The sticky note that made Canada Post think like a startup

President and CEO Deepak Chopra in the Globe & Mail.

On innovation, leadership and the challenges facing an old-economy company in digital times

In 2011, Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra, new to his position, received a sticky note request to downsize a skeleton crew-sized innovation team. Though Canada Post was still recovering from a recession and witnessing an ever-accelerating drop in mail deliveries, he decided to first take the time to meet them and at least learn what they were working on.

He discovered that, using minimal resources and funding, the team was quietly developing a mobile app that would allow Canada Post customers to track their packages, as well as locate post offices and find postal codes. Instead of downsizing them, he decided to give them what they needed to successfully launch the service.

This past May, Chopra wrote a column for the Globe & Mail about how that decision would come to represent a turning point for Canada Post: The company and its employees would learn to place innovation center stage, a necessity for navigating the digital revolution.

Adapting to current trends and embracing innovation – for large businesses these can be heady, daunting tasks. But Chopra’s think piece demonstrates the possibilities are there as long as the leadership is ready, and the players are passionate.

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