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"Our objective is to assist individuals, companies and organizations reach optimal performance using innate skills and strengths within the larger framework of circumstance, workplace and community. Relevant and stimulating programs are customized to client requirement".
-Rodger Harding

Harding International and Associates Inc.
Telephone: +1 (416) 962 6700
9836 Keele Street
Vaughan, L6A 3Y4
Ontario, Canada
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"This seminar far exceeded expectation - Rodger is poised, articulate, respectful- He was dead on with his presentation and I would recommend him without hesitation." - S.M. Canadian Women in Communications (CWC)
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" I want to congratulate you on a job well done. A room full of lawyers is not the easiest audience to appear before, yet you ruled the room. You have that unique ability (gift?) to teach ideas without it being hard work. I found your personal style very relaxing yet challenging". - David Clarke, Chair, YLD Division, The Canadian Bar Association of Ontario
Corporate Intelligence

CIA Harding International and Associates Inc.

"In this compelling book by a former diplomat, you will learn the secrets (step by step) to developing an intelligence strategy by effective information gathering and analyzing, and then to delivering credible intelligence to senior management."|more...

Available from bookstores and online:
Leadership Training
The Essence of Business Leadership Training -
Be the leader you are meant to be!

Toronto based Rodger Harding, applying leadership savvy learned from military, legal, diplomatic & business consulting experience has a proven record of enabling full leadership potential in scores of business folk. His clients range from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, national not-for-profit organizations & learning institutions.

The Harding Leadership training program raises awareness, validates and empowers the true essence of leadership. We enhance your ability to identify, strengthen and take full advantage of core leadership competencies, instilling legitimate confidence rather than reinforcing a preoccupation with outward presence. | more...
Training Program Design and Development
All Harding International and Associates Inc. programs are designed to:
  • Access existing innate and learned competencies/experience.
  • Enhance individual/team ability to meet current organizational requirement.
  • Accommodate changing environment and circumstance.
Our customized programs are built from scratch and will accurately reflect the unique context of corporate operations and identity. Training products that utilize the Harding Model are limited to one company per industry. This commitment ensures that training initiatives will result in strategic and competitive advantage - We encourage clients to safeguard our techniques and methodology as part of their intellectual property.| more...


Leadership: Uncertainty to Certainty - MH370 & Thomas Bayes' Theorem of Probability

by Administrator 31.Mar.2014 14:29:00

The MH370 SAGA from the start has clearly shown 2 distinct human trends. One is age old … People crave certainty and abhor the world of might/maybe, while the other is a more 21st century phenomenon… An almost palpable expectation that the enigmatic ‘THEY’ should have found an  immediate and technology driven/verifiable answer by now!

I find it surprising that people forget that all technology is made, programmed, accessed and analyzed by humans… Humans being innately imperfect, does it not follow that technology has itself to be flawed or at least work within known parameters? (Technology is only as good as the last save!) Personally, I much prefer Marshall McLuhan’s adage that technology extends rather than replaces human capacity. That being said perhaps we should just admit there will be time when we have no control over outcome… the great unknown remaining a constant in life’s equations!

The search for MH370, for sure, is taking place in the random realm of uncertainty. Any conclusion drawn until it has actually been found, will at best be described as probable - Selling the probable to the average person on the street, and dare I say so called experts, all desirous of certainty, is problematic. This is especially so in time of fear/crisis!

