Banff Centre | Contextual Intelligence | Leadership Intensive






“Contextual intelligence requires moving far beyond an analysis of institutional context into areas as diverse as intellectual property rights, aesthetic preferences, attitudes toward power, beliefs about the free market, and even religious differences. The most difficult work is often the “soft” work of adjusting mental models, learning to differentiate between universal principles and their specific embodiments, and being open to new ideas.”      – Tarun Khanna, Harvard Business Review 

Context matters. Today’s leaders operate in increasingly dynamic environments and face a wide range of complex external realities. The success of our programs, projects, and plans so often depends on our ability to read the wider field and anticipate contextual roadblocks. Cultivating this ability gives us deeper insight into the present and the direction it is heading, as well as confidence to sense emerging possibilities. Contextual intelligence – the capacity to see multiple dimensions of our external reality and shape our initiatives accordingly – has never been more important. 

This program draws on the best new-paradigm thinking and practice in strategic planning, systems and complexity theory, and cultural analysis to enable participants to read big picture trends and immediate operating contexts, and leverage them for greater, more durable impact over time. Participants gain awareness of how mental models, often unconscious or unarticulated, can prevent us seeing and being nimble in our response to what is really going on. Whatever the field or sector, whether the focus is a strategic planning process, a communication campaign, or launch of a new product or service, this program will help build the contextual intelligence required to succeed. 

What does the program offer?

This program offers a comprehensive introduction to the foundations of contextual intelligence as a leadership capacity. Bringing together a diverse group of participants from a range of fields and sectors, the program focuses on applied learning through workshops, seminars, case study analysis, small group work, and reflective practice. It provides participants with the mindsets, methods, and tools to (a) understand the nature and power of contextual intelligence; (b) cultivate contextual intelligence in themselves and others; and (c) apply newly gained aptitudes to real-world situations. 

This program is designed to enable participants to apply their learning to a specific initiative (e.g. a strategic plan for their organization, program, or project), and immediately add value to their work interests and settings. 

Who should register?

This program is ideal for anyone interested in creating real value in their work, reconnecting with deep vocational purpose, and retooling for 21st century contextual realities. 

Participants should: 

  • Have some demonstrated experience in their field of vocational practice
  • Have an ability to recognize opportunities, and design and implement solutions
  • Be actively pursuing or considering new opportunities to create impact in their work (e.g. new roles or projects) in light of wider trends and environmental realities 
  • Want to learn more effective strategies for collaborating with a diverse range of stakeholders and improving value chains for more effective and durable outcomes
  • Be willing to take risks, reimagine possibilities, and be curious and eager to learn
  • Approach work and relationships with a spirit of sharing and generosity
  • Desire to foster a reflective practice that takes context seriously 

Please note, our programs are filled on a first come, first served basis. Please register early to secure a confirmation of your spot.

About Banff Centre Leadership Programs

Banff Centre Leadership programs integrate the power of the arts, the wisdom of Indigenous practice, and the extraordinary beauty of Banff National Park to prepare and empower the next generation of leaders.

Programs help participants bring creative and reflective approaches to a rapidly changing world, and connect leaders with others who share their commitment to positive change in Indigenous communities, businesses, non-profit organizations, cultural institutions, and government.

Registration Deadline: October 1, 2019
Program Dates: October 20 - October 24, 2019


4.5 days
Sunday, October 20, 2019 to Thursday, October 24, 2019
Please review website for fees and funding opportunities.

Cecelia Leddy, Recruitment & Alumni Officer, Arts & Leadership
Phone: 403-762-6383