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When Reflection Leads To Change – The Story Of Jose Martin (EMBA 2015) And Transport Canada

Updated: May 19

After working as a section chief at Bombardier Aerospace for over five years, Jose Martin (EMBA 2015) joined Transport Canada as Engineering Supervisor and Program Manager in 2014, just as he was completing the McGill-HEC Montréal EMBA program. More than two years later, we caught up with Jose to learn about what he has been working on and the role played by the concepts he learned during the EMBA in his daily life where change management is omnipresent.

In a governmental context, barriers to change are abundant. Jose confronts them regularly since his role is, among other things, to implement change programs and projects.

“My role is to have a good organizational and operational understanding, to stay on top of our key indicators, to keep an eye on the big picture, to understand the macro and micro environment, and to ensure the happiness of my team,” he explained.

Jose runs the major certification programs for Transport Canada, which involve not just the certification itself, but also proactively influencing directors and executives at large and medium-sized companies to adopt certification processes and best practices. The goal is both regulatory compliance and good relations with the industry in a constantly changing environment in which complex and multidisciplinary problems occur frequently.

How does he meet these challenges? Through reflection, a habit he developed during the EMBA McGill-HEC Montréal. Reflection does indeed play an important role in the EMBA program. Every morning, an hour is reserved for reflection: individually, in writing, followed by small group discussions and a plenary review. José has reproduced this approach to disciplined reflection in his workplace. Each morning, he takes time for personal reflection, and once a week he reflects with his boss. Together, they assess the different ways to improve strategies and tactics to improve their projects. They consider their results; both the good and the not-so-good; Transport Canada’s ecosystem and the various teams’ ecosystems, and how the organization and its people react to change. This reflection gives them the breathing space to make effective decisions. They see the big picture as it relates to the organization and their projects. They take a step back in order to better go forward.


According to Jose, it’s important to keep in mind “thinking is a habit that must be accompanied by focus and discipline. It must seek a balance between two poles: the results for the organization and the happiness of the people who work there. ”

Jose Martin seems to have found this balance and it certainly has played an important role in the success of the various change and transformation projects he has led at Transport Canada. His achievements speak for themselves: in two years, he’s worked with the “Certification of aircraft and aeronautical products” division to reorganize operations, streamline costs, and through this constant change management, to substantially improve the certification project cycle time. The result: an increase in productivity from 80 projects to 147 projects per year.

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