honed my ability to efficiently parse information to make decisions and take into account the human element in that process.”
The knowledge, experiences and connections gained through his Executive MBA allowed Pereira to clearly articulate his plan around the company’s digital transformation and help the management team “see that there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
“Prior to that I don’t think we could have envisioned bringing almost 50 years worth of knowledge into some sort of cohesive digital sphere,” he said.
“By taking a perspective from outside the industry, I was able to create a coherent new vision for the department and inspire meaningful change."
Ivey Business School
Manager of Requisition Engineering, Thermogenics Inc.
Toronto, ON, Canada