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Ascension - Program For Current And Aspiring Executives



Are you being groomed to step into a leadership role in your organization? Have you recently been promoted to an executive-level position and feel your skills need a boost? The Ascension program is here to guide you as you climb to the top!

Combining the academic excellence of HEC Montréal faculty members with the on-the-ground experience of eight respected business executives, this program will give you the tools you need to adjust to your new role and the responsibilities that come with it. Learn what it takes to confront the strategic challenges facing your organization, lead with more confidence and foster a culture of innovation so essential to your company’s and your own success.

Ascension is ideal for leaders looking to forge a bold, strategic vision and develop sharper decision-making reflexes. It is a one-of-a-kind program that lets you share what you are going through with your fellow participants and instructors, adding a rich, interactive layer to the overall learning experience.

Being a leader means thinking strategically


This program will help you:

  • Broaden your management skill set
  • Develop a coherent, executive-level approach to strategic issues
  • Sharpen and embolden your decision-making
  • Revitalize your analytical mindset
  • Leverage state-of-the-art tools to set yourself apart
  • Build up your network to support your initiatives.


This program is designed specifically for current and aspiring leaders, senior managers and executive committee members with formal managerial training or 10+ years of experience.


  • Select modules taught in residence
  • Dynamic, interactive and intensive curriculum
  • Exposure to the insights of five experts and eight senior executives
  • Meaningful interactions with instructors and fellow participants
  • Singular opportunity to grow your network
  • Time to ponder your managerial profile and aspirations


“I liked that the program took a hands-on approach, but with plenty of theory to back it up. We learned a lot about the habits of successful executives, which let us see how the theoretical aspects play out in real life. So in addition to the concrete tools we had to work with, we picked up key concepts that helped shape our thinking.”

Mélissa Delaney, Physical Health Program Lead, Villa Medica

“We’re in the midst of transitioning our family business from one generation to the next, and the Ascension program has been particularly helpful, especially when it comes to the more human aspect of things.”

Julie Frigon, Partner, Gyva

Other testimonial(s)

“This program explores the essential aspects of what it is to be a business leader. It’s a compelling mix of theory, case studies and real-life experiences from top executives.”

Jacques Béland, Vice-President, Business Partnerships – Facturation.net, MD Physician Services

“An excellent program that gave us a closer look at the experiences of CEOs and leaders, in order to reinforce the theoretical concepts taught and make them really come alive. Now we can take this knowledge and apply it to our own careers.”

Anick Tremblay, Senior Director — Planning, Strategy and Expertise, Hydro-Québec


Module 1

Opening reception
Réal Jacob and Robert Dutton

  • Program overview
  • Conversation with an experienced CEO – The executive as leader, manager and individual: Facts and perspectives

The books Paroles de PDG and Mise à niveau (Robert Dutton’s autobiography) will be distributed to all participants.

Day 1 - Shifting Perspective
Nicolas Vincent

  • Business environment: Understanding it today, anticipating it tomorrow
    • Broadening your analytical horizons
    • Identifying trends and understanding what they mean from a strategic perspective
    • Handling complexity with more assurance

Jacques Neatby

  • How to fit into a management team
    • The rules of the game: Succeeding and working effectively as part of a management team
    • Power: Growing your power to have a greater impact on the team
    • Influence: Earning your coworkers’ support

Guest executives (evening):

  • Christiane Germain, Co-Founder and Co-President, Germains Hotels
  • Marie Pier Germain, Vice-President, Sales and Marketing, Germain Hotels

Day 2 - Strategic Thinking For the Win!
Louis Hébert and Alain Brunet

  • Analyzing internal and external strategic context: Tools to improve your analytical insight and executive decision-making
  • Transforming strategy into tangible action plans: Resources and the role of the CEO
  • Striking a balance between rational decisions, risk management and decision-makers’ instincts

Day 3 - Seeing Things Differently
Laurent Simon

  • Re-examining your company’s business model and identifying new ways to add value using the Business Model Canvas (BMC)
  • Placing creative thinking and new approaches to innovation (co-creation, collaboration, open innovation) at the heart of strategic thinking
  • Creativity workshop: Experimenting with an analytic framework to develop an organizational culture of innovation