For those requiring a mechanism to balance the probable with the improbable, Thomas Bayes’ Theorem of Probability might help:

Bayes, an English Theologian and mathematician who lived in England from 1702-1761, is possibly the first person to have linked probability to logical process, by providing a mathematical basis to infer probability: Simply put he believed that by calculating the number of times a certain theory is put forward by experts, one could infer the probability of its actual occurrence. He pitted the Known VS the Unknown! This approach he felt would allow experts to make use of knowledge they did not know they had – A big picture approach to analysis that allows expert minds to use both rational expertise/knowledge as well as innate intuition. This forces a creative draw on a wealth of disconnected knowledge that will possibly be of relevance to the situation at hand. 
The easy 3 step process is as follows:

1. Brainstorm to evolve a short list of possible scenarios that might be dictated by facts, data and precedent surrounding MH370 (aviation/detection technology; weather/currents; people etc., 
2. Assemble a team/group of experts to develop probable case studies for each possible scenario
3. As a group, repeatedly vote to narrow down the choice to the arrive at a most probable scenario

The theorem was put to great use during the Cold War*. Both U.S. and Soviet submarines,  sensitive warheads and other items, went missing without explanation resulting in multi-million dollar search expeditions, all conducted with utmost secrecy. John Craven a U.S. Naval Intelligence trouble-shooter, his creative ideas/theories often landing him in the hot seat, would formulate several hypotheses as to what probably/could have happened and then collaborate with expert mathematicians to construct a map of the sea bottom – This done he would repeatedly ask them to place bets on the probability of alternative scenarios (accessing the knowledge they did not consciously know they had) – each a potential location of the missing submarine/warhead. Using Bayes’ formula he narrowed data down to most probable and plotted maps that were oftentimes ridiculed as “insane” and “impossible” – Yet he was almost always spot on!

Do we in our everyday world confuse good leadership with promises of certainty? Do we sufficiently value the exploratory mind-set of a leader happy to be wrong... rather than the safe spew-out of known/cliched/expected solutions?

Have we abdicated the thinking process in favour of stand alone technology?

* Blind Man’s Bluff
The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage - Sherry Sontag & Christopher Drew

Leadership & the Accomodation of Original Thinking - Providing an Acid Test!

by Administrator 07.Mar.2012 15:21:00

Despite the incessant meeting of time, budget and bottom-line parameters, an effective leader would perhaps do well to, at very least, to acknowledge creative individual/team input. So often different or critical thinking is regarded as tangential, time-wasting or even negative.

It is surely a strong service-orientation that would most often prompt suggestion or unsolicited input?
Consistent dismissal or ignoring of ideas will, with time, de-motivate the most committed individual. De-motivated people quit, or worse, stay on as a bitter and negative influence.

Consider the words of maverick/iconoclastic WWII hero Orde Wingate:

“A man who possesses creative ability tends inevitably to form his own original opinions. Unless he is very fortunate the value of his opinions will not be apparent to his superiors unless there is some acid test to which they can be put”  

Wherever possible/appropriate a good leader will provide the occasion for such a test. Innovative/forward thinking forestalls problems, sustains the competitive edge… and in the long term, saves money!  

In the interview/hiring process both the hirer and prospective employee should ascertain the level/percentage that strategy VS execution is desired/required!

Engineers Without Borders (EWB) - Africa Leadership Conference 2012

by Administrator 08.Feb.2012 16:04:00

Recent involvment with the annual Engineers without Borders (EWB) Africa Leadership Conference was both refreshing and stimulating.

Exchanging ideas with such intelligent and erudite minds gave true meaning to global awareness and the importance of building bridges that facilitate a two way flow of ideas! The underlying philosophy of EWB promotes real understanding between nations and collaborative development rather than imposed, and often unworkable, aid packages. An amazing experience!    



 Delegates hailed from Ghana, Malawi, Bourkino Faso & Zambia 

Leadership & Sustainable Relationships: True Colors - Showing who you really are!

by Administrator 02.Feb.2012 14:30:00

In several of the Sustainable Relationship seminars I’ve delivered in recent weeks, it appears that more and more business folk consider it appropriate to hide who they really are. I am repeatedly told that it is a “great strategy to deliver a contrived person/face depending on circumstance.”

I believe this is an impossible feat, as we unwittingly reveal so much of who we are in any interaction – It takes a master of deception to achieve this goal. Added to the mix is the unshakeable reality that discovered subterfuge will of necessity break down any trust that might have existed in the relationship.

