The Professional Development Institute
Harvard University Global System
Harvard® Planner Group

Participant's Feedback

"Mr. Martin is very knowledgeable and engages his students on real life situations and challenges you to think deeper on the topics.”
Melissa Schaefer, Executive Assistant
Skyjack Inc., St. Charles, Illinois

“I found this course to be very informative and helpful to my position. I look forward to using the tools I have learned over the past couple of days at my workplace. I feel very fortunate to be able to attend this seminar at the start of my career; I will use most of the tools and suggestions from Mr. Martin on a everyday basis.”
Melanie Farmer, Executive Secretary
Canada Border Services Agency

“The course is packed full of vital information. Goes into depth in certain areas. Very fast paced. Will definitely be able to apply it to my job.”
Jill Lindeman, Executive Assistant
Premier Manufacturing, Cincinatti, OH

“Mr. Alain Paul Martin is a very knowledgeable person, very interesting to listen to. Three-day seminar well worth the price... Keep up the good work.”
Aline Hawthorne, Assistant to the Director General, Public Service Commission

“Every government department or agency should seriously consider this workshop as part of mandatory curriculum for the administrative assistants. I will definitely be promoting this workshop to colleagues and associates back in the workforce.”
Darlene Mayer
Public Administration Development Centre
Canada School of Public Service

“Refreshing, honest and direct delivery. No time wasted!”
Patricia Carisse, Media Strategist
TV and Video Production Advisor

“This course is so intense and so enjoyable. I will now be able to work with and understand any type of manager.”
Sharon Binz, Administrative Assistant
Defence Construction Canada

“If you wish to enrich your knowledge, take the plunge and participate in this course. It will help you move up in your career.”
Natalie Gendron, Administrative Secretary
University of Ottawa

“It is wonderful to have a course for assistant level which provides tools, valuable information and the encouragement that assistants can move up.”
Kim Mageau, Planning Administrator
NAV Canada

“Je suis venue au cours avec beaucoup de réticences. Alain Paul est l'exception qui confirme la règle. Il m'a beaucoup appris et motivée.”
Pauline Heyendal, Adjointe de la greffière
Comité des griefs des forces canadiennes

“Stimulating, task oriented and very enlightening; this course is what we all need as administrative assistants.”
Samba Matabaro, Administrative Assistant
Department of National Defense

“I would recommend this Institute. I have learned well in the last 3 days and am certain that the new knowledge will make me more efficient.”
Patricia Peer, Administrative Assistant
Transport Canada

“The material covered can/should be applied to all areas of life, not just business. I feel inspired to seek beyond my present accomplishments.”
Bonnie Dow, Administrative Assistant
Natural Resources Canada

“I have enjoyed the seminar very much. It was very informative and interesting.”
Kim McCool, Administrative Assistant

“This is by far the most enriching seminar I have attented in my career. It has taught me so much, I strongly believe it will help me improve my productivity and time. I can't wait to use my new tips and tools, both at home and at work.”
Paulette Ménard, Executive Assistant
Privy Council Office

“Better than any other course for assistants!”
Martine Tardif, Administrative Assistant
Health Canada

“This workshop was interesting informative, and – most important – provide me with new concepts and tools to improve workplace processes. I’m excited to put these new skills into practice for my own benefit and that of my team and our organization as a whole.”
Robyn McNeil, Executive Assistant
REDspace Inc., Bedford, NS

“This seminar helps me validate priority and deadlines, manage time, conflict and difficult people in a very friendly and relaxed environment. Excellent assistance!”
Allet van Niekerk, Administrative Officer
Department of Decision Science
University of South Africa, Pretoria

“I learned more than I could imagine and I do feel empowered to succeed. I look forward to taking other courses.”
Angela Giles, Administrative Assistant
Bell Canada

“The skills that have been taught are extremely versatile, and transferable across all facets of our busy and complicated lives – incredibly useful!”
Kelly McCabe, Executive Assistant
Public Health Agency of Canada

