Roger Martin is a practical idealist. During his 15-year stint as Dean of the Rotman School of Management, he transformed it from a non-descript institute to one of the most respected global B-schools through sheer professional will and astute strategy. Interestingly though, he did that magic not just with Rotman but also with the National Tennis Federation of Canada of which he served as the chairman for three years and headed the high performance committee for another six years. During our interaction, he tells us the story of how he and his director friends transformed the tennis scene in Canada in just about a decade. With a miniscule budget — about a decade ago, Canada spent two million dollars a year on high performance players as against a couple of hundred million for the US and Australia and 150 million by the UK — Martin took a non-democratic, completely different path to push for performance and the result: the youngest top 10 male and female player in the world. With a wide range of research work to boast of, Martin is also the author of eight books including Playing to Win, The Design of Business and The Opposable Mind.
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