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:
Amazon
Borders
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

The ROI of Understanding Personal Impact!

by Administrator 02.Sep.2014 10:27:00

"The law of action and reaction is not exclusively for physics. It is also of human relations.” –Dalai Lama

Do we always have we the time or inclination to consciously analyze how we impact, positively and negatively on others?

Perhaps relating an unforgettable incident from my days as a young diplomat serving abroad, will best illustrate the significant ROI of analyzing the cause and effect of even inadvertent perceptions:

In the car some thirty years ago, returning from an out-of -own conference with a member of the host government, he dropped a bombshell: In return for a tidy monthly stipend and eventual citizenship, I would make an ideal source of useful information for his government!

I distinctly remember the frisson of fear that ran through my body. I was being recruited as a spy by a foreign government!

What was I to say?

Would I be in mortal danger when I refused?

How would my own government react?

Would the Embassy operation be professionally compromised?

Panic soon gave way to anger. In the deafening silence I wondered how this guy dared betray the trust I and other members of the embassy had afforded him over the years. Filled with self-righteous indignation, I keenly anticipated blowing the whistle on him.

How could he be so stupid?

Then it struck me that I knew he certainly wasn’t stupid!

What had I said or done that had convinced him to take such a daring step?

I realized this question was where the issue lay… It must have been something I had done… not only what he (and his superiors) had decided to propose that had set the ball rolling?

This realization calmed me down – When his “So what do you think?” came a few minutes later, I immediately conceded that I must have led him to believe I would be open to such a drastic step. While I also allowed that I knew he was just doing his job, I stressed that betraying my country, living a life of deceit and fear and being owned by others was just not an option.

My concession and lack of visible emotion, allowed him room for a dignified escape. To my chagrin he reminded me of several comments I’d made expressing my extreme frustration with colleagues who had refused to enter the spirit of change/reform in South Africa, as well as declared distaste for aid project incompetence that I believed verged on corruption. Apparently, what I had intended as a strategic counter to negative perceptions, was erroneously interpreted as ideological variance. Added to the mix, my youthful enthusiasm for the lifestyle of Europe was mistaken for a ‘psychological separation’ from my country of origin.

I discreetly reported the incident to a senior colleague, who agreed that the bigger picture advantage of minimizing the incident, at a sensitive time in the bi-lateral relationship, would contain far-reaching fall out that would achieve little.

Leaders are encouraged to see introspection and empathy as a strong value proposition in facilitating response rather than reaction in operational spheres of influence. The positive ripple effect of breaking down the Us vs Them syndrome is, for me, immeasurable!

 


Here is the same message in another format. If you have time listen to The Balance – Moody Blues:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlFYWRajMKY&list=RDrlFYWRajMKY#t=0 to

Leadership & New Economic Model Evolution

by Administrator 03.Aug.2013 14:32:00

Perhaps the easiest illustration of dangers inherent in blindly following current trends would be the sub-prime mortgage saga that led parts of the western world to the brink of economic collapse at the end of the last decade. Was this best business practice at work... or a slavish following of "what works" ... "what everyone else is doing" approach? 

The illusion of certainty and absolute security has always been a panacea for frightened people. Perhaps, a post 9/11world value system, coupled with rapid and breathtaking advances in technology,created both the need/desire for, as well as the perceived means to achieve this end! 

Over almost 2 decades, our interaction with clients large and small has provided a distinct pattern of clues indicating that there is perhaps a need for new business/economic models...Models that will allay fears yet provide a greater degree of sustainable optimism to upcoming generations. 

I have developed a passion for looking securing like-minded conversations on the subject. In the context of apparent growing dissatisfaction with global templates we have witnessed a growing macro/micro activism, oftentimes in the form of socio-political protests. We have also seen the distinct emergence of a breed of individuals with a penchant for what verges on anarchistic action. Needless to say, cause for great concern! More...

Leadership & Anomie - Preventing Individual Disconnect!

by Administrator 30.Jul.2013 16:08:00

Increasingly today we read of people whose societal alienation or Anomie leads them to do dreadful things. So much so, that average folk seem to have lost patience with looking at the whys and wherefores, and clamor for retribution/justice with the bloodthirsty fervour of a lynch mob. Oftentimes the loud demand for legislative solutions draws the noose tighter around the consciousness of afflicted individuals. 

Societal templates are reassuring for most. However for those who see the bigger picture and who are sensitive to what others miss, rigidity can be quite catastrophic. I have heard the feeling described as akin to “driving a Porsche on go-kart track”!

