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Leading in Complex Times: Finding The Way Forward


This accessible, virtual learning opportunity for senior educational leaders across Canada is available online via the CMC Leadership online learning platform (via Thinkific).

This leadership series is designed for senior educational leaders and is built on evidence-based research, problem-based learning, professional publications and practical strategies for leading during these complex times.

In addition to the series facilitator and moderator, Catherine McCullough of CMC Leadership (click HERE for Catherine’s bio), the series hosted guest presenters with expertise in leadership for moving forward in complex times. Participants in this program will increase their understanding of how to lead during this volatile and uncertain time in education. Despite this prolonged pandemic period, many organizations are experimenting with different approaches to re-evaluate, make changes and emerge in a strong and effective way. These guest experts focus on proactive leadership behaviours and how to implement them within your organization.

The series consists of three modules, each 90-minutes in duration, delivered online, in an interactive webinar format.

What are the modules?

Module 1: The Way Forward: Strategic Management & Ruthless Consistency with Michael Canic, PhD

Module 2: Moving Beyond COVID-19: Resilient Leadership with Michaela Kerrissey, PhD, MS

Module 3: Developing An Extraordinary Future For Education with Tony Ryan

Series created in consultation with Dr. Kenneth Leithwood

What is the cost?

$200 CAD + tax ($226.00 in total) – Inclusive of all three modules, each 90-minutes in duration, as well as additional resource materials.


The Way Forward: Strategic Management & Ruthless Consistency

With Michael Canic, PhD, President, Making Strategy Happen

As we entered 2020, many organizations mapped-out a multi-year strategic plan. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Well thought out plans were, in many cases, set-aside as leaders dealt with the myriad challenges that emerged.

Michael Canic, author of Ruthless Consistency: How Committed Leaders Execute Strategy, Implement Change, and Build Organizations That Win draws on 20 years of experience as a strategy + execution consultant, detailing a comprehensive yet intuitive approach that has helped leaders turn their goals into strategy and strategy into reality. It consists of:

  • Developing the right focus
  • Creating the right environment
  • Building the right team
  • Demonstrating the right commitment

As you re-engage your organization, your leaders and your Trustees, you will be equipped and inspired to lead the way forward through strategic management and ruthless consistency.


Michael Canic, PhD, President, Making Strategy Happen

Michael Canic is President of Making Strategy Happen, a consulting firm that helps committed leaders turn ambition into strategy, and strategy into reality.

As a consultant, he has helped hundreds of organizational leaders across North America — in business, education, and the not-for-profit world — achieve their strategic goals by instituting the structure and discipline of his Strategic Management System™. Recognized for his expertise, Michael was selected as a member of Marshall Goldsmith’s 100 Coaches global initiative.

As a business leader, he managed the consulting division of The Atlanta Consulting Group, a pioneering firm in the field of trust-based leadership. He also held a leadership role at FedEx, where his district became the most recognized in the Americas for service quality.

As a coach, he helped lead the UBC football team to a National Championship.

As a speaker, Michael has delivered hundreds of invited presentations to audiences on four continents. He has received the highest earned speaking designation from the National Speakers Association.

As an author, his book, Ruthless Consistency: How Committed Leaders Execute Strategy, Implement Change, and Build Organizations That Win, was a feature release of McGraw Hill in 2020, and hit #1 on Amazon’s “Hot New Releases” list in the Human Resources category and #2 in the Management category.

Michael holds a PhD in the psychology of human performance from UBC where he studied with future Nobel Prize recipient, Daniel Kahneman.


Moving Beyond COVID-19 – Resilient Leadership

Michaela Kerrissey, PhD, MS, Harvard University

The unprecedented COVID pandemic has sharply clarified what good leadership looks like during a crisis. But what will good leadership look like as we transition away from crisis toward a post-pandemic working environment?

Because the road to a “new normal” is likely to be long, uncertain, and bumpy, building resilience will be vital. Resilience is a capacity to recover and grow as a result of challenging times. Leaders have a key role to play in helping their teams to learn from the past year and to incorporate new ways of working that enable rapid recovery as new problems emerge. I will discuss key aspects of building team resilience in the wake of crisis, including practical tips for establishing psychological safety and joint problem-solving orientations to enable learning and growth.


Michaela Kerrissey, PhD, MS, Harvard University

Michaela Kerrissey is an Assistant Professor of Management in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She also studied with Dr. Amy C. Edmondson.
( link to the Ted Talk here )

Dr. Kerrissey’s research explores how organizations innovate, improve, and integrate services. In particular, her work has examined the factors that enable, teamwork, quality improvement, and organizational learning. She has received numerous awards, including the Outstanding Doctoral Research Award in Healthcare Management from Emerald/EFMG, Best Conference Paper from the Interdisciplinary Network for Group Research, and Best Paper Proceedings from the Academy of Management.

Dr. Kerrissey has taught at both Harvard College and the Harvard Chan School. Her courses include Organizational Behaviour and Leadership in Health Care, Negotiation, and Research in Global Health and Health Policy.

Dr. Kerrissey received a B.A. from Duke University, a Masters of Science in Health Policy and Management from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and a PhD in Health Policy Management from Harvard University. Her experience also includes positions as Consulting Team Leader at The Bridgespan Group and as Program Design Specialist at Reach Out Mbuya HIV/AIDS Initiative/US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Uganda. She is a member of the Academy of Management.


What Good Leadership Looks Like During This Pandemic by Michaela J. Kerrissey and Amy C. Edmondson


Developing An Extraordinary Future For Education

With Tony Ryan, Learning Futurist

The COVID-19 impact on education services has been significant, and yet it also may become the most powerful stimulant for dramatic enhancement in our professional lifetime. From advanced remote learning, to the reconceptualization of education’s contribution to society, to a reformed clarification of the teacher role, the next few years may be both challenging and extraordinary.

Is it possible for us to predict this complex future? In part, yes we can. This provocative webinar will clarify some of the possible and probable changes in our pedagogical world up ahead, and how best we can reimagine and redevelop a post-pandemic future for our students and our educators.


Tony Ryan, Learning Futurist

Tony is an education futurist. He has worked with over 1000 schools, colleges and universities in 12 countries on developing their future pathways.

He is the author of the Thinkers Keys, The Ripple Effect, Mindlinks, Wrapped In Living and a series of manuals and workbooks that stimulate innovative thinking in classrooms.

His latest book ‘The Next Generation’ has been published through Wiley and Sons publishers. As part of the promotion for this book, he has appeared on national TV, and in numerous radio and newspaper interviews.


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