Confidently and honestly showing who we are is the basis of establishing;

• A reason for the relationship 
• A good fit
• The possibility of pleasurable interaction
• Evolving trust
• Preparedness to accept relationship dynamics/change

A good relationship requires an acceptance that:

• Relationships evolve/change with the passage of time
• Generosity of spirit is the cornerstone of successful human interaction
• Mutual trust, once broken, can seldom be repaired. Give and demand loyalty!

True Colors – Phil Collins http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmfqLOLCNi8&feature=related

True Colors - Cindy Lauper http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPn0KFlbqX8&feature=related

For information on Sustainable Business Relationship seminars call (416) 962-6700

Leadership, Purpose & Morality - The Bigger Picture

by Administrator 19.Jan.2012 11:10:00

A recent read of Jonathan Garfinkel’s excellent book Ambivalence, revealed the following passage that, for me, beautifully sums up the underlying ideal of purpose driven leadership. So often today, we confuse leadership with the pursuit of power & influence!

“We are free in so far as we can choose whether or not to act morally...
We're free when we examine our actions, ask hard questions, search for
connection to the ancient...And this freedom is not for the sake of some
ecstatic feeling, nor is it to test how well one follows the laws. Rather,
our choice lies in the attempt to become better people, to do better unto
others.” - Jonathan Garfinkel, AMBIVALENCE


Leadership & Reflection

by Administrator 27.Aug.2011 11:21:00

''Bushmen refer to Tapping within themselves - A physical manifestation of a profound gift for intuitive apprehension of the future … Only a fool would go on ignoring his tapping…if he does not sit and listen to his tapping it could utterly leave him" - Laurens van der Post  (A Far-Off  Place)

Creative or visionary leaders need time to reflect - To listen to an inner voice that interprets countless bits of information that have set off alarm bells in the sub-conscious mind...!

Just as a computer has hidden files, cookies, meta-tags, temporary files etc. so the human brain has the capacity to search, filter and analyze its own data base while consciously engaged in other activity. Just as the computer contains a large amount of unused or underutilized functions, the human capacity for research and solution providing may remain untapped. Circumstance may provide an adrenaline rush that will necessitate blind reliance on intuition. Consider the advantage of being able to confidently and consciously engage this resource through taking the time to regularly reflect on diverse items of stimulating information !

"Creativity is about finding, discovery, and making the link between what you've seen and are trying to achieve…you can’t find if you're looking - It's a process of osmosis that is dependent on being in a relaxed state of mind…
Creatives need time to stroll and come upon things. We're idea merchants…If you are not fascinated, you simply do not find things … It's about finding visual stimuli and translating them into stunning creative concepts." Sean Harrison, Creative Director, Code

Leadership & Discretion

by Administrator 27.Aug.2011 11:20:00

That Ontario based Bayly Communications went into receivership last month did not really make headlines. Yet the possible demise of this company, formerly Bayly Engineering, is significant as it marks the disappearance of the last vestige of an illustrious Canadian.

Founder, Benjamin De Forest (Pat) Bayly, the largely unknown Canadian hero of WWII whose brilliant encryption/decryption work saved countless lives and gave the Allies an unquestioned competitive edge, maintained the point of view that he should never be known by name. He refused to write up an account of his secret intelligence activities after the war saying:

"… the best thing I could do was shut up ..."

"I wasn’t having any of that, because I had been treated extremely well by Canada, the States and England - far beyond what was necessary. I was welcomed into places where it was absolutely necessary that I be … and everybody's been so very kind. … We'd go out and have a couple of drinks and they'd tell me political things that shouldn’t be free, … they were really quite outspoken and I came to the conclusion at the end of the war that the best thing I could do was shut up. Because if I did, if I spoke all the things I would unwittingly mention, things would have political (consequences)…." Quoted in The True Intrepid by Bill Macdonald (RAINCOAST Books)

Bayly’s standpoint meant that he placed the greater picture ahead of his personal desire for recognition – The critical discretion of a truly service-oriented leader!