Module 2

Day 4 - Leading Strategic Change and Organizational Transformation
Réal Jacob

  • Acquainting yourself with the trends and challenges linked to organizational transformation
  • Solidifying your change leadership: Understanding the role of executives and the management team, and determining how to engage stakeholders
  • Guiding large-scale transformation: A five-point analytical framework
  • Moving beyond managing change to empower organizational transformation

Guest executives:

  • Yves Devin, Adjunct Professor, HEC Montréal; President, Groupe Conseil Devin
  • Roman Oryschuk, Adjunct Professor, HEC Montréal; President and CEO, Global Change Leaders

Day 5 - Successfully Transitioning to an Executive Role
Alain Gosselin

  • Reflecting on five essential questions
  • Making your new role and responsibilities your own
  • Identifying key changes to keep a close eye on
  • Determining what to keep and what to leave behind
  • Pinpointing where things might go wrong

Guest executive:

  • Geneviève Fortier, FCHRP, CEO, Promutuel Assurance


This is a dynamic, interactive and intensive program, using a wide variety of learning methods, including case studies, concrete examples of best practices in action, analytical frameworks, group discussions and conversations with high-level business leaders.

Part of the program will be held in residence so that participants can devote their undivided attention and energy to their training and take full advantage of the corresponding synergies.

Participants will also receive a compendium of resources to take with them to support what they have learned during the course.


Participants will receive a copy of the following books:




Faculty administrator and instructor:

Réal Jacob

Réal Jacob

MPs (Industrial Psychology), CEA (Labour Studies)
Professor Emeritus, HEC Montréal
Co-author of Paroles de PDG



Alain Brunet

Adjunct Professor, HEC Montréal.


Yves Devin

Adjunct Professor, HEC Montréal; President, Groupe Conseil Devin; former CEO and senior executive with major organizations such as the Société de transport de Montréal and the Casino de Montréal


Adjunct Professor, Department of Management, HEC Montréal; former CEO of RONA; corporate director; author of the book Mise à niveau

Geneviève Fortier

Geneviève Fortier

CEO, Promutuel Assurance; FCHRP; member of the Board of Directors of the Insurance Bureau of Canada, the Canadian Association of Mutual Insurance Companies and Investissement Québec

Christiane Germain

Christiane Germain

Co-Founder and Co-President, Germain Hotels


Marie Pier Germain

Vice-president, Sales and Marketing, Germain Hôtels

Alain Gosselin

Alain Gosselin

Professor Emeritus, Department of Human Resources Management, HEC Montréal; FCHRP; head of the Reflective Mindset module of the McGill–HEC Montréal EMBA program; co-author of Paroles de PDG

Louis Hébert

Louis Hébert

Professor, Department of Management, HEC Montréal; Co-Director of the McGill–HEC Montréal EMBA


Jacques Neatby

Lawyer and Partner at MindLab; Adjunct Professor, Executive Teams and Strategy, McGill–HEC Montréal EMBA


Roman Oryschuk

Adjunct Professor, HEC Montréal; President and CEO, Global Change Leaders; Director and Advisor, Peterson Real Estate; Director, Wealth One Bank of Canada; former CEO, GE Capital Solutions Europe


Laurent Simon

Professor and Director, Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, HEC Montréal; Co-Founder and Director of Mosaic


Nicolas Vincent

Associate Professor, Department of Applied Economics, HEC Montréal; Lead Researcher, Economic Cycles and Financial Markets, CIRANO


$ 9,995 + taxes


One evenings and five days
Module 1: one evening and three days
Module 2: two days (there is a month between the two modules.)


Summer 2023

Module 1:
May 7 (evening) and 3 days: May 8, 9 and 10, 2023.

Module 2:
2 days: June 8 and 9, 2023.

For module 1, your registration includes three nights’ accommodation, coffee breaks and meals. Module 2 takes place at HEC Montreal and your registration includes both coffee breaks and lunches.


Course given in French


 Make an appointment with:


Aïcha Seghiri
Program Manager

 By Email
 By Phone


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