Message From the Executive Director

Alan Middleton photoIn today’s increasingly complex and interdependent world, organizations are faced with a dramatic increase in the advent of unpredictable events that have significant impact on their organizations. These trends conform to the black swan theory, which can be described as a metaphor that explains an unexpected event that was not predicted, and that has a dramatic effect on world affairs. Major unpredicted events in recent decades include the advent of the Internet and the personal computer, the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the 9/11 attacks, the rise of ISIS, mass refugee/immigrant waves and dramatic swings in commodity prices, such as oil going from a high of $146/barrel to $28/barrel.

In addition, even the world’s more ‘normal’ events have recently proved so turbulent that with game-changing innovations and other changes, executives and managers are addressing strategy and action in what is now called a ‘VUCA’ (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) world.

The pace of change has been accelerated by globalization and digital communication, all of which contributes to a greater inter-connectivity. This is helping to generate many smaller black swan events and VUCA changes which have significant consequences for organizations everywhere.

Every business sector is impacted by black swan events and the VUCA world and every organization must meet the challenge of responding to these events and seize the opportunities they represent. That’s why the advanced management training and executive development programs we offer at SEEC are so critical to the success of organizations that are endeavouring to prevail despite the turmoil of a rapidly changing global business environment. Because business isn’t always black and white, we help you navigate the grey. SEEC prepares its program participants for the unexpected, with the knowledge and the skills to deal with the challenges faced by organizations.

The SEEC Global Talent Centre is just one example. This comprehensive suite of end-to-end talent management services set the stage by recognizing that organizational resiliency and agility to cope and thrive comes down to having the right leaders and a development process that identifies and builds leadership capability. Our Centres of Excellence and the Masters Certificate programs enable deep exposure to important skills such as Innovation or Supply Chain Management or sector specific learning such as Municipal Leadership.

As an adjunct to this initiative, SEEC continues to offer a wide range of programs that are designed to meet the unique needs of individuals, small groups or even entire organizations in optimizing the development of their talent.

These are just a few of the ways SEEC is helping organizations meet the demands of a changing world. 2016/2017 is certain to be one of the most exciting periods in our history, and we look forward to forging ahead ambitiously together with our many stakeholders.

Alan C. Middleton, PhD
Executive Director
Schulich Executive Education Centre (SEEC)