Leadership & Effective Time Management : Good results often take time!

by Administrator 08.Aug.2011 10:00:00

Watching a TV sitcom recently, I was jolted by an expert’s response to an impatient crime investigator: “If you haven’t time for me to consider all the facts… All you can expect is sh_t!” I thought of how many top executives I have worked for/encountered who pride themselves on wanting answer “yesterday”. It seems almost a virtue to insist that all questions, briefings & backgrounders be provided with impossible speed and brevity.

The advance of Information Technology, while providing amazing & valuable tools/platforms, has added to the notion that brevity/speed is perhaps more important than context/depth. A distinction should ideally be made between lack of focus, waffle/padding & verbosity and the very real need for detail and big-picture background.

Efficient Time Management will ideally factor in goal achievement via the strategic balance of time, budget, quality, resource & team realities.

For Time Management training:  (416) 962-6700

Leadership: Trust, Loyalty & Supportive Relationships

by Administrator 26.Jul.2011 10:34:00

The notion of “it is lonely at the top” is sometimes belied by the illusion that leadership is about Power & Influence… the attainment of absolute control and ensuing subordinate obedience. As we know from history, in stories great and small, this is the pursuit of the impossible.

Trusted support/stakeholder loyalty is the keystone to effective and sustainable leadership. Relationship building, for me, is the thread that links the key elements of forward thinking leadership - identifying operational requirement, proactively evolving a realistic vision, selling workable solutions, running collaborative projects & problem solving.

Trust & loyalty are not that easily earned. Consider the words of a former presidential aide: “Giving an order does not end the matter... nothing gets done except by endless follow up, endless kissing and coaxing, endless threatening and compelling… Everyone is watching you, waiting, trying to guess what you mean –Trying to get your number. Can they fool you? Can they outwait you? Will you be mad when you hear it isn’t done yet?  … And they are all testing you. How much can they get away with? How much authority can they take? How much authority do you want them to have? Once you choose men you have to keep them; which means endless attrition of your will against their will…” (White, aide to President Truman 1965; cited from article by George H. Litwin/Robert A. Stringer JR.)  

Relationship-building requires hard work on the part of any leader - Intense collaboration and persuasion/negotiation, involving a fine balance between strength & vulnerability. The stronger the team caliber, the fiercer the ambition...The harder the leader’s task! 

For more information about customized Leadership Training/Coaching: (416) 962-6700

Leadership Deployment: Lesson from Kai Nagata

by Administrator 13.Jul.2011 13:25:00

That Kai Nagata’s manifesto on why he quit his job went viral, perhaps speaks to the frequency of the workplace sentiment that there is no point in continuing to do what we do.  


This is particularly true of aspiring leaders, hamstrung by perceived hidden corporate agendas that either overtly or covertly put the brakes on full deployment of potentially exciting ideas, strategies and vision. This becomes especially serious when ethical or value discordance comes into play. How often are we left feeling:” I just can’t buy into this… but what options do I have?” John Le Carre’s words come to mind: “the discovery that you’re just turning over a system that gets neither better nor worse is extremely depressing...”A courageous soul, free of duty to others, will take the leap and head for the hills… prepared to embark on a search for a better fit.


Some 20 years ago I abandoned a promising diplomatic career ... just before taking up post as the then youngest ever full-on ambassador ... The fact that the powers that be had, for me, totally departed from my perceived notion of the noble goals of the profession...or had nefarious agendas was unbearable. More than 2 decades of diverse consulting/training/coaching has since taught me that this phenomenon is more common than not in the larger world... Nagata's words and the widespread reaction to his experience bears direct testimony to the importance of ensuring that ethics, values and purpose retain priority in corporate goal setting!


Importantly the recognition, validation and accommodation of the like-minded goes a long way to ensuring that the valuable contribution of Kai Nagata, and his ilk, is not lost.   






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