Custom Programs

Preparing today's leaders for tomorrow's challenges.

 Created for your company
 Customized for your needs
 Contextualized for your industry
 Built to work with your budget

Why Dalhousie Executive Education?

Dalhousie delivers custom-designed executive leadership programs, workshops and courses . Program participants acquire the latest leading practices in leadership competencies and skills for building organizational capacity. 

Action Learning

Program participants focus on applying practical solutions to real business situations through action-learning practices that enable both the participants and the organization to see immediate results. 

Executive Coaching

Our programs include personal, professional coaching by certified coaches. 

Building Your Customized Program

To build your program, we adapt our standard courses (listed below) to the context of your organization. We are also able to design customized courses. If your organization has a need for learning in an area you do not see represented in our current portfolio, please contact us to explore this further.

Imagine the possibilities.

Return on Investment: Employees return to work prepared to make an impact

  • Participants are immersed in strategies for more effective leadership and management, including problem solving, team building and change management skills.

  • Their knowledge base expands through proven and timely tactics for immediate and long-term organizational impact.

  • A deeper understanding of your organization’s key areas will emerge, and participants will learn to better coordinate activities and functions, find ways to challenge organizational paradigms, and creatively implement change.


Self Management

Introduction to Leadership

This course is an opportunity for participants to examine where they are now in terms of leadership development, and where they aspire to be. This course provides the context for the leadership journey participants are about to begin.

At the end of this highly interactive course participants will:

  • Possess an awareness of leadership theory that will enable them to evaluate their own leadership and that of others 
  • Be able to undertake a detailed analysis of their own leadership and be able to discuss critically areas for development 
  • Have considered the impact of effective leadership on the organization and their individual role as a leader or future leader 
  • Have developed individualized learning plans that demonstrate how they will contribute to the achievement of the organization’s goals and objectives.

Self Management - Self Awareness - EQ - Self Leadership

Self-awareness and self-management are the foundation of successful leaders. This course will focus on four core elements of self-management – emotional intelligence, conflict resolution, thinking strategies, and reflective practices.

Participants will leave with a deeper understanding of their skill levels in each of these areas, practical skills to use when they return to the workplace, and a self-management plan to take forward. 

By the end of this highly interactive course participants will:

  • Develop and refine the practice of mindfulness, feedback and reflection
  • Understand their preferred style of conflict management
  • Identify ways to apply conflict resolution skills creatively and effectively
  • Apply an Emotional Intelligence framework that will make them a more successful leader
  • Identify their key strategic thinking styles and develop the capacity to use multiple thinking strategies
  • Assess their ability to lead responsibly, create a self-management profile for themselves and create an action plan to move forward

Transformational Leadership

This course directly engages with the issues and adversity inherent in trying to lead responsibly by facilitating the ability to think deeply about the leadership problems we face, and to develop the reflection skills we need to succeed at making the right decision – right now. Additionally, the course helps participants understand the value of peer input into common leadership issues and how they can use this input to begin crafting their own leadership support systems.

At the end of this highly interactive course participants will:

  • Reflect deeply on their own leadership abilities and make useful changes
  • Be more adept at making ethical decisions “in the moment”
  • Build more effective, trusting work relationships that result in organizational success
  • Identify appropriate and proportional actions to take in dealing with organizational problems
  • Engage in networks of other leaders who are thinking deeply about leadership problems

Values-based Leadership

Ethical leaders set the moral tone for the organization and its culture, determine what set of responsibilities are given priority, and how goals and work are accomplished. As the issues faced by organizations become increasingly complex, finding the right thing to do is often not straightforward. Increasing numbers of stakeholders and the diversity of today’s workforce with their divergent cultural and value systems also add to the intricacy of ethical decision-making.

At the end of this highly interactive course participants will:

  • Develop mechanisms and processes to be sure that the teams being led can uphold the ethical standards and culture of the organization
  • Reflect on their most important values and principles



Leading in a Diverse Organization

Organizations are increasingly multidimensional -- engaging in many complex relationships with a wide variety of community, unionized, municipal, provincial and national organizations in the private, public, and not-for- profit sectors.

This course focuses upon skills needed for engagement with a diversity of partners and associates across a range of sectors. It explores rapport building and capacity to understand and work strategically across multiple cultures, mandates, core values and goals.

At the end of this highly interactive course participants will:

  • Understand the elements of multidimensionality
  • Develop skills and competencies required to effectively lead multidimensional organizations
  • Acquire skills and competencies to create organizational value, cohesiveness and engagement strategies
  • Know how to create organizational value and cohesiveness when confronting multi-organizational challenges

Effective Communications

Effective communications help us better understand people and situations, enable us to resolve differences, build trust and respect, and create positive environments where creative ideas, sharing and problem solving can flourish.

Effective communications are a key engagement practice, ensuring that information is transferred to a recipient in a clear and concise manner, and that the message delivered is clearly understood. Communications include speaking, listening, comprehending, reading, writing, and body language. In this course, participants explore their level of competency in each communication method, and increase their level of effectiveness in various contexts such as meetings and presentations; team communications (including diverse and multicultural teams), and crisis communications (including media relations).

