On first considering Canada Post’s business, one may initially think stamps, letters and packages, not digital solutions. Josh Green wants to change that perception. The DeGroote School of Business Executive MBA in Digital Transformation alumnus is using digital-first strategies and design thinking to transform his work at Canada Post.
Green always had a dream of attaining his MBA, but he never imagined taking an MBA program during a pandemic. Reflecting back on the experience, the timing couldn’t be better for him to learn about transformation in a digital world that is constantly in flux.
“I think taking an MBA in digital transformation is almost mandatory,” says Green. “I mean this is where we’re shifting, and COVID is really taking us to the point where we all need to be versed on what digital transformation truly means to one’s organization.”
A senior sales manager at Canada Post, Green oversees a team of nine sales representatives. His team is responsible for maintaining and growing the e-commerce and direct mail lines of business in the greater Toronto area. He says digital transformation plays an integral role in their business.
“We are a big ship to turn around, and perhaps at times, not as nimble as smaller upstarts, but I can tell you firsthand that we very much are a transformative company. We have to be,” explains Green. “We are involved in e-commerce, which is an ever-evolving shopping venture that our customers are going through. And we have competitors that are adopting the latest technology, so if we’re not keeping up, it’s at our detriment.”
What exactly is digital transformation and what does that mean for a company like Canada Post?
“Digital transformation is not static. It is about iterating and evolving constantly,” explains Green. “It’s about setting up the ecosystem to allow an organization to be nimble and pivot when necessary, rather than taking the company from a linear point “A” to point “B”. So that goes into culture, having a mindset that things are moving constantly and to seek new opportunities to continually improve an organization to meet its objectives.”
Green is excited to take learnings from the Executive MBA program and apply them directly to his work at Canada Post.
“In the next couple of years I’ll be able to serve as a voice of the sales team with a digital transformation lens. Taking more of a proactive leadership role, asking the right questions as we continue to make transformation a priority, and knowing the vernacular that comes along with transformation.”
With this new digital transformation lens he recognizes digital-first strategies have the potential to significantly transform an organization. He explains the digital solutions they are employing at Canada Post may not necessarily be visible on the surface to customers, but they are adopting tools and analyzing data to adapt to the evolving digital world. “We make a concerted effort to understand technology that can support tracking visibility for consumers, as an example,” says Green.
One of the transformation challenges the corporation experienced happened during COVID. As the country was on the cusp of entering into the pandemic in 2020, Green was participating in the Executive MBA’s strategic information systems course. Here he gained an understanding of the undertaking required to shift from one software solution to another.
He explains it was around this time that Canada Post shifted to the virtual landscape, adopting Microsoft Teams as their software solution. Part of this shift involved getting the entire company up to speed on how to use the tools to communicate as a team, and figuring out how to effectively sell in a virtual world.
When implementing this change Green’s first priority was the well-being of his team. He recognized the challenges of keeping a team engaged in a digital environment as they navigated a sense of isolation and the uncertainty of not knowing what’s next. His second priority was understanding the dynamics of selling in a virtual world. Instead of connecting with customers personally, shaking hands, and touring warehouses, they had to adapt to more formal virtual face-to-face meetings.
Challenges aside, Green sees future opportunities opening up because of the qualifications he has attained through the Executive MBA program. In a digital marketing analytics course he earned a Google Analytics certificate which he uses to help understand his customers.
Half of his portfolio includes marketing and selling smart mail marketing solutions. “One of the big challenges that we are up against in terms of selling our solutions are marketers going with digital solutions,” explains Green. “Being able to understand the analytics that go into digital solutions helped me understand how smart mail marketing can complement those digital marketing efforts.”
Looking ahead, Green is equipped with the valuable business skills and tools to tackle future challenges, but more than that his Executive MBA in Digital Transformation “has inspired me to continue to know what to seek in terms of information. We’re constantly evolving and I am looking at the world through the right lenses and know the right questions to ask,” says Green.
“From a leadership perspective, I can’t say enough about the transformational leadership experience. That’s something I’m living and breathing every single day and I’ll continue to aspire to do going forward.”