Queen's University IRC

SwitchPoints: Culture Change on the Fast Track to Business Success

An Interview with Peter Edwards, Vice President, Human Resources, Canadian National Railway (CN)
Interviewed by Hilary Sirman
Queen’s IRC

March 1, 2009

When it comes to leading organizational change, Peter Edwards and his team at the Canadian National Railway walk their talk. In their publication SwitchPoints, Edwards and co-authors Les Dakens of CN, and Judy Johnson and Ned Morse of the Continuous Learning Group (CLG), describe how CN advanced from good to great in a few short years, becoming North America’s top performing railroad with both corporate customers and investors.

With a highly accessible and down-to-earth approach, the authors share their journey through applying behavioural science to the culture change at CN, and offer leadership principles and practices that are applicable to any organization seeking to enhance productivity, change attitudes, and ultimately, improve culture.

In 2009, Hilary Sirman of Queen’s IRC spoke with Peter about critical switch points in engaging employees at CN. This publication provides a synopsis of the conversation, including the challenges and opportunities of implementing and sustaining cultural change.



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