Carol Stephenson, O.C.

Former Dean, Ivey Business School from 2003-2013. Ms. Stephenson spent many years in the Canadian telecom industry before joining Ivey. As a widely respected CEO, she brought more than 30 years of progressive experience in marketing, operations, strategic planning, technology development, and financial management to Canada's premier business school.

Articles by this Author:


A Step Back. A Step Forward: Finding a New Perspective in a Season of Change
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

Change is like looking at one of those paintings made up of individual images; if you look at it close up, all you can see is a jumble of faces, but when you step back and look at the...

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How Leadership Has Changed
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

With globalization, technological innovation and the growing number of linkages among people, activities and events, today’s pace of change is relentless. The people of the world mix and mingle as never before, forging new partnerships and creating more culturally diverse...

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My path to leadership
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

After decades as a CEO and years as the Dean of the Richard Ivey School of Business, business students and other aspiring leaders often ask me what inspired me to become a leader.  Was there a moment in my career when...

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The true meaning of Innovation
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

Bring up the topic of innovation and often the conversation will soon revolve around a cool, new gadget or an exciting start-up company with a revolutionary idea.  If the talk is about the challenge of innovation, it usually focuses on developing...

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LEADERS OF GOOD CHARACTER
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

“Control is not leadership; management is not leadership; leadership is leadership is leadership. If you seek to lead, invest at least 50 percent of your time leading yourself—your own purpose, ethics, principles, motivation, conduct.” — Dee Hock Founder and...

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The Role of Leadership in Managing Risk
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

“… You can’t control people through policies, procedures and policing.  You can only do it through a strong risk management culture and absolute integrity in all leaders.” Leadership on Trial, A Manifesto for Leadership Development* (P. 39 – Comment recorded...

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LEARNING FROM EXPERIENCE
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

“If you want the present to be different from the past, study the past.” ~Chinese Proverb Much has been said and written about the recent global financial and economic crisis. We heard about the governments, companies and executives who made...

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PRINCIPLES TO ADVANCE A NEW LEADERSHIP ETHOS
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

Carol Stephenson is Dean, Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario. In the aftermath of the dot com bust and the bursting of the telecom bubble in the late 1990s, I gave dozens of speeches about my experience...

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COMPLEXITY AND CROSS-ENTERPRISE LEADERSHIP
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

Our goal was simple: Make Canadians proud. And in the end, the Vancouver Olympics accomplished just that – with our athletes “owning the podium” more times than in any other previous Winter Games, a spectacular array of facilities and special...

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MITIGATING THE RISK: PRACTICAL STEPS FOR EXPANDING YOUR BUSINESS ABROAD
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

Over the past decade, rapid competitive growth has dramatically transformed the global business environment. This transformation continues today. The barriers to international trade and investment are tumbling. Commercial activity is booming, with major advancements in transportation and communications technologies. Global...

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THE PASSAGE TO INDIA: IVEY PAVES THE WAY WITH NEW PARTNERSHIPS
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

Thomas Friedman recalls visiting Bangalore – India’s Silicon Valley” – when he suddenly realized that the world was flat. And with that eureka moment, his bestselling book The World is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st Century was born....

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Volatility and its implications for Leadership
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

As a veteran of the telecommunications industry, I can say with conviction that volatility is not a new concept to me. From the rise of the Internet, to the bursting of the telecom bubble and the dot.com bust to today,...

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The Olympics and leadership: From the CEO
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

To the tens of millions of viewers who tune in to watch, the Olympic Games are a spectacular global celebration of the world’s best in sports. But there’s nothing like being there in person. At the 2008 Summer Olympic Games...

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Shaping Tomorrow’s Health-Care Sector Through Cross-Enterprise Leadership
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

Canada’s health sector, indeed the health sector worldwide, is rich in opportunity. By the same token, it faces daunting challenges. The pace of scientific discovery in new medicines and advanced diagnostics is quickening. With genomics and proteomics, exciting breakthroughs in...

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THRIVING IN TURBULENT TIMES
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

Cartoonists Michael Fry and T. Lewis astutely observed that, “The more things change, the more they remain … insane.” For many business leaders, today’s economic climate is awash in change – volatile, often unpredictable, and always daunting change. How do...

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Canadian women entrepreneurs: Pioneers of new frontiers
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

“Going into business for yourself, becoming an entrepreneur, is the modern-day equivalent of pioneering on the old frontier,” according to entrepreneur and author Paula Nelson. I agree. It takes courage, know-how and perseverance to launch a business and make it...

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Business drives positive change in society
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

In the wake of the current economic crisis, an impassioned debate emerged in the United States about the role that business schools played in creating, or at least not preventing, the debacle. At the Global Business Summit hosted by Harvard...

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Creating shared value: The inseparability of business and society
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

“For us in business, I can see only one sure course to follow. Call it common sense, call it policy, call it anything you like. To my mind, industry must aim for, exist for and everlastingly operate for the good...