“Excellent workshop will benefit professional development and growth of even the most experienced and intelligent administrative or executive assistant.”
Annette Pradolini, Executive Assistant
Chair, Laboratory Sciences
Michener Institute

“Truly Enlightening and attitude changing. An intense and satisfying learning experience.”
Pilar Sancho, Administrative Assistant
Health Canada

“As a good listener, I really enjoyed it and met different people from all over the world.”
Elaine Akulukjuk, Executive Secretary
Legislative Assembly of Nunavut

“I now have a better understanding of myself and my boss.”
Kathleen Alexander, Program Coordinator
George Brown College

“I am very pleased and happy to have attended this seminar. I learned so much more than I expected. The speaker is very impressive and a real source of inspiration.”
Anne Garand, Administrative Assistant
CFSCE, Department of National Defense

“I enjoyed this seminar tremendously and intend on bringing back all the knowledge I have acquired here and exercise it in my workplace.”
Mélanie Joanisse, Administrative Assistant
Industry Canada

This is the first Administrative Assistants course that I have attended that actually provides useful information that I can bring back to my office and put into practice. Thank you, Alain.”
Lucie Greffe, Executive Assistant
NAV Canada

“Filled with real-life examples, this seminar will help me in: setting priorities, dealing with difficult people and managing my time.”
Vanessa Pereira, Executive Assistant
Renaissance Reinsurance

“Alain Martin has an extraordinary ability to empower his listeners to think critically about their job.”
Michelle Lynch, Assistant to the Dean
Business and Creative Arts
George Brown College, Toronto

“I will recommend this course to other administrators to incorporate into their learning plans as it is the most beneficial course… far more than I imagined.”
Brenda Price, Administrative Officer
Justice Canada

“Well planned, well resourced and well presented. I enjoyed it immensely.”
Lucie Webb, Executive Assistant
Renfrew Family & Children’s Services

“I would highly recommend any course given by Alain Martin. His expertise and knowledge can be benefited by all. This course has exceeded my expectations.”
Linda Molyneaux, Executive Assistant
Bank of Canada

From Participants in Other Events

"I was privileged to work with Alain Paul Martin at Harvard University, attend his lectures and provide technical support for his research on complexity reduction.

Alain cares deeply about the students he mentors, Harvard staff and his Advanced Leadership colleagues. He is passionate about social justice. His compassion for the less privileged is genuine. Candid to share his mistakes, he welcomes critical scrutiny of his work, listens, validates and acts on suggestions.

A model leader and educator with a touch of humility and captivating public speaker!"
Cochise Pearson, M.Ed.
Ivy Scholars Success

"Excellent colleague. Very dynamic. An asset in any team! Alain Paul is a plus!"
Josée Touchette, LLL, CPA-CMA, MBA
Chief Operating Officer
National Energy Board

"I have worked with Alain in many occasions to improve business strategy and execution, and coach my management team. I also attended his leadership and negotiation training program. A remarkable strategist with typical riguor and discipline of a professional engineer, he has helped me reframe et solidify positionning to deliver key business outcomes. Extremmely generous, committed to help and make a difference, he has part of the cream of the cream as business partner, collaborator and 'catalyst'. Great coach, I owe him a lot."
Gilles Morin
Export Development Canada

"Alain Paul Martin is a true authority on the subject of risk, complexity reduction and the transfer of universal skills. At some of the “darkest hours” in leading complex projects and managing global risks, I turn to Alain’s methodologies clearly laid out in his seminal book Harnessing the Power of Intelligence, Counter-Intelligence & Surprise Events. It is like the Physician’s Desk Reference for strategists and practitioners alike. Alain is a masterful public speaker and he captivated an audience of fellow HBS alumni and guests when I hosted him at the French Embassy. Alain receives my highest praise."
Dante A. Disparte
Founder and CEO at Risk Cooperative
Co-Author Global Risk Agility and Decision Making

Hands-on Workshop & Practical Seminar
Executive Assistants & Administrative Professionals
Applying Harvard University Global System™ Tools