Harding Leadership Programs strive to awaken those in leadership, teaching and parental roles to accommodate these special people before they feel disconnected from the society’s norms. Of course time and effort, not to speak of the empathy/awareness, are required to recognize stifled originality. We talk blithely in organizational/corporate circles of playing to individual/team strengths, but sadly I guess we all to easily fall back on the set job-description, curriculum or family norm as a safe/comfortable guideline. More...

Leadership & the Right to Privacy: The Edward Snowden Saga in Context

by Administrator 22.Jul.2013 15:53:00

Since WW2 and the coming and passing of the Cold War, technology advances have allowed governments and corporations in most of the developed world to gather and store vast amounts of information just because they can. This is not a secret!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/01/menwith-hill-eavesdropping-base-expansion

In the nineties the NSA reportedly spent approximately $28 billion per annum on sophisticated information gathering procedures. Satellite surveillance and monitoring/eavesdropping facilities such as that at Menwith Hill in the UK gathered and stored tons of raw information. (reportedly every telephonic/electronic communication in the Western hemisphere.) In contrast, in the corresponding period, only $2 billion per annum was allocated to process this information. (Interestingly the latter figure represented the entire budget allocation of the CIA at that time.)

So gathering and storing as best intelligence practice has long been fait accomplis … We know from the post 9/11 tragedy and the recent Boston Marathon attack, that intelligence agencies have the ability to produce, with huge time/quality efficiency, information about people post events. The big question then became: What about the pre-emptive use of information to forestall undesired outcomes?

This brings us to the Edward Snowden saga! The nuance that pre-emptive processing is taking place seems to have escaped most press reports. Spying on friends and foe alike is not new… Rather it is that people are being looked at as potential suspects even before they act! Governments this far, have access to enormous detail about countries/organizations/corporations/people, but have been inhibited by law as to how they can use what they know.

Think of how in recent months how many governments have floated cases in the public showing the benefit of surveillance as a tool to nab people before they act. Are we being prepared for more security legislation?

We average citizens, fearful of our safety, and that of our children, shrug off concerns as necessary evil. Wikileaks, Anonymous, and other hactivist movements/individuals, including Mr. Snowden, in their frustration at our nonchalance, have tried to underscore how vulnerable the average citizen is to privacy invasion. How futile are any concerns we might have? At present:

  • Any electronic communication is fair game for analysis; this includes banking, medical, automobile, telephone and of course our supposedly private internet activity/history; in some countries service providers are compelled by law to open records to diverse intelligence/security agencies;
  •  Cell/smart phone activity is monitored across borders. For example, the UAE protested a few years ago that the Blackberry Platform was impenetrable to security surveillance. Would this mean that they were looking at all other instrument activity? What business secrets were open to surveillance? 
  • Urban/private video surveillance/data storage is permanent and lasting
  • Corporate data management and client/consumer profiling is a major industry. (Loyalty programs may even allow calculation of something as banal as household bowel movements by analyzing the quantity of toilet paper consumed)
  • At a stretch, an intelligence agency owning Norton’s, McAfee, Facebook, Skype et al,(not altogether an impossible consideration) would be invited into the nerve center of individual/organizational activity; More...

Year-end Message from Rodger Harding

by Administrator 17.Dec.2012 16:25:00

Dear Clients & Friends,

Once again, in preparation for our annual closure (20th December 2012- 2nd January 2013), I extend my heartfelt thanks to clients and friends for making 15 years of fulfilling operation possible!


The main thrust of my work this year, in addition to general corporate and individual training initiatives, was focused on assisting deserving women to achieve their fullest Leadership potential. In this context I was gratified to receive a World of Difference 100 Award from The International Alliance of Women (TIAW), in the Champion of Women's Economic Empowerment category. In addition to positive results, external recognition always provides much needed encouragement and motivation to sustain the passion and growth so vital to navigating the path forward!

Interaction at the award ceremony in Washington again drove home a long standing observation that many high achievers are incredibly unaware of their real professional/personal impact. How the world is a better place because they are in it! Success seems all too often measured by position, salary and public acclaim. Similarly, I find that positive feedback is often viewed with suspicion, while self-congratulation seems to be a cardinal sin!
  
That said … How many of us take the time to show others that we have an understanding of who they are beyond the job description, role or place in the corporate hierarchy … That who they are matters to us?
Conversely, how many of us really want to be seen by others… Do we not hide behind illusory masks in the work place and oftentimes in society?

I do not exaggerate when I say that almost 90% of my clients, including those holding senior positions, to varying degrees feel somewhat invisible and isolated … Fearful of revealing uncertainty, vulnerability or fear.  Does this denial of basic humanity not seem in stark contrast to environments that tout the ideals of leadership, team collaboration and empowerment on a daily basis?