At the end of this highly interactive course participants will have:

  • Measured improvement in mastering select communication competencies
  • Defined a specific area (or areas) of communication they wish to improve, selected a performance standard they aspire to achieve, and defined the context in which they will achieve it

Leading Virtual Teams

Virtual teams are an integral aspect of many work structures. They can bring together top talent with diverse perspectives and expertise, reduce traditional business costs, and increase productivity and innovation.

Participants will learn actionable frameworks and best practices for success in leading and working in virtual teams: how to cultivate trust, keep employees engaged, leverage technology to overcome communication barriers, align goals, and clarify roles, objectives, and expectations.

Learning Outcomes

  • Gain empirically tested knowledge and capabilities to build trust, communicate effectively, work productively, and reach organizational goals
  • Learn context-specific interventions to resolve and/or prevent major communication breakdowns
  • Acquire virtual team conflict mitigation techniques

Performance Management

Using a behavioural modelling approach, course participants will learn about human performance -- what individuals can do vs. what they will do, recognizing and rewarding employees, avoiding the pitfalls in performance reviews, and managing for team performance.

Topics covered include:

  • Conducting formal performance reviews
  • Employee recognition
  • Correcting poor performance
  • Managing employee retention and turnover

Conflict Resolution

Leaders and managers spend approximately 25 per cent of their time dealing with conflict. Course participants will gain strategies to deal effectively with conflict and learn how the effective management of conflict can increase innovation and creativity. Various frameworks and experiential exercises will be used to develop conflict resolution skills.

Course topics include:

  • Types of conflict
  • The impact of conflict on individuals and organizations
  • Effective frameworks and processes for conflict resolution
  • Understanding of individual conflict styles
  • Identification of how individuals approach conflict situations

Collaboration and Networking

Collaboration allows organizations to use the collective wisdom of multiple individuals or groups to accomplish tasks or projects, and enables people in organizations to access relevant knowledge from a broader scope of resources. Collaboration performance is based on how effectively the knowledge can be shared across people, and how effectively the resulting knowledge can be organized and disseminated to support decision-making.

This course introduces a range of collaboration technologies and techniques that facilitate enhanced access to and use of information content.

Learning Outcomes

  • Acquire a critical understanding of how collaboration can drive growth and innovation in organizations
  • Be able to evaluate social network-based systems to support interactive collaboration in knowledge sharing over peer-to-peer networks.
  • Appreciate the value of integrating collaboration tools with enterprise content management and records management

Teams and Relationship Management

Teams can play a key role in problem-solving and innovative thinking. As a result, effective team management is a critical competency for leaders and managers, and requires new models of leadership that include motivational and performance management components.

Participants explore and develop a set of tools that when combined with planning and collaboration will result in enhanced performance of teams and improved retention of talent within their organizations.

At the end of this highly interactive course participants will:

  • Understand the roles of individuals as members of teams
  • Examine the role(s) that teams can play in problem solving and innovation within organizations
  • Gain the team leadership skills and competencies to achieve optimal performance within organizations

Cross-Cultural Communications & Management

Skills and abilities in effective international and intercultural interactions are a critical skill for today’s leaders and managers. This course explores cultural values and differences, intercultural encounters and interactions, differences in leadership and management styles, cultural intelligence, and awareness in verbal and non-verbal communications.

By the end of this session you will be able to:

  • Understand and appreciate different cultural values, beliefs, and communication styles
  • Gain self-awareness, i.e., cultural intelligence, when interacting in cross-cultural settings
  • Recognize non-verbal communication and learn how analyze and evaluate cross-cultural situations
  • Improve intercultural communication skills and learn to manage and lead multicultural teams



Leading in a Globalized World

Gain the competencies needed to lead organizations in global settings. Participants will learn the multi-faceted institutional and socio-cultural problems and opportunities that internationalization presents, and the means for dealing with them effectively as global leaders.

At the end of this highly interactive module, participants will have developed:

  • Greater understanding of the opportunities and leadership challenges of internationalizing their business
  • The ability to discern and manage common institutional challenges in global settings
  • The capacity to discern and manage common socio-cultural challenges in global settings
  • The knowledge, skills, and attitudes of an effective global leader

Engaging Stakeholders

This course introduces leaders and managers to proven methods of stakeholder engagement, and positions them to create effective systems of stakeholder involvement that will make their organizations more effective and visibly stronger community partners.

