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

Content: This course is an opportunity for participants to examine where they are now in terms of leadership development, and where they aspire to be.

An overview of Leadership Theory, including a historical overview and context examination of some of the major leadership models (traits, behaviors, competencies, situational, leadership as practice), provides the context for the leadership journey participants are about to begin.

Participants engage in discussions about:

  • Current Leadership Conversations (nature/nurture; leading in a global environment; leading in multi-generational diverse organizations; ethics and “hyphenated leadership”)
  • Leadership Profile/Philosophies and Leadership Challenges

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
  • Develop 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

Content: This is an ideal course for professionals who want to understand the importance of self-awareness as it relates to leadership and for those interested in effectively self- managing their ability to deal with emotions, conflict, communication and thinking.  

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. The core tenets of this course are to be relevant, experiential and applied. 

At 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

Content: Within leadership theory, ‘transformational leadership’ is recognized as enhancing the motivation, morale, and performance of followers through a variety of mechanisms. These include, 

  • connecting the follower’s sense of identity and self to the mission and the collective identity of the organization; 
  • being an inspirational role model for followers; 
  • challenging followers to take greater ownership for their work; and,
  • understanding the strengths and weaknesses of followers, so the leader can align followers with tasks that optimize their performance. 

While we all may aspire to be transformational and responsible leaders, the day-to-day realities of organizational decision-making often impede our desire to “do the right thing” all the time. This course directly engages the issues and adversity we all face in trying to lead responsibly. 

This course directly engages the issues and adversity we all face 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 engage the value of peer input into common leadership issues and 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

Content: 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

Content: Most organizations are growing 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 related to creating organizational vitality for engagement with this diversity of partners and associates. It explores rapport building and capacity to understand and work strategically across diverse organizational cultures, mandates, core values and goals. Participants will use case studies, exercises and empirical research to help develop holistic approaches to engaging individuals, teams and stakeholders within an organization’s working context.

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
  • Consider how they might assist those they deal with, to create organizational value and cohesiveness, when confronting multi-organizational challenges that may limit their unit's ability to achieve their particular objectives.

Effective Communications

Content: This is an ideal module for professionals who want to understand the importance of effective communication and the importance it has in creating positive environments where creativity, sharing, and problem solving can flourish. 

Effective communications help us better understand a person or situation, 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.

Ineffective communications can create hostile environments that make it difficult for anyone to be effective. 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: 

  • Strategic Communications
  • Nuts and bolts of meetings and presentations 
  • Team communications, including international teams, personality and gender 
  • Crisis communications, including the media 

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

  • Measured improvement in mastering some 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 

Performance Management

Content: This module utilizes a behavioural modelling approach. Participants will learn about human performance -- what individuals can do vs. what they will do, recognizing and rewarding employees, avoiding the pitfalls for performance reviews, and managing for team performance.  Topics covered include formal performance reviews, giving recognition, correcting poor performance, and managing employee retention and turnover.

Participants will engage in discussions about:

  • How to motivate employees;
  • How to avoid pitfalls when conducting performance reviews;
  • Conducting formal performance reviews and correcting poor performance;
  • Skills needed to manage individual and team performances

Conflict Resolution

Content: Leaders and managers spend approximately 25% of their time dealing with conflict. This module will address strategies to deal effectively with conflict, and teach how the effective management of conflict can increase innovation and creativity. Various frameworks and experiential exercises will be used to increase the integration and application of participants’ conflict resolution skills. 


  • Define conflict 
  • Explore the impact of conflict on individuals and organizations 
  • Apply various frameworks and processes for effective conflict resolution 

At the end of this highly interactive course participants will: 

  • Understand individual conflict styles
  • Be able to identify how individuals approach conflict situations

Collaboration and Networking

Content: Collaboration allows organizations to use the collective wisdom of multiple individuals or groups to accomplish tasks or projects. Collaborative knowledge sharing 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 module also evaluates a range of collaboration technologies and techniques that facilitate enhanced access and use of information content.


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


This course explores the role of teams within the systems model, and emphasizes the key role teams can play in problem-solving and innovative thinking. Team management has become a key competency of managers, and requires new models of leadership, with supporting motivational and performance management components such as recognizing, rewarding and supporting team members.


Participants will discuss how to build and lead successful teams to achieve optimal performance in organizations. 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
  • Have gained the team leadership skills and competencies to achieve optimal performance within organizations

Cross-Cultural Communications & Management

Content:  This course is designed to provide participants with the knowledge and skills necessary for effective communication and management in global as well as culturally diverse domestic workplaces.  The growing importance of international business and rising levels of multinational enterprise (MNE) activities necessitates that a manager acquire additional skills and abilities for effective international and intercultural interactions at home and abroad.   The 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

Content: The growing importance of international business to organizations requires the development of knowledge, skills, and attitudes that transcend those required in North America. This module is designed to help course participants develop the competencies needed to lead organizations in global settings. The course will expose participants to 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:

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

Engaging Stakeholders

Content: Current economic conditions place increasing importance on an organization’s ability to create value across a broad selection of stakeholders. Today’s senior managers must be adept at engaging diverse stakeholder groups and learn how to create value in multiple forms. This course introduces managers to effective methods of stakeholder engagement, and positions them to create effective systems of stakeholder involvement that will help to make their organizations more effective and visibly stronger community partners.


  • 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

Content: Some of the most frequently demanded skills and competencies from a high potential professional relate to their ability to think strategically.

For organizations -- 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 some of the existing and traditional strategic thinking models that are based on linear and rational concepts of problem solving, decision making and planning. Participants grow in their understanding that these models are only one part of the ‘strategic picture’.


  • 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

Content: Systems and complexity frameworks are dramatically altering today’s managerial practice as we come to appreciate more fully how the organization works as a system of interdependent, interrelated, and interconnected dynamic relationships. 

We will examine the common complex systems concepts of context, emergence, co-creation, and movement generation.  We will discuss the imperative for sense making that drives value creation in complex organizations and develop planning and application skills that enhance your ability to create the value you need to create and to generate the movement necessary to create that value the right way


  • 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 and the right processes and relationships you need in place to create that value, then begin planning for how to generate movement to create that 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

Course Description: 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 thirty 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.


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:

In Biases in Decision Making, you will learn how to:

  • 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

Content: Change is constant. That 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, rather than simply react to, change. This module will help managers see change from multiple contextual and audience perspectives and better appreciate both the complexity of change and the need to guide their 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.


  • 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

Decision making is a fundamental and critical leadership skill. The importance of being able to make well 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.

This highly interactive course delivers:

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

Harnessing Innovation and Commercialization

Content: 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 groundbreaking innovations are then examined and benchmarked against these best practices in an effort to identify, shape and develop breakthrough products, services, processes and practices. 

At the end of this highly interactive course participants will: 

  • 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

Content: Business structures are rapidly evolving to reflect the external pressures transforming global trade and commerce.  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 managers require to understand and resolve conflicting expectations while nurturing universal core principles.

Our skilled instructors, who are strong advocates for creating value-added employees, use open dialogue to facilitate active learning.  Managing for Strategic Change will challenge, motivate and encourage participants to explore new possibilities that have practical applications for their workplaces.  Participants will gain the knowledge and expertise to inspire their employees to produce extraordinary results by outperforming their assets.


  • 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 product, protocol and priorities. 
  • Inspire employees to produce extraordinary results by helping them to out-perform their assets.