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Today’s leader must engender trust, encourage initiative and secure loyalty
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

This article was originally published in the Financial Times, January 25, 2008. In the decades since it was first published in 1900, historians, economists and literary scholars have sought to interpret the symbolism of L Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard...

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These times demand Cross-Enterprise Leadership
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

Business leaders are worried about numerous issues including the possibility of recession, high oil prices, the growing war for talent, the increasing speed of change and the complexity of managing in countries that each have their own political, cultural and...

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BOOSTING THE TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

Leadership in Corporate Social Responsibility has long been a tradition at Ivey. In this article, the school’s dean describes some of the research and policy initiatives that continue to develop strong leaders and help companies make important contributions on social...

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Advancing the revolution: Cross-Enterprise Leadership at Ivey
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

In May, the Ivey School of Business will welcome the first group of students into its new and revolutionary Cross-Enterprise Leadership TM MBA program. The narrowly defined, discipline-specific classes of yesterday are gone. Instead, our MBA students will dissect, resolve...

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THE UNBEATABLE COMBINATION
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

Last November, Towers Perrin surveyed more than 85,000 people working in 16 countries on four continents, to assess their willingness and ability to “go the extra mile for their companies.” The study found that the vast majority of people are...

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The Three “D’s” in Creating a Culture of Innovation
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

As the late Peter F. Drucker once said, innovation “is capable of being practiced, capable of being learned.” However, as I have found throughout my career, innovation thrives in a culture driven by diversity, dialogue and discipline. Fundamentally, I believe...

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The Natural Next Step: Cross-Enterprise Leadership™
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

As Peter F. Drucker believes, “decision-making is the specific executive task.” And in today’s   complex, ever-evolving business environment, any single decision invariably reverberates throughout the entire organization. What if a company moves its manufacturing operations offshore to cut costs, or...

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COMMUNICATING THE IMPORTANCE OF WORK-LIFE BALANCE
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

Some employees believe that all work and no play is the only certain path to the corner office on the executive floor. While this isn’t true, it is true that commitment, dedication, and hard work are essential to leadership success....

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TAKING THE TIME TO GET IT RIGHT IN CHINA
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

There’s no doubt, as the articles in this edition of the Ivey Business Journal will attest, that the opportunities for Canadian companies doing business in China are enormous – and equally daunting. Despite the huge size of the Chinese market...

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The Inevitability of Doing Business With China
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

There’s a huge difference “between taking active risks and sitting passively at risk,” as Paul A. Laducina of A. T. Kearney’s Global Business Policy Council writes in this edition. Approaching new and unfamiliar markets is always a gamble, but it’s...

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THE ESSENCE OF GREAT LEADERSHIP
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

During my 30 years in business, I have witnessed a wide variety of leaders in action – both good and bad. The command and control types who closeted themselves in their ivory towers – ruling by fear and intimidation –...

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ARE LEADERS BORN OR MADE?
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

It’s a debate as timeless as the age-old controversy about the chicken and the egg. Do effective leaders learn to become superior communicators and relationship builders? Or do people with exemplary communication and teamwork abilities naturally have an aptitude for...

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A board’s role in fostering vision, values and integrity
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

Just about every month for the past fifteen years, I have participated in a board meeting, an executive committee discussion or an advisory group consultation for a company, government or a not-for-profit interest. At the best of these meetings, the...

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LEVERAGING DIVERSITY TO MAXIMUM ADVANTAGE: THE BUSINESS CASE FOR APPOINTING MORE WOMEN TO BOARDS
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

The poet Ezra Pound once said that: “When two men in business always agree, one of them is unnecessary.” Many companies appear to recognize this truism and the fact that diversity fosters ideas and learning. Some have established comprehensive strategies...

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DEAN CAROL STEPHENSON ON NEGOTIATION
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

The French author, Andre Marois, once wrote that: “Business is a combination of war and sport.” And to be sure, business is often compared with competitive sports and warfare, a black and white world of winners and losers, where the...

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FROM THE DEAN: CAROL STEPHENSON ON EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

According to the latest Globe and Mail Report on Business survey on executive compensation, Canadian CEOs “took home an average of about 8.3 percent more in 2003 than in 2002,” which includes “all forms of compensation, such as gains from...

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REBUILDING TRUST: THE INTEGRAL ROLE OF LEADERSHIP IN FOSTERING VALUES, HONESTY AND VISION
by Carol Stephenson, O.C. |

That the corporation has an enormous influence on our lives is unquestioned. So too, then, is the influence of business leaders. Which is why, as this author states, it is imperative that leaders today adopt enduring values, and honest, open...

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From the Editor
Change is afoot at IBJ
by Thomas Watson

When appointed Editor of Ivey Business Journal late last year, I was tasked with leading an examination of the reader experience aimed at increasing the intellectual return on time invested...
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