Best Practices. Proven Personal Organization Methods and Skills
for Partnering with Your Team and Management and Moving Forward

Ottawa-Gatineau, Canada
August 29-31, 2016 in French
September 26-28, 2016 in English
December 5-7, 2016 in English
15-minute drive from Ottawa-Centre
An hour flight from LaGuardia, NYC

July 25-27, 2016


Rich in practical learning and illustrations pertinent the participants' context, both business and government, this unique 2.5-day workshop has been led by Alain Paul Martin in North America and Europe during the last ten years. It has been designed for management assistants interested in maximizing their potential for exercising greater responsibility beyond the present position.

The focus is on the skills and tools to improve productivity, build a winning team with bosses and peers, and maximize value to your organization. This unique experience will help you:

  • Set and negotiate goals, priorities and urgency in partnership with your manager(s);
  • Organize your day and manage time (deadlines, meetings), drop-in visitors and time-wasters;
  • Manage conflicts, difficult people, crises and awkward situations assertively;
  • Make your manager(s) more effective; improve your working relationship; assume more leadership and managerial responsibility without the benefit of authority; build empowerment-inducing habits;
  • Clarify your role and excel in working with peers, multiple managers and demanding clients;
  • Practice in a friendly atmosphere and seek guidance from the seminar leader;
  • Make your job more meaningful, build trust, and take charge of your career growth beyond the present position.


Much of your time during this workshop will be invested to deal with back-home problems and barriers to building a winning team. We believe learning occurs most readily when quickly applied to real-life situations you care about. Therefore, we want you to do some thinking before the workshop about:

  1. Activities that make up your job and percentage of time spent on each per week.
  2. Two interpersonal situations you have a difficulty with on the job, e.g. negotiating priorities with one or more bosses, cutting off conversations, keeping people from disturbing your manager(s), delegating work to others, enforcing deadlines. Who is involved? When does it occur? How do you usually handle the situation?


1. Taking Charge without the Benefit of Authority
  • Understanding the importance of your position
  • The art of building and using constructive power
    • Demonstration and practice
  • Insights into interpersonal compatibility: FIRO-B
  • Profession executive assistant: A model of success
  • Managing your boss: How to build a winning team
2. How to Set Goals and Priorities
  • Personal and business goals: Practical validity tests
  • How to set and validate your goals: Team exercise
  • How to assess priorities and deadlines
  • In-basket exercise on priority and urgency
3. Managing Conflicts and Difficult People
  • Diagnosing conflicts affecting administrative staff
  • Understanding our behavior; preparing for the worst
  • Managing difficult bosses, co-workers and others
    • Dealing with aggressive and passive hostility
  • Video case study, team exercise and guided learning
4. Preventing Role and Responsibility Conflicts
  • How to clarify your role with your boss and peers
  • How to prevent unfair evaluations
  • Practical exercise in role and responsibility charting
5. Personal Organization - Scheduling Your Day
  • Practical teamwork on selecting the best filing system
  • How to set reasonable deadlines; securing agreement
  • How to control your day & focus on high-return tasks
  • The quiet hour: How to make it happen
  • Working smarter: Eight drivers to control your day
  • Smart search and e-mails: Tips to get the best results
  • How to reduce your workload with the invisible Web
6. How to Control Interruptions and Time-Wasters
  • How to control drop-in visitors and interruptions
  • Practical tips to deal with major time-wasters
7. How to Prepare Shorter and Productive Meetings
  • How to run effective meetings: Hyman Rickover tips
  • Video-learning exercise: Meetings Bloody Meetings
8. Building the Foundation for Career Excellence
  • How to develop courageous self-leadership (Mullane)
  • Practical tips for building an excellent career and a proactive life based on Dr. Herbert Shepard’s research

A Harvard Fellow in Advanced Leadership educated in the science and practice of negotiation and team leadership at Harvard Business and Law Schools, Concordia University and MIT, Alain Martin is a member of several boards in Canada, the U.S., Japan and Europe. He works frequently behind the scene coaching executives and negotiators. An inventor who held US, Canadian and Japanese patents, Alain is well-known for developing Harvard University Global System™, the most-innovative practical framework and toolkit for strategists, negotiators, project leaders and executive assistants.

