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Making the Right Choices

How Lalitha Flach took her career to the next level with executive education


Being promoted feels great. It also comes with more responsibilities and challenges.

After serving as the director of operations at Elections Ontario for three years, Lalitha Flach was offered the position of Chief Operating Officer. She wanted to make sure she set herself up for success by further developing her skills without taking too much time away from her busy job. Taking a five-day strategy course at Smith School of Business proved to be the solution. “This was a great way to extend my education while I was working,” says Lalitha.

At Smith, she learned from highly rated professors and from other students — accomplished professionals and leaders in their organizations. “It’s an amazing opportunity at this stage in my life and in my career to be able to stop, learn and reflect,” says Lalitha.

One of her most valuable takeaways from the five-day program is the ability to apply strategic concepts to planning operations for the 2018 Ontario Elections.

"We manage the election for the entire province, and that’s 13 million people. We hire 70,000 people for the election and use 5,000 locations. Those are big numbers, and it’s a very complicated process."

How do you make the right choices when there are multiple options — all seemingly good? For Lalitha, it boils down to focus and discipline. These are the skills she brought back to her organization. “We always want to do 10 to 15 things at a time,” says Lalitha. "To make a change and execute the strategic agenda, you have to make the right choices to advance where to you want to be."

With Ontario’s plan to modernize its electoral process over the next ten to 20 years, Lalitha believes making the right choices at the right time will be mission-critical for her and her team. "The magnitude and scale is so big that one small change could create a huge impact," says Lalitha.

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Meet the Participant

Chief Operating Officer (Assistant Chief Electoral Officer), Elections Ontario

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