Management Forum Conference 2015-2016

Silos & Slabs: Building the bridges and ladders we need to succeed.

This years annual conference program is both exciting and intriguing. MForum presents a lively keynote from our neighbouring university, a high-level conversation about what change really means at McGill and ways to better manage our bosses and expand our network – all to help us better work around the silos and clamber over the slabs that are the hallmarks of a large, complicated and well-established institution. 

Conference Date: Wednesday March 23rd, 2016

Check out the Schedule or scroll down for more information.

Conference presentations are now available for download. See your favorite session in the table below for the link.

Keynote - Breaking Silos; bridging knowledge  (Ballroom)

Download the presentation here.

Learn how to spark stronger ideas, break down barriers that block innovation and to see diversity as a tool to create sustainable change!

Emilie Champagne, Senior Advisor Strategic Initiatives, Concordia University

Although most of us are espousing the concept of embracing change to make room for innovation, too often we are (consciously or not) cultivating silos that brought us where we are today. During this session you will hear tips on how to foster a high-performance culture using humility and veracity as a tool to expand individual contributions by bridging knowledge and breaking barriers to communicate more effectively.

Don’t wait for others to change, it starts with you.

Panel Discussion: Putting some meat on rhetorical bones  (Ballroom)

Find out what increased agility, empowerement, freedom to fail and becoming a learning organization really means for you as a McGill employee.

Panel Members

Kathleen Massey, Registrar & Executive Director of Enrolment Services

Kevin Whittaker, President of MUNACA

Christopher Manfredi, Provost & Vice-Principal (Academic)


Ollivier Dyens, Deputy Provost (Student Life & Learning) 

McGill has heard a lot in recent years about becoming more agile, about employees becoming more empowered, about having the freedom to fail, about becoming a learning organization so we can all work smarter. But what do these and other terms mean in our everyday working lives? What does agility look like? How do I feel differently now that I'm supposed to be empowered? Or now that I am supposed to have the freedom to fail? For different groups within a complex institution like a university, there will be different perspectives and expectations about what the rhetoric means when the rubber hits the road.

To provide a broader perspective, we've organized a panel to discuss these issues and invited three people from very different walks of life at McGill to share their views. This trio will participate in a moderated conversation focusing on several key questions, then the floor will be open for you to ask questions and participate in discussion! 

Workshop Session 1 (Three Concurrent Sessions)

Managing Up! (Parc Room)

Download the presentation here.

Gain insight into how to collaborate more effectively with your supervisor for increased workplace success.

Jane Reichman Van Toch, NewLeaf Performance 

“Managing up” is not political game playing.  Rather, it's a conscious approach to building a constructive working relationship with your supervisor to meet goals that are important to you both. In this interactive session, participants will gain insight into strategies to help build increased understanding and collaboration with their supervisor. 

Practical Tools to Engage Your Colleagues (Ballroom)

Download the presentation here.

Start small. Dream big. Be better. Together.

Paolo Errore, Senior Project Manager, Office of the Vice-Principal (A&F)

Jarrod Nichol, Lean Thinking Administrator, Faculty of Medicine, CMARC

Michel Martel, Operations Manager, Fire Prevention, Campus Public Safety

Three McGill managers share their stories and tactics around team building, creating mutual understanding and communication. Learn from your peers as they take you through what has worked for them, the mistakes they made and the successful methods they eventually adapted to our environment. 

Creating a Culture of Service (Pine Room)

Download the presentation here.

We do our best work when we are at our best! 

Curtis Sharman, Service Point Associate, MForum Steering Committee Chair

Interested in learning how to cultivate a service culture while also improving employee morale and job satisfaction?   At this interactive workshop you’ll have an opportunity to learn what other areas on campus are doing to deliver high quality service while having fun at the same time.   Discover the Service Excellence Pilot Project and how to create strategies for wellness and happiness in the workplace. 

Workshop Session 2 (Three Concurrent Sessions)

Networking Skills: Strategies for connecting in a connected world (Ballroom)

Learn how to expand your network and relate with colleagues, employees, upper management and internal clients.

Chantal Westgate, Faculty Lecturer, Desautels Faculty of Management

Come learn to enhance your relationships with your colleagues and apply concepts learned at MForum. This session will cover how to reinforce concepts of interdependency in working relationships and how to apply networking skills to develop relationships and begin to bridge silos! 

McGill's New Staff Mentoring Pilot Project (Parc Room)

Find out if our staff mentoring program is a good fit for you! 

Joan Soares, Workforce Planning Project Manager, Organizational Development

Joseph Berger, Senior Analyst, Planning & Institutional Analysis

This interactive session will explore the goals of the staff mentoring pilot project, what it takes to be a good mentor and how mentoring can positively impact our community. Also, the My Workplace Team will provide an update on other initiatives that will be launched in the near future! 

Managing in Matrix Organizations (Pine Room)

Implementing a matrix-based organization has a lot of benefits, but it’s more complicated than simply changing the org structure.

Ryan Ortiz, Director, ICS

Hugo Dominguez, Director, IT Infrastructure

McGill IT Services decided to move to a matrix-based organization structure in 2013, aimed at improving efficiency and streamlining processes. Although it achieved many of its objectives, there were some hurdles along the way; some expected, some not. Since then, we have gone back to the drawing board and engaged with IT managers to identify pain-points and solutions for working effectively in a matrix organization. Although we have recently completed our third manager workshop on this topic, it is still a work in progress. In this presentation, we will take you through our process and provide a brief glimpse into the results.


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