Alain Paul Martin, Workshop Leader Alain has advised two prime ministers of Canada (4 years), the UNESCO's Director General, the CEOs of BioKPlus (biotechnology) and both Desjardins Financial Group and its casualty-insurance company (10 years). He held risk- and IT-management positions at Du Pont, Bombardier, Domtar, CBC, Agriculture Canada where he worked with Dr. Brian Morrissey on the incubation of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. He led international capital projects (CIDA, World Bank) and was twice a faculty member at the University of Quebec where he taught negotiation and management of change in the M.Sc. and MGP Project-Management programs. He also worked with Boeing, Bombardier, Cap Gemini, E.ON (wind energy), France Loisirs, GE (USA, Canada and Europe), Textron's Bell Helicopters, Foro de Excelencia (Spain), Sweden's PA-Rådet, Skanska, Boliden AB and governments. He led seminars for AFIPS, IEEE, PMI, operations-research societies (INFORMS, CORS), the Ivy-League's Leadership Summit at Harvard, and Japan's Engineering Advancement Association, METI, APEO and the UN University in Tokyo.

In mining, oil and gas, Alain advises the government on large-scale risks in Canada's North and Arctic since 2014. The year 2016 marks the 20th anniversary of his strategic and project-management collaboration with the senior management and scientists of Teck's Applied Research and Technology Group.

Alain was selected as a 2012 Harvard Fellow in Advanced Leadership (ALI) with peers committed to address important issues including the environment, health, education and governance. During his fellowship, Alain honed his expertise in large-scale risks, mentored and delivered leadership seminars to Harvard University’s and other Ivy-League’s students, led the incubation of a complexity-reduction lab. He continues to advice his Harvard peers on strategic leadership.

Alain graduated in Commerce (Quantitative Methods) from Concordia University and is a Harvard Business School’s alumnus in entrepreneurship (OPM, 1997-1999). He fine-tuned his skills in management of change and social psychology at MIT and the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland. He is also certified to teach negotiation in the corporation by Harvard Law School where he was privileged to learn from Robert Mnookin, Lawrence Suskind, Bill Ury, Bruce Patten and the late Roger Fisher.

Recognized by the Project Management Institute for “his outstanding contribution to the state-of-the-art of project management”, Alain was also honored by the Presidents of Harvard University and Harvard Alumni Association for his “Leadership, Vision and Service” to Harvard community. He is the author of the highly appraised book titled “Harnessing the Power of Intelligence” which is part of the unique course materials.

Alain’s pro-bono work focuses on funding and providing advice to advance health, education and poverty reduction. He is a founding sponsor of Roger Fisher House, a conflict-resolution catalyst that is now part of Mercy Corps. He is an Advisory Board Member of both Social Hearts (Japan) and New York’s Open Online Academy for global education in architecture. Inspired by Drs. Jim Kim and Paul Farmer, Alain led the creation of Partners in Health Canada by mobilizing resources to (a) incorporate PIH as a charitable organization; (b) link PIH to strategic allies and philanthropies; (c) host funding events and (d) manufacture and deliver a fuel truck for PIH clinics in Haiti. He led funding projects for the victims of Haiti's earthquake, Japan's Tohoku earthquake and tsunami and Hurricane Sandy. He also orchestrated initiatives for CHEO Children’s Hospital, Food Banks, Canada Without Poverty and Harvard’s Global Month of Service.

Workshop Leader's Endorsement
"Alain Paul Martin has a long and valued association with Teck Metals Ltd… We believe that Alain's teachings go far beyond the typical project management focus on scope, schedule, cost, and, sometimes, quality. Alain delves into topics that project managers working with complex topics or program managers dealing with multiple complex and often inter-related projects need to know about and must become skilled at to be successful. These teachings are supported by tools that we and our teams use on a regular basis to move ideas and concepts into well-defined projects that can be managed with conventional project-management tools."

