I travel a lot for my work and have come to appreciate the benefits of traveling light. My favorite shirt to pack on my trips is a charcoal wrinkle-free piece, formal enough to be worn when I’m facilitating a class, but casual enough to wear with jeans in the evening. Its color acts as a great camouflage for everything from dark chocolate stains to even a coffee spill.
At the Centre, I’ve been noticing some distinct patterns in our participants. Our seminars span a broad range of topics, but our participants share some key traits: They are curious. They are optimistic, take risks, and enjoy people. They love to travel. They read, but prefer discussing concepts, and like asking challenging questions. They push themselves and others, synthesize ideas, enjoy having a framework on which to hang new ideas, but like to see the limitations of any conceptual framework. They are rarely satisfied, want more, and feel that the course could have been longer. They see the world as fast-changing. They know that no course can teach them what’s really essential, but they see their time spent with the UPEACE Centre for Executive Education as extremely rewarding.
What does this have to do with my charcoal shirt?
As we continue to design new courses, we are realizing that our impact is much more about process than content. The readings we share with participants attempt to capture the latest trends in the field, from ‘hybrid organizations’ in our online course on ‘Social Entrepreneurship’ to Daniel Goleman’s latest article on social intelligence and leadership. But our ‘special sauce’ is about encouraging participants to re-examine old mental models.
Like the charcoal shirt that accompanies me on all my travels, ready to be worn whatever the situation and never looking out of place or crumpled, ‘Innovative Thinking’ is the Centre’s core piece. We invite you to come try it on!