I’ve been a student of leadership for 25 years. Many past and current colleagues have called me a thought leader, resulting from my extensive writing on leadership, teamwork and organizational cultural change. In my previous career in the public sector, I devoted over a decade to applied work in leadership development, organizational learning and team building.
My other passion has been working as an economist. During my three decades with the Government of Canada, my work included conducting applied research into labor market issues and examining topics relating to competitiveness and innovation. Of special interest was understanding the interface between competitive global pressures and how leadership and management are practiced at the organization level.
As one of the more prominent social media voices during the past five years on leadership and management, my website-blog Changing Winds now contains over 350 posts and dozens of e-books, white papers and resource materials on leadership, learning and customer service.
I now focus my work on research and writing services, including social media, to a variety of organizations in the areas of small business succession planning, human resource management, future labor force trends, and leadership development.
In addition to a Master of Arts in economics from the University of New Brunswick, I also earned a Master of Arts in leadership and organizational learning from Royal Roads University. My Master’s thesis was on shared leadership and entitled A Leap of Faith. My passion for continuous learning and sharing with others extends to my fervent belief that leadership resides at all levels of organizations and communities.
I’m an active member of Toastmasters International, holding the designation Advanced Communicator Silver. In my spare time, I enjoy playing jazz piano and reading books on business economics, political leadership and geo-politics, not to mention the occasional espionage thriller. An avid mountain biker, I like going for walks in the woods with my Labrador Retriever, Max.
I’ve volunteered at a variety of music festivals, as a long-time blood donor worked as a volunteer with Canadian Blood Services.
My wife, Sue, and I have four adult children and four grand children. We live in Ottawa, Canada.
Please take a moment to read my bio summary below.
To share your thoughts and suggested topics for future posts, please email Jim
Since January 2011, I’ve helped organizations by conducting research and developing strategies in the areas of social media (including writing e-bboks and white papers), small business succession planning, human capital development, knowledge transfer and inter-generational leadership.
During my 28 year career with the Government of Canada, I worked in various capacities as Senior Economist; Regional Manager Economic Services; Senior Leadership and Organizational Learning Consultant; Senior Leadership Policy Advisor; and Senior Economist, Global Competitiveness.
1) Knowledgeable practitioner in the leadership and management fields. Extensive experience in initiating and leading corporate leadership development and change management initiatives, based heavily on employee engagement and participation. Projects include:
- Initiated and lead a national consultation process, including the design, planning and delivery of a think tank, on leadership development for Deputy Minister.
- Initiated and lead a series of 19 one-day learning events for a newly created federal department from the merger of four departments; organized the subsequent debriefing session of the organizing team and wrote the report for the Assistant Deputy Minister.
- Lead a team of learning consultants that designed and delivered a new online training system for agents across Canada.
- Initiated and lead the design, development and delivery of an employee climate survey and the subsequent communications activities and leadership training.
- Over a ten-year period, regularly contributed thought articles to the Federal Leadership Network website.
2) Solid understanding of global competitive and geo-political issues and trends as they relate to how organizations must adapt to emerging business issues and trends. Projects include:
- Served on the secretariat supporting the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council on Science & Technology, in which I designed and organized roundtables on specific topics, gave presentations on human capital development, prepared background technical papers a variety of topics, and briefed senior management on the Council’s work.
- Initiated and led studies on business research and development (R&D) and innovation, such as a survey of the members of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. Study examined what are the key factors that affect investments in innovation, including where firms wish to locate these activities.
- Initiated a study to examine the link between management practices and firm innovation. Formed a partnership with other federal departments and business associations.
3) Effective relationship-building skills, honed through decades of building partnerships with stakeholders. Projects include:
- Created an effective partnership with the New Brunswick Government to conduct joint analytical studies between my team of economists and provincial colleagues; included my initiating a team-building process to strengthen working relationships.
- Worked with the federal unions on change management initiatives in New Brunswick, giving them equal voice.
4) Significant experience in public speaking, facilitation and delivering training workshops that address leadership, teamwork and knowledge management. Projects include:
- Managed the federal government’s first knowledge transfer project, involving technical inspectors soon to retire. Named a best-practice by the Clerk of the Privy Council Office.
- Regularly gave presentations and workshops on knowledge management to federal departments, including Human Resources Development Canada and the Canadian Centre for Management Development.
- Lead and facilitated a conference for 250 labor market analysts.
- Designed a six-part module teambuilding process for the Canadian Red Cross in New Brunswick.
- Designed and delivered experiential learning workshops on teamwork and team leadership at HRDC.
5) Strong demonstrated client service skills acquired through private sector experience and in managing a service branch in government. Projects include:
- As a new manager, rebuilt Economic Services Branch to become client-focused, producing value-added labour market information products and a strong working relationship with provincial government partner.
- Distinguished myself as committed to client service with federal departments during my career.
- Lead a team of economists that produced nationally recognized innovative labour market information products, especially the six-volume counseling series New Brunswick Job Futures, which was also produced in electronic format.
- Acquired strong customer service skills when began work career with a finance company in 1978.