"Mr. Martin tirelessly invests his energy to leverage his successes and networks into solutions that have a direct, positive impact on the poor… Mr. Martin’s management background and extensive experience in advising global leaders, alongside his motivation to eradicate poverty and its ill effects, qualify him to make a uniquely valuable contribution to addressing inequity on a societal level. With demonstrated skills in entrepreneurship, negotiation, and issue analysis, he is precisely the sort of thoughtful, versatile leader we need to advocate on behalf of the poor and underserved.”

Rob Stephens, PhD
Applied Research & Technology
Teck Metals Ltd.
John F. Higginson
Technical-Support Manager (ret'd)
Applied Research & Technology
Teck Metals Ltd.
Prof. Paul E. Farmer, MD, PhD
Chair, Global Health & Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Chief, Global Health Equity, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Co-founder, Partners In Health



How to Register: Please register, online, call us weekdays (9 AM - 4:30 PM EDT) at +1 819-772-7777; toll free in the USA and Canada: 1-800-HARVARD or send a fax and pay in advance by cheque or credit card.

Send your cheque payable to: The Professional Development Institute PDI Inc.
Fees include books, hand-outs, road maps and other course materials of exceptional value (see above), and a daily continental breakfast plus hot and soft drinks during the morning and afternoon pauses, but exclude hotel accommodation (if required).

Cancellation Policy: Participants registering as a group must send substitutes in lieu of cancelling. For other clients, cancellations are accepted if made at least 10 working days prior to the course, and are subject to a $150 service charge per person. Full fees are payable by anyone who fails to attend or cancels less than 10 working days prior to the session. One substitution or transfer to a later course of the same duration is accepted.


Click here for detailed information about hotels.


The dress code is business casual at your discretion. Trust your judgment. When unsure, err on the side of caution. If overdressed, you can remove a tie or a jacket and roll up your sleeves. Members of the Canadian Forces and the U.S. defense community can, at their discretion, either dress casually or keep the uniform.

You will be reminded the first day to dress the way you feel most comfortable for a photo session the next morning.

Although every effort will be made to ensure a pleasant learning environment including a suitable temperature, we recommend you bring a sweater or a jacket to the classroom as individual comfort zones differ and sudden variations in the weather can temporarily affect air conditioning.

Also please kindly refrain from using strong fragrances during the session in order to accommodate your fellow participants who suffer from asthma.


Participants certified to have successfully completed this professional-development program can include it in their resume providing they list it exactly as indicated below in multiple lines or in a single contiguous string.

      Workshop for Executive Assistants & Administrative Professionals
      Applying Harvard University Global System™ Tools
      Optional line: Best Practices and Skills for Partnering with Your Team and Management and Moving Forward
      Optional line: Led by Alain Paul Martin
      Optional line: The Professional Development Institute
      Optional line: Seminar year or full date

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USA  Cambridge, MA, USA. Call toll free:  1-800-HARVARD
Canada  Ottawa, ON, CANADA. Call toll free:  1-800-HARVARD or +1-819-772-7777
International  Worldwide Order Center & Main Training Campus: 70 Technology Boulevard
Gatineau, QC J8Z 3H8 CANADA, 1-800-HARVARD
International: +1-819-772-7777, Fax: +1-819-772-1114
Collective Intelligence  Australia Distribution Centre, Unit 2 / 39 Shelley Street, Elwood
Victoria, Australia, 3184. Telephone: +61 415 147 337
Agendas Harvard et instruments de gestion Harvard en France: Démarche Harvard University Global System  European Distribution Centre for Harvard Planners: WH Smith, 248, rue de Rivoli, Paris,75001
Dorothée Ben Tahar: +33 1 44 77 88 99 Extension 1 (Stationery). Concorde Metro Station.

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