October 2015 | Issue 24

Lisa Mattam: MBA ’01 – The science of life

Sahajan CollectionLisa Mattam, two-time McMaster University graduate, never saw herself as someone who would become an entrepreneur. In fact, if you asked her a decade ago if she would ever branch out on her own, she would have said no. But, when she had the opportunity to open up her own consulting firm, she took it. And when she was confronted with a moral dilemma about her skincare routine, she took that opportunity as well.

“I remember the day I came home from work to find my two-year-old daughter slathered in my face cream. After laughing, I began to worry about what all those chemicals were doing to her young skin. That got me thinking.”

Mattam had lost sight of the rituals of her family, originating from Kerala, India and the ancient practices they nurtured for the balance and health of their body and minds. “If I wasn’t comfortable putting them on my daughter, it made me question, then why I am using them on myself?”

Wanting to find products that were organic, natural and plant-based, yet that were trusted in science to keep skin safe and healthy were not plentiful on the market and none contained the rituals of her youth. Mattam set out to create a skincare line that embraced her family’s heritage, yet held the science of the thousand-year old tradition of Ayurveda. more…


Deans’ Column – October 2015

Leonard Waverman | Dean, DeGroote School of Business

473r-leonard-waverman-2012_ppInnovation is perhaps the most important undertaking of any organization to ensure long-term sustainability. At the DeGroote School of Business, innovation is a key part of our strategic plan and is one of our three values, along with generosity and collaboration. Increasingly, innovation takes place in the digital realm which presents certain challenges, especially to established businesses that did not develop in the digital sector as it has emerged.

Digital innovation is the raison d’etre of our new EMBA in Digital Transformation. I am very pleased to formally announce that the EMBA program has recently achieved final approval from the province and we will soon be accepting applications for the first cohort that will begin in September 2016.

In this edition of the Knowledge Magazine, you will find an article by Michael Hartmann, Principal at the Directors College, that addresses the issue of governance as it relates to digital innovation. Tomorrow night, October 6th, Michael will be joined by Gino Scapellati, Eugene Roman, Anna Paluzzi and Jordan Soloway at the National Club in Toronto in a panel discussion about governance in an era of digital innovation.

Finally, on a personal note, I want to congratulate Barb Pegg on 40 years of service at McMaster University and the faculty of Business. As a student advisor, Barb has helped countless students through their post-secondary careers and she is fondly remembered by so many of our alumni. We will be celebrating Barb’s anniversary at a special event this fall, and if you would like an invitation to attend, or have a story to share, please contact Greg Rombough (rombogr@mcmaster.ca).


Congratulations to Zain Allauddin, recipient of the 2015 Adam Felesky MBA Scholarship

Leah Rosenthal | Advancement Officer

2015 Felesky Scholarship WinnerLast night the DeGroote School of Business hosted the fourth annual Adam Felesky MBA Scholarship competition. This scholarship was established in 2010 by a generous donation from McMaster alumnus and philanthropist, Adam Felesky, BEng ’99 and former CEO of Horizons Exchange Traded Funds. This invitation-only video competition awards a $30,000 MBA scholarship to an incoming full-time or co-op MBA student.

Contestants were asked to create a 3-minute video answering the following question: In today’s business world, data drives evidence-based decisions. What challenges do businesses face in using data to drive strategy? more…

In Practice

Digital Innovation Governance: The role of the board in value creation

Michael Hartmann | Professor, Human Resources & Management

5692789910_7389a29d4d_mDeGroote’s annual Digital Leadership Summit featured two opening speakers who addressed the topic of digital innovation from both an enterprise risk and opportunity perspective. Barry Libert, who leads the digital consulting firm OpenMatters, spoke about the value premium that investors attach to firms who are actively leveraging digitally driven networks, technologies and insights. Eugene Roman, Chief Technology Officer at Canadian Tire, discussed the risks associated with moving down a digital path open to cyber security breaches and disruption from new business start-ups.

Our two presenters highlighted the dilemma facing today’s C-suite executives in balancing a need for new structures, processes and mindsets with a responsibility to guard against undue and often-unforeseen risks. I would argue that board directors must also be actively engaged with management in this balancing act mindful of course of each party’s respective roles. more…


Generational Diversity: Bridging the generations in today’s organizations

Frances Tuer | Professor, Human Resources and Management

multi-generational-workforceIn today’s team-based organizations, managers need to be adept at harnessing the power of a diverse workforce, promoting collaboration between workers who are different across a wide range of characteristics. While research has shown that initial concerns arising from surface-level diversity (e.g. race, ethnicity, sex) tend to disappear relatively quickly, problems tend to remain when differences are rooted in deeper level value.

One source of value differences comes from the existence of different generations in the working population. Different generations have different values because each group grew up in a world that was different in terms of male/female roles, participation in military service, technologies in the home and office, and life-changing events e.g. Great Depression, 9/11.

At the present time there are five generations co-existing in today’s organizations. more…


Getting Out

Innovation Governance: The role of the board in value creation

Toronto, Ontario

InnovationG_PanelHow should a board support an innovation agenda in today’s fast moving, digitally-driven business environment? How should a board look at innovation and data analytics as both an opportunity and a risk? Join us as the DeGroote School of Business partners up with The Directors College to feature a panel of industry experts discussing the topic of innovation governance.

Knowledge Hiding in Organizations: What Your Employees Aren’t Sharing

Burlington, Ontario

catherine-connellyMany managers expect coworkers to share knowledge with each other, but sometimes employees ask for help and information is not forthcoming. This presentation identifies the three main strategies for hiding knowledge, and explains their effects as well as how you can (sometimes) prevent colleagues from hiding from you.

Join us for breakfast at Knowledge @ DeGroote in Burlington where Gordon Pitts will interview Catherine Connolly as they discuss knowledge hiding in the workplace.


Sherry Cooper and Gordon Pitts Economic Outlook 2015



Innovation Governance: The Role of the Board in Value Creation

Oct. 6, 2015 | 5 – 7 p.m.

The DeGroote School of Business with The Directors College present a panel event. | The National Club, Bay Street, Toronto, ON

Knowledge Hiding in Organizations: What Your Employees and Colleagues Aren’t Sharing With You

Oct. 9, 2015 | 7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. Gordon Pitts will interview Catherine Connolly | Burlington, ON – RJC Great Hall


Fuelling Success through Passion and Risk-Taking

Oct. 20, 2015 | 7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. A Women’s Breakfast Series event featuring Debbie Coull-Cicchini ’81, Sr. VP of Intact Insurance | Burlington, ON – RJC Great Hall

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