Learning Outcomes

  • Gain practice in conducting stakeholder analyses and assessments
  • Learn key best practices for relationship building across stakeholder groups
  • Understand and inject learning from stakeholders into organizational strategy and operations
  • Learn how to build communication systems that enhance collaboration, coordination, and connection across stakeholders
  • Position their organization to take advantage of increasing stakeholder desires for participation in governance

Strategic Thinking

Growing the capacity to think strategically in order to create, re-create and sustain strategic effectiveness is a critical source of competitive advantage. This course challenges traditional strategic thinking models that are based on linear and rational concepts of problem solving, decision making and planning, and allows participants to grow in their understanding of the greater ‘strategic picture’.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the skills and competencies related to strategic thinking
  • Have committed to a range of deliberate practices related to the development of themselves as strategic thinkers
  • Examined how their organization will benefit from the development of strategic thinking capacity
  • Understand the issues and limitations of the traditional strategic thinking models and approaches to strategic planning

Systems and Complexity Thinking

Systems and complexity frameworks are essential to understanding how organizations work as a system of interdependent, interrelated, and interconnected dynamic relationships.

This course examines common complex systems concepts of context, emergence, co-creation, and movement generation. Participants develop planning and application skills to enhance their ability to create value, and generate the changes needed for value creation.

Learning Outcomes

  • Appreciate how the organization exists as a complex system of human communicative relationships
  • Understand how to make sense of complexity and to move forward in complex and shifting environments
  • Identify the right value to create for your area of responsibility, the right processes and relationships needed to create that value, and how to generate movement to create value.
  • Identify the impediments that inhibit your ability to move forward in your organization and begin planning for how to mitigate those impediments.

Biases in Decision Making

Most of us are unaware of the cognitive biases and unconscious preferences impacting and often undermining decision-making and critical reasoning. Learning to identify and address these biases and preferences can lead to increased problem solving capacity and greater efficiency. 

Building on over 30 years of research in psychology and behavioral economics, we will identify the most common categories of errors, pitfalls and distortions chiefly responsible for poor decisions. Then, we will learn actionable preventive measures and techniques each of us can exercise to reduce bias and achieve better decisions at individual and team levels.  The course utilizes lectures, illustrative case studies, and role play allowing participants to fully embrace and practice course concepts.

Available as either a one- or two-day course: The first day of the course examines individual cognitive biases.  The second day focuses on group cognitive biases.  In both instances, we will look at remediation and mitigation strategies. Each day is independent from the other and participants may elect to take either of the two days or both.

Learning Outcomes

  • Detect cognitive biases and reasoning fallacies both in yourself and in others
  • Develop better mental habits
  • Improve the objective quality of your decisions
  • Understand both the drawbacks and benefits of group dynamics
  • Develop a personal action plan for mitigating biases in decision making



Leading Change

Change is constant. This is one of the most enduring assumptions we make in our organizational lives, but we rarely seek a deeper understanding of why change occurs and how we can anticipate change, rather than simply react to it. This module will help you understand the complexity of change, see change from multiple perspectives, and learn how to best guide your organization through dynamic environments.

Participants learn to appreciate change as generating useful movement in the organization and then practice using both analytical and implementation tools that enhance their ability to move an organization in the direction they need it to move.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand organizational change as a complex process.
  • Recognize the role of communication relationships in the change process.
  • Understand how to imagine and inject energy into the change process.
  • Identify how to create organizational movement in the direction of a desired change.
  • Develop tools for context and audience analysis that facilitate movement generation.

Decision Making - Creative Problem Solving

The ability to make informed, timely and strategic decisions is essential to leading teams and organizations to success and high performance. This course will examine decision-making and creative problem-solving skills and techniques, and move the participants from activities to practical applications to enhance their skills.

Learning Outcomes

  • An introduction to rational problem-solving processes
  • Practical exercises to develop rational problem-solving skills
  • An overview of creative problem solving
  • Strategies for enhancing creativity

Harnessing Innovation and Commercialization

In an increasingly competitive marketplace, firms need to innovate not only in terms of new products and services, but also in the ways they design processes, practices and business models to compete in an increasingly global market.

This course first debunks the myth of innovation by establishing what innovation “is” and “is not”. From this definition, leading innovation systems are examined, and best practices established. Various ground-breaking innovations are then examined and benchmarked against these best practices to identify, shape and develop breakthrough products, services, processes and practices.

Learning Outcomes

  • Recognize various types of innovation: product, process, service and business model innovation
  • Appreciate the innovation spectrum: sustaining innovation versus radical innovation
  • Know when and where to use innovation systems, tools and methods
  • Understand and sponsor innovation culture in their business
  • Know how to lead organizational innovation

Managing for Strategic Change

Business structures are rapidly evolving to reflect the external pressures transforming global trade and commerce. Leaders and managers occupy a critical role in linking these shifting corporate realities with employee engagement. This course focuses on the innovation, critical thinking and personal commitment required to understand and resolve conflicting expectations while nurturing universal core principles.

Participants will be challenged, motivated and encouraged to explore new possibilities that have practical applications for their workplace, and gain the knowledge and expertise to inspire their employees to produce extraordinary results.

Learning Outcomes

  • Recognize the changes in personal conduct required to exploit radical shifts in business traditions and practices brought about by technology, demographics, and cultural diversity.
  • Facilitate knowledge acquisition and transfer within a context of shrinking resources and rapidly evolving advances in products, protocols and priorities.