The Professional Development Institute
Harvard University Global System
Harvard® Planner Group
Certificate of Completion
Value: 2 Continuing-Education Units (CEU)
Unique in North-America, this exclusive certificate is awarded to the participants who have successfully completed the Workshop “Executive Assistants & Administrative Professionals Applying Harvard University Global System™“

Executive Assistants Certificate

Video Testimonies

Participants’ 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, provided 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

Upcoming Seminars
Applying Harvard University Global System™ Tools;
Planned in Boston, New York and Canada

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 Campus


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

  • Start with a clear mandate
  • 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, two team exercises 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 (Advanced Leadership) educated in the science and practice of strategy, negotiation and team leadership (Harvard Business and Law Schools, Concordia, MIT), Alain Martin is a multilingual professional speaker on exemplary leadership, negotiation and skills to boost innovation quality, capacity, velocity and usability.

A board member in the USA, Canada, Europe and Japan, Alain works mostly behind the scene coaching executives, team leaders, scientists, negotiators, marketers, lawyers, intelligence analysts and executive assistants. An inventor who held patents (USA, Canada, Japan), Alain is the Chief Architect of Harvard University Global System (HUGS), the innovative framework and practical toolkit applied in strategy formulation, principled negotiation, risk and project management, personal time management, team productivity and product/service incubation, design, prototyping, development, production, value extraction and client retention.

Alain Paul Martin, Workshop Leader Alain has advised two prime ministers of Canada (4 years), the UNESCO’s Director General, the CEOs of biotechnology firms (BiokPlus), APOC’s CEO, Desjardins (the world's second strongest bank according to Bloomberg) for 10 years. He held risk- and IT-management positions at Du Pont, Bombardier, Domtar and CBC-SRC. He was twice a faculty member at the University of Quebec where he taught negotiation and change management in the M.Sc. and MGP Project-Management programs.

Alain led assignments where sensitive multipartite negotiations were of paramount importance, including: (a) the incubation of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency with Dr. Brian Morrissey; (b) a brainstorming retreat with Health-Canada’s executives and medical professionals to prepare a risk-management strategy nine months before Mad Cow was diagnosed in Canada; (c) a proposal to the Prime Minister on defusing the growing tensions between Canada and its Asian trade partners, particularly Japan, following the discovery of mad-cow disease in Alberta; (d) the merger of five agencies mandated to protect investors, maintain the integrity of securities markets, and regulate financial institutions in Quebec; (e) the creation of a trilateral cooperation network to mobilize Canadian talent and know-how with petrodollar financing (Kuwait, Abu Dhabi) for the benefit of the poorest nations in Asia and Africa; (f) coaching leaders of the First Nations in British Columbia and those of the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic to apply principled negotiation in resolving critical issues with their respective federal governments.

Alain has worked with Boeing, Boliden, Bombardier, Cap-Gemini, Desjardins (banking, insurance), E.ON (wind energy), Foro de Excelencia (Spain), France Loisirs, GE (USA, Canada, Europe), Skanska, Textron’s Bell Helicopters and governments. He led seminars for IEEE, PMI, operations-research societies (INFORMS, CORS), the Ivy-League’s Leadership Summit at Harvard, and Japan’s Engineering Advancement Association, METI, APEO, the last two International Forums of Excellence in Spain and the UN University in Tokyo. Early in his career, Alain led international capital projects ranging from inter-city microwave links to roads and bridges, funded by CIDA and the World Bank.

In mining, oil and gas, Alain advised the government on large-scale risks in Canada’s North and Arctic (2014-16) and continues, for years, to counsel executives and scientists of Teck’s Applied Research & Technology on strategy and project management.

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 and led the incubation of a complexity-reduction lab.

A current member of Harvard Faculty Club, 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 (PMI) 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 book titled “ Harnessing the Power of Intelligence” which was recommended by leading scholars, corporate executives and the competitive-intelligence community in Fortune 100 companies, the Chief of the Defence Staff of the Canadian Forces and the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Department of Defense. Building exemplary teams and leaders is the subject of Alain’s upcoming book.

