About

After working in several different industries, I've concluded that, at my heart, I'm an educator.  I love education because, done well, it is the consummate enabler of the potential of others.  To me there is no higher privilege than being allowed an opportunity to help others figure out who they are, what they think, and how false their self-defined limits are.  This subject fascinates me and is a focus of constant study and reflection. 

I came to this realization after working in government, as a researcher and as a Chief of Staff to a provincial cabinet minister.  Then I worked for a former Premier of Ontario in an organizational role for three years.  I have a tremendous respect for people who work in government and know how difficult it is to make choices for large, heterogeneous populations.  

I spent five years in communications, working as a Vice President of an international agency.  I handled corporate issues management assignments in their Ottawa and Toronto offices.  Much of this work had strong linkages to management, and I believe this is where my enduring interest in understanding organizations was kindled.  

After handling a wide variety of projects, including recalls, plant closures, reputational crises, acquisitions, and similar projects, I decided to set out on my own and formed a consulting company, Reid Here & Associates.  It's still alive and well.  (The name comes from my way of answering the telephone.  To experience it live, just call me!) At the outset, most of my work was speech writing for senior executives.  In retrospect, I'm grateful to quite a large number of senior members of corporate Canada who entrusted me with at least the first draft of their voices.  

At the same time as I launched Reid Here, I started graduate study, first in public policy, and then in management.  I completed an MPA from Queen's and an MBA from the University of Toronto in succession.   Then, after a suitable gulp, I committed to completing a PhD in management, and was fortunate enough to be accepted at the University of Western Ontario, in the Richard Ivey School of Business.  There, I studied business strategy intensely, and saw that within the context of competition, there were considerable unexplored opportunities for cooperation.  Consequently, I made cooperative strategy the subject of my doctoral thesis, and discovered the dynamic factors that led to long-lived alliances.

I did take an academic job, joining the faculty at Queen's School of Business in Kingston, Ontario.  There, I first taught strategy in the undergraduate program (this program has the most demanding admissions criteria of any undergraduate program in Canada, and continues to attract some amazing students).  For the past decade, I've taught strategy, strategy implementation, and global strategy in the full time MBA, Executive MBA, and Cornell-Queen’s Executive MBA programs.  I am proud to have designed the first ever course in teaching and learning within the Queen's School of Business Ph.D. program, which I also continue to deliver.

I also teach programs for executives, via the business school's Executive Development Centre in strategy, planning, and strategy implementation.  I've delivered courses, sessions and webinars across Canada, the US, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.  

I'm an active consultant to companies and governments.  This is incredibly useful because it keeps me close to the practical problems that leaders of such organizations face.  As an advisor in this context, I've consulted on strategy development and implementation, strategic planning with Boards and senior management teams, corporate education design, building organizational resilience, environmental foresight and scenario planning.

I am quite curious but perhaps a bit too eclectic for my own good as a researcher.  I am interested less in deep dives within a narrow area of inquiry, and much more in understanding – at a practical level – those phenomena that make a difference to executives and companies.  Right now I am studying how busy executives learn, how to accelerate the formation of professional judgment, and the effects of measurement on people. This latter topic has been of interest since 2009, and I've decided to write a book about it.  I'm assembling material for that book right now.

My interest in learning propelled me to master pedagogical techniques beyond case teaching.  I was a visiting professor at the University of Maastricht for a term so that I could master problem-based learning.  Right now I'm working on expanding blended learning in my own courses, because research shows this technique to be superior in generating student learning.  

In 2008 I completed the Directors’ Education Program, sponsored by the Institute for Corporate Directors, and earned the ICD.D designation.  I served on two corporate boards and on one Crown agency board.  All of these experiences have persuaded me that there is as much art as science in leading complex organizations, and that what is considered "truth" has a very short half life in a world of accelerating turbulence.

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