Jan 3, 2023

How embracing failure helped this leader move forward

For new President of Medtronic Canada, ‘no better place to be’

One of Sheri Dodd’s first jobs was at the World Health Organization (WHO), so she’s no stranger to health equity work. But she remembers when it all really clicked.

One of her cousins died in her 40s from complications from type 2 diabetes. Dodd remembers watching her struggle to get holistic care.

“She needed mental health support, endocrinology, and cardiovascular care. And she didn't get it,” Sheri said. “I thought that if she just tried harder that she could help herself. I had it completely wrong.”

After spending some time in the Diabetes business, Dodd started to understand the inequities that many people living with diabetes face.

Now, the 12-year Medtronic veteran is bringing that perspective – and more – into her new role as President of Medtronic Canada.

Embracing a ‘failure résumé’

Dodd is a firm believer in the idea of a “failure résumé.” Ever since high school, when she did a summer foreign exchange program, being willing to fail, and figuring things out has been a theme in her life, including her time at Medtronic.

Sheri Dodd

“Throughout my career, I’ve learned about taking the big swings, the bounce, the recovery, the resilience, how to be proud of the scars and bruises – and how to apply those as you move forward,” she said.

But the real power in looking back is how it helps her shape the future. 

“I’m spending less time in the rearview mirror. There’s a reason that mirror is smaller,” she said.

Creating believers in a vision is one way she’s applying that philosophy as she dives into her role. Medtronic already has high market share in Canada and a history of being a trusted partner to the healthcare system, and Dodd knows there is still untapped growth potential.

After spending a month connecting with key customers, she knows there is an appetite for support to help address some of the biggest healthcare challenges of our time, including the surgical backlog, health human resources crisis plaguing the country, and advancing health equity.

Play big – then bigger

For Dodd, thinking differently and being bold are a link between the Canadian business and the Medtronic Mission.

The problems that we are solving now in healthcare are different than the problems we were trying to solve 20 years ago, she said.

“Patients are more like consumers. There is more awareness of access and equity in healthcare, and the decision makers are not a narrow group. It’s a multi-stakeholder ecosystem,” she said.

Dodd’s excitement for what’s next keeps her up at night.

“There is no better place to be than in healthcare right now,” she said. “This is the time for transformation, and Canada is the place.”