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 Build Academy for global education in architecture, engineering and construction. 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 (with the support of French Embassy in Washington). He also orchestrated initiatives for CHEO Children’s Hospital, Food Banks, Canada Without Poverty and led three times Harvard’s Global Month of Service.

Workshop Leader’s Endorsements

"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."

Rob Stephens, PhD, Director
Applied Research & Technology
Teck Metals Ltd.

Note: Teck is Canada's largest diversified resource firm.

"For several years, our teams have successfully applied, the unique framework and Harvard University Global System tools learned during his workshop. The method was successfully used to orchestrate the turnaround of North-America's fastest growing casualty-insurance company, and subsequently, to craft a vision and strategic direction of Desjardins, a $75 billion financial institution... For example, I always use the Factional Analysis Grid to assess each party's interests in high-stake negotiations."

John Harbour
President, Desjardins (ret'd)


"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."

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

"I have worked with Alain Martin on many occasions to improve business strategy and execution, and coach my management team. I also attended his leadership and negotiation training programs. A remarkable strategist with the typical rigor and discipline of a professional engineer, he has helped me reframe and solidify our strategy to deliver key business outcomes. Extremely generous, committed to help and make a difference, he is the cream of the cream as a business partner, a collaborator and a catalyst. Great coach, I owe him a lot."

Gilles Morin
Vice-President, Export Development Canada


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.

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.



We deliver in-house versions of this workshop worldwide to business and governments, NGOs and bar associations and other societies. We would be delighted to work together with your team anywhere. Ask us for a proposal based on the number of participants, the seminar duration and a selection of cutting-edge course materials and case studies most applicable to your environment.

Our fees are most reasonable. If required to support your request, we would provide supporting evidence for service fees recently billed to governments and companies.

The travel expenses for seminar leaders are on cost-recovery basis. They include airfare, ground transportation, meals, gratuities, airport taxes and hotel accommodation. There is no travel expense for seminars held in the cities of New York, Boston, Cambridge and Ottawa where we hold regular public workshops. If applicable in your jurisdiction, sales and value-added taxes (HST and PST or VAT) are extra.

The client is responsible for the conference room, audio-visual materials including 2 flip charts, an 8x8 feet projection screen, internet access, a digital projector for PowerPoint presentations and a laptop computer (as a back-up machine). We also recommend round tables, each seating five participants, in a crescent arrangement, to face the workshop leader.


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.


This workshop provides universal skills that are in high demand as pre-requisites for excellence in every leadership and professional position. When these skills are acquired at a reputable institution like ours, they will stand out on your CV, as a notable accomplishment.

For us, that is necessary but not sufficient, as we want you also to excel in the workplace so we can succeed with you. To this end, you will be armed with cutting-edge knowledge, practical skills, sound techniques and Harvard University Global System™, the finest framework and toolkit for high achievers. And with our outstanding faculty of distinguished workshop leaders who combine graduate-level teaching in leading universities with ongoing international field practice, we aim to help you gain and maintain no less than the competitive edge.

To prevent misrepresentation and maintain the trust in the marketplace, we also count on our participants who are certified to have successfully completed this workshop to be rigorous in including it in their resumé exactly as indicated below, either 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

USA  Cambridge, MA, USA.  1-800-HARVARD or +1-819-772-7777
Monday through Thursday: 9 AM to 4:00 PM, Eastern Time. Voicemail: 24 hours 7 days
Canada  Ottawa, ON, CANADA
International  Worldwide Order Center & Main Training Campus: 70 Technology Boulevard
Gatineau, QC J8Z 3H8 CANADA 1-800-HARVARD or +1-819-772-7777
Monday through Thursday: 9 AM to 4:00 PM, Eastern Time. Voicemail: 24 hours 7 days
Agendas Harvard et instruments de gestion Harvard en France: D�marche 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 Métro Station.

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