Will not people who consider themselves unseen feel excluded, frustrated, empty and at times angry? This may at very least mean that some will never reach full potential, while others might become negative, resentful and even destructive. Recent world events provide extreme examples of just how catastrophically this phenomenon might play out.   

During the holiday season it would be good to reflect on our conscious ability to see, understand and acknowledge individuality... Our own and that of others! This will perhaps be the greatest manifestation of our personal and professional impact … To make the world a better place! 
   
My best wishes to you all for the Holidays … And a safe, healthy and prosperous 2013!

I look forward to renewed contact in the New Year.

Warm regards,

Rodger

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, 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

 

Leadership - The lesson of Don Juan De Marco (Stripping off the masks) & Gender Intelligence

by Administrator 16.Sep.2011 11:00:00

In a world of bottom lines, targets, organizational process & hectic schedules few have time for perceived romantic, magic or eccentric notions. Instead most of us don masks in the workplace that hide all but the nitty gritty business of meeting expectations and getting ahead.

I have watched the metaphorical movie Don Juan Demarco more times than I care to remember… to remind myself of the fact that dreams, wonder, awe and an honest sense of beauty/love underpin the real passion that can push business to magically competitive heights.

Seeing and accommodating people for who they really are, surely is vital to accessing full team/individual contribution. Feeling able to be oneself in safety releases the creative and leadership spirit – The fact that caring (as opposed to mere compliance) and willingness to serve matters, creates a climate of confidence and trust. 

For me, this is especially true if the full professional contribution of women is to be secured! Does our current business value system/model and ideas of political correctness not override the very essence of what women bring to the workplace? Do we regard women as women … Appreciating them as women? Are we guilty of pretending that gender difference/gender intelligence has no corporate advantage?

My work with so many women over the years has proved, to me anyway, that if women are allowed… and indeed give themselves permission to be women, the accommodations of dreams and supposedly far fetched aspirations can become reality. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuusbK09xg8&feature=related

“where has the magic gone? why are there only minds at work plotting their next move? what happened to the heart? Has it been cast aside and left asunder? Why do we give in to the logic of expediency, creating more walking dead? Must we transform ourselves to break the curse of mediocrity? YES!!!!” – eyeLuvTheOutsiders – YouTube

 

Leadership: Seeing others … Looking beyond the smile!

by Administrator 01.Sep.2011 11:32:00

The reported suicide of Wade Belak this week was, for me, perhaps more poignant because everyone who new him reported a happy go lucky, smiling, carefree guy who always projected success and positivity … Even in the hours immediately preceding his tragic demise.

In our professional/personal lives, do we really take the time to look beyond the facade of those we know and love?

In my consulting work, I often encounter situations where it is deemed inappropriate to pry/probe or even notice the untoward. Is this because we are fearful of being considered invasive… laboring under some misguided notion of what is deemed professional behavior? Hopefully it is not because we simply don’t care enough!

A true leader will create professional (and personal) relationships that factor in real human feelings… A climate of confidence and trust that makes it OK for people to share, imperfection, negativity, weakness and fear!

How many Wade Belaks are in our midst… Hiding their anguish behind a smile?  What could we do to help?

Leadership & Reflection

by Administrator 27.Aug.2011 11:21:00

''Bushmen refer to Tapping within themselves - A physical manifestation of a profound gift for intuitive apprehension of the future … Only a fool would go on ignoring his tapping…if he does not sit and listen to his tapping it could utterly leave him" - Laurens van der Post  (A Far-Off  Place)

Creative or visionary leaders need time to reflect - To listen to an inner voice that interprets countless bits of information that have set off alarm bells in the sub-conscious mind...!

Just as a computer has hidden files, cookies, meta-tags, temporary files etc. so the human brain has the capacity to search, filter and analyze its own data base while consciously engaged in other activity. Just as the computer contains a large amount of unused or underutilized functions, the human capacity for research and solution providing may remain untapped. Circumstance may provide an adrenaline rush that will necessitate blind reliance on intuition. Consider the advantage of being able to confidently and consciously engage this resource through taking the time to regularly reflect on diverse items of stimulating information !

"Creativity is about finding, discovery, and making the link between what you've seen and are trying to achieve…you can’t find if you're looking - It's a process of osmosis that is dependent on being in a relaxed state of mind…
Creatives need time to stroll and come upon things. We're idea merchants…If you are not fascinated, you simply do not find things … It's about finding visual stimuli and translating them into stunning creative concepts." Sean Harrison, Creative Director, Code



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