Executive Centre tailors training to clients 

By Barbara Black

Everybody needs a refresher now and then. That’s when the boss should pick up the phone and call the JMSB Executive Centre. The staff can bring new zip to an enterprise by putting together a custom-designed course for employees.

The John Molson Executive Centre offers private, non-credit seminars tailored to companies’ needs on such topics as management and leadership, finance and accounting, marketing and sales, customer service and communications.

The clients include many well-known names — Gaz Metropolitain, Export Development Canada, Merck Frosst Canada, the National Bank of Canada, the Cree Regional Authority, CAE, Bombardier, the McGill University Health Centre and Molson Canada.

Julie Ricard and Fatima Grich of the John Molson Executive Centre. Magnifying glass

Julie Ricard and Fatima Grich of the John Molson Executive Centre.

Julie Ricard is Manager, Business Development, and Fatima Grich is Client Relationship Advisor. Both are graduates of the JMSB, and currently working on their MBAs. There are five full-time staff members at the Centre, which includes a service providing aviation and airport management expertise.

The Executive Centre staff can call on up to 150 specialized instructors, some of them full professors in the John Molson School of Business, others part-time lecturers with business careers. The instructors not only deliver the training, they promise to make themselves available for up to three months after the session to answer to questions and provide feedback.

Clients may choose to have the program given at a hotel, conference centre, their place of business or at Concordia, and the instructor comes to them. The sessions may range over several consecutive days, several days delivered within a month, or several weeks — whatever seems appropriate. Courses can even be conducted outside Montreal; the company simply undertakes to cover the transportation and accommodation for each instructor.

Ricard says designing a program can be time-consuming, but when a relationship is built up with a client company, the rewards for both parties are great. “The people at Molson feel like colleagues now.”

Some sessions were designed to address something that is giving the client trouble, such as conflict in the workplace or complaints about customer service. On the other hand, some companies sign on every year for the same nine-day program because it has worked so well in the past.

Maureen McCormick, of the medical technologies corporation MDA, has used the Centre for five years.

“What appeals to me about their training programs is that they are not general or standardized courses but are tailored to meet the unique needs of our culture and our employees,” she said. “The facilitators are all professionals who bring several years of industry experience with them.”

Christine Greco, Director of People Development at Molson Canada, agreed, calling her two-year relationship with the Centre “tremendously positive.”

She said, “what makes Concordia such a strong partner is their desire to listen, adapt quickly to business and curriculum needs, recognize two languages, source experts from academia or consulting, and deliver business-based learning experiences. We believe our talent pipeline program for managers is one of the best in Canada due to our partnership with the John Molson Executive Centre of Concordia University.”

The Executive Centre also offers daylong public seminars at Concordia for individual professionals. For example, a session was held in November called Maximizing the Efficiency of Human Resources Services. The day was broken into several sessions, on HR consulting, motivating employees, performance appraisals, managerial training and succession planning.

There is a public seminar on sales negotiations over two days, Feb. 13 and 14, and another on project management on March 12 and 13. Concordia employees are welcome. The fee for each, $1,100, covers course material, presentation, breakfast, lunch and coffee breaks. For details on these seminars and on the Executive Centre, go to: johnmolson.concordia.ca/ec


Concordia University