Peter Cleveland is leaving his position as executive-in-residence at the University of Ottawa business school to focus on his own business strategy firm, the Cleveland Leadership Group.
“It was quite a wonderful experience,” Mr. Cleveland said of the forums. “I got a lot of rave reviews.”
Mr. Cleveland’s mandate when he arrived at Telfer was to bring the school closer to the business community. He decided on the forums as an appropriate venue for pursuing this objective, as it would allow CEOs and senior-level executives to interact with researchers at the university.
Forum participants for the professional development series were suggested by the sponsors. Applications were reviewed by a selection committee, who looked at factors such as seniority in a company, community and charitable work, and employment and academic achievements.
It allowed the university to promote its own programs, such as the executive MBA, while allowing executives access to the latest research, Mr. Cleveland said.
“We’ve created a network among all of the participants and all of the speakers, which are available to tie into the executive development group,” he said. “All of the programs we created can be adapted or morphed into different industries.”
Mr. Cleveland added that the loyalty of sponsors was greatly appreciated. Scotiabank, OBJ and the university itself were among those that stuck with the forum all the way through its run, he said.
The final forum under the current format will take place Nov. 14. The new format has not been determined yet.
Mr. Cleveland said he had been asked to contribute suggestions for how to make the forum even larger, but said he prefers to leave the new ideas for “young blood.”
“It will be part of the executive educational development, and we’re also talking about extending the number of forums. Maybe they might be industry-specific, like construction or retail or high tech, as well as the general topics, such as accountability, that run right across all industry items and even government.”