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

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
September 9-11, 2019

15-minute drive from Ottawa-Centre
An hour flight from LaGuardia Airport (NY)

August 14-16, 2019


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 innovation, strategy, negotiation and team leadership (Harvard Business and Law Schools, Concordia, MIT, Gestalt Institute of Cleveland), Alain Martin coaches, as a thought leader, current and aspiring executives and entrepreneurs to act as exemplary team leaders; chart a bold vision with foresight; innovate; craft and execute strategy; and fulfill their mission in highly-competitive contexts; while building capacity and readiness for a sustainable future, within a collaborative ecosystem perspective.

Alain Paul Martin, Workshop Leader Alain is also the Chief Architect, Harvard University Global System (HUGS), for which his organization has the worldwide trademark license from Harvard University. He coaches, since 12 years, the Applied Research & Technology team at Teck, Canada’s global diversified resource firm and works in Massachusetts to advance the education of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Alain is Acting CEO of RUFIL, a new innovation and leadership network of thought leaders, who combine field practice with academic research in innovation and leadership, in business, NGOs and the public sector. RUFIL educators passionately build bridges, across linguistic and cultural barriers, sharing their unique experience and competence, in a spirit of global solidarity.

Alain began his career in operations research and systems dynamics, as a project leader and serial innovator, in the IT and aerospace domains, after studying advanced technology in France and graduating in Commerce (Quantitative Methods) from Concordia University in Montreal. He subsequently led Corporate IT projects at Bombardier and Du Pont; managed system development at Domtar; and exercised oversight over the engineering phase of collaborative CIDA-World Bank capital projects (microwave and inter-city transportation). At the CBC-SRC, he led the research to elucidate and combat media bias in news production, particulalrly during election periods, capitalizing on the precursor work of European broadcasters and applying news-content analytics, system thinking and autonomous inequity-reduction teamwork.

Alain assisted, for 10 years, Desjardins CEO craft the vision and strategic direction of the “world's second strongest bank” (Bloomberg’s rating). He advised two prime ministers (4 years), the UNESCO's head and spearheaded, with Dr. Brian Morrissey, the creation of Canada’s Food Inspection Agency; and addressed complex technology and environmental issues from the Arctic Circle (Canada, Sakha Republic) to Africa.

Alain taught strategic negotiation to M.Sc. students, project & risk management to nuclear-power teams and exemplary leadership workshops at APEO, Bertelsmann, Boeing, Boliden, Cap-Gemini, E.ON, France Loisirs, Framingham State University, GE (USA, Canada, Europe), Harvard, IEEE, Japan’s Engineering Advancement Association, METI, Procter & Gamble and Skanska, Harvard, the Ivy-League Leadership Summit, PMI, Skanska, Textron’s Bell Helicopters, UN University in Tokyo nuclear-energy companies (OPG, CANDU) and governments.

Active in civil society and inspired by Drs. Paul Farmer and Jim Kim, Alain led the creation of Partners in Health Canada and continues to focus 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. 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. He is a founding member of Harvard University’s Advanced-Leadership Coalition.

Alain 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.

Alain was also recognized by Harvard University and Alumni Association presidents for his “Leadership, Vision and Service” and PMI for his “outstanding contribution to project management’s state-of-the-art”.

Alain was President of two Harvard University clubs and held memberships with Harvard Faculty Club and the Société mathématique de France (SMF). His book “Harnessing the Power of Intelligence, Counterintelligence & Surprise Events’ earned praise from scholars and business leaders. As an illustration, Harvard Business School’s Professor Warren McFarlan noted: “This is an extraordinarily thoughtful and well written book on a topic of great contemporary importance. Its advice is detailed, practical and completely on target.”

How to Register: Please call us at +1 819-772-7777; toll free in the USA and Canada: 1-800-HARVARD or email us at and pay in advance by credit card.

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 reasonable. The travel expenses, if any, for seminar leaders are on cost-recovery basis. 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 and audio-visual materials.

Toll-free: USA & Canada: 1-800-HARVARD (1-800-427-8273). +1-819-772-7777
Monday through Thursday: 9 AM to 4:00 PM, EDT. Voicemail: 24 hours 7 days
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.