The Executive Summary: CEO Peer-to-Peer Forum – May 2023

May 24, 2023

On May 24th Brad Carr shared with members his journey to becoming CEO of Mattamy Homes Canada and credits time in his early years, on the farm and on the stage for his work ethic, collaborative approach, ingenuity and ability to sell both in and out of the boardroom. Below are highlights from the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) discussion: 

  1. The Right Team – Brad joined Mattamy Homes in 2013 and faced the challenge of helping transition the company from being a largely founder-led organization to one led day-to-day by a team of professional managers. As part of the expanded executive team, Brad worked to honour the dynamics of Mattamy’s legendary founder, Peter Gilgan, while implementing expanded governance models and structures as the new Canadian CEO. Brad quickly learned from the founder “what got us here, will not get us there” and began the hard work of rounding out a team of strategic leaders and expanding the culture of curiosity within the Canadian operations. Brad spends lots of time out of HQ getting to know his employees and listening. “Employees tell you about your organization”. Leaders need to find the time away from their desks to hear the pulse of the company.  
  2. Sustainability is the word – ESG has become an unmanageable term whereas sustainability is a concept and a value that is easier to understand and for employees to support. Brad noted that they are working hard internally with only limited reliance on consultants or frameworks as there is an opportunity for leadership and a business-led agenda. 
  3. Crawl-Walk-Run – Mattamy Homes has spent a lot of time understanding the journey to sustainability and has focused first on “cleaning the house” to ensure their internal operations are sustainable before looking too much outward. Brad stressed Mattamy’s approach of crawl-walk-run. They are in no rush and believe to do it right they need to move in incremental steps. They started with a push to educate the workforce rallying behind the founder as the lead internal champion. Brad and the leadership team see this as a new foundational element of the Mattamy DNA meaning they think about sustainability every day, talk about it every day, and put it on every agenda.  
  4. Curiosity-driven – Bottom-up ideation has been a focus for Brad since taking on the role of Canadian CEO. He wants to ensure the entrepreneurial spirit of the founder is now coming from all employees. Brad likes to add curiosity metrics to the hiring process noting the trait is highly correlated to entrepreneurism, but he admits it isn’t easy to find. Brad has worked hard to ensure experimentation is encouraged across the company and that the risk of failure is understood and embraced. Early on he recognized his laser-focus on results was limiting experimentation and new ideas and pulled back freeing up space and resources to try new things. 
  5. Technology – Mattamy recognizes the benefits of certain technologies and has been an early adopter of automation technologies and even bots for tax returns! He stressed the importance of being on the offensive as much as defensive and the value of scenario planning. With technological change comes employee apprehension but Brad was quick to agree with Geoff Smith, when Geoff shared his line “technology will not take your job but your attitude toward technology might!”.