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CPABC Executive Programs

2023 Dates:

November 7-9, 21-23
(Online – Special Online Fee Applies)

CPD Hours: 24
Program Fee:
$2,250 (Online Version)


The purpose of this one-of-a-kind executive program, which has evolved over the course of five decades of research, is to give you the techniques and insights for changing the way you think and the organization you lead.

The most significant competitive advantage you’ll ever possess is the ability to think on all cylinders.

To lead in an uncertain, disruptive and error-prone world, we must strengthen and rely on our capabilities as decision makers, risk-takers and innovators. Extraordinary leaders are just ordinary people who can think differently under pressure. Your destiny lies not in what you know, but in what you do with what you know.

Special Features

  • Six sessions of three-hours duration spread over three weeks
  • Two pre-course workbooks of readings & diagnostic tasks
  • A 100+ page instructional manual and supplemental notes
  • Opportunities to solve your most troublesome problems

Online Version Registration


The Mind and Genius of a Smart Leader

  • How thinking determines how you lead
  • Overcoming the accountant’s affliction
  • VUCA: Old world vs. new world realities
  • Linear vs. exponential growth & disruption
  • The four things that will “rock your world”
  • How artificial intelligence will impact you
  • Analytics, intelligence, risk and leadership
  • Five minds for the future: What matters
  • Integrative thinking: The Smart Leader thesis

Thinking Styles: As We Think So Shall We Become

  • Perception: How the brain makes up its own reality
  • The hard truths about creative & analytical thinkers
  • Why we have such difficulty solving big problems
  • Head vs. gut: Understanding our internal conflicts
  • How & why we adopted a preferred thinking style
  • Cognitive tendencies that lead to really bad decisions
  • The tricks our brains play on us & the consequences
  • Levels of leadership: You’re not where you think are
  • The critical biases that take us down the wrong path

Overcoming the Constraints to Creative Thinking

  • What separates the creatives from the non-creatives
  • Getting “beyond the box” – the biggest impediment
  • Our self-imposed limitations: Small-cage thinking
  • The neurobiology of fear and how to overcome it
  • Neurology 101: Understanding the brain’s hardware
  • Our navigation system: Cultivating imagination & insight
  • Intelligences: The eight that every leader must acquire
  • Intuition: The source code of brilliant business decisions
  • Training the brain: How to speak to it & make it listen

Fostering Workforce Resilience and Innovation

  • Why Canadian companies are especially bad at it
  • Judgement: An idea killer or an idea generator?
  • Why innovation is over-hyped and misunderstood
  • Rooting out dogma, groupthink & culture antibodies
  • Why success contains the seeds of its destruction
  • Auditing innovation DNA & overcoming paradoxes
  • Building & managing an open & adaptive culture
  • The six steps of innovation: From origin to execution
  • How to design, develop & evaluate a business proposal
  • The art & magic of the pitch: How to sell “any” idea

Thinking Tools and Problem Solving Techniques

  • Why do we need tools to find brilliant new ideas?
  • A simple, effective, better way to solve any problem
  • The upsides & downsides of group problem solving
  • Eight group techniques: From easy to the difficult
  • Life hacks: Nine simple ways to find great ideas
  • One dozen (plus) structured individual ideation tools
  • A quick pathway for analyticals to become creative

Protecting and Liberating the Power of Your Genius

  • Brain health: Five ways to prevent cognitive decline
  • Aging & dementia: Will you have enough in the tank?
  • Brain fitness: How exercise & play shapes the brain
  • Longevity: Cognitive reserve and Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Why top performers invest in their personal growth
  • The nine steps to mapping your future as a leader
  • What genius really means & how to re-awaken yours
  • What smart leaders know that others don’t understand

DR. JIM MURRAY is CEO of optimal solutions international, a firm dedicated to helping people achieve their full potential. Jim has taught courses for CPABC since 1982.

He is the architect of several advanced residential programs for five provincial CPA bodies, has published four best-selling books, and provided his strategic counsel to well over 600 organizations. He has been nationally honoured by the university community and formally recognized for “excellence in the design and delivery of life-long learning”. His full bio is on