Mission Statement
Business Leadership & Strategic Performance Training/Enhancement
"Our objective is to assist individuals, companies and organizations reach optimal performance using innate skills and strengths within the larger framework of circumstance, workplace and community. Relevant and stimulating programs are customized to client requirement".
-Rodger Harding
Founder

Harding International and Associates Inc.
E-Mail
Telephone: +1 (416) 962 6700
9836 Keele Street
Vaughan, L6A 3Y4
Ontario, Canada
Client Comment
Selected Comments
"This seminar far exceeded expectation - Rodger is poised, articulate, respectful- He was dead on with his presentation and I would recommend him without hesitation." - S.M. Canadian Women in Communications (CWC)
"Your participation in our International/Asia Pacific FS Conference helped make it one of the best and more relaxed conferences we've ever had. Very effective facilitation! Thank you." - Paul Masse, Manager, Bombardier Aerospace
" I want to congratulate you on a job well done. A room full of lawyers is not the easiest audience to appear before, yet you ruled the room. You have that unique ability (gift?) to teach ideas without it being hard work. I found your personal style very relaxing yet challenging". - David Clarke, Chair, YLD Division, The Canadian Bar Association of Ontario
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Corporate Intelligence

CIA Harding International and Associates Inc.

Publication:
"In this compelling book by a former diplomat, you will learn the secrets (step by step) to developing an intelligence strategy by effective information gathering and analyzing, and then to delivering credible intelligence to senior management."|more...

Available from bookstores and online:
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Leadership Training
The Essence of Business Leadership Training -
Be the leader you are meant to be!

Toronto based Rodger Harding, applying leadership savvy learned from military, legal, diplomatic & business consulting experience has a proven record of enabling full leadership potential in scores of business folk. His clients range from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, national not-for-profit organizations & learning institutions.

The Harding Leadership training program raises awareness, validates and empowers the true essence of leadership. We enhance your ability to identify, strengthen and take full advantage of core leadership competencies, instilling legitimate confidence rather than reinforcing a preoccupation with outward presence. | more...
Training/Coaching
Training Program Design and Development
All Harding International and Associates Inc. programs are designed to:
  • Access existing innate and learned competencies/experience.
  • Enhance individual/team ability to meet current organizational requirement.
  • Accommodate changing environment and circumstance.
Our customized programs are built from scratch and will accurately reflect the unique context of corporate operations and identity. Training products that utilize the Harding Model are limited to one company per industry. This commitment ensures that training initiatives will result in strategic and competitive advantage - We encourage clients to safeguard our techniques and methodology as part of their intellectual property.| more...

LATEST NEWS/COMMENT

Leadership: Uncertainty to Certainty - MH370 & Thomas Bayes' Theorem of Probability

by Administrator 31.Mar.2014 14:29:00

The MH370 SAGA from the start has clearly shown 2 distinct human trends. One is age old … People crave certainty and abhor the world of might/maybe, while the other is a more 21st century phenomenon… An almost palpable expectation that the enigmatic ‘THEY’ should have found an  immediate and technology driven/verifiable answer by now!

I find it surprising that people forget that all technology is made, programmed, accessed and analyzed by humans… Humans being innately imperfect, does it not follow that technology has itself to be flawed or at least work within known parameters? (Technology is only as good as the last save!) Personally, I much prefer Marshall McLuhan’s adage that technology extends rather than replaces human capacity. That being said perhaps we should just admit there will be time when we have no control over outcome… the great unknown remaining a constant in life’s equations!

The search for MH370, for sure, is taking place in the random realm of uncertainty. Any conclusion drawn until it has actually been found, will at best be described as probable - Selling the probable to the average person on the street, and dare I say so called experts, all desirous of certainty, is problematic. This is especially so in time of fear/crisis!

For those requiring a mechanism to balance the probable with the improbable, Thomas Bayes’ Theorem of Probability might help:


Bayes, an English Theologian and mathematician who lived in England from 1702-1761, is possibly the first person to have linked probability to logical process, by providing a mathematical basis to infer probability: Simply put he believed that by calculating the number of times a certain theory is put forward by experts, one could infer the probability of its actual occurrence. He pitted the Known VS the Unknown! This approach he felt would allow experts to make use of knowledge they did not know they had – A big picture approach to analysis that allows expert minds to use both rational expertise/knowledge as well as innate intuition. This forces a creative draw on a wealth of disconnected knowledge that will possibly be of relevance to the situation at hand. 
The easy 3 step process is as follows:

1. Brainstorm to evolve a short list of possible scenarios that might be dictated by facts, data and precedent surrounding MH370 (aviation/detection technology; weather/currents; people etc., 
2. Assemble a team/group of experts to develop probable case studies for each possible scenario
3. As a group, repeatedly vote to narrow down the choice to the arrive at a most probable scenario

The theorem was put to great use during the Cold War*. Both U.S. and Soviet submarines,  sensitive warheads and other items, went missing without explanation resulting in multi-million dollar search expeditions, all conducted with utmost secrecy. John Craven a U.S. Naval Intelligence trouble-shooter, his creative ideas/theories often landing him in the hot seat, would formulate several hypotheses as to what probably/could have happened and then collaborate with expert mathematicians to construct a map of the sea bottom – This done he would repeatedly ask them to place bets on the probability of alternative scenarios (accessing the knowledge they did not consciously know they had) – each a potential location of the missing submarine/warhead. Using Bayes’ formula he narrowed data down to most probable and plotted maps that were oftentimes ridiculed as “insane” and “impossible” – Yet he was almost always spot on!

Do we in our everyday world confuse good leadership with promises of certainty? Do we sufficiently value the exploratory mind-set of a leader happy to be wrong... rather than the safe spew-out of known/cliched/expected solutions?

Have we abdicated the thinking process in favour of stand alone technology?

* Blind Man’s Bluff
The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage - Sherry Sontag & Christopher Drew

Rodger Harding: 2012 TIAW (The International Alliance of Women) World of Difference 100 Award recipient

by Administrator 06.Sep.2012 11:00:00

Rodger Harding has recently been named as a 2012 TIAW World of Difference 100 Award recipient, in the Champion of Women's Economic Empowerment Category.

The award will be officially presented in Washington on 18th October 2012.

While honored to receive the award, it is the recognition of my work in enabling the leadership excellence of women that I find particularly gratifying.

http://www.tiaw.org/global_forum_2012/Home_Page.asp

http://www.tiaw.org/awards/2012_wod_100_awards/Winners_Stories.pdf

 

Is technolgy rejecting excellence? (Automated hiring processes)

by Administrator 04.Jun.2012 12:28:00

An interesting article doing the rounds of blogs, journals raises the important issue of automated resume screening… and that candidates need to “clear the hurdle” of diverse software management before they are even considered.

Touted as cost-saving, this sort of software encourages employers to hand over the thinking part of the hiring process to technology. While most of us passionately embrace evolving technology, is it not prudent to remember that humans create and decode software? To be saleable such products have to appeal to the middle line… Suffice to say excellence will be discarded along with truly unsuitable candidates!

Being seen for who one is a primary human requirement! What will be the consequences for both effective business, and our society in general, if we are governed by an ever increasing template that ignores individuality, uniqueness, and seeks only those who are able to blindly comply with middle of the road requirements?  

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304821304577436172660988042.html

Leadership: Surrender... Facilitation & Inspiration

by Administrator 01.Apr.2012 11:36:00

Rather than shouldering the full burden of managing crisis and chaos, effective leadership admits realities, looks to the unknown… and the greater group… for inspiration…and reflects relevance!

Check out this clip for a magical illustration of effective facilitation...and securing buy in...!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaXE0v0bJoE&feature=related

Leadership: Understanding Change, Crisis Management (Self-Similarity, Fractal Geometry & The Butterfly Effect)

by Administrator 28.Mar.2012 11:08:00

Convincing clients that understanding and providing answers to complex organizational challenges lies in exactly the same approach to simplistic issues has always been difficult.

Over the years I have relied more on more on mathematical proof (ironic as I am a complete math idiot) as a persuasive tool that chaos, change and evolution are an integral part of life and should be accepted & managed rather than avoided… Quests for certainty are futile!

In particular the work of Benoit Mandelbrot and his Fractal Geometry of Nature (see the Mandelbrot Set) theories that illustrate chaotic enormity contains smaller version of the same phenomenon… “Fractal property of self-similarity applies to the entire set, and not just to its parts.”

The Morphogenesis work of Alan Turing, one of my most inspirational role-models, identifies a simple math equation that illustrates how chaos has its origins in order. Boris Belousov similarly explored and identified the co-existence of chaos in uniformity.
The Belousov-Zhabotinky reaction demonstrates that “under the influence of stimuli, patterns develop in what would otherwise be a perfectly quiescent medium.” Working in the 1950’s, both men’s findings were at the time rejected by conservative scientific mainstream as out to lunch!

Edward Lorenz’s Butterfly Effect, describes how an initial random event, in normal conditions, can result in chaotic results. Chaos in turn will return to initial conditions!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEw8xpb1aRA

Leadership: Encouraging others to be themselves!

by Administrator 26.Mar.2012 18:30:00

Has a customer service mind-set permeated our everyday thinking?  

Presentations, speeches & interaction in political arenas, corporate meetings, job interviews, dating situations etc., seem to find us desperately trying to work out and deliver what others want to hear. It oftentimes appears almost sacrilegious to say what we really feel, let alone reveal who we really are!

The Harding Leadership Model focuses on understanding, accepting and optimizing who clients are in terms of innate/learned competencies and experience. Similarly our approach, rather than pretending to ignore difference, such as gender, race & ethnicity, considers them important assets… That provide a distinct individual value-add to the workplace. Is this not especially true if we are serious about participating in the global economy?

Peter Bregman’s refreshing article in Harvard Business Review lends credence to this point of view!

http://blogs.hbr.org/bregman/2012/03/how-to-attend-a-conference-as.html#.T3CKqCxIj1g.email  

Leadership & the Accomodation of Original Thinking - Providing an Acid Test!

by Administrator 07.Mar.2012 15:21:00

Despite the incessant meeting of time, budget and bottom-line parameters, an effective leader would perhaps do well to, at very least, to acknowledge creative individual/team input. So often different or critical thinking is regarded as tangential, time-wasting or even negative.

It is surely a strong service-orientation that would most often prompt suggestion or unsolicited input?
Consistent dismissal or ignoring of ideas will, with time, de-motivate the most committed individual. De-motivated people quit, or worse, stay on as a bitter and negative influence.

Consider the words of maverick/iconoclastic WWII hero Orde Wingate:

“A man who possesses creative ability tends inevitably to form his own original opinions. Unless he is very fortunate the value of his opinions will not be apparent to his superiors unless there is some acid test to which they can be put”  

Wherever possible/appropriate a good leader will provide the occasion for such a test. Innovative/forward thinking forestalls problems, sustains the competitive edge… and in the long term, saves money!  

In the interview/hiring process both the hirer and prospective employee should ascertain the level/percentage that strategy VS execution is desired/required!

Engineers Without Borders (EWB) - Africa Leadership Conference 2012

by Administrator 08.Feb.2012 16:04:00

Recent involvment with the annual Engineers without Borders (EWB) Africa Leadership Conference was both refreshing and stimulating.

Exchanging ideas with such intelligent and erudite minds gave true meaning to global awareness and the importance of building bridges that facilitate a two way flow of ideas! The underlying philosophy of EWB promotes real understanding between nations and collaborative development rather than imposed, and often unworkable, aid packages. An amazing experience!    

 http://conference2012.ewb.ca/en/conference/african-leadership-program.html

http://www.ewb.ca/

 Delegates hailed from Ghana, Malawi, Bourkino Faso & Zambia 

Leadership & Sustainable Relationships: True Colors - Showing who you really are!

by Administrator 02.Feb.2012 14:30:00

In several of the Sustainable Relationship seminars I’ve delivered in recent weeks, it appears that more and more business folk consider it appropriate to hide who they really are. I am repeatedly told that it is a “great strategy to deliver a contrived person/face depending on circumstance.”

I believe this is an impossible feat, as we unwittingly reveal so much of who we are in any interaction – It takes a master of deception to achieve this goal. Added to the mix is the unshakeable reality that discovered subterfuge will of necessity break down any trust that might have existed in the relationship.

Confidently and honestly showing who we are is the basis of establishing;

• A reason for the relationship 
• A good fit
• The possibility of pleasurable interaction
• Evolving trust
• Preparedness to accept relationship dynamics/change

A good relationship requires an acceptance that:

• Relationships evolve/change with the passage of time
• Generosity of spirit is the cornerstone of successful human interaction
• Mutual trust, once broken, can seldom be repaired. Give and demand loyalty!

True Colors – Phil Collins http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmfqLOLCNi8&feature=related

True Colors - Cindy Lauper http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPn0KFlbqX8&feature=related

For information on Sustainable Business Relationship seminars call (416) 962-6700

Leadership, Purpose & Morality - The Bigger Picture

by Administrator 19.Jan.2012 11:10:00

A recent read of Jonathan Garfinkel’s excellent book Ambivalence, revealed the following passage that, for me, beautifully sums up the underlying ideal of purpose driven leadership. So often today, we confuse leadership with the pursuit of power & influence!

“We are free in so far as we can choose whether or not to act morally...
We're free when we examine our actions, ask hard questions, search for
connection to the ancient...And this freedom is not for the sake of some
ecstatic feeling, nor is it to test how well one follows the laws. Rather,
our choice lies in the attempt to become better people, to do better unto
others.” - Jonathan Garfinkel, AMBIVALENCE

 



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