Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




leadership, transformation, innovation, HyFlex


In March 2020 most Higher Education Institutions around the world quickly moved to online learning and work with only one week to prepare. While the pandemic forced us to do this quickly and without a well thought out plan, most of us met this challenge. The World Health Organization declared that COVID-19 was no longer a global health emergency on May 5, 2023, but many institutions had started the return to “normal” before then. This Organizational Improvement Plan starts with the vision that rather than retrenching back to “normal”, Ontario Polytechnic, a large polytechnic institution in Ontario, Canada, should be moving even further towards flexibility in teaching, learning and work to remain competitive in a complex and changing environment. It goes further to envision Ontario Polytechnic as an organization that is equipped to deal with future innovations, with the dynamic capabilities and innovation mindset to respond creatively and effectively to changes in the environment. In moving this culture change forward, this OIP outlines the importance of understanding social networks, both formal and informal, early and deep engagement of employees, who are seen as actors in the change, rather than recipients of change, and uses Kotter’s Modified 8-Step Change Management Model as a road map to change. The complementary application of both transformational and complexity leadership approaches is key to the success of undertaking a culture change as deep as this one.