To conclude Canadian Business Frontiers, Iain Stewart, President of the National Research Council (NRC), shared his insights on how to manage organizational turbulence while advancing disruptive research within Canada. Stewart joined the NRC during a period of internal transformation and external shocks. Research processes were being re-evaluated, IT systems were being overhauled, and annual funding was shrinking. Morale fell across the organization. Through town halls, summits, and surveys, Stewart conducted in-depth consultations with internal stakeholders. For a federal organization of 3,700 people, this initiative was unprecedented. Targeted strategies emerged from these discussions, creating staff-driven recommendations. As a result, collaborative research approaches were further developed, positive societal impact from projects increased, and employee morale and engagement rose. For Canada, building resilience in the face of disruption will be an ongoing pursuit, and as the nation’s priorities evolve over time, the NRC will be called to respond.
Written by Nina Xu